If you’ve visited our Facebook page, you’ve probably noticed that a big part of our posts is dogs that are homeless and in need of a family, especially in New York. And you may have also seen us post, occasionally, what we call the “Urgent”, “At Risk” or TBD (To Be Destroyed) dogs.
These are the dogs that the New York City shelter has determined must find a home by the next day, or be put to sleep for space in the shelter. And, like it or not, those are the rules of this crazy game we play when we fall in love with an “At Risk” dog.
At CharlieDog and Friends, when we’re asked, or when we ourselves can’t resist the puppy eyes of an endangered dog, we’ll post him on Facebook and hope he gets shared to that one family who can be his hero.
Ah, it’s so frustrating. Our Facebook fans number nearly 20,000, but a very small fraction of those fans actually see our posts. Facebook has recently changed their algorithm, making it much, much less likely that you or your friends will ever see our posted At Risk dogs. Like all other business pages, we are almost required by Facebook to pay to promote our posts.
So we’re going to try something different, in a way that allows you to help out, and maybe even be the difference in whether a “death row” dog finds a new family.
In the past, we’ve used nearly all the proceeds from our “Adopt” collar bracelets as special fundraisers: to help pay boarding costs, transport fees, to raise money for vet bills, to help school groups help local shelters.
But now, we will be using all proceeds from these bracelets to reach a wider audience for our “Death Row” posts. (I hate writing that. I really do. But it’s real, and it’s true: so many dogs loose their lives needlessly because they are brought in to the NYC ACC system — which puts dogs to sleep regularly — and aren’t seen by potential adopters or fosters).
Every time you buy a $10.00 “Adopt” collar bracelet, we’ll use all ten dollars to boost an “urgent” dog’s thread. We’ll specifically target the Facebook audience in his or her geographic area, to make sure the right potential adopters and fosters see him. We won’t boost a New York dog’s profile in California, for example.
If the dog’s a shepherd, a St. Bernard, an Akita, or any other specific breed that’s unusual in a shelter, we’ll also target him to Facebook users who claim those dogs as an interest.
By purchasing a rescue bracelet for ten dollars, you will be allowing us to pay for ten dollars worth of promotion for these dogs. In most cases, a ten dollar boost results in exposures of thousands of people’s timelines — rather than hundreds.
We’ll also post in comments the names of people who are sponsoring the post, through a purchase (or donation*)
Last week, we posted a set of pictures for Leo, a small, fluffy Maltese at the Manhattan shelter (Leo was rescued by Next Stop Forever, Inc, along with another fluffy feller named Koko.) The post reached 434 people.
Now, if that same post had been “boosted” with $20.00, we would have reached into the neighborhood of 11,000 news feeds. Only ten dollars still ensures that Leo and Koko would have shown up in the news feeds of 6,500 people in the Northeast area — even more, once the shares get started.
Say what you will about how Facebook has changed, how it’s no longer the free ride it was, how little exposure our posts get. But you have to admit: twenty dollars to reach the news feeds of thousands and thousands of people, in a specific geographic area, almost instantaneously (or at least for the 18 hours a dog is listed on the “To Be Destroyed” list) — well, that’s pretty good.
(*You may also donate, using our Paypal button. ALL donations will be used to boost “Urgent” posts, and target our posts geographically).
I could probably wallpaper my house with the mournful pictures of all the dogs my friend Nicola has saved from meeting their end at the Manhattan ACC.
When she heard that several former shelter dogs were languishing in boarding in Westchester, she wanted to do something beyond gripe about it — so the very amazing Nicola got to work getting them out, starting Abandoned Dogs of Ruff Start Rescue NY, and finding most of them homes.
Now, two beautiful dogs — Petey and Reese — remain without forever homes, and she’s paying for their training and boarding.
“Petey (formerly Ferdinand) and Reese are both at True Companion in Pennsylvania. It is a fabulous board and train facility that goes above and beyond to give the dogs stability, exercise and structure they need to thrive.
These are GREAT guys that need experienced owners, and we are working hard to find them just that. “
For the month of October, ALL $10.00 of the purchase price of our “ADOPT” collar bracelets will be donated to Abandoned Dogs of Ruff Start Rescue NY.
Buy a bracelet to donate $10 to Nicola and the Abandoned Dogs of Ruff Start: CLICK TO TWEET!
These are tidy little stocking-stuffers, “Secret Santa” gifts for your shelter co-volunteers, shows of appreciation, etc. They are NOT for your pet — they’re for you. Li’l collars. To wear.
Reese and Petey say “Rank roo! RANK ROO!”
If you love the faces on these four gentle superstars, you should know that they’re in the best of hands now.
Gentle Giants, Inc., pulled all four of these guys from dire circumstances at the Brooklyn ACC. They were left there after their owner passed away.
From Saturday, August 23 to Saturday, September 6, all sales of our “Adopt” collar bracelets will be donated to Gentle Giants, Inc., to help pay for the cost of vetting these big fellers.
When I was a little kid, I had a couple of speech impediments worthy of a Warner Brothers cartoon character. My S-sounds were probably picked up from Sylvester the Cat. And I still cringe when I hear Elmer Fudd — those were my Rs.
My mom told me if I could say my Ss correctly for the entire season of Lent, she’d make sure there was something special in my basket.
I did, and there was. An oversized (or what was considered oversized at the time), rather comical-looking Easter bunny stuffed animal. It had bucked teeth (so did I, come to think of it…), it wasn’t plush in the slightest, and the face was just kind of stamped on there. But among seven kids, that Easter, I felt like the queen with that thing.
If you’re putting a plush toy into an Easter Basket this spring, why not help us raise money to benefit animal rescue groups? Gypsy (shown above) is based on a real-life rescued cattle dog; purchasing this 17″ plush toy triggers a five-dollar donation to Potsdam Humane Society in Upstate New York.
The smaller Pocket Pitties help New York-area rescues get homeless and abandoned pit bulls to their newly-adopted, forever, loving homes.
All toys ship the day the order is received, and will arrive in tissue paper and nesting, with a postcard from the real-life dog on which the toys is based.
Thank you! And have a great spring!
I see them all the time at Harriman State Park, about an hour north of New York City: groups of adults hiking and camping together, setting up dinner at one of the lean-tos along the Appalachian Trail in Orange County, New York. Happily, comfortably busying himself in their midst, a dog.
So, what does your typical weekend look like? A little shopping, a little puttering, a visit from the grandkids, and then the USGA US Open for the rest of the afternoon, until dinnertime and Downton Abbey*? Devin (and he would be the first to tell you this) is probably not the dog for you.
On the other hand, if your weekend has you up at dawn filling the cooler or the backpack and hitting the trails in Harriman State Park with some friends, throwing the frisbee in the dogpark or running the Aqueduct trail in Westchester County, Devin might just be your next trail buddy.
All that is known about Devin’s former life is that whoever owned him saw fit to tie him to a pole in Brooklyn on the hottest day of the summer, without water — and abandon him there, to whatever fate had in store for him.
But when I met Devin to photograph him for Red Hook Dog Rescue (our Rescue of the Month), the first thing I thought was, Great manners! He sits on command. He holds your gaze, and offers a paw. He stays, and stays.
But show him a toy, and it’s ON.
Not in a rambunctious, full-on, clear-the-decks-cuz-Devin’s-playing way. Just: this is a smart, athletic dog, and he likes to work.
Harriet tosses a toy in the air, and Devin brings it down with a deftness that makes us both think of those athletic frisbee dogs, or dock dogs that gracefully launch themselves into the lake in pursuit of a ball. We watch him frolic around a squeaky toy, and in some ways, I’m sure we’re thinking the same thoughts about Devin: how does a dog like this, so eager to use his body and his brain, do in boarding, waiting for the family that we’re sure will eventually come? What does Devin think when he’s led back to his kennel again?
He’s not hyper, and he’s not a barker. He’ll sit when you tell him to sit, and when you throw the frisbee, he’ll actually turn briefly while he’s in the air, and wink at you.
Devin’s not a big dog, but he is enthusiastic when it comes to his toys and full-body hugs, so Red Hook Dog Rescue would like to find him a home with no children and no other pets.
And though he has nobody to bond with right now, when he does, that bond will be strong, and it will be forever. You can tell that Devin wants his someone, and he wants to bond for the long haul.
Devin is available for adoption or foster immediately, from the reputable, long-established Red Hook Dog Rescue. He’s located in the Bronx, New York, but can be transported locally or in the Northeast. You can read more about him on Devin’s PetFinder page. And if you do decide to rescue this guy, please let us know how he’s doing with you!
Tip: Do you hike with your dog? Don’t forget to pack the frisbee when you hike! It’s one of the best “double-duty” things to bring on a dog hike, because it fits easily in your pack, can be used as a water dish, and when the ground is wet you can sit on it without making your butt soggy. And — oh yes — it will keep you both entertained at break time.
*Confession: I love Downton Abbey.
Jeffrey had one last chance at getting out.
So, Jeffrey came from Animal Care and Control in New York City. That’s where Michele got him. He was on what they call “death row”. Something in his picture, his description, got to Michele, and she went and picked him up before they ended his life. New York City, two years ago.
The thing about Animal Care and Control, or ACC, is that it’s just about what you imagine. Imagine you get your car towed in New York City. Where you would go to get it back, the worst kind of Department of Motor Vehicle-like, uncaring bureaucracy, is sort of exactly like the New York animal pound in Manhattan. Except instead of cars, there are dogs. Lots of them. You wouldn’t think a city could hold so many strays, abandonments, old and ill, crippled dogs and cats.
When you go in there, and walk past their cages, it is impossible to to look at them without thinking of where they have traveled, what they have experienced in the big city that is New York. It is a wonder that any of them survived in our world. There are so many things that can go wrong. (more…)