If you read my blog on a regular basis you’ve seen me write about my mini-zoo – five cats, a crazy dog and some fish. We love and care about them very much. In fact we spoil them like crazy.
All of our pets, with the exception of our fish and one cat, were adopted from our local animal shelter. One of our cats was born on a neighbor’s balcony (his parents were stray cats). We took him in when he was a kitten, so he never saw the inside of the shelter. One of our other cats we fostered since she was one day old (she was only in the shelter a few hours). She’s literally been with us her entire life. We adopted her when she was officially old enough to be adopted.
I used to volunteer at the local animal shelter taking pictures of the beautiful animals that were looking for their “forever homes”. Most of these animals were full of love and just waiting to have someone special come into their lives and love them too.
I cannot tell you how many times I went to the shelter to take photos of animals, only to want to bring them home to live with us. If we had a farm (I dream of owning a farm) I would adopt a few more animals. In the past our shelter has seen goats, chickens and other farm animals too, even though we live in the suburbs of New York City.
Here are a few of the beautiful faces that I photographed at the shelter. THANKFULLY all of these animals were eventually adopted, although some had to spend many months in the shelter before a special family came along to welcome them into their homes.
How can you not fall in love with these adorable dogs and cats? I wanted to take each and every one of them home with me.
I am not sure if many people are aware of this or not, but Iams, makers of Iams pet foods and other products, has a special campaign called Iams Home 4 the Holidays. In just 3 months they were able to help find forever homes for 1.3 MILLION animals (dogs, cats and other critters) from October 2012 to January 2, 2013. That is truly amazing!
Here is a little more information about the Iams Home 4 the Holidays.
Iams Home 4 the Holidays, one of the world’s largest pet adoption drives, announced that nearly 1.3 million pets were placed in forever homes between Oct. 1, 2012 and Jan. 2, 2013. As part of the annual drive Iams has donated more meals than ever before, with 5.5 million bowls of food going to homeless pets, surpassing the original goal of 5 million donations. More than 8.3 million pets have been placed in forever homes since Iams and founding partner Helen Woodward Animal Center, along with thousands of animal organizations across the globe partnered to do something about shelter overpopulation when the program first started in 1999.
“We’re celebrating the fact that in just three months we helped save the lives of almost 1.3 million animals,” said Mike Arms, founder of the adoption drive and president of Helen Woodward Animal Center. “We’re proud of the work we’ve done and we’re especially proud of the hard work the partner organizations continue to do every day. Take the story of Wyatt, a tiny kitten who was abandoned and found near death. Wyatt was nursed back to health by dedicated cat rescue volunteers and has since found his forever home. Stories like these show us the importance of promoting pet adoption and how a program like Iams Home 4 the Holidays can make a huge difference in the life of a pet.”
Homes were found for:
- Dogs 684,896
- Cats 553,550
- Other 26,663 (including rabbits, reptiles, horses, birds and more)
Adoption wasn’t the only way people got involved this year as the program also focused on providing proper nutrition for pets still awaiting families. Consumers were able to share their passion for pets and help Iams donate food to participating animal shelters by buying specially marked bags of food, taking part in the Digital Dish Drive on the Iams Facebook page (Facebook.com/Iams) or joining the Iams Life Long Rewards program at local shelters or online (www.iams.com). Meals donations were also triggered through the Iams YouTube page (YouTube.com/Iams) with every view, like or share of YouTube sensation Andrew Grantham’s Singing Pets Holiday Video.
“From the millions of families and pets who have been impacted over the years, to the more than 15.5 million bowls of food Iams has donated in the past three years alone, we’re very proud of the work we’ve accomplished,” said Ondrea Francy, Iams general manager. “We think premium nutrition like Iams is an important part of the pet-adoption process to keep pets looking and feeling their best until they’re adopted.”
Hearing about how many homes Iams was able to help find so many pets makes my heart smile. ♥
I am a strong advocate for adopting animals from local shelters, as well as having your pets spayed or neutered. I am also an advocate for adopting “less adoptable” pets such as those with health issues, missing limbs, elderly or “flawed” in some way. Take for example our youngest cat, Bella. We fostered her and her sister since they were one day old (her sister had to be put to sleep when she was 3 weeks old due to a disease). Bella has really bad asthma, plus allergies and thyroid issues. She’s gone to the emergency vet hospital more times then I care to count and is on a lot of medications. The vet visits, hospital visits and medications are not cheap. Plus if you have ever tried to “pill” a cat before (give them pills) you know how difficult that can be, especially multiple pills a day.
If we gave Bella back to the shelter after our time fostering her was over, she may have never been adopted. Not too many people would want to take on the time and expense of adopting a pet with several health issues, even if she was a super adorable kitten (she’s a beautiful cat now). Our shelter holds on to animals as long as they can but sometimes the shelter is just overwhelmed with animals, having to put several cats in the same crates just to make room for everyone. There are times they have no choice but to put some of the animals to sleep. I can’t help but cringe every time I think about that because if Bella was left to be adopted out she may have been put down since her medical issues make her less adoptable, especially because she is such a sweet and loving little girl.
If you are thinking about making the commitment to bring a pet into your home, PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE adopt from a local animals shelter. I know that people love puppies and kittens, but older animals make wonderful pets too (plus they are already house broken). And PLEASE consider adopting a pet that might be seen as “less then perfect”. Just because a dog is blind or a cat is deaf doesn’t mean they can’t feel love, or give love too.
To help celebrate Iams finding homes for 1.3 million pets this past year, I have a special pet gift basket to give to a lucky winner. I have a dog gift basket to giveaway but the winner can opt for the cat one if they wish.
The dog gift baskets consists of the following items.
- Iams Pet Food Voucher (for dog or cat food)
- Bounce – Bounce dryer sheets and bars help control static cling, provide freshness, softness and help repel pet hair & lint, all in the dryer.
- Febreze – Febreze Pet Odor Eliminator products are convenient and safe tools for pet owners to freshen up their homes, offering a variety of new ways to eliminate pet odors and leave a light, fresh scent.
- Bounty – Don’t let the thought of your furry friends making messes hold you back. Thick and absorbent Bounty paper towels help you clean up quickly and easily – locking in the mess with just one sheet. So bring on the wet paw prints, spilled water bowls, and more. Bounty’s strength, absorbency, and durability soak up all the messes life can bring.
- Swiffer – The Swiffer® Sweeper, with both Wet and Dry Cloths, conveniently allows you to sweep or mop virtually any hard floor surface with one simple tool. The Wet Cloth is perfect for wiping up footprints and cleaning up after messes your pet MAY track in. With the textures and grooves of the Dry Cloth, the tool picks up 50 percent more dirt, dust and pet hair than a broom.
- Pet Bed
- Pet Leash
- Waste Bag Dispensers
- Food Scooper
- Water Bottle
- Food Stir Sticks
- Pet Toy
The cat gift basket is similar but features less items (cats don’t need waste bags or dispenser for example).
This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on February 16, 2013 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner willl be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.
To enter please leave a comment on this post and tell me a little bit about the special pet (or pets!) in your life.
For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify. Extra entries are optional.
*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the benefit and enjoyment of my site readers. The opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted. Iams will be providing the prize.