This month’s IN THE SPOTLIGHT blog features Niki, an 8-year-old Golden Retriever who has been a proud dog ambassador for our ARF! program for almost four years. Her human, Elaine, tells us that Niki was born on a Pennsylvania farm, and Elaine has had her since she was 8 weeks old. Now she’s a California dog, and she tells us more about her favorite things. Continue reading
Although Lily Rose, a Golden Retriever, is a very busy young lady, she had time to sit down with us and tell us a bit about herself. She’s been an ARF! doggy ambassador with her human, Kim Lieberman, since 2013. She works at the Santa Barbara Library and loves going to UCSB and SB City College to help the students de-stress during finals. She also has made visits to Girls, Inc. and C.A.L.M. as well as humane education presentations in elementary classrooms. Continue reading
At All For Animals, we’re grateful for all of our wonderful volunteers, and today we’d like to thank Elizabeth Bowman for all she’s done for us.
Not only has she brought her lovely beagle Molly into our therapy dog fold, she’s brought our organization into the lives of some of our local college students.
For those of us who went to college, you may remember: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Yes, it was fun to meet new people, explore new topics, discuss ideas with other intellectuals…but then there were FINALS. Continue reading
We’re so excited to announce a new member of the All For Animals’ family: Ashlyn Cavaletto. Ashlyn is filling the position of the organization’s first Assistant to the Executive Director, where she will help our Executive Director, Karen Lee Stevens, with administration, volunteer coordination, event planning, fundraising, community outreach, and—perhaps most importantly—helping All For Animals grow!
Ashlyn didn’t just apply for the job because she’s an animal lover (which she is, but more on that later), but because, as she says, “This is my dream job right now.” Continue reading
Gracie is a 9-year-old yellow English Labrador who was a breeder dog in Oregon before becoming a Santa Barbara resident and an ARF! therapy dog. Gracie currently inspires children to become better readers at Hope Elementary School and the Santa Barbara Public Library, and she helps calm Santa Barbara City College students before finals week. She also makes adults and kids happy at the Family Learning Center and Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care. Continue reading
Imagine that you attend an event for work, and end up sitting next to someone you click with immediately. Has that ever happened to you? It happened to Barbara LaCorte, principal at Santa Barbara’s Hope Elementary School. The Breakfast With The Authors’ event took place about four years ago, and Barbara happened to sit next to Karen Lee Stevens, Executive Director of All For Animals. Karen was there to talk about her children’s book, Animals Have Feelings, Too!, but after she stared talking to Barbara, Karen presented a new topic: Have therapy dogs come to schools and let kids read to them.
“I said to Karen ‘let’s make this happen,’” recalled Barbara. “I told her I’d volunteer my school for a pilot program.” Continue reading
Wondering what “legacy giving” is? First of all, it’s a wonderful way to support the things you care about most, not just now, but also after you’re gone. But it’s true definition is allocating money in your estate plan or will for a charity. For many people, it’s an important part of their estate planning, and is a great example of how they have vision for their philanthropic beliefs. Including charitable gifts in your estate planning is also another way to eliminate significant taxes payable when you pass. Continue reading
What’s Giving Tuesday, you ask? It’s a day to celebrate and encourage giving on the Tuesday after our nation’s great day of gratitude, Thanksgiving. This year, the worldwide event takes place on Tuesday, November 29, 2016.
We’ve all heard of Black Friday (yes, avoid the retail stores at all costs!) and even Cyber Monday (click and buy, click and buy!)—a day to shop online for holiday gifts at a big discount. Continue reading
Is your favorite holiday Halloween? We love it too! But let’s think about the other members of your household. Children? Check! What kid doesn’t love getting gobs of candy while dressed up as their most-loved character? Dogs? Cats? Maybe not so much. Lots of visitors to the door, strange objects in the house, delicious but forbidden goodies—it can be a recipe for disaster. By following these 8 easy tips, you’ll make sure Halloween is safe and stress-free for your pets.
- The trick-or-treat bucket is for kids only.
All forms of chocolate — especially baking or dark chocolate — can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Chocolate poisoning symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Beware Halloween candies containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener that can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. It’s not been proven to be toxic to cats at this point, but why risk it?
- Keep pets inside on Halloween.
It’s a sad fact that some people find it fun to tease, injure, steal, and/or kill pets on Halloween. Black cats are a common target. While this is a horrific practice, you can save your pets from this possibility by keeping them inside with favorite toys and a comfy bed.
- Keep pets confined and away from the door.
Here’s another reason to keep your pets in a back room of the house: Trick-or-Treaters. While us humans love to see these neighborhood kids in their fun costumes, it’s stressful for pets, especially dogs. The doorbell will constantly ring, the door will open to strangers dressed in costumes, and they’ll be yelling. That’s no fun for dogs! And whether you have canine or feline friends in the house, keeping them in a locked room will prevent them from panicking and running into the night. Halloween is not a night you want to be hunting for a lost pet.
- Tell your outdoor cats they’re grounded.
It’s by no fault of their own, of course. But for several days before and after Halloween, keep your cats inside, especially black ones. Did you know that many shelters do not put black cats up for adoption during October? There’s a (very sad and sinister) reason.
- Keep edible Halloween decorations out of reach.
Do you have a Labrador? A lab mix? Then you know they’ll eat just about anything! That includes things like your harvest corn wreath and your Jack o’lantern. While they may not be poisonous, your pet won’t be happy suffering the gastrointestinal upset caused by ingesting these plants.
- Use battery-powered candles in pumpkins.
You should do this anyway, instead of a lit candle, but especially if you have pets. Otherwise, there’s a real risk that pets can knock it over accidentally and cause a fire.
- Does your dog really want to be Wonder Woman?
If you are sure your pet needs a costume, make sure it isn’t uncomfortable or unsafe. It should not constrict movement, hearing, or the ability to breathe or bark and meow. And be honest with yourself—is your dog or cat hating the costume? Maybe try a festive bandana instead.
- Can I see your ID?
Before Halloween, make sure your pets’ tags have your current information on it, even if you have them microchipped. If they should escape, having proper ID will increase their chances of return. Think about also getting one of those lighted collars for your pet, too. This can help cars and people see them.
© Russ Ensley | Dreamstime.com – Dachshund Dressed In Hot Dog Costume For Halloween
It’s time for another In the Spotlight, a focus on one of our wonderful ARF! therapy dogs. This week, we’re interviewing JR, a five-year-old border collie who definitely loves his “job” as one of our canine ambassadors. JR volunteers at Hope Elementary School with his human companion, Morris Berniard.
Q: Were you named after the famous character, JR, from the TV show Dallas?
A: I don’t think so. My dad, Morris, says I’m named after two dogs he used to have, Jasper and Ridges. They both crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. I’m glad I can remind him of those two dogs and I know how lucky they were to have a dad like Morris! Continue reading