We Can All Do Something to Save a Life

Want to Help But Don’t Have the Money or Know How? I Can Help!
Thanks to Dondyuk Maxim for the photo

I spent the weekend trying to do my part for a dog rescue and making myself feel good.

I believe that nothing makes you feel better than service, either to your fellow man or for your fellow four legged friends.  It brings a sense of happiness and well being.

I have been raised to value service and do what I can for those in need.  I spent a few years of my life working full time so that I could fund the nonprofit organization I started; to take dogs from shelters, train them, and donate them to adults and children in need.

In the wake of hurricane Sandy and all the devastation to the east coast, I thought it was time to get some people on board and help them realize that everyone can do something.

I barely have two nickels to rub together.

Some weeks it is all I can do to get enough money together to buy the gas to go to dog training.

I essentially work for my dogs, their food, veterinary care, and extra-curricular activities, but by no means am I wealthy financially.

I am wealthy because I have my fur kids and my family, everything else finds its way together, eventually.

This summer, while the kids were here and we had extra expenses the electric company came out to shut off our power (we were able to avoid this, thankfully!)

I only share that so that you know I am not some wealthy person sitting in her multi-million dollar house expecting those of you who are living paycheck to paycheck to give your hard earned money or time.

I try and put my money or my rump where my mouth is and donate to make this world a better place.

Shelter Dogs Make Some of the Best Pets!

I don’t have a lot of money, but what I do have is a vehicle, and a home, and a computer and some time and I can give those to people or animals in need.

Now there are a million wonderful human charities out there and I believe in human and child charities just as much as I believe in animal charities, but I am also an animal advocate and have a voice in the animal world, so this article is about finding a good animal charity.

What Can You Do?

You would be surprised!

  • Of course you can donate your money, but you can also:
  • Adopt from a shelter or rescue… think your favorite breed never makes it to a shelter… you are wrong!  All breeds pure and mixed end up in shelters!
  • Volunteer to transport an animal for an hour or two to help them get to their forever home.
  • You can foster an animal.
  • You can give a transported dog a place to stay for a night.
  • You can coordinate volunteers using just your time and your computer.
  • You can coordinate a dog’s transport using your time and your computer.
  • You can do a fundraiser
  • You can donate old blankets and dog beds to shelters or rescues
  • Even shopping at some sites will donate part of the money to a charity of your choice
  • If you have math skills and are good with numbers you can help a charity with their financials.
  • We all have “gifts” you can use yours to better the life of a dog in need.

Malinois in a Shelter

My Weekend

I helped to assist Belgian Malinois Rescue in getting a rescue dog from Alabama to New Jersey.

I picked her up about 30 minutes from where I live, gave her a home and a safe place to stay for the night and then drove her about another hour and a half to the next person picking up a “leg” of driving on her road to her new home.

It cost me about $40 in gas, and I had to do some dog juggling so there were no fights in my house while she stayed over for the night (my female doesn’t really care for other females in my house).

But, I helped to save her life and to get her into the hands of good owners and people who were excited to welcome her into their lives even though she was over a thousand miles away.

And I think the transport coordinator worked even harder than I did, she took all us volunteers gave us each about an hour or two of a drive and figured out what exit and where to meet each other.

Everything ran smoothly there were 8 of us who helped transport her (and her family traveled many hours as well), we were all on time and “Remi” is now living in the lap of luxury with her new family in New Jersey.

Getting Started

Figure out what you can offer and then be determined to follow through.

Not everyone has the money to donate, and not everyone can welcome another animal into their homes.

But there is something that everyone or anyone can do.

Then do your research and find an organization or rescue to donate your funds or the fruits of your labor.

I have had Belgian Malinois for 12 years and I love the breed, however I would be just as happy to drive a mutt.

Do what you can.  We live in a world filled with drama and sadness.

I do this not to change the world, I am not naive;  I do this so the world will know it cannot change me.

Together we CAN make a difference!

Tell me what you do to make a difference in an animal or in a dog’s life!

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  1. Pat Stone says:

    A wonderful article.
    This is exactly what I do, day in and day out. You wrote about our work in the rescue world so well. Thank you!


  2. Pat says:

    I work for a veterinarian and have already started planning Christmas Donations for shelters and rescues in need of food,blankets,treats,and dog beds. I also volunteer fairly regular giving time in walks, play and teach behaviors to dogs in need of new homes. Our shelter has a training program where all volunteers work to teach dogs not to jump on people but to sit for attention or to be greated as well as other basic commands. We also work to teach dogs how to walk on leash with out pulling during those walks. The shelter now offers free obedience classes.by experienced volunteers, for newly adopted dogs and just started a clicker classes for the volunteers to simplify communications to dogs. All is done with volunteers. Its free and all benifite in learning.


  3. Peter Gobel says:

    The shelter I volunteer with offers “Volunteer Week-ends”. Special events for anyone who volunteers at the shelter, anyone who works at the shelter, anyone with a shelter obtained dog and anyone who wants to work for two hours with a shelter dog doing the activity.
    Past events have included “Recall!”, “CSI”, next is “British Rally Obedience”. I offer AKC-CGC evaluations and training tips to help teams pass next time if they fail to qualify.
    As a trainer, the time I spend working with shelter dogs strengthens my eye, my timing and my delivery. There is nothing like a hyper excited shelter dog learning “calm” to demonstrate just how sensitive a dog can be to micro movements on my part.


  4. Bonnie says:

    I live in a rural part of lower Michigan and have been involved rescuing, fostering, training and placing Doberman Pinscher’s for the last four years. This misunderstood breed THRIVES when given structure, purpose and the love of a caring human. My most recent placement was Jack a red Dobe found tied to a tree,starved and left outside in the February winter winds. He lived with me and my other two Doberman’s for a year while rebuilding his trust in humans. He was about 10 months old when he was found and within a short time I knew he would make an excellent Therapy Dog so we began training in Autism.
    We found a family that had a six year old that had never spoken a word UNTIL
    Jack was delivered and within 10 minutes said “Jack sit,” Jack down” and the bond was complete. Now that Jack has been there for a few months, his human
    friend communicates via Jack with statements such as “Jack says I’m hungry!”
    That is all the reward I need, but we always need funds so I’ve been making
    Christmas centerpieces to sell and our website is available for donations.


    rita burke Reply:

    I live in an eastern suburb of Detroit and don’t know how to find a dog shelter near me. Help!


    Minette Reply:

    Try these links http://www.yellowpages.com/east-detroit-mi/humane-society


    That gives you a place to start and I am sure you can visit and sign up to foster if you are interested and then daily or weekly visits or drives won’t even be needed you can volunteer in your own home!


  5. Vaughn Shafer says:

    My wife has been connected to the Kanawha/Charleston Humane Association in Charleston, WV since 1984 when she went on the Board of Directors. In 1988 she retired from the phone company and took over the KCHA shelter as the Executive Director, a position she held for twelve years when she retired again. She is now serving as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors. A rescue operation is trying to set up an operation to ‘resue’ dogs from the shelter and take them to New Jersey and other northeastern states. In some of our travels we have met and talked with people from these states and they tell us that they have more than enough dogs of their own without importing others from other states. It seems there is a conflict in thoughts here.
    As usual and as always there is a constant need for volunteers at the shelter, whether it be to walk dogs, assist in cleaning the shelter or doing whatever is needed.
    Thank you for allowing me to comment.


  6. Cole says:

    I love helping dogs, so much so that every part of my day is filled with dogs, lol. I’m a dog groomer, and own my own business, I often find my self doing free grooms for owners who have a dog in desperate need of it, but the owner just can’t afford it. I also make sure my prices are cheap. I’m not rich, I don’t have a million dollars. I make enough to cover my 18 rescue dogs food and monthly vet bills.

    I love helping animals, and I understand that someone would rather adopt the adorable puppy than the stinky, matted and grouchy dog in the next cage, but people don’t understand, that dog is grumpy because those mats hurt, he’s in more need of a home than the puppy sure to be adopted. So this year, on the 16th to the 22nd of December, I’m going to my local shelter and am volunteering myself to groom any dogs that need it, from the overly matted shih tzu, to the stinky pitbull. No dog is going to be excluded if I can help it.

    Often when myself and my mother see treats for sale at walmart or petsmart for a really good deal, we’ll go buy like 50 bags and donate them to the shelter, I know its not as good as a bag of food, but when was the last time one of those animals got a treat? If ever. So I know it doesn’t seem like something huge, but I feel every bit helps no matter how small the act. My ultimate dream is to one day see the shelters empty and put out of business, but I know thats not gonna be anytime soon.

    So I hope I helped out and gave some ideas to people on small ideas they can use to help an animal in need, or maybe someone with skills that can help.

    Much Respect For What You Guys Do.


    Minette Reply:

    Good for you!!!

    I often run free classes for adopted shelter dogs and their families to help keep them in their new homes!

    Sometimes everyone needs a little help 🙂 It is good that there are people out there that care 🙂


    Cole Reply:

    Sorry for the double post, computer hates me lol. Anyways, I love to help, and most people don’t realize, I am horribly allergic to dogs and cats, but I won’t groom cats, they just scare me, lol.

    All my dogs are “hypoallergenic” the truth is they have hair, not fur like other dogs. I sneeze, have a runny nose and watery eyes all day grooming, but its a small price to pay knowing I’m helping that animal.

    I’d honestly do anything for a dog in need, even if it meant I starved. I honestly appreciate what you guys do for everyday people and help them impact the life of they’re pet, I am currently reading and wathing videos on how to train my Standard Poodle puppy, my only dog without a health issue, lol.


    Betty Millikan Reply:

    God bless you, Cole, for what you are doing. You gave me a great idea about buying food & treats on sale and donating them to our local shelter. I have a rescue Bichon and a rescue Maine Coon. Both are very finicky eaters and often turn their nose up to what I buy for them. Now I know where to take the unopened food, also. I know it is not much, but I am sure every little bit helps. I pray that you continue your wonderful, compassionate work in good health.


  7. Kirk Bauder says:

    My wife and I collect newspapers and bring them to our shelter. They can never get enough. Along with the papers, we donate blankets and toys.
    We also rescued two Whippets. We’ve had Dante since 2004 and we got Toby in May of this year.We have two other Whippets (Jack and Zoe, brother and sister). Everybody gets along just fine.
    I have a large tile bed where I live and there is nothing neater than watching four blurs flying by me. You can almost see the smiles on their faces.


  8. Cole says:

    I love reading things from you two, and admire what you do. I’m a dog groomer, and find myself helping someone in need all the time, thankfully I own my business or I’d go broke with all the free grooms I give out trying to help owners who can’t afford it. I own 18 dogs, each has a story, and each has a medical issue. I love all of my dogs, and though the vet bills and dog food kill me each month, I wouldn’t give it up for the world.

    I try to help my local shelter anyway I can, it is small, stinks and the dogs are always in terrible condition, so you see alot go in, but never come out. This year, since my grooming skills have improved greatly, I’m going to donate a week of my time to the shelter two weeks before christmas and am gonna groom any and all dogs in need. I know shelters are busiest in December, and a groomed, yummy smelling dog, is more likely to be adopted than a stinky matted dog.

    I understand that everyday people can’t do this, but they can go to a shelter and volunteer to brush out a dog. It may seem small, but by being mat free that dogs chances of being adopted are improved by such a small act.

    I hope this gives ideas to people on something small to do, that has a big impact for that dog’s life.

    Much Respect For What You Do.


  9. Val Fisher says:

    I have worked animal rescue from 1973. No-kill, not a recognized word in any dictionary. Though not proud of my record, not only am I adamant about my own animals; all being neutered before they reach maturity; but taught my children that puppies and kittens just don’t happen.
    As a 4H leader not only did I push spay,neuter; I also educated about rabies. As a farming community, well sprinkled with a population of elderly folk of the land there are still many who do not see altering an animal (mostly cats) as an issue-accepting the yearly deluge of kittens as a matter of fact. Yes, some are lost to preditors and road accidents, but my experience is the ‘barn’ cat that has been altered sticks closer and lives longer. My last cat made it to 17 years.
    And, not to beat a dead horse; those of us who aren’t in a local to help with rescue shelters, there are horse rescues always in need with somebody well versed in pitchfork skills. The biggest complaint I hear from the horse rescue that I put time into is, ‘is the lack of knowledge around tools and equipment-not to mention follow through.’
    Almost all our farm dogs come from shelters, I have an Arabian mare that I rescued to keep my saddle mare company and two cats that found their way to a loving home.
    Animal rescue is not only helping the animal; it is instilling the consept of responsibilty into the animal owner, that they are responsible for every pet they accept-providing food, acceptable shelter and basic health care. It doesn’t have to be expensive. But, once the animal is in your care; follow through!


  10. B says:

    I began fostering a year after we lost our 16 year old American Eskie. It was the best way to have the love of a dog without the attachment, but of course, we fell in love with a rescue about a year later and now Ziggy is ours. We continue to foster, though! I started sewing ‘belly bands’ for the male fosters who would want to naturally ‘mark’. It not only saved our home, but was great for the new families to use while their new dog made a forever home. I also give old towels and even old sweatshirts to the local rescue groups and shelters.


  11. Another way to help is to have an event that makes money that can be donated
    to the local shelter fund. For three years I have put on a Concert for the Animals and the money we earn goes to the local animal shelter. Last year
    we let people attend for donations instead of selling tickets and we made more and could donate to the local shelter and to six other rescue organizations here in Fairbanks, Alaska.
    The website http://www.fairbankshoralsociety.org will let you see the
    advertising for the concert and what the cover of the programs
    looks like.


  12. Jane Bennett says:

    Lovely to read of everyone’s experiences with their rescue dogs,

    We have always had rescue dogs together with their various ‘hang ups’!

    Maddie was put to sleep after fitting several times and 18 months on could’nt live without a dog ! aquired malinois cross we named Coco from our SPA rescue centre in S of France (where we live) she is adorable much younger than the 12 months they told us! we have large garden which she loves big prob is she loves visitors too much and nearly knocks them off their feet, with us she is fine but visitors a nightmare we continue to battle with this issue , can never know what she went thro’ but, she has found paradise ! I promise


  13. NORMA says:



  14. Hennie says:

    Hi Chet, my husband and I have been wildlife carers for 17 years ever since we retired, baby kangaroos wallabies and possums are our specialty. So rewarding when fur less babies come in and we are able to raise them until they can be released back into the wild, needless to say I always spend a few tears when they go, but there are always others to replace them. Now that we have reached the age of 82 and 80 we have to start to slow down a bit, which is very hard to do. So we replaced 2 old dogs we lost due to illness and old age, with another 2 dogs, they give us so much pleasure and love. I wish I could put some of my animal pictures on here, you would enjoy them.
    Anyway I have taken enough of your time, many thanks for all the information about raising puppies, has been a great help.
    Kind regards, Wal and Hennie Mullard in Australia.


    Minette Reply:

    You will probably like this article and video then :)http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/couple-baby-raccoons-taught-dog-training-happiness/

    And if you visit us on Facebook at thedogtrainingsecret.com you can share your pictures there! I would love to see your puppies and your other babies you have helped over the years!

    My coonies are now released and happy out in the wild. They visit for watermelon and other goodies occasionally and I leave food out for them just in case (along with a blanket and a crate) 🙂 Love those babies!


  15. Don Rife says:

    How do I volunteer?


    Minette Reply:

    Find a dog shelter or rescue in your area, you can do a computer search or look in your yellow pages.


  16. Carol Hull-Brown says:

    I presently have 7 dogs though I call 3 rug rats – they are papillons. These little ones I was asked to take and rehome. Not possible to rehome due to their health conditions and age so they stay. My other 4 dogs, 2 GSD’s, a bordor collie whom I was asked to take and an old cocker spaniel from our local pound. I take the dogs that I can and rehome where I can. I also have 7 cats, have had up to 12, which are all strays and mostly wild when I got them.
    I will keep on looking after the little ones as long as I can and give them the life they deserve, a warm home, food, and freedom to run on my little rural property. I have taken seveal dogs from the local pound and rehomed them to good homes and will keep on doing this as finding them a fabulous forever home is so rewarding.
    Carol from Rotorua, New Zealand


  17. Eileen says:

    We have 2 border collies & 8 cats; all were rescues except for the 1 border collie. Of the cats 6 were feral. We bought a home large enough
    to accommodate our fur family & we have a wonderful vet who gives us a nice discount for his excellent care. We have all that we can adequately care for, but would love to do more.


    Minette Reply:

    your nest is full!!!

    But you could still give a ride or drop off blankets or walk dogs from your local shelter.

    Any help is appreciated!


  18. Sue says:

    We have a “Shop for the Shelter” the first Saturday of every month. A group of us take 2 hr time slots at our local Cost U Less warehouse. We hand people a list going into the store and ask them to buy one thing on the list and donate it to us when they exit the store. The list included dog, puppy, cat food, cat litter, cleaning supplies, gloves, and any other specialty items the shelter currently needs. Over a year we save the shelter thousands of dollars for a couple hours a month. We also show a dog that is available for adoption and have found permanent homes for several dogs.


  19. Steve Crawford says:

    I’m receiving training to become a Puppy Raiser” for Patriot Paws” that provide service dogs for disabled veterans. The dogs are trained in the two State prison for female offenders. The dogs are trained many commands both verbal and hand signs. Because the dogs are house in the prison with the convict during the training, they need to be socialized to outside noises and people. The dogs will stay in my home for about 5 to 6 months, and I have to expose them to places such as Malls, airports, grocery and stores such as Target, etc. Then they are returned to prison to be custom trained for a particular veteran. Visit; http://www.PatriotPaws.org or call 872-772-3282 to become a Puppy Raiser or to make a donation. Get your employment company, church or organization to sponsor a dog.


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