By Jim Tedford, Director of Animal Welfare Initiatives and Alliances
Are you one of those pet owners who wouldn’t even think of NOT having a stocking on the mantle for your four-legged family members? Does your pet have more packages under the tree than your spouse? The truth is, most of us love our pets…and that love often manifests itself in indulgence!
I spent twenty minutes last weekend picking up dog toys scattered about my house and pointlessly placing them back into their proper place. Within minutes my floor looked like the toy aisle at a pet specialty store… a sea of Busy Buddy® toys! My dogs love their toys, and that is a good thing. I’d much rather have them chewing on a Squirrel Dude™ than on my baseboards!
Having spent much of my life working in animal shelters, I am keenly aware of pets who are far less fortunate than the ones living with me. There are tens of thousands of dogs and cats (and assorted other pets) waiting for new forever homes in shelters across the US. Most shelters do a great job of meeting at least the basic needs of the animals entrusted to their care. They provide nutritious food, fresh water, shelter and love. And, many have developed sophisticated behavior programs including enriched environments.
It is important that shelters look out for both the physical AND psychological health of the animals in their care. According to Michelle Mullins, CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP, Manager of PetSafe’s Training & Behavior Education Department, “Keeping shelter dogs and cats healthy both mentally and physically is extremely important in maintaining their quality of life and adoptability. An enrichment toy can help relieve boredom and stress for these animals providing a better experience for them in the shelter environment.”
Studies have shown that the mere presence of a toy in a kennel makes an animal more highly adoptable! But, for many shelters there just aren’t sufficient resources to provide for the animals’ psychological needs. That is where PetSafe comes in! During the month of December, we are offering Facebook users an opportunity to provide toys for animals in shelters across the country. For every new “Like” on the PetSafe Facebook page, a toy will be donated to a participating shelter. Toys will be shipped out in early January making for a Happy New Year for homeless pets!
Participating agencies include Los Angeles Animal Services (http://www.laanimalservices.com/), Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care & Control (http://www.lacountyanimals.org/), Animal Care & Control of New York City (http://www.nycacc.org/), Seattle Animal Shelter (http://www.seattle.gov/animalshelter/), Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia (http://www.acctphilly.org/), Miami-Dade Animal Services (http://www.miamidade.gov/animals/), Maricopa County Animal Care & Control (https://www.maricopa.gov/pets/), Denver Animal Control (www.denvergov.org/denveranimalshelter), and Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control (http://www.cityoffortwayne.org/animal-care-and-control.html). Additional agencies are being signed-up for the promotion.
Giving a behavior-enriching toy to a shelter dog is only a mouse click away. Please visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PetSafeBrand and click “Like”. PetSafe is prepared to ship up to 15,000 Busy Buddy toys to participating shelters!
We are thrilled to be able to support the important, life-saving work happening in animal shelters across the country. The agencies partnering with us in this promotion are always looking for opportunities to do even more for the animals in their care. PetSafe is proud to play a small role in making their temporary homes a little brighter.
Happy Holidays! Now go “Like” PetSafe on Facebook and give a dog a toy!