My First Rescue Transport

Those of you that know me know that I have a huge love for animals, sometimes even more so than people.

I have always volunteered time to help rescue groups but the work I did was all virtual, creating websites, helping with social media, donating money, etc.

I did volunteer at my local animal shelter for a while but I really didn’t feel like I was doing anything of value there. Of course the cats and dogs probably enjoyed my company but I really wanted to do more.

So last week I decided to get physically involved with helping these rescue groups. First on Saturday I went to a horse farm rescue and spent several hours helping out, let me just say that it was a GREAT experience to interact with the horses directly. I am sure I will have a post about that soon.

On Sunday I was scheduled to take part in a rescue transport. If you don’t know what a rescue transport is, it is a bunch of volunteers that all agree to transport an animal from one place to another.

Sounds simple no?

Actually it takes a lot of work to figure out the “legs” of the trip and then to pull it all together to find and schedule the volunteers for each leg. I give the coordinators of these transports so much credit, they work tirelessly to get these animals to safety. Most transports are to move animals from kill shelters to rescue groups, foster homes or even forever homes.

Early Sunday morning I woke up and woke my Son up as he wanted to go with me. (I am sure he really didn’t want to go with me, but he wanted to see the three puppies I was scheduled to pick up)

I made my cup of coffee, loaded the car with some supplies in case the puppies needed water, and off we went.

We drove about an hour to our pickup spot and waited to meet the previous leg volunteer. We waited about 10 minutes as they were right on time. We transferred all the paper work on the dogs and then we transferred the dogs themselves.

Can you say CUTE?

So after I picked them up I proceeded to the destination of my leg to drop them to the next volunteer.

All and all it was a great experience and one that I will be doing again, as a matter of fact I am already scheduled for this Sunday :)

Just so you know these three fur babies are available for adoption, if you are interested please visit Out Of The Pits and click through to their PetFinder page, or click each image above to be taken directly to that dogs page.

Have you ever done a rescue transport? Share your story in the comments below.

Kong to the Rescue!

What is Kong? How is it going to resuce me or anyone for that matter?
Well it’s not really going to rescue you or even your friends, but it does provide Animal Rescue Groups and Shelters with some much needed toys to occupy their dogs for a while.

So what you say! There are many companies that sell toys for dogs, what is so special about Kong?

You are correct! There are plenty of companies that make and sell toys for dogs. But the Kong company also thinks about those dogs in Shelters and Animal Rescue Groups who are waiting for their forever homes.

On Facebook today a friend of mine brought up this exact topic but didn’t know where to find out more information. So of course me being me, I turned to Google and searched around until I found some answers.

It wasn’t too hard, the first thing I found was the Kong website itself and right on the front page they have a link to their Kong Seconds program.

Order KONG Seconds – Shelters, pounds and rescue groups ONLY!

So of course I had to click it to get more information. But to my dismay it brought me to my email client and I had to send an inquiry to them to find out more information. To most that might be a stopping point, but you know me once I put my mind to something it gets done!

So I sent a simple request out to them and within an hour I had a response. We went back and forth a bit just to clarify what the program was about and what I could or could not do and share with you. The responses were very friendly and basically gave me full access to discuss the program with you.

The Kong Second Program in a nut shell.
Non-profit groups can order imperfect Kongs for a low price. They don’t come with a guarantee and can’t be resold.

Pretty straight forward and simple. Non-Profit Rescues/Shelters can place an order for what Kong calls “Seconds” (more on that in a minute) and they get to save some money by doing so.

Kong Seconds” – Overall they look just like the ones you would find in stores. The imperfections are small and unnoticable. I am sure the dogs won’t notice them at all once they are filled with treats.

The best part of the program is anyone can place an order and have it shipped directly to a Rescue Group or Shelter. The one catch is you either have to ship it directly to the group or you must be a 501(c)(3) non-profit yourself in order to participate in this program.

Knowing that Kong has a program where Shelters and Rescue Groups can get reduced priced items for dogs waiting to find forever homes makes me want to help promote their company even more!

The Kong will keep dogs occupied for a while as then chew on the rubber to get the treats out from inside. What do you fill the Kong with? That’s up to you but on the Kong website they have plenty of recipies like this one:

Advanced KONG Stuffing
Start with a few clean, appropriately sized KONG toys.
NOTE: Small breeds can use a medium KONG toy for maximum stuffing benefit.

Layer One: Tantalizer – Fill little hole on top of KONG toy with any flavor KONG Stuff’N Easy Treat paste.
Layer Two: Dessert – Fill approximately one-third of the cavity with dog treats such as KONG Stuff’N Snacks.
Layer Three: Main Course – Fill the last two-thirds with dry dog food, and then seal off with a soft canned food or food roll.
Layer Four: Appetizer – Leave a KONG Stuff’N Snack or ZIGGIES sticking out of the opening. The “easy pickings” will provide an immediate pay off and entice your dog to “get serious” about the job. It is important for dogs to succeed at their “work.”

In conclusion, if you know of any Rescue Groups or Shelters that could benefit from some Kongs send them the link to this blog post or directly to the Kong website.

This is not a paid advertisement for Kong nor do I get any commisions on any sales, I am just looking out for all the dog lovers who would love to do something special for dogs waiting for their forever homes.

Since I reached out to Kong, they gave me permission to post their order form here so it will save you the trouble of contacting them to get it. If you have any questions the representative said to feel free to give them a call.

Kong Seconds Order Form (PDF) / Kong Seconds Order Form (Excel)

Please feel free to share this post with anyone that you know that could benefit from this program.

Do you sponsor, volunteer or donate to a Shelter or Rescue Group? Why not ask if they need some toys for their dogs, this would be a great donation. If you don’t currently have anyone in mind why not check out the groups I support and see if they can use your support as well.

Have you had any experience with this program? How about with the Kong toy itself? Let me know in the comment section below…


Last Chance for Needy Animals

Last Chance Ranch Sanctuary Old Website

I don’t usually post websites that I have developed on here, but this one is a very different type of website and I thought I would share it with you.

My friends over at NorCal GSP Rescue had asked me quite a while ago if I could donate hosting for a needy charity. Of course since it had to do with animal rescue there was not even a second thought. I setup space on one of my dedicated servers and moved the site over.

That was it until recently when I was approached again but this time it was to redevelop the website.

The original website was just a standard html template that was not put together too well. You can see what it used to look like below.

Last Chance Ranch Sanctuary Old Website
Please click to enlarge


So first thing I did was setup WordPress and the Catalyst Theme that I am now using for almost all web development. First WordPress makes creating a site a no-brainer and it also makes it easy for anyone to maintain once it is setup.

For example, a volunteer for the rescue group could login to the administration page and update the home page as simply as typing a Word document in Microsoft Office.

The Catalyst Theme is my new favorite theme because you can do almost anything you like without coding. It has hundreds of features you can change with just a mouse click. Of course if you want to make it sing and dance you will need to break out your coding expertise.

You can see the final design and website by clicking over to the Last Chance Ranch Sanctuary website and see all the wonderful animals that have been taken in.

These are not just any old animals, most of them have special needs. Maybe they are blind, deaf, have trouble walking. Whatever the case, they are welcomed and loved at the ranch.

Last Chance Ranch Sanctuary
Last Chance Ranch Sanctuary

From their site, Annie says:

I bought 40 acres in 1996 and have put all my efforts into creating a place for any animal who needs special attention. Once these animals are accepted here, they stay forever to live out their lives happy and healthy!

People and Organizations like this that act so selflessly are what makes me happy to do what I know how to do to help them.  Even if my help in a small way allows them to succeed in executing their mission I am happy.

If  you have the time, click over to their site and have a look. If you can help them out with a donation that would be great too.

I have not been paid to promote their site. They are just a great bunch of people doing a beautiful service to less than fortunate animals.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the new design, feel free to leave your comments below.


Sorry for getting this out there late, but better late than never!

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They’re banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we’ve seen in decades. I’d like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on February 10, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren’t originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children’s books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there’s always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.
Article from the American Library Association

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it’s passed testing. It won’t even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can’t sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can’t even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children’s items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you’ll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you’d better start buying now because it’s all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren’t certified as safe.”

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react!!!

More Links:

Bronx Zoo in need…

save-our-zoosGovernor Paterson has proposed cuts to the Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquariums in NY state. This funding (ZBGA) has been in place for over 30 years and was created to make sure that our zoos, gardens, aquariums all have funding in hard economic times. Now Governor Paterson wants to cut this funding by 55% this year and 100% next year. This is not the time for these cuts, if ever there was a hard economic time it is now!

All 76 organizations will be affected by the elimination of the ZBGA funding.  Some points of interest:

  • Living Museums cannot fire their animals or furlough their plant collections
  • They are the economic drivers that bring jobs and a tremendous amount of stimulus to our state’s economy with 10 million visitors annually
  • The Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium, alone, generated more than $289.6 million in FY 2008

We all need to tell Governor Paterson that we do not want these cuts, and funding needs to be restored. You can send your message here:

Send a message to Albany

You can join in the cause on Facebook here:


Visit the Wildlife Conservation Society:
Wildlife Conservation Society Website

Watch this video that was produced by the WCS:

The video stars a Bronx Zoo porcupine that is being laid off from its job, the WCS has no intention of getting rid of any of these animals, but the cuts do make the future bleak and far from secure.

The zoo does not only keep animals and plants alive, but also adds to our local economy. The Bronx Zoo and NY Aquarium had more than 2.7 million visitors last year that generated more than $290 million dollars in economic activity. The Zoo and Aquarium have 819 full time staff and 251 seasonal workers. Imagine the impact on our communities if these institutions were to close.

Please take the time and click the email link above or call the Governor at 518-474-8390.