Dog Book for Children:”Too Licky” (Two Sisters’ Journey to Rescue the “Just-Right” Dog) by Gigi Giles & Ryan Giles, Illustrated by Cynthia Inks and a GIVE-AWAY!

In honor of Adopt a Shelter Dog Month we are happy to present to you a darling children’s book:

Photo Courtesy of “Too Licky” Click to visit their website!

I always feel a little uncomfortable presenting anything rescue oriented because the first question/comment I always think I will hear is: “What? You are featuring this and Dakota wasn’t adopted?” That’s right, no, Dakota was not adopted. Cody was. When Dakota joined our family he was referred to us by one of my “bonus daughters”. And…ready for this? Said “bonus daughter” not only manages a local rescue here in the suburbs of Detroit, but she has given homes to dogs and cats from her shelter that most would consider to be “un-adoptable.”

The bottom line to me is ALL dogs deserve a “furever home” and NO BREED should be discriminated against.

Gigi Giles and Ryan Giles, Photo Courtesy of Too Licky.com

What is “Too Licky?”

“Too Licky” is a children’s book about finding the ‘just right’ rescue dog.

Gigi Giles and Ryan Giles are the authors of the precious and important book: “Too Licky.” Back in April they launched a SUCCESSFUL kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of “Too Licky.”

Gigi and Ryan Giles with Sugar. Photo courtesy of Too Licky.com

Gigi and Ryan were born in Los Angeles and when their parents announced they were moving to Jacksonville, Florida, the “bargain” was to get a dog.

Gigi and Ryan Giles searched high and low to find the “right” dog. After months and months of searching they found her, the “just right” rescue dog – Sugar.

The first two years of her life are unknown. The only knowns are that Sugar and her three puppies were found as strays, were taken to a rural animal shelter, fostered by a volunteer and all four adopted into loving homes.

Sugar’s story isn’t over yet. It’s more like the bumper sticker, “who rescued who?”

Proceeds from each book sale go to help other rescue dogs like Sugar find their forever home.

Please join Gigi and Ryan in helping dogs like Sugar by purchasing a book, adopting a rescue or, both!

This darling book which was inspired by the book “Too Purpley!”  “Too Licky” features beautiful illustrations by Cynthia Inks (what an appropriate last name for an illustrator, right?) and those illustrations are EXQUISITE. The illustrations are vibrant, energetic and to me are reminiscent of artwork from the 70s (Pop art colors, etc), they are DELIGHTFUL! Each of the 21 illustrations are REAL DOGS from the rescue dog community, and each of those dogs  has a “story” that is shared in the back of the book. Cynthia is  a Florida native, (who also helped Gigi and Ryan find Sugar). There are also  forewords by well-known bully breed advocates and celebrity dog trainers. The book  also features tips for families on how to find their own “just right” rescue.

Huge kudos to Gigi and Ryan Giles for writing this darling book, sharing the proceeds and for giving “Sugar” such a special home! May you have many, many years of happiness together!! 

For more information on “Too Licky,” visit the website at www.toolicky.com.

“Too Licky” is now available on Amazon!

GET SOCIAL WITH “TOO LICKY”

Facebook 

Instagram

Pinterest

GIVE-AWAY!! Gigi and Ryan are kindly offering two of our readers who reside in the U.S. (and are 18 and over) a chance to win their own copy of “Too Licky!” All you have to do is LEAVE A COMMENT THAT CLEARLY STATES THAT YOU WISH TO BE ENTERED! That’s it! The give-away is open NOW and will end at 5pm EST on OCTOBER 31st, 2017. WINNERS WILL BE CHOSEN BY random.org and will be announced ON OR AROUND NOVEMBER 1, 2017. GOOD LUCK!

Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit to Aid Hurricane Harvey Relief

Shelter preparing for arrival of Houston adoptable animals

donating 50% of all adoption fees to Houston shelters

 

Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit (FAMD) will donate 50% of all adoption fees to local Houston animal rescue groups through the month of September to aid animal shelters devastated by the impact of Hurricane Harvey. The shelter is also making room for adoptable animals from the impacted areas, expected to arrive within the month.

 

FAMD has agreed to be one of the Michigan animal shelters finding homes for adoptable Houston animals. These animals were in Houston shelters and ready for adoption before the storm hit, and are being moved to make room to reunite lost pets with their owners. Said Elaine Greene, executive director of FAMD, “With so many animals in need of homes even before the storm hit, it’s especially urgent now to make room for all the pets in Houston that were lost in the shuffle.”

Through the month of September, FAMD will donate half of each adoption fee to one of several Houston-area shelters. Adopters will choose from a list of humane groups, including the Humane Society of Southeast Texas, one of the shelters coordinating funds and donation distribution to those affected by the hurricane. This offer includes all cats and dogs adopted from FAMD at the “Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo” event at the Detroit Zoo on September 15 and 16. FAMD will bring several animals to find them new homes, thus freeing up space at the shelter for new arrivals.

 

About “Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo”

The event is Friday, September 15 from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday, September 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak. For more details, visit MEET YOUR BEST FRIEND (SEPTEMBER)

 

About FAMD

After 22 years of nurturing nearly 50,000 animals as the Dearborn Animal Shelter, the Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit has embarked on public phase of their “Our Animals Need A Home” capital campaign to construct a new Animal Adoption & Education Center at the site of the former Dearborn Amtrak station on Michigan Avenue. Construction begins in October. For more information about FAMD, visit metrodetroitanimals.org

#Sponsored 5 Ways You Can Help Your Local Animal Shelter on National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week #NutrishPets

Rachael Ray Nutrish has sponsored this post, but all opinions are my own.

Hi my friends, it’s Dakota!

  Happy National Animal Shelter

Appreciation Week

which is 

NOVEMBER 6NOVEMBER 12

Now, while I was NOT rescued from a Shelter, my kitty brother,  Cody, was adopted from a foster home affiliated with a rescue. When I came to live with my family, my Mom and Dad did search Sheltie rescues but there were none in our area. Mom wasn’t blogging then and didn’t know about pet transport, so that is the reason an adopted Sheltie did not come to live with Mom, Dad and Cody.

That being said, our family has close ties to Animal Shelters though, and we DEEPLY appreciate them! My human “bonus-sister” is the Manager at Almost Home Animal Rescue League & Haven,  and Mom featured her on our blog last summer. 

shelter-appreciation-dakota-smiling

Mom also frequently features adoption events/fundraisers for Michigan Humane as well as  the shelter, Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit.  It is our way of at least doing SOMETHING to help. We think animal shelters should be appreciated EVERY day, not just one week out of the year. Thankfully Rachael Ray feels the same way that is why a portion of Nutrish proceeds go to Rachael’s Rescue®, which was created to help animals in need. To date, over $14MM has been donated. This money has gone toward food, medical supplies and treatments for these unfortunate animals. 

Logo courtesy of Nutrish.

5 Ways YOU Can Help Your Local Animal Shelter

 SHARE ADOPTABLE PETS–Visit a Shelter’s website and if they have a widget for a daily featured adoptable animal, you can install it on your blog if you are a blogger. (We have had one on our sidebar for years). If you are not a blogger, you can share an adoptable animal on your Facebook page.

 GET TO KNOW YOUR LOCAL SHELTER–Visit their website,  “like” them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, stop in and visit in person.

 PURCHASE ITEMS FROM YOUR LOCAL SHELTER–Many shelters have websites where you can purchase items such as  T-shirts, mugs,holiday cards, calendars,  all sorts of things that you can order and the proceeds go towards helping animals. (In many instances the shelters also offer the items that are for sale online at their physical locations too). For the past few years my Mom has bought holiday cards from Michigan Humane (some of you may have received one in past years). It’s a “win-win” for the animals, you and your card recipients.

 VOLUNTEER–Many shelters would appreciate a volunteer coming to walk or play with dogs, clean cages for dogs and cats, help with feeding and so much more….SPEAKING OF FOOD….

 DONATE MUCH NEEDED ITEMS SUCH AS FOOD! Shelters can always use blankets, toys in good condition (that can’t be swallowed, Mom always puts together a bag of toys that Cody and I no longer use when she visits Pet Expos. Usually there are shelters there who will gladly accept them.), newspaper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, and MORE! You can give your local shelter a call to see what they need.

shelter-animal-appreciation-week-dakota-looking-at-bag

(Always check with your Shelter or Rescue first though to find out if they are accepting food donations). If they are,  you might want to purchase a few bags of MY FAVORITE from Rachael Ray Nutrish!

Super Premium Food for Dogs

Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe

Photo Courtesy of the Nutrish website, click on the photo to visit!!

Photo Courtesy of the Nutrish website, click on the photo to visit!!

 

Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe is made with simple, natural ingredients, like real U.S. farm-raised chicken, combined with wholesome vegetables, plus vitamins & minerals.

shelter-animal-dakota-eating

Real U.S. farm-raised chicken is the #1 ingredient

No poultry by-product meal, fillers, wheat or wheat gluten

No artificial flavors or artificial preservatives

 “Whether intended for dogs or cats, Nutrish recipes are made with simple, wholesome ingredients like real meat or fish, and do not contain poultry by-product meal or fillers.”

shelter-appreciation-dakota-licking-chops

All of the Rachael Ray Nutrish products are available where you shop for your family’s groceries, making specialty recipes accessible and convenient for every pet parent.

shelter-appreciation-dakota-use-last

Mom and I hope that if you haven’t made the “switch to Nutrish” that you will make TODAY the day that you make that switch!!

Barks and licks and love,

Dakota

 

Follow Nutrish ! 

Twitter 

Facebook Nutrish

Instagram

#NutrishPets A Passion for Volunteering Turns Into A Career! #Sponsored

Rachael Ray Nutrish has sponsored this post, but all opinions are my own.

April is National Volunteer Month,  and the true definition, (per Wikipedia is: This month is dedicated to honoring all of the volunteers in our communities as well as encouraging volunteerism throughout the month) and here at Dakota’s Den, we say ALL YEAR!

It is with great pride, that today I am featuring an individual who has a dedication to animals that I am blessed to witness first hand. How? The individual I am featuring is  Marla Weingarten, who is a Manager at Almost Home Animal Rescue League and Haven. She also happens to be one of my “bonus daughters”. (That means step daughter but I prefer the term “bonus daughter. Because I happen to be married to her Dad!)

Marla is not normally this glamorous working at a shelter! She knew I was coming :)

Marla is not normally this glamorous working at a shelter! She knew I was coming 🙂

I first met Marla in 2001,   ONE thing that was  evident from the beginning,  is that she has a LOVE, DEDICATION, AND PASSION for all animals.

Marla had volunteered hours and hours upon end both at shelters and on her own, helping to care for and promote animals that needed loving homes. I was beyond thrilled for her when she was offered the opportunity of a full-time job, doing what she has a true passion and a calling for. Marla would be caring for, helping, loving and spending time with animals whether she was being paid or not!!

It is my pleasure to present to you my interview with Marla Weingarten, of Almost Home Animal Rescue League and Haven:

WHEN DID YOU FIRST START LOVING ANIMALS? My love of animals began when I was a child. I was lucky enough to grow up with dogs, rabbits, cats, lizards, etc…animals were always my passion! I loved horse back riding, and going to the petting zoo. I always wanted a farm since I can remember, but working at an animal rescue is my dream job!

WHAT MADE YOU GET INVOLVED IN RESCUE? I have been involved with Almost Home Animal Haven since I was 15 years old and other rescues prior to that.    I was so fortunate when the position for manager at Almost Home became available, and I have been working here for the past 3 years.

Almost Home Logo

TELL US  ABOUT ALMOST HOMEAlmost Home is a non-profit (c) 3 no-kill organization dedicated to finding loving, forever homes for unwanted , homeless animals that was founded and is run by Gail Montgomery and her daughter, Lauren. We are strongly against the senseless act of euthanasia. We have a small group of dedicated volunteers who are passionate about keeping Almost Home operating. Almost Home believes every animal can be adoptable. It just takes time, patience and money. Almost Home believes that every animal is worth saving. They don’t deserve to be tossed aside, abused or worse. The haven is a place where animals can feel safe and be safe. Every animal in our care gets the very best love and attention we can give them. 

almost home lobby collage

Just some of the cuteness that exists in the waiting area at Almost Home.

WHAT IS AN AVERAGE DAY LIKE AT THE RESCUE? Every day is different. It is all about making sure the animals are safe, and healthy. We are constantly taking sick dogs from animal control and rushing them to the vet to get better so they can become available for adoption. There are days when we get multiple dogs from Animal control or owner surrenders and we have to make room. We get calls every day from people wanting to surrender their pets, and it’s quite difficult to turn people away, especially because we are such a small facility and we just don’t have the space to take in another dog. We noticed there are so many pit bulls that people want to surrender and it’s really sad that the majority that come in are not spayed or neutered. We wish more people would be responsible pet owners and not just buy a puppy for their kids,  because it is cute, then, once they are  older, they want to dispose of them. Every day is a constant struggle, as Almost Home does not receive government or city funding.  They rely on donations from the community, and the generosity of people on their Facebook page to help with the cost of medical issues, etc. Working at an animal shelter has opened my eyes to the sadness of animal abuse and neglect, but I do know there are good people out there too who foster dogs, and who care, by donating to our cause and other wonderful causes.

APPROX HOW MANY ANIMALS ARE ADOPTED EACH MONTH? I would say between 9-13, it depends. Unfortunately, the reality is the smaller dogs get adopted a lot quicker then the big dogs. Most of the big dogs we have at the shelter are Pit Bull mixes, and a lot of them  can take longer to be adopted due to breed stereotypes, etc.

Marla with the cutest dog EVER,(Luna,...see further down for info about her, she is available for adoption!! and me!!

Marla with the cutest dog EVER, (Luna…see further down for info about her, she is available for adoption!!) and me!!

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PETS AND HOW MANY ARE RESCUE PETS? I currently own 3 dogs and 3 cats. I adopted two of my pets from Almost Home.  One of them is “Chico”, a 14-year-old Chihuahua who I found while taking part in a rescue mission at a puppy mill.  He is a special needs dog, he was  blind in one eye at the time and recently has lost his vision in both eyes. He is such a special little man and is so happy to finally be spoiled!  I also adopted a Devon Rex, 8-year-old cat named “Muffins”. She was owner relinquished. The owner said that “she was too needy” and she didn’t have time for her because she was expecting a baby.   I immediately took Muffins home that day, she is still with me!

Rescue pets are so thankful for love. They are pure and trusting and never pass judgement towards humans. I only wish that people could follow in their paw prints, the world would be a much better place.

A huge thank you to Marla for taking the time to visit with me before her busy day began!! 

 Did you see sweet, ADOPTABLE, Luna, above?  She is one of the SWEETEST dogs I have ever met. She was brought in as a stray and would do best as the only dog. She is 48.6 pounds of SWEETNESS!!! Here she is!!!

almost home adopt luna

Almost Home can always use help to help subsidize the cost involved in caring for the animals. To donate you can visit them on GO FUND ME  and on the DONATE tab on their website.

Almost Home Business Card

Almost Home in the NEWS!!!! 

 

Another person who holds animal rescue close to her heart is  Rachael Ray. Rachael, like Marla,  doesn’t just “talk the talk”, she “walks the walk!!”

rachaels_rescue_logo

 

What is Rachael’s Rescue®?

Rachael’s Rescue was created for all of the forgotten pets — the ones that might not have someone who loves them as much as you love your pet.

Rachael’s personal proceeds go to Rachael’s Rescue®, which was created to help animals in need. To date, she has donated over $10MM. This money has gone toward food, medical supplies and treatments for these unfortunate animals. All of the Rachael Ray Nutrish products are available where you shop for your family’s groceries, making specialty recipes accessible and convenient for every pet parent.

If you can volunteer or donate

to a shelter, please do!!

if you can adopt a shelter pet,

that’s even better!

it will make YOU and your pet

feel “REAL GOOD”!!!

How Can You Help The Shelters

During National Volunteer Month and EVERY DAY?

  • you could volunteer to play with and walk dogs
  • clean cages
  • share adoptable pets on social media
  • donate items such as newspapers, towels, cleaning supplies
  • Buy Rachael Ray Nutrish !!
  • do something to thank the Volunteers!! (Everyone LOVES FOOD!!)

That’s what Nutrish did! They mailed me coupons for food for the animals, to give to Almost Home!  Marla, on behalf of Almost Home, and myself,  would like to thank Nutrish for the coupons they donated to the animals!!

 

almost home collage coupons

About Rachael Ray Nutrish:

In 2007, with help from pet nutrition experts, Rachael Ray created Nutrish super-premium food and treats for dogs inspired by recipes from her own kitchen. In 2014, we were very excited to grow the brand into the world of cat food. Whether intended for dogs or cats, Nutrish recipes are made with simple, wholesome ingredients like real meat or fish, and do not contain poultry by-product meal or fillers. 

Follow Nutrish ! 

Twitter 

Facebook Nutrish

Facebook Nutrish for Cats

Instagram

Pinterest 

 

 

Pet Behavior Help Line Launched by Michigan Animal Shelter

 

Dog and cat owners can use help line to get tips for helping family pets

 

 dearborn animal shelter logo

Earlier this month, the Dearborn Animal Shelter launched a new pet behavior help line 313-355-7553, along with corresponding email addresses, HelpMyCat@DearbornAnimals.org and HelpMyDog@DearbornAnimals.org. The purpose of the new outreach service is to give pet owners in the community a place to get some guidance for minor behavioral issues with their furry family members.

 

According to Elaine Greene, Executive Director, Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter, “Having behavioral issues is one of the leading manageable reasons we find people surrendering their pet to the Shelter. There are unavoidable reasons of course, like a relocation where pets are not allowed, sickness in the family or loss of employment, but behavior issues, if given proper guidance, can often be corrected. Greene continued, Sometimes people ask friends or family members, but are not sure where to turn for professional advice or are not able to afford training courses. Our goal is to give them some help, an option to connect with one of our team members who are skilled in offering cat and dog advice”.  

 

In preparation for the new help line, Dearborn Animal Shelter staff members were trained through a grant program made possible by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).  This program focuses on cat behavior issues; as many pet owners understand that there are dog training options available to them; but are not as familiar with finding cat behavior advice.  Once the Dearborn Animal Shelter staff members completed their training, they decided to extend the help line to dog owners as well, as they felt this service was important for dog family members too.

dearborn dog named Allie

Linda Thomas, Certified Professional Dog Trainer for the Dearborn Animal Shelter, will oversee the new help line service.  Thomas has completed the HSUS training and many other certifications in her role for the organization.  The help line is free to callers and open to those who have pet family members.  Recent Shelter adopters with any pet behavior issues are encouraged to continue their correspondence directly with their adoption counselors and not use this help line service.

The information can be found on the Dearborn Animal Shelter’s website under the Contact Us section. The following is a direct link to the Help line information on the site: https://www.dearbornanimals.org/contact/pet-behavior-helpline/

 

Learn more about adoption, training, events, volunteering or donating online at www.DearbornAnimals.org. The Dearborn Animal Shelter is located at 2661 Greenfield Road, Dearborn, and is operated by the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter, a 501C3 nonprofit organization. Main phone (313) 943-2697 you can also follow the Shelter on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Mama Mia!! Second Annual Pasta Dinner to Benefit Dearborn Animal Shelter

Fundraiser serves up homemade recipe to help homeless animals

The 2nd annual Pat’s Pawsitively Pasta Dinner returns on Monday, October 12 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Park Place, 23400 Park Street, Dearborn, Mi. A community fundraiser dinner; all are invited to attend and participate in the casual affair to help animals in the care of the Dearborn Animal Shelter.

Pat D'Ambrosio with shelter pup.  Little Miss Muffet      0915--Photo Courtesy of Dearborn Animal Shelter

Pat D’Ambrosio with shelter pup. Little Miss Muffet 0915–Photo Courtesy of Dearborn Animal Shelter

Dinner organizer, Pat D’Ambrosio, is a longtime supporter of the Dearborn Animal Shelter and hopes that the fundraiser will continue annually, on Columbus Day, which falls on October 12 this year.  D’Ambrosio described his motivation for hosting the event, “There are many people who may not realize the costs involved in caring for so many animals every day.  This is one way that I can help, to bring the community together to raise funds with my “secret family recipe”.   The secret family recipe that D’Ambrosio referenced is a beloved pasta sauce that has been passed down for generations in his family, enduring more than 100 years.

 

Attendees can enjoy a taste of the D’Ambrosio traditional meat sauce served over mostaccioli with optional meatballs or choose a marinara selection.  Tickets are $30 each and include pasta, salad, bread, beer, wine, soft drinks and dessert.  Children under 5 years of age are free.  Purchase tickets in person at the Dearborn Animal Shelter or online  www.DearbornAnimals.org, navigate to the Get Involved tab and click on Events.

 

Last year 200 guests came out to support the event and raised $6,000 to help the adoptable animals in the Shelter.  This year, D’Ambrosio hopes to see 300 guests and get as close to $10,000 as possible.

friends of dearborn logo

Learn more about adoption, events, volunteering or donating online. The Dearborn Animal Shelter is located at 2661 Greenfield Road, Dearborn, and is operated by the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter, a 501C3 nonprofit organization. Main phone (313) 943-2697 and on the web www.DearbornAnimals.org, you can follow the Shelter on Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

Contact:  Elaine Greene, Friends Executive Director

EGreene@DearbornAnimals.org  or 313-943-2697