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Not even mother nature could stop our kayak pawty! Despite having to delay our New York City kayak and stand-up paddleboard event one day due to the weather, we still had a great time meeting current Benebone fans, new Benebone fans and their humans!

To celebrate the end of a wonderful summer, we rented out the Manhattan Kayak facility to allow dogs and their humans to come kayak and paddleboard through the iconic Intrepid Bay. 

We loved seeing all the different dogs that came out to enjoy the day. We kayaked with small dogs, large dogs and every size in between. 

One of our favorite fans and former Benebone Ambassador, @the_daily_ollie, even drove into New York City from New Jersey to show off his fluffy kayaking skills! 

Not to be outdone was @nyyankeedog, Shaggy, who skateboarded his way into our hearts! 

And, it wouldn’t be a summer pawty without a weiner (dog)! We had the pleasure of meeting @edgar_the_mighty and his Mom, Christa, at our past Boris & Horton event. We were thrilled when they made arrangements to come see us again at our kayak event. 

We also received fashion tips from none other than the fashionista herself, @hollyhappyhavanese. Holly even traded in her designer threads to pose in our Benebone bandana for the day!

We also got to meet Instagram celebrity, @thedailywalter! As you can see, Walter Cronkite knows exactly how to work it for the camera. 

Once everyone worked up an appetite kayaking and paddleboarding, the dog parents were treated to a catered dinner from Dig Inn, while the pups got to chew on their bacon flavored Benebones. 

Every attendee received a Benebone tote bag, which included: a bacon wishbone, bandana, tennis ball and water bottle to keep the pawty going throughout the weekend. 

Check out all the fun we had and cuties we met through the gallery below (or check out our Facebook gallery).*

If you attended the Manhattan Kayak event and would like to share the photos you took, please send any photos to meesha@benebone.com, so that we can share your gallery with other attendees. And, as always, we kindly ask that you tag us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with #benebone so we don’t miss your post. 

If you missed this kayak and paddleboard event, don’t worry, we will be back next summer! Be sure to keep an eye on our events page to see when and where we will be popping up. 

*All photos are credited to: Amiee Stubbs Photography

Since we are a New York-based company, New York City will always have a special place in our hearts. When we heard the buzz around Boris & Horton, we knew that we wanted to host a pawty there to engage with our current fans and meet new ones. 

We were honored to meet so many New York dog parents and even a few that drove in from New Jersey! 

For this event, we invited Social Tees NYC – a local NYC dog rescue. This no-kill organization is unique in that they rely solely on foster parents. That’s right, Social Tees NYC does not have a facility, so they rely on dog events and social media to help raise awareness to have their dogs adopted. We are happy to report that all of the visiting Social Tees dogs had an attendee put in an adoption application! 

With the help of our amazing social media fans, through our Bandana Campaign, we donated a check in the amount of $500 to Social Tees NYC! We encourage everyone to check out the adorable, adoptable dogs Social Tees NYC has in their care. 

It was great to see so many dog parents mingling with each other – sharing dog stories and a common love for all things dog! Attendees were also given the opportunity to take home a new piece of art to hang in the house …. Because, dog art is the best art! 

To keep the pawty going through the weekend, each attending dog received a Benebone swag bag complete with our durable bacon wishbone, a Benebone bandana, tennis ball and a Benebone water bottle.

We would love to meet you and your dog at our next event. Check out our events page to see which city we will be popping up at next. In the meantime, enjoy the photos below from our Boris & Horton pop-up event.

We came, we partied and your dog chewed! 

This year, we decided to take Benebone on the road! We realized that while we have such great social media friends, we have never met many of you in person. At the same time, there are so many great dog parents who may not know about Benebone and we want to personally introduce our brand to you.

We kicked off our chewing tour in Nashville, Tennessee. What better way to start our events then with some southern hospitality, great music and fun dog parents. 

Photo Credit: @emily.danielle.jones

Our first day in Nashville was spent visiting dog parks. In total, we visited 3  dog parks: Centennial Dog Park, Edwin Warner Dog Park and Riverfront Dog Park. During our last dog park stop, we invited professional dog photographer, Amiee Stubbs, and local Thai rolled ice cream truck, Rolled 4 Ever Ice Cream. Each dog and their human were treated to a free ice cream (yes, there was dog-friendly ice cream) and a free Benebone bacon wishbone, all while having fun and having their photo taken. 

Our second day in Nashville was spent at Nashville Pet Products’ Cruzen Street store, where we hosted a Instagram Workshop for dog parents. We invited 4 local Instagram celebrities: @jackthewallaby, @jim_bear_rigney, @chessonchairs and @wildingwandersto come speak with pet parents about how to start, maintain and grow their Instagram account. 

We wrapped up our Nashville trip with a Yappy Hour at the Nashville Pet Products’ Franklin, TN store. Why let humans have all the fun?! Being that we are a dog-inspired company, we wanted this Yappy Hour to be for the dogs! 

We setup a Benebone Tasting Bar, which included bacon martinis, peanut butter and “crackers” and chicken jerky, which all highlight Benebone’s flavors: bacon, peanut and chicken. 

Since dogs don’t have thumbs to take selfies to commemorate the experience, we bought along a local dog caricature artist to draw each attending dog. 

And, because, what’s a Benebone event without a Benebone? Each attendee went home with a free Benebone tote filled with a bacon wishbone and some Benebone swag. 

We are happy to announce that we will be visiting other cities throughout the year and will continue the Benebone parties throughout 2020! Be sure to check out our events page on our website to see if we will be throwing a party near you! 

Photo Credit (unless otherwise stated): Amiee Stubbs

It’s that time of year again. With a new year comes new resolutions!  Have you considered making a difference for good in 2019? Maybe you’ve made previous resolutions of donating to help dogs in need, but it just didn’t work out as you hoped? We’ve got 8 ways for you to help dogs all throughout 2019.

Photo Credit: @teddy.takesthecity

The first step is to find a cause that is important to you! The cause you support should be something that is truly important to you or close to your heart. This will help keep your resolution alive and well even into the later months of September and October.

Next, you’ll want to figure out exactly how or what you want to donate. This can be the part of the resolution that often trips people up, so we’ve put together a list of ways you can make an impact on a dog in need’s life.

1. Monetary Donations

If you’ve hit the lottery and are able to donate large portions of money to your favorite dog charity or shelter, go for it! Unfortunately, despite our tries, most of us are not lottery winning millionaires, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make monetary donations.

There are many ways to make monetary donations – the easiest is to go to your charity’s website and make a one-time donation. To help keep your resolution going throughout the year, many charities make it easy for your to setup a monthly recurring donation.

Photo Credit: @rambothepuppy

Another great way to make monetary donations that directly impact your fellow community members is to check your local Veterinarian’s office for a emergency fund. These funds are often labeled as “Frank’s Fund, Lucky’s Kisses”, etc. Any monetary donations added to the jar are put into a fund for fellow client’s unexpected emergencies. No one expects to have an emergency, but payment is still due at time of service at most Veterinarian offices and this fund helps families in need that may be either low income or hard on their luck.

2. Recycle, Reuse!

Dog shelters are always in need of many items you probably have laying around your house or in storage. A hot item always in need are blankets or towels. Maybe you’ve been saving old Winnie the Pooh blankets from your childhood? While Winnie the Pooh may not work in your guest room, dog shelters will happily welcome your old blankets and/or towels. Dogs are easy to please and don’t care if the blanket you donate is themed. All that matters is that the blanket is comfy, not ripped and doesn’t have any holes. These blankets and towels help keep shelter dogs warm and cozy while waiting for their forever home.

Photo Credit: @spcatexas

3. Your Time!

There’s no greater gift you can give a dog shelter than your time! Dog shelters rely on the kind hearts of their neighbors to help keep the dogs happy while in their care. Often, dog shelters are functioning solely on donations so unfortunately, it is not in the budget to have a large staff, even though a large staff is often necessary.

Dog shelters are always in need of dedicated dog walkers. As we learned from our MD SPCA shelter visit, becoming a volunteer dog walker takes many hours of training.  If you’re looking to volunteer, but might not have as much spare time as needed for dog walkers, ask you local shelter if you can volunteer at an upcoming event or fundraiser. Also, an even more fun way to volunteer is to be a dog cuddler! These volunteers come in and spend time with the dogs in their run. You can read the dog a book, tell him about your day or simply just snuggle with him. 

4. Toy & Food Donations!

Despite many shelters having trained dog walkers that volunteer on their own time to come in and walk the dogs outside, dogs are still left in a run for hours on end. Toys not only help keep dogs busy, but toys can be a great exercise for their minds as well. Before you buy or donate toys, check with your local dog shelter. Dog shelters will often have a wish list of toys that are best suited for the dogs in their care. And, while you might not see Benebone on a wish list, if your shelter lists “chew toys”, you can be sure that they will welcome Benebones! (Fun Fact: Benebone sends over 50 donation boxes a month to various US dog shelters and organizations. Keep an eye on our Instagram account for shelter donation giveaways to nominate your favorite non-profit or let us know in the comments below who we should send a box to next.)

Photo Credit: @narps2015

Many dog shelters run a food bank, which is solely dependent on donations. Food banks help low income, homeless or families having short-term financial hardship to feed their dog. Since these food banks do not have access to refrigerators or freezers, the food donated often has to be a dry kibble. Again, you’ll want to check with your local dog shelter to see which brand of food they ask you to donate.

Photo Credit: @lextasyy

5. Foster A Dog!

Maybe it’s not the right time for you to adopt a dog, but have you considered fostering a dog? Many dog shelters are sadly overcrowded or certain dogs may have medical issues which prevent them from staying at the shelter. That’s when dog shelters look to the community for vital help. Fostering helps dog shelters take in and care for more dogs than possible on site. Another benefit to dog fostering is that you can set the parameters for which kind of dog you want to help foster. Maybe you’re on a puppy high and have the time needed to devote to only fostering puppies.

Photo Credit: @furbabyfostermom

Or, maybe, you have a soft spot for anxious seniors. Either way, fostering gives you a unique opportunity to help dogs of diverse backgrounds in which you may have never had the opportunity to interact with.

Photo Credit: @socialteesnyc

6. Participate In Events!

Attending a fundraiser events is probably the easiest and social way to support your local dog shelter. Visit your dog shelter’s website or Facebook page and take a look at their upcoming events. Typically for these events, you will have to purchase a ticket to attend, however, all the proceeds go back to helping the shelter. It’s a win-win: you and your dog get to mingle with other local pups and the shelter raises funds to continue helping dogs in need.

Photo Credit: Petbacker

7. Put Your Talents to Work!

Do you have an Instagram account for your dog? With that, comes dog photography experience. Whether you’re a professional photographer or a novice, lend your talent to your local dog shelter. One of the toughest battles for shelter dogs is getting a good photo online. Let’s be honest, many of us look online for adoptable dogs. Much like human dating apps, dogs need to have their best paw forward and this is where you come in. Lend your talents to help shelter dogs get adopted. It can be something as little as finding a better background within the shelter to take the dog’s photograph to bringing in a light kit to help brighten up your subject’s cuteness.

Photo Credit: @amandastrozeskiphotos

8. Drive or Fly Dogs In Need!

As dog shelters become progressive and mobile, the need to transport dogs has greatly increased. Shelters have begun broadening their reach beyond their state lines and have also began partnering with shelters in various states to help combat overcrowding.

It’s becoming more frequent for dog shelters to ask volunteers to help transport dogs to another state, across the country or even from other countries. While private pilots often donate their time and expertise to fly dogs from one shelter to another, everyday citizens can also volunteer to help fly a dog in need. Often, a rescue may be in dire need to save a dog at a high kill facility. However, in order to save the dog’s life, they need someone to fly the dog to the rescue’s home state. Many of these dogs cannot fly in cargo and rely on someone traveling to help transport them in the cabin safely.  

Photo Credit: @humanerescue

If you’re someone who likes road trips, consider helping a dog shelter by driving their newly adopted dogs to their new forever home. While this can be a long distance drive, this added benefit to dog adoption has helped save more dogs than originally possible when limiting adoptions to local residents only.

Photo Credit: @jenn_ziesk

Ultimately, there’s no wrong way to help shelter dogs in need. This year let’s resolve to help give back to dogs who give us so much unconditional love and support! We would love to hear how you help dogs in need. Leave us a comment below or tag us in your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts with #benebone.

It’s the busiest time for travel of the year, with vacations and visiting family members when the new year comes around. Of course, bringing your pup with you across country may seem like a daunting task, but you got to to do what you got to do to have your best friend with you! 

Today we’re sharing some tips to make bringing Fido with you on the road a little easier. 

1. Pack all of the essentials (but not too much)! 

Source: @fridasfluffyworld

Food, treats, poop bags, and a favorite toy. Don’t go overboard on things your dog may need. Chances are, if you forgot something, you can get it when you arrive at your destination. Most important of all, don’t forget to bring any medications your pup may be on! 

2. Bring portable versions of everything you need.

Source: @howl_and_growl

Forget the metal water bowl. Leave that at home! Get yourself travel-ready versions of those essentials if you can. Whether it be an on-the-go water bottle and bowl combination or a fold up pet bed, make your life a little easier with these made-for-travel items. 

3. Get your pup travel-approved by your vet.

Source: @_ba.iley._

Not all dogs are fit for travel. If your dog is sick or injured, it’s probably going to be a no-no. If your dog is one that gets over-stimulated or upset when their routine is disrupted, they should also probably stay home. Have your vet give you the thumbs up before heading out with your dog. Make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations and consider having your pup microchipped if he’s not already. 

4. Double check rules and regulations where you’re going

Source: @olivethefancyfrenchie

If you’re staying at a hotel, make sure you study up on all the fees and rules associated with having a pet stay with you. Often times, you’ll have to pay a pet cleaning fee and it’s important to note that dogs are usually not allowed to be left alone without supervision. Leash laws where you’re going may be different from what you’re accustomed to, so double check there as well.

5. Do a trial run at home if you can.

Source: @mysimonagram

Whether you are driving or flying, you can probably try and get your dog accustomed to some of the things they’ll have to do when you head out for travel. Get them used to the crate or carrier they’ll be riding in. See if your pup needs a blanket or cover over the carrier to help with visual stimuli. The more they are used to this confined environment before you go, the easier the actual trip will be. 

6. Feed your pup early and potty often while you’re on the go

Source: @penniethepoodle

To avoid motion sickness, feed your pup well before you hit the road or board the airplane. Empty them out as much as possible with a nice long walk before heading out. While you’re on the road, try not to give too much water. Ice cubes are a nice alternative and provide hydration in moderate amounts. Whenever you have the chance, potty your pup so they don’t have to hold it too long during a long and stressful journey. 

7. Find your vacation routine

Source: @mariavanonen

Dogs love a stable routine. Taking them on the go may disrupt their normal day-to-day, but it doesn’t mean you can’t establish a new routine while you’re on your vacation or visiting your in-laws. Try and keep them on the same schedule every day while you’re away. Your pup will thank you! 

Wishing you and your four-legged family members safe and happy travels this time of year! 

Featured image via @littlecooperbear 

While fireworks may deter dogs from enjoying the 4th of July in the evening, that doesn’t stop dogs from strutting their stuff throughout the day. We couldn’t get over your patriotic pooches that attended pet parades, human parades, cookouts and more.

And, we are proud to remind you that every Benebone that you give your dog is proudly made in the USA! Not only are our Benebones made in the USA, but we also source every ingredient within the US as well!

 

Because we want to keep this 4th of July party going through the weekend, we’ve gathered some of the cutest and most patriotic dog photos for your viewing pleasure. If your dog has decided to extend their holiday weekend, we want to see how they are celebrating. Tag us in your celebration photos on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with #Benebone and we might just share your photo! 🙂

It’s that time of year! Time to dust off those hiking boots and hit the trails.

Photo Credit: @fen_the_aussie

Since we sadly cannot take our furry best friend to workout at the gym with us, we’ve seen an increase in dog owners taking their dogs out for a hike with them. Not every hike has to be miles long, a daily hike can be just as effective and fun. If the thought of exercising with your best friend isn’t intuitive enough, imagine all the beautiful photo opportunities you can take of your dog.

In anticipation of, Fen the Aussie, one of our favorite hiking friend’s big upcoming hiking trip, we rounded up some photos of other hiking dogs to showcase the wonderful time that these dogs and their owners have had on their hikes. And, if you have been inspired to hike with your dog, you can read Fen and his Dad Ryan’s helpful hike preparation tips here.

Photo Credit: @fen_the_aussie

We would love to see your hiking photos with your dog! Tag your hiking photos to any of our Twitter, Instagram or Facebook accounts with #benebone and you may see your hiking photo featured on our feed. Happy hiking! 🙂

Featured image: @naya.dog

The dull, gray months of winter haven’t seemed to leave us, despite the fact that it is supposed to be Spring. While your dog knows that the cold is not the most fun environment to romp around in, he still has that excess energy and the need to keep his mind—and his nose—occupied.

Cold temperatures, rainy days and bleak weather can eliminate the option of a delightful stroll through the park or a walk through the woods, so creativity is a must in order to keep your pup busy and engaged within your home’s walls.

Photo Credit: @ross_and_ruby

From technology and inside games, to learning new tricks and skills, there are a number of ways you can keep your dog—and yourself—entertained during what seems to be the never ending drab and cold months of the year.

Though a bad weather day might keep you and your dog indoors, sometimes a little change in routine opens the door for new activities!

Today we’re sharing seven methods you can use to keep your pup’s body and brain active, even when you’re stuck inside.

Photo Credit: @oscarwestiepoo

  1. Treat-Dispensing Cameras

Bring your dog’s entertainment sources into the 21st century with a unique treat-dispensing camera!

A post shared by emily wang (@emwng) on

These cameras help you do much more than just keep a watchful eye on Fido while you’re away. You can speak one-on-one to your dog and drop a tasty surprise now and then to keep him alert even when you’re not in the neighborhood.

From the convenience of your smartphone, you can chat with your dog while you’re at work or running errands—though just the sound of your voice will certainly be appreciated by your lonely pup, a treat is a welcome bonus!

Photo Credit: @meet.the.sirs

  1. Make Snack Time (and Dinner Time) Brain Time!

Dogs love a challenge—if they could hold a pen, they’d be eager to do your taxes, but alas – no thumbs! Unfortunately, while you’re hard at work all day, there is nary a challenge in sight.

Treat-dispensing toys offer a variety of canine-entertainment options to engage your dog’s attention for a while. Toys of this nature come in different levels of difficulty, from a simple chew to mind-bending brain-teasers.

Photo Credit: @omegasamigos

Some trainers even suggest removing traditional dog bowls all together and instead feeding your dog via puzzle toys. Believe it or not, dogs love working for their meals—give your pup what his brain craves and make him put in some effort for dinner!

If fancy treat-dispensing toys aren’t your dog’s forte, you can make your own intriguing challenges just by hiding chews, bones, and toys around the house. Just make sure to keep the game on the ground level so your dog isn’t encouraged to peek up on your counters or tables.

  1. Work on New Tricks

If you share your dog’s boredom, why not use the cold weather as an opportunity for indoor bonding between you and your pup?

An excellent way to do this is to work on new tricks—or perhaps just master the basic ones! You’ll get to spend the time enjoying your dog’s company and maybe teach your pup a thing or two!

Photo Credit: @Kelly_bove

  1. Try Doggy Daycare

If your dog is a social butterfly, consider a trip to doggy daycare to combat indoor blues. Though this may cost you a bit, just one or two visits a week may make a world of difference for you dog — the slightest bit of exposure to other four-leggers can have huge mental and social benefits!

Photo Credit: @furryfriendsinc

  1. Enroll in a Canine Agility Class

Keeping up on your dog’s exercise is important throughout the seasons—without the convenience of a walk in the nice weather, you should find new and creative ways to keep him in shape.

One idea is a canine agility class—you and your dog can learn the ins and outs of this sport, helping strengthen your bond while keeping fit! Plus, it’ll be a fun new hobby for you two.

Photo Credit: @nala.und.kurt

Embarking on an activity that you and your dog learn together can do wonders for your relationship.

  1. Hire a Dog Walker

You might want to consider hiring a trusty dog walker to help keep your dog in shape.

Photo Credit: NY Daily News

If you know you’re not going to be up for that 30-minute walk after work, hire a dog walker to pick up the slack. There are many nationally based dog walking services, but there are almost always plenty of local options too for any owner who lives in a major city. When that fails, neighborhood kids are often eager to earn a buck too!

Many dog-walking services also offer a discount for newcomers, so make use of those free walks while spring showers are upon us.

  1. Play Games Like Tug-of-War or Hide-and-Seek

If all else fails, simple activities like tug-of-war and hide-and-seek will still do wonders for your dog’s mental and physical state.

Just a few minutes of playtime several times a day will help keep your dog’s mind and body active. These are fun for both you and your dog—chances are, if you’re having fun, so is your pup!

Photo Credit: @king_mal_akhi

Whether it’s a rainy day or the temperatures aren’t optimal for outdoor activities, your dog still needs the same amount of exercise. With a little creativity, you can find new and interesting ways to keep your dog’s mind and body active throughout the year.

Make the effort to keep your dog from going stir-crazy, your dog will be most grateful you did!

Photo Credit: @emwng

Feature Image: @lizzie.bear


About The Author:
Meg Marrs is the owner and Senior Editor at K9 of Mine, a dog care resource site dedicated to helping owners better care for their furry four-legged pals!

 

Now that all the eggs have been found and treats have been eaten, we are taking a look back to some of our favorite Easter photos. We are constantly amazed by the creativity and love behind the photos that dog parents are able to capture.

How did you and your dog spend Easter? Did you attend a Easter egg hunt? Put together Easter baskets for dogs in need? Enjoy a delicious dinner with family and friends? Whatever you did to celebrate, we want to hear and see it. Leave us a comment below or tag your photos to our Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter account.

Featured Image: @twodapperdoods

Being the largest dog shelter in a state comes with its benefits, but also requires a lot of donations, hard workers and extraordinary volunteers. That’s exactly what we found when we visited the Maryland SPCA, “MD SPCA”, located in Baltimore, Maryland. The MD SPCA currently adopts out an average of 3,500 dogs and cats per year throughout the Maryland region and likes to be referred to as an adoption center, as opposed to a shelter. With this being a no-kill adoption center, you can imagine the amount of love, time and effort that is put in by all.

Like most rescue organizations, the MD SPCA relies solely on the donations it receives throughout the year to keep their doors open and running for the dogs and cats throughout Maryland. Director of Communications and Media Relations, Tina Regester, says that all to often, people assume that since the MD SPCA contains the word “Maryland” in their name, that they receive governmental grants and/or funding. In fact, the MD SPCA is a private, non-profit organization and receives no government funding or grants. Another misconception of the MD SPCA is that they are tied to the ASPCA and the infamous “Sarah McLachlan commercials”. While the ASPCA is another great organization for animals, they are based out of New York and have no connection with the MD SPCA. The MD SPCA receives no money from the ASPCA.

When asked if there was any certain breed of dogs the staff at the MD SPCA sees most often, Nichole Miller, Director of Operations, says that they mostly rescue and adopt out dogs whom they call “Baltimore Big Dogs”, which are larger breeds, usually pitbulls or pit bull mixes. During our visit, we were lucky enough to meet a “Baltimore big dog” named Duke. Despite Duke’s loving and fun personality, he is one of MD SPCA’s longest residing residents having been at the shelter since January.

Wellness Clinic

Photo Credit: MD SPCA

The MD SPCA isn’t your average adoption center. Here, on their premises, the MD SPCA is also home to a Wellness Clinic. This Wellness Clinic completes on average about 7,000 spay and neuter surgeries a year, making it the state leader in spay and neuters. The MD SPCA provides this crucial service to not only the pets it rescues and adopts out, but also to other rescue organizations around the region, low income pet parents and feral cats within the community. And, if performing thousands of surgeries a year wasn’t enough, the MD SPCA Wellness Clinic also opens its doors to the community providing affordable routine wellness exams, vaccinations, microchipping and dental procedures.

The rescue and adoption center itself takes in over 1,000 dogs and cats a year from various nearby shelters in addition to the owner surrenders that are brought into the shelter. At any given time, the MD SPCA can have up to 200 dogs and cats in their care and they wouldn’t be able to house all these homeless pets without the housing and support of their foster care home network.

Foster Care

Photo Credit: MD SPCA

According to Nichole, Director of Operations, the MD SPCA wouldn’t be able to do what it does if it were not for all the foster homes within the community. Approximately, 1,000 dogs and cats are placed within the MD SPCA foster care program throughout the year. Foster parents are the backbone of the MD SPCA, as they are responsible for some of the hardest cases that require the most attention. Foster parents provide temporary care for kittens and puppies under 8 weeks of age, very sick or injured pets, and/or pets that require additional training or socialization. Foster homes provide a quieter and stress-free “shelter” option for pets looking for their forever home.

Once a individual or family has applied and been approved to foster, the MD SPCA provides training, supplies, and 24-hour support for foster families. A foster families only expense is their time. The MD SPCA strives to make it as easy and stress-free for foster families as possible.

Volunteers

Like many other shelters and rescues, the MD SPCA heavily relies on the kindness of their volunteers time and energy to help with the daily caretaking of the dogs and cats in need. Volunteering at the MD SPCA goes above and beyond cleaning crates and runs for the pets. Volunteers are trained how to properly handle dogs and cats at all levels.

Along with meeting the pitbull rescue, Duke, another highlight of our visit to the MD SPCA was meeting volunteer, Evan. When Evan came into the room to meet us, he immediately pulled out a can of treats that he carries around in his pocket before he sat down. That right there is a sign of a dedicated volunteer. Evan explained that while he has a Master’s Degree and had a career job at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, he wasn’t enjoying the 9-5 corporate life. After doing some self reflection, Evan decided to leave his job to pursue veterinary school. Last April, Evan began volunteering at the MD SPCA. Since the MD SPCA has a busy spay and neuter clinic and Evan wanted to attend veterinary school, he thought starting his volunteer services there would be the perfect fit and started as an exam room helper.

After a while, Evan decided to make the transition to becoming a dog walker volunteer after seeing the lack of tier 3 dog walkers that were available. If there are not many qualified tier 3 dog walkers, the tier 3 dogs do not get nearly as many walks, which was disheartening to Evan.

At the MD SPCA, dog walkers are identified by 3 tiers. Each tier is achieved after hours of training, which includes behavioral training, leash walking and safety procedures. Tier 1 is your entry level dog walker and while you still receive training, the tier 1 dog walkers will walk the calmest dogs that have a working knowledge of leash walking etiquette. After 12 hours of work and training, a dog walker can be promoted to a tier 2 dog walker. As a dog walker goes higher in tiers so does the “aggressiveness” of the dog they are walking. Currently, Evan is 1 of only a few tier 3 dog walkers, as tier 3 dog walkers are required to have 70 hours of training and are responsible for walking the most difficult dogs in the adoption center. Evan’s theory is that he looks to turn every moment for a level 3 dog into a teachable moment. Any shelter would be lucky to have Evan on their volunteer roster!

Ways YOU Can Help Too!

Like most non-profits, the MD SPCA’s most requested item is monetary donations! The MD SPCA relies on individual and corporate donations of all amounts. No donation is “too small”. All donations can be made directly through the MD SPCA website. There, you can make a one-time donation or recurring monthly donations in any denomination amount. The MD SPCA also has a Amazon Wish List to make giving easy and accessible for all.

If you live within the Baltimore/Washington D.C. or neighboring region, please consider attending the MD SPCA Festival for the Animals on May 5, 2018. This is by far the MD SPCA’s biggest fundraiser and they depend on every dollar raised to help them continue their rescue efforts throughout the year. You can register as an individual or form a pack with family and friends. This festival is different than years past in that this year it is a day long festival packed with contests, food trucks, beer gardens, live music, vendors and more.

And, of course, adopting your next best friend from the MD SPCA is always welcomed and appreciated! You can find a list of adoptable dogs and cats on their website or through their Petfinder page. And be sure to follow the MD SPCA’s Instagram and Facebook accounts to learn more about their adoptable dogs as they become available for adoption. You can also see all the wonderful dogs that find their forever homes!

Photo Credit: MD SPCA Instagram