3 Ways to Be a Hero

When you adopt a dog or cat that needs a forever home, you are saving a life, and it doesn’t get much more heroic than that!

According to the ASPCA, about 1.5 million dogs and cats are euthanized annually in the United States. Every dog successfully adopted is a life saved.

The distribution of animals in the shelter system is not even geographically. Thanks to organizations like Dog is My Copilot, dogs are now being efficiently moved from areas where pet overpopulation is much higher than demand for these pets, to areas where these lovable second chance dogs and cats are in short supply.

That means that no matter where you live, there are adoptable dogs and cats to choose from!

Here are three ways you can find the perfect pup to adopt:

1. VISIT YOUR LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTER

The widest variety of adoptable dogs and cats in need of a home in your area is likely the local animal shelter. Most now have an online presence, so if going to the shelter feels like too much pressure, search for a local shelter on Facebook where they often post updates on the new arrivals.

In addition, online sites such as Petfinder can help you see the adoptable dogs at several nearby shelters at once.

2. BREED RESCUE ORGANIZATIONS

Are you looking for a specific breed? Contrary to popular belief, many shelters have purebred dogs waiting to find a new home. Often these dogs have been surrendered because of a change in life circumstances such as death or financial hardship.

If you don’t feel like waiting for the right breed to come along at your local shelter, then search for breed specific rescue organizations in your state.

Whether you are looking for a Pitbull or a Weiner dog, almost every single breed now has dedicated volunteers working hard to locate the right homes for the animals in their care.

3. SPECIAL NEEDS DOG RESCUE GROUPS

Among the dogs in the adoption system, seniors, the deaf, the blind, and the physically disabled, are among the hardest to adopt. And yet, for some people, giving a home to a dog with special needs is the most rewarding experience of their lives.

There are now several groups devoted to helping these dogs get placed in loving homes. To find out more, search for “disabled dog rescue” followed by your state to find local groups looking for homes and fosters for these loving animals.

Scratch, Scratch…could it be allergies?

By: Jackie Edwards – featured in: https://www.nomnomnow.com/dog-food-allergies

Keeping Dog Food Allergies at Bay

If you have just adopted a dog who has been rescued by DIMC, then you undoubtedly know of the exciting journey your pooch has made before finding his forever home. DIMC makes patent the extent to which those who love and appreciate animals are willing to go to ensure they are freed from overcrowded shelters and have a greater chance of finding a human best friend. Over 8,000 animals have been flown to safety by DIMC; could your pooch be one of them? If Fido has just arrived, then without a doubt you have made the necessary preparations to keep him safe and sound. In addition to comfy bedding, regular exercise, and plenty of love, make sure he isn’t battling food allergies and stay watchful for any signs and symptoms.

What Do Dog Food Allergies Look and Feel Like?

Canine food allergies can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including itchy skin, hot spots, hair loss, swelling in skin, ear infections, diarrhea, vomiting and other digestive disturbances. If any of these symptoms are present, it is important to see your veterinarian, to ensure there isn’t another reason causing your pet’s distress. For instance, hair loss can occur because of a bacterial or fungal infection. If your veterinarian tests your dog and discovers he has a food allergy, you an elimination diet will most probably be recommended.

What Ingredients are Causing My Dog’s Symptoms?

From the first day you bring your dog home, it is vital to feed him quality food, recommended by your vet. Feeding low-quality sources of protein (some brands use beaks or hooves instead of quality meat) can spark an allergic reaction, as can food coloring, preservatives, flavor enhancers and other ingredients that are as unhealthy for dogs as they are for humans.

Almost any food can trigger dog food allergies, including eggs, dairy, high-carb fillers such as starches or potatoes, corn, milk, etc. Interestingly, one of the most common sources of allergies, are proteins; chicken, beef, fish etc. could be the culprit in your dog’s case. Often, the problem is ‘leaky gut’ syndrome, in which semi-digested (rather than fully digested) nutrients make their way into your dog’s bloodstream, triggering an immune response.

What is an Elimination Diet?

This diet involves feeding just one protein source and one carbohydrate source to your dog for around eight weeks. You will then change either the protein or the carbohydrate source, being vigilant of any possible allergic reactions. Ideally, your dog should be able to consume a wide variety of foods, especially if you weed out harmful ingredients and alternate between the foods he can tolerate.

Some vets recommend the use of hydrolyzed food, which contain protein that has been broken down into tiny particles which do not trigger and allergic reaction in dogs. As noted by Dr. Karen Becker, veterinarian, however, “the animal’s body is not actually being returned to health. It’s only being tricked into not responding to the food it has grown allergic to, assuming the hydrolyzed protein behaves as advertised. Secondly, the methods and chemicals used in the hydrolysis process don’t convert the protein into amino acids in the same natural way your pet’s body does.”

The Novel Food Approach

Dr. Becker recommends adopting the elimination diet using novel foods such as ostrich, goat, duck, venison, or even kangaroo. These meats can help your dog recover from the damage done by previous foods. Three or four protein sources can be rotated regularly, to lower your dog’s chances of becoming sensitive to just one ingredient.

Most dogs can eat a wide variety of foods without a problem but if yours has allergies, take heart. By preparing his meals yourself using just one protein and carbohydrate source, and giving his digestive system time to recoup, he will be on the road to a healthy, happy life in a matter of weeks.

 

Lens And Leash

We believe that collaboration with animal welfare organizations is key to saving the lives of homeless animals. By working together we can help promote shelter adoption around he country! This week we would like to feature one of our newest partners….Lens And Leash!

Lens And Leash was created with a specific goal in mind; to find every adoptable animal a forever home! To do this, they partner with professional photographers around the country to showcase different animal shelters and each of the adoptable animals. This also allows them to connect with people around the country and share adoption stories and information that can help encourage more people to adopt!

Currently they are looking for new partners! Weather you are a professional photographer or an animal shelter this might be a great opportunity to reach out to Lense and Leash!

Photographers

If you are a photographer that would like to give back and help local rescue animals, you are in the right place! Just fill out this form: https://lensandleash.com/partner-with-us/

Animal Shelters

If you work at an animal shelter and would like to partner with Lens And Leash, we are extremely honored and would love to discuss setting up a photoshoot and larger campaign.

Please fill out the form: https://lensandleash.com/partner-with-us/

We think this is a very worthwhile mission and we hope our followers, partners and supporters will take the time to reach out to the awesome folks at Lens And Leash!

To see examples of some of the shelters they have featured along with the animals, photographers and adoption stories, please check out their website at https://lensandleash.com/.

You can also check out their Facebook Page and Instagram page to see some of the features they have done on the animals to help them get adopted:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lensandleash/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lensandleash/

Photo: Karissa Akin of Après Events

It’s Hip to Snip!

One of the largest issues we face is keeping the animal population down to prevent euthanizing healthy, adoptable animals. According to the Human Society of the United States, “there are an estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year.” This leads to overcrowded animal shelters, which means many animals are euthanized since there is not enough space and resources to keep all of the animals in the shelters.

Spaying and neutering animals helps keep the animal population down, meaning less homeless animals in shelters. But not only does spaying and neutering your animal help prevent overcrowding, it can help your pet’s health as well.

The organization Best Friends state, “Spaying or neutering can help your pet live a longer, healthier life. Spaying females eliminates the risk of ovarian or uterine infections and cancer, and may reduce the incidence of mammary cancer. In males, neutering eliminates testicular cancer and decreases the incidence of prostate disease.” Spaying and neutering can also help with unwanted behaviors, such as marking issues, howling, and the urge to roam.

There are some worries and myths concerning spaying and neutering animals. To ease those concerns, the Humane Society of the United States say that even though spaying and neutering your animal can help changed behaviors like the ones previously listed, their fundamental personality will not change, like their protective instinct. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also state that getting your pet spayed or neuter will not fix all of their unwanted behaviors, but will help. They also state that the myth that spaying or neutering your pet will make them overweight is not true. To keep your pet from becoming overweight, you should review their food as well as their exercising habits.

Overcrowding is a serious issue and we encourage everyone to talk to their veterinarian and consider spaying and neutering their pets. It will help decrease the amount of healthy dogs and cats being euthanized as well as make animals healthier for doing it. Visit your veterinarian to discuss spaying and neutering and/or alternative methods such as ovary-sparing spays or vasectomy.

 

References

http://m.humanesociety.org/issues/pet_overpopulation/facts/why_spay_neuter.html

https://utah.bestfriends.org/our-programs/spay-and-neuter

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/spayneuter-your-pet

https://www.parsemusfoundation.org/projects/ovary-­‐

 

Are You Lost?

This time of year is a time to celebrate with friends, family, and fireworks! Even though this time can be exciting and fun for us, some animals get lost and confused with all the excitement and noise. If your pets get lost, or if you find a lost pet, below are some things you can do to either find them, or help them be found.

If your pet gets lost:

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals advise putting a collar on your pet at all times with an ID tag with your name, phone number, and any relevant contact information on it. If your pet is microchipped, make sure your information is current. If you have changed your address or gotten a new phone number recently, make sure you update their chip as soon as possible.

If your pet has gotten out and you have not been contacted, reach out to as many people as you can. There is a chance your neighbors or friends might have seen them wondering around. Also, be sure to check any place they might be hiding, like under the bed or in a dark place, in case they are hiding or sleeping. Shaking food and treats might help lure them out if that is the case.

If they are not hiding and you are still not able to call them out, take a slow ride or walk around the neighborhood, maybe on a route they normally take during walks with you. While you are searching your neighborhood, call your local animal control agency, veterinary hospitals, and shelters to see if someone might have taken your pet there.

If still missing, place fliers around the neighborhood with a bold title to get attention. Add specific information about your pet as well as two contact numbers, in case someone isn’t able to reach you through the first number. Lastly, put up your pet’s picture on your social media. There are typically neighborhood Facebook pages of some kind available where you can contact the administrators about posting information about your missing pet. This way, more people are aware and might be able to recognize your pet.

 

If you find a lost animal:

American Humane recommends you try to capture and contain the animal if there is no danger in approaching them. Proceed slowly and cautiously and speak gently to them so they feel safe. Temporarily contain the animals until a more permanent solution becomes available. Dogs should be contained in a fenced yard or leash while cats will do better inside a cat carrier or secure box with holes in it for breathing. You could also place them in a small room in your home where they are secure until someone is able to pick them up.

If the animal is aggressive, do not attempt to contain them. If this is the case, call your local animal control or police department with details of the animal so they can professionally and safely handle the situation.

If you do contain a lost pet, check for a collar or an ID tag. If none are present, take them to your local animal shelter or contact animal control to pick them up and check for microchips.

Lastly, take a picture of the animal and post it on social media and create fliers to put around the area. Someone might be able to recognize the animal and help find the owner so they can be reunited.

This is a wonderful time of year where we get to celebrate and be with the ones we love, including our furry friends. In the event that a pet does get lost or found, we hope these tips will help so all animals can be reunited with their families.

References

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/finding-lost-pet

https://www.americanhumane.org/fact-sheet/if-you-find-a-lost-pet/

 

Keep ’em Safe!

The holidays are here and friends and family are all gathering together to celebrate! With all the celebrating, it can also be a time of certain objects and food endangering our pets. To keep your pet safe, especially if you are attending/hosting any parties, here are some tips on how to keep your holidays festive and safe!

Decorations:

If you use a real tree for your decorations, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals advises the tree should be anchored down to prevent it from falling and injuring your pets. Also, by keeping it anchored down, any fertilized water for the tree will be unobtainable to your pets. Other plants to be mindful of, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, are Amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, and holly since they could be hazardous to your pet and even poisonous if eaten. If you are unsure if any plants you might have are poisonous, ASPCA offers lists of plants that are toxic to dogs and cats on their website. Lastly, potpourris should be out of your pets reach since liquid potpourris may contain essential oils and cationic detergents that can severely damage your pet’s mouth, eyes and skin. Solid potpourris could also cause problems to a pet if eaten.

If you use candles for decoration, the ASPCA recommends that you do not leave them burning unattended. Your pet could accidentally knock them over and injure themselves or start a fire. Wires and batteries could also cause problems if your pet chews on them. The wire can lethally shock them, and the batteries could burn their mouth and esophagus.

For your décor, try to avoid using tinsel if you have a cat that enjoys playing and nibbling on it. If swallowed, it could cause digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and they will possibly need surgery. Glass or plastic ornaments should also be out of your pet’s reach. If broken, shards of the ornaments could damage your pets mouth or paws.

Food:

By both the ASPCA and AVMA, it is important that you keep all chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol out of your pets reach, especially if your pets like to get into garbage cans.

Fatty and spicy foods should also not be given to your pet, even the scraps. These could be harmful since most foods that are healthy for people are poisonous to pets, including onions, raisins and grapes. This includes turkey as well if that is what you have for the holidays. Even a small amount can be life-threatening to your pet.

If you drink alcoholic beverages during your festivities, keep your pets from getting into the drinks. If ingested, they could get ill and possibly have respiratory failure.

Parties:

Lastly, if you are hosting a party or taking your pet to one, remember that their ears are sensitive. Give them an area that is away from all the activity where they can go to as a safe place. The AVMA recommends watching all exits, even if your pets are comfortable around guests. When people are entering or leaving a home, your pet may get out and get lost. In case this happens, please make sure your pet has identification tags and/or microchips with updated information.

This is a wonderful season to be surrounded by friends, family, and our furry friends. We hope this list helps keep those furry friends safe this season and all of us here want to wish you all happy and safe holidays!

 

References:

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/holiday-safety-tips

https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/holidays.aspx?utm_source=prettyurl&utm_campaign=holiday&utm_term=holiday

Holiday Shopping For Our Pets!

Many of us like to spoil our furry friends during the holiday season! Whether we get them a new toy, new bed, or whatever makes them the happiest. If you are shopping for your pet and thinking about buying them new treats or food, though, it could be tricky picking out which brand or flavor. To keep your pet the happiest and healthiest, we have put together the following information to help make it easier to find what you are looking for.

First, it is very important to review the label on the treats and food you are considering to check for any unwanted ingredients or facts. In the article Dog Treat bones and the search engines Alternative it is advised to make sure there is meat used since animal proteins are easier to digest than soy or other vegetable proteins. Avoid anything with a rich amount of carbohydrates and/or fiber, since too much of this can cause constipation, bloating and other digestive problems. Try to avoid compressed green bones solely using vegetables since vegetable proteins are high in carbohydrates.

Next, it is recommended by Dog Food Advisor that you check to see if the treat/food says “by-product”. Animal by-products doesn’t necessarily mean the treat or food is good or a bad, but most times this means the product is made with cheaper ingredients. Depending on how you feel about the quality of your dog treats/food, this is something to consider. Then review the label to see if it says generic by-product or named by-product. With generic by-product treats/food, you do not know what source the meat came from. In named by-product treats/food, they do not used high quality products, but are considered acceptable.

When it comes to looking for your pets treats/food, it states in the article The Truth About Animal By-Products in Dog Food, “With the sole exception of precisely identified organ meats, two rules will help you more intelligently navigate the confusing world of meat-based dog food ingredients. First, watch what you spend. Never pay top dollar for any dog food that lists animal by-products on its label. And lastly, never buy any dog food containing anonymous animal by-products sourced from materials a manufacturer refuses to clearly identify.”

The ingredients in the product you choose for your pet is very important, but it is also important to think about the type of treat you are buying. For younger dogs, a firm and hard treat is better since it reduces the plaque build up around their teeth when they chew on it. For older dogs who might have a harder time with those treats, it is better to get them the softer kind to make it easier for them. Do not buy your pet rawhide dog treats, though, in that the material and additives used are harmful to most dogs and may cause some blockages.

With this information, we hope it helps you to find yummy, healthy treats and food for your pets!

References:

https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/choosing-dog-food/animal-by-products/

https://www.slideshare.net/geo2460/facts-about-dog-treats

https://www.healthydogtreats.com.au/blog/487-dog-treat-bones-and-the-search-engines-alternative-facts

Adopt Don’t Shop!

First, we would like to start this week’s blog by shouting out our wonderful partners The Humane Society of Western Montana! They are participating in a study with Dr. Erica Feuerbacher from Carroll College concerning stress. This week they studied stress between dogs that were co-housed and ones that were individually housed in the kennels. The results of this study should “help keep dogs happier and healthier in shelters throughout the country!” We are very excited to hear about the results when the study is finished!

We also had a big week with another rescue flight from New Mexico. On Thursday at 5:30 A.M., the “Big Dog” was loaded with over 60 furry passengers. Thanks to our partners, we had a successful rescue flight: Friends of Mesilla Valley Animal Service, Tails to Freedom, The Humane Society of Western Montana, Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley, Idaho Humane Society and Thompson River Animal Care Shelter.All the animals were delivered safely and are looking to find a loving family!

To view photos of our recent flight, please visit Summer Mae Photography Idaho on Facebook!

This week Pilot Peter’s son, Buller Rork, adopted his new best friend and said, “I adopted Bear because I just got to the point in my life where a dog would be good for me. I’ve been wanting to get a dog for a while but I was always too nervous about the costs and expenses with raising a dog and whether or not I was ready for it. But I’m ready now!” If you feel ready, please visit your local shelter to give an animal a forever home!

 

Time To Celebrate!

We had a great week celebrating #GivingTuesday and would like to thank everyone who gave their time and donations to us and so many other wonderful animal rescue organziations! We appreciate all the love and support given individually and the businesses who help make our animal rescue flights possible! Every act of kindness, big or small, makes a difference. When everyone gets together for an important cause, there can be amazing results, like the results we received during our Five-Year Anniversary fundraiser.

On August 2nd, we announced we’ve been operational for five years. To celebrate, we started a fundraising campaign to save 1,000 more animal lives this year. Originally, our goal was to raise $25,000, but with everyone’s donations, large and small, we received a total of $31,280. With the funds and everyone’s support, we were able to save more abandoned animals this year and have been able to save a total of 8,037 lives in the last five years!

Giving Tuesday was influential for us and we appreciate the support given so we can continue to fly more animals to safety, but another day celebrated this week was National Mutt Day. It is a day where we get to celebrate mixed breed dogs and help save them from homelessness. Even though it isn’t National Mutt Day anymore, we encourage everyone to visit their local shelter and consider adopting an adorable mutt.

Adoption Update:

“My Sweet Piper cabe by way of the Dog Is My CoPilot to Montana and I’m so glad she did! We were destined to find each other. We adopted three rescue dogs from the Humane Society of Western Montana. Two lab mixes, Timber and Derby. One miniature pinscher mix, Piper, who came via DIMCP!”

Thank you- Chelsea Argo & Family

#GivingTuesday

After all the shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, DIMC is participating in the global movement Giving Tuesday which was started to encourage everyone to give to charities and back to their community. Giving Tuesday is powered through social media by using #GivingTuesday on Twitter and Facebook to help bring more people together and motivate them to give their time, donations, and voice this holiday season. Please help us celebrate this global movement by giving what you can so we can continue to fly and transport more animals to safety where they will find their forever homes.

To help us this season, you can donate at www.dogcopilot2.wpengine.com/donate or follow us on social media. Any amount you are willing to give helps us continue to save animals from being euthanized. If you are unable to donate, you can help us raise awareness for the animals who need our help by following and interacting with DIMC through social media.

Another way you can help us continue saving lives is through Paw Packz. If you are still looking for gifts this holiday season, visit www.pawpackz.com and check out their bottle cap magnet sets and singles with images supporting animal rescue and the DIMC logo. Paw Packz will donate 20% of their sales, making it a fun way to contribute while getting a cute gift for your friends or family!

You could also give by finishing all of your other holiday shopping on www.smileamazon.com and selecting DIMC as your charitable organization. Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchases so you will be able to get all of your holiday purchases done while donating at the same time.

Tis’ the season of giving and whether you give through donations, your holiday shopping, or getting involved on social media, it makes a difference. By getting involved with this movement and DIMC, you can help save animal lives. If you would like to learn more about Giving Tuesday, please visit http://www.givingtuesday.org/.

Adoption Update!

Lucky was flown on one of our rescue flights and here is a note from Lucky’s new mom and dad!

“I love this little dog. He was on the flight to Eureka, MT from Phoenix, AZ. We are pretty blessed to have him, he is a great dog!”