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Rescue & Service Organizations

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(Phetched’s Barkworthy series highlights organizations that help make the world a better place for dogs and their people.)

I’ve started to notice a few more white hairs on Ming’s muzzle lately, which makes my heart sting a little. I try not to think about his growing older, since he’s going to live to be 25, right? RIGHT? (Please allow me to enjoy my delusion when it comes to these matters. I BEG.)

The Grey Muzzle Organization is founded upon a seemingly simple premise: They “envision a world where no old dog dies alone and afraid.” With the alarming number of senior dogs that are dumped at shelters when their “families” no longer want to care for them, though, the Grey Muzzle Organization (based in Raleigh, NC) has a tough row to hoe.

As of June 30th, however, Grey Muzzle had donated more than $100,000 to shelters, sanctuaries, and rescue organizations around the country working to provide homes, care, and better lives for abandoned senior dogs. Their grants (funded by donations) provide medical assistance and beds for senior dogs at shelters, fund hospice care for non-adoptable senior dogs, and help to educate the public about the adoptability of senior dogs, especially by senior citizens.

We think the Grey Muzzle Organization is Barkworthy. You can read more about their work, and learn how to help, on their web site.

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Our Barkworthy series spotlights organizations, events, and individuals who help make the world a better place for dogs and their people.

While the Bill and Melinda Gateses of the world do amazing things with their wealth and influence, sometimes the heroes who impress me most are those who help others just by dedicating their everyday talents and skills to help make a difference. Pilots N Paws is an awesome organization made up of just such people — pilots and private plane owners who donate their time, skills, and equipment to help transport adoptable animals to loving foster and forever homes.

Based in South Carolina, Pilots N Paws assists with animal transports all over the country. Recently, on September 18th, Pilots N Paws joined with Subaru of America for the Gulf Coast Rescue Flyway — which, in one day, helped save 171 dogs from euthanasia by transporting them to safe harbors throughout the country. Awesome!

You can read more about the recent Gulf Coast rescue and Pilots N Paws other barkworthy work on their web site.

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Our new Barkworthy series highlights dog-friendly and dog-focused organizations and events.

Southeastern Guide Dogs is a truly remarkable organization. At their Palmetto, Florida, facility, they breed, raise, and train assistance dogs that go on to give visually and physically impaired individuals mobility and, therefore, independence. What’s truly amazing is that Southeastern Guide Dogs, a nonprofit organization, accomplishes their work relying 100% on donated funds – providing assistance dogs to their students completely free of charge.

SE Guide Dogs breeds and whelps their pups onsite (primarily labs, Goldens, and collies) and relies on dedicated volunteers to help socialize the pups for work in the real world. (If you’re in the mood to squeal a little, check out Southeastern’s puppy cam.) The pups are then trained by skilled handlers to participate in the Paws for Independence program, which provides assistance dogs to the visually impaired, or Paws for Patriots, which provides assistance and therapy dogs to visually impaired and physically disabled veterans. Dog recipients and their canine match then attend training together at Southeastern’s facility.

The pups who don’t quite make it as assistance dogs? They enter the Gifted Canines program, where they learn such jobs as drug detection, arson detection, search and rescue, or specialized therapy – or are offered for public adoption, where they use their training to bring joy and love to their families.

I only wish I lived closer to Southeastern’s facility so I could volunteer as a puppy hugger or dog walker. Be sure to stop by Southeastern Guide Dogs’ site to learn more about their amazing organization.

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This post is part of an ongoing series here on phetched called Barkworthy, where we highlight organizations and groups that are doing good things for dogs and dog lovers.

As shelters across our state face massive overcrowding situations, North Carolina’s Pet Foster Network serves an invaluable purpose: they help to connect willing foster families with pups who need a temporary place to stay while they wait for their forever homes. Knowing that every open space in a shelter or rescue saves a life, the Pet Foster Network (based in Raleigh, NC) strives to educate citizens on the crucial role that foster families play and support those who are willing to open their homes to an adoptable pet in need.

For residents of North Carolina, there’s information on the Pet Foster Network web site on how you can sign up to help. For those who don’t live in North Carolina but wish to foster, PFN encourages you to search your ZIP code on Petfinder for local rescues and shelters in search of foster families.

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An awesome organization from my town of Asheville, NC was featured in USA Today this week.

The Humane Alliance is a non-profit group of vets and other professionals who are saving thousands of lives by performing efficient, inexpensive sterilization procedures — and training others around the country to do the same. According to the USA Today article, last year alone HA spayed or neutered more than 23,000 animals in western North Carolina alone. TWENTY-THREE THOUSAND. That’s a lot of adoptable lives potentially saved from euthanasia. HA is so good at what they do that they’ve been trusted with millions in grants from organizations like PetSmart and the ASPCA.

(All images © John C. Fletcher for USA Today. Please don’t sue me.)

Read more about the Humane Alliance’s wonderful work at USA Today. (And read the comments to get an idea of the kind of morons that live in our country.)

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Y’all might have seen this on The Bark’s blog yesterday. The U.S. Postal Service has announced the release of a new set of stamps designed to bring awareness and attention to animal rescue. The stamps, designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, DC, feature photographs by Sally Andersen-Bruce of former (now adopted!) shelter pets in New Milford, Conn.

Oh, sorry. For those of you younger folks still trying to catch up: See, stamps are these things you put on letters and other things you send through the mail. Still confused? Hmm. Google it?

The stamps are part of a campaign called Stamps to the Rescue in partnership with Ellen DeGeneres and Halo pet foods looking to provide meals and homes to adoptable pets. The stamps won’t officially be released until April 30th, but you can pre-order them now from the Postal Service.

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You might have heard of The Shelter Pet Project, a joint venture from the Ad Council, HSUS, and Maddie’s Fund aimed at raising awareness of the wonderful pets up for adoption in shelters across the country.

The goal of The Shelter Pet Project is “to give shelter pets a voice.” Their short PSAs do just that in a humorous but touching way.

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Well, Hanukkah’s in full swing now, the countdown to Christmas has officially begun, and you’ve possibly already attended a holiday party or two. Everything is merry and bright. But it’s time for us to break it down for just a minute and talk about something serious… the fact that as many as 8 million pets are homeless in the U.S., and nearly half of those (that’s FOUR MILLION, y’all) will be euthanized this year due to shelter overcrowding.

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Iams Home for the Holidays (IH4TH) was founded 10 years ago to help raise public awareness about pet adoption and find loving homes for shelter dogs and cats. Today IH4TH is a worldwide effort with over 3,500 pet adoption organizations in 21 countries participating. Last year alone, IH4TH helped place 1,202,751 pets in loving homes. That seriously makes me tear up. For real.

This year’s goal: help 1.5 million pets find homes by January 4th, 2010. On board is IH4TH’s 2009 ambassador Hilary Swank, who adopted a dog, Rumi, from an IH4TH participating shelter in LA last year.

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Can we talk for a minute about how preshy that blouse is she’s wearing? LOVE.

Anyway, we’re not big awesome Oscar-winning movie stars, but we can still help with IH4TH’s mission.

Here’s what you can do:

1. Visit IH4TH’s web site and learn about the program, pet adoption, and volunteering.

2. Adopt a homeless dog or cat this holiday season, convince a friend or loved one to adopt a pet instead of buying, or donate money or needed supplies to an animal shelter near you.

3. Vote daily at Iams’ Feed Pets in Need site to help the shelter of your choice win FREE food for a month.

And if anyone can tell me where Swank got that blouse, that would be really great, too.

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You’re probably familiar with BAD RAP and all the awesome stuff they do for pit bulls in need and the breed as a whole.

BAD RAP has recently released two calendars for 2010, the Happy Endings calendar, featuring rescued shelter dogs and their stories, and the My Dog is Family calendar, which showcases happy pitties in loving, responsible homes (the pups all top vote-getters in BAD RAP’s online My Dog is Family photo contest).

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Head over to the BAD RAP store to make 2010 the Year of the Pittie.

(Maybe someone should send one to Chris Rock.)

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Northern Virginia in da hoouuse? NoVA, where you at?? Some pups need your help!

Homeless Animal Rescue Team (HART) is working hard to find homes for some 30+ puppies and adult dogs rescued from a puppy mill.

(Seriously, things that totally chap my hide? 1. Mosquitoes 2. Nickelback 3. Pickles on Chick-fil-A 4. Puppy mills – not necessarily in that order.)

Check out Burger’s blog to find out more about how you can help.

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