Category Archives: Shelters

Tuesday’s Top Ten: Ways to help black shelter dogs

I posted last Friday about Black Dog Syndrome:  the lower adoption rate shelters see for black dogs than for lightered-colored ones.  Here (reprinted from Black Pearl Dogs) is a list of 10 ways you can help.

 1) Spay and neuter your pets. Urge those around you to do the same.

 2) If you can adopt, please consider adopting a black dog who is waiting just for you.  *”Many beautiful black dogs are overlooked—and, sadly, euthanized in disproportionate numbers”.

 3) Sponsor a black dog or open your heart and home to foster care for a black dog (if you can’t adopt), in a rescue or shelter so they can open their doors to another black dog on death row without worry of finances.

 4) If you can’t sponsor or foster, make posters for a black dog you find in a shelter or rescue to **advertise** their need of a home on community bulletin boards, vet offices, pet stores, your work office board, the company newsletter, the school paper.  Gain permission from the sponsoring rescue or shelter first.  Include the Blackpearldogs webpage address as part of the advertisement so interested people can understand more fully the plight this waiting BlackPearl faces. See one womans brilliant work

 5) Go past your apprehensions and stretch yourself: walk a black-dog-in-waiting in a park and advertise to all that s/he needs a home. They will appreciate that you left your comfort zone so they could (hopefully) enter into one.

 6) Volunteer to take them to obedience classes to attain skills that will make them more adoptable to the average family or teach them an endearing human greeting (like sit and shake).

7) Share this webpage address to let all dog lovers know how wonderful and in need a black dog is in today’s’ canine adoption community.  We at Contrary to Ordinary are not a rescue facility. We know there are many cogs to make the wheel turn and we are fullfilling our niche of being an educational platform to get the word out so those gifted with other talents (ie foster care, transportation, fund raising, placement and adoption matching) can fulfill their niches to help the waiting black dogs out there.

 8) Start your own rescue…just for black dogs rescued off euthanasia row.  They can be found easily and it can be done just one dog at a time. Be inspired by the Starfish Story and Stop the Killing .  

 9) Click on “Free To A Good Home” and read Brutus’s story. Help a black dog (or any dog for that matter ) avoid this fate. Prepare your own rescue aids using the tools found here at Sun Bears Squad.

10) For those with savvy or flair: coordinate a “Tux and Tails” event for your local shelters or rescues.  Gather up all the black coated critters waiting to find their forever heart and “do the bubbles” to make all fresh and clean.  Add a tux (red or white) bow tie or a snappy collar (Bison Designs has brillant ones) and provide these waiting pearlies the opportunity to “run way” their stuff and become available for folks to appreciate them out of a dimly lit kennel run. You could even go as elaborate as every hour have a “walk” set to music with cards read that share what they already know: sit, down, off, fetch.  I am guessing some of the pearlies would even do a demonstration of what they have to offer.  Have a table set up to take applications or to donate financially to support these waiting pearls.

 **The image that you make….i.e. the picture that you take….. may be the key to his or her being adopted by the right person. Black dogs are in desperate need of great photos in shelter listings. Practice using tips from “Photographing a Black Dog” to get your technique down before applying to help all the shelter animals have a better photographic chance to meet their future forever person.

Black Dog Syndrome

Typically in October, shelters begin worrying about the black cats under their care, with many shelters refusing to place black cats up for adoption until after Halloween.  Did you know black dogs are also at risk in shelters?    Check out this article from   telling why black dogs are so hard to place.

 If you work in a shelter, the article linked above will give you some ideas to help market your black dogs.  Other resources are and, which are dedicated to just this issue.

 Until next time,

Good day, and good dog!

Dogs in the Art World

art bulldogMy local paper, the Canton Repository is reporting today that 2nd April Galerie (a local non-profit gallery featuring local artists in the downtown arts district) is holding a benefit for Friends of the Pound, a volunteer advocacy group that promotes shelter dog adoptions in Stark County, Ohio.

I’m not sure what the connection between the two is, but I thought it was a neat idea.  You know I always harp about taking your dog everywhere you go to socialize him, and it seems this event follows that theme – who’da thunk about connecting dogs to an art gallery?

The show, called “The Art of Kindness”, opens this Thursday and runs through September 19th.   At tomorrow night’s opening, they will have appetizers, wine, live entertainment, a 12-hour paint-a-thon by a local artist (Vicki Boatright) and adoptable dogs.  I’m assuming the wine is for the people, but there’s no word on whether the appetizers will be for the people or the dogs. 

I actually know Vicki.  She is also a children’s counselor and has treated some of my foster kids.  She did a fabulous exhibit called Jesse’s Journey a few years ago, featuring artwork by clients showing the effects of abuse – it was very moving.  The poem that ran around the top of the exhibit was written about human bullies, but I think it applies equally to those who would abuse their dogs:



 by Brenda Calhoun


Why do you pick on me and make me feel bad?

You make me so angry, you make me so mad!

On the outside I sigh and pretend it doesn’t hurt,

While on the inside I cry and feel like dirt!

Didn’t the same one who made me make you?

Then why do you try to make me your fool?

Does it make you feel better to put me down?

Or is it part of your act just being a clown?

You don’t realize the damage you do.


How would you feel if it happened to you?

Being put down for the way you look, feel, and act!

Always the brunt of someone’s attack?

If you tried your very best to fit in,

No matter what you did, you just couldn’t win.

Now that I told you how I feel,

Couldn’t we please just make a deal?

If you are passing my way, with nothing good to say,

Please pass me by and have a nice day.

Until next time,

Good day, and good dog!

Hilary Swank promotes dog adoption

Photo Credit: Wikifido

The Associated Press is reporting that Academy Award winner Hilary Swank will partner with Iams’  Home 4 the Holidays Pet Adoption Campaign.  Their goal is to send 1.5 million shelter pets home in time for the holidays.

Although I never think pets under the Christmas tree are a good idea, I applaud this campaign because they are targeting the dates from October 1st through January 4th, so it’s not specifically targeted at giving pets as Christmas presents. 

Swank who lives with a cat, rabbit, several parrots, and a mixed-breed dog named Karu, points out that the older animals often found in shelters have “already gone through a lot of the training that cam be challenging for people.” 

Kudos to her for getting involved!

Until next time,

Good day, and good dog!

Help Homeless Pets

bring-pets-home-logI received a couple of e-mails last week with information on a new website that allows visitors to “obtain valuable pet care information, interact with fellow pet lovers in an online community, and shop online to raise money for homeless pets.”  What I like is that you get to choose which shelter your purchases will support, so you can keep your money local.

Although we’d rather you got all of your dog-related information from us, we felt obligated to pass this information on because it does help raise funds for an important cause:  reducing the number of animals left to live out their days in shelters.  Anyways, below is the press release, and I’ve added the site to our blogroll as well.

Continue reading Help Homeless Pets

Help out animal rescues and dog shelters

(This button is not a valid link – read below for how you can help.)

Come on, admit it…you’ve clicked on ads on your favorite websites before.  Now, you can do so to help out a cause near and dear to all of us.  If you go to this website and click on the “Click Here to Give” button, their sponsors will give a little over half a bowl of food to an animal rescue organization.  You can only click once a day, but if all of us work together, we’ll make a dent in animal hunger.  It’s easy.  It’s free.  What more can you ask for?

Best of all, the site is part of the PetFinders network, so it is legitimate.  The site also features some success stories of dogs who have found homes.

If you look at the very top row of tabs, you’ll notice that you can do similar FREE good works for other causes such as breast cancer, literacy, and the rain forest.  Not a bad deal!

I look at it this way:  I have to look at ads all the time when I surf.  (I know.  I know.  They make it possible for many sites to exist, but sometimes they’re annoying.)  By clicking on these “Give” buttons, the advertisers have to give something back to the community.  Seems like divine justice!

If you don’t have set up as your home page, consider having TheAnimalRescueSite as your home, so you see it every day when you log on.  That will help you remember to click the button every day and provide food to our needy 4-legged friends.

Until next time,

Good day, and good dog!

Tuesday’s Top Ten: Ways to Prepare Your Dog for a Natural Disaster

dorothyWe are getting into storm season here in the Midwest.  Have you ever given any thought to what you would do with your dog if you had to evacuate your home due to flooding, a tornado, or some other natural disaster?  One of the other hats I wear (besides blogger extraordinaire) is Red Cross volunteer.  One of our campaigns for this year is to encourage people to be “Red Cross Ready,” and for those of us with pets, it means having our pets ready, too!

Continue reading Tuesday’s Top Ten: Ways to Prepare Your Dog for a Natural Disaster