Shelters you should know: Meet FOHA in northern Virginia

Blog the ChangeFor this round of Blog the Change for Animals, I wanted to (once again) highlight an organization that has been helping animals since before I was a twinkle in my parents’ eyes.

Friends of Homeless Animals (FOHA) in northern Virginia has been serving the DC area since 1973. In 2012, FOHA gave me a wonderful place to volunteer and a new pup in the form of Tavish. In 2013, FOHA celebrated its 40th anniversary. This year, the fantastic folks at FOHA are continuing this important work into year forty-one. Continue reading

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#BtC4A: Turning shelter dogs into social butterflies?

Blog the ChangeIt’s time for yet another edition of Blog the Change for Animals. This time around, I thought I’d talk about dog socialization and the ways in which shelter dogs can benefit from being socialized. Sometimes, socialization at the shelter can make a huge difference in the life of a dog.

I was inspired to write about this topic today because of a program that’s currently going on at Friends of Homeless Animals (FOHA), a local no-kill shelter (and the reason I have a Tavish snoring by my side). FOHA has started play groups for some of the dogs – they get together weekly to work on socialization.  The play groups often result in fun videos like this one:

I love that FOHA focuses on dog socialization. It’s a great way to get the dogs out of their runs and to let them learn how to interact with people and other dogs in a relaxed setting. While this type of group might not work for every dog, it can help prepare some dogs for their future adoptive families. Structured play groups can enrich the lives of dogs while they are in the shelter. In addition, these type of groups can be useful for training and assessment. Finally, they can give shelters a chance to show off some of their adoptable pups having fun and being adorable (like the dogs in the video above).

I’m far from an expert on this issue, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you have any experience with shelter play groups? Would you be interested in implementing this sort of program at your local shelter? For more information about play groups, check out Playing for Life!, a training and behavior program focused on this issue.

I’m not the only one blogging the change for animals today. Check out these other great posts:

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Calling all DC/northern Virginia dogs: #Barktoberfest is this Saturday!

Are you a dog? Do you have a dog? Do you like dogs? How about cats? Do you live in the DC/northern Virginia area? Do you enjoy seeing dogs in costume? Do you like fun? If your answer to any of those questions is yes, then I’ve got an event for you…

(As an aside, if your answer to my first question is yes… I’m intrigued. How did you end up on my website? Obviously, you have learned to use a computer, so maybe you can also write emails? If so, let’s chat. I have much to ask you, dog genius.)

Anyway… if you’re in the DC/northern Virginia area, get out your calendar and pencil in plans for Saturday. Friends of Homeless Animals (FOHA) is hosting its annual fall festival – Barktoberfest – this Saturday, September 28! Join FOHA at the Loudoun County Fairgrounds in Leesburg from 10am to 5pm. Continue reading

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Inspiration from Hope for Paws and the Bill Foundation

Many of the sessions at BlogPaws were about the nuts and bolts of blogging. After all, it’s important to know what you have in your toolbox when you’re building a blog. One of my favorite sessions of the conference sounded like it would also be about tools – but it was really about heart.

The session had an simple enough title: “Make Some NOISE – How to Connect All Your Social Media & Create Buzz.” The speakers for this session were Eldad Hagar and Annie Hart, two rescue rock stars. Eldad works with Hope for Paws, Annie works with the Bill Foundation, and they both work together to make a difference for animals in need.

It was a very informative session, but it was also a very emotional one. Eldad and Annie showed us two videos. I’d seen the first one before, but it rained on my face anyway. (Grab a tissue and go watch it. It’s about Janie, a dog with a broken back and a wounded spirit. As you’ll see, she needed more than surgery to heal her heart. I love a happy ending.)

I thought I’d share the second video here today. We got a sneak preview at BlogPaws, but the video was posted on YouTube this past Friday. It was beautiful to see two different organizations working together to promote each other’s missions. We really can reach more people together than we can alone.

In addition to giving my tear ducts a workout, Eldad and Annie shared a number of useful tips. However, the most important thing I took away that day was inspiration.

What inspires you?

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#SuperDogSunday adoptables in northern Virginia

I’m back with more adorable adoptables from Petfinder! Today, I’m sharing four fantastic adoptables who are ready for some football. (They’re all in the northern Virginia area, so I guess they’ll be cheering for the Ravens this weekend.)

These great photos are part of the big Super Dog Sunday event happening through February 3. (Get your photos in now!)

Up first, meet Bailey from northern Virginia.

Bailey - Super Dog Sunday

This playful Pit Bull Terrier/Boxer is an outgoing and friendly guy. Maybe you could be his new coach? He’d love to join your home team. For more info on Bailey, click here.

Up next, I’d like to introduce you to Dugal, a Foxhound mix in northern Virginia.

Dugal Super Dog Sunday

Dugal is a happy boy who likes other dogs and loves people, once he gets to know them. Looking for a champion snuggler? Then he may be the pup for you! For more info on Dugal, click here.

Next to run onto the field? Kayla from northern Virginia!

Kayla Super Dog Sunday

Kayla is a beautiful Greater Swiss Mountain Dog mix – she loves to run and play, and can’t wait to shower you with affection. Do you have room for this sweet girl on your team? For more info on Kayla, click here.

Last but not least, meet Shakira in northern Virginia!

Shakira Super Dog Sunday

This cutie pie is an American Staffordshire Terrier. All she wants to do is lay by your side and get some belly rubs. If you’re looking for a companion to watch football with, Shakira’s your gal. For more info on Shakira, click here.

Keep those Super Dog Sunday photos coming!

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Petfinder Adoptable Pets for #SuperDogSunday

As you may know, there are some pretty awesome pups up for adoption on Petfinder. Today, I’m sharing four fantastic adoptables who are ready for some football. These great pics are part of the big Super Dog Sunday event happening through February 3.

Up first, meet Tina from Poland, Indiana.

Tina in Poland, IN

Tina in Poland, IN

This gorgeous girl is a little over a year old. She’s a Black & Tan Coonhound, and she’d love to be your new best friend! Are you smitten with this pretty pup? For more info on Tina, click here.

Up next, I’d like to introduce you to Dynasty in Avon, Indiana.

Dynasty in Avon, IN

Dynasty in Avon, IN

This sweet girl is just 1 year old and weighs 11 pounds. She appears to be a Schnauzer and Yorkie mix… but whatever she is, she’s adorable! Do you have room for this snuggle bug on your couch? For more info on Dynasty, click here.

Next to run onto the field? Scooter from Poland, Indiana!

Scooter in Poland, IN

Scooter is a handsome Yorkshire Terrier searching for a family to love him! He is 2 years old and weighs 10 pounds. Maybe you’d like to add this adorable guy to your home team? For more info on Scooter, click here.

Last but not least, meet Betty White in Addison, Illinois!

Betty White in Addison, IL

Betty White in Addison, IL

Betty White is a Lemon and White American Field bred English Pointer. This senior lady is gorgeous, just like her namesake. Have you been searching for a Golden Girl of your very own? For more info on Betty White, click here.

Keep those Super Dog Sunday photos coming!

Today’s photos courtesy of submitter s.g.

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FOHA: Forty years of helping animals

Blog the ChangeFor this round of Blog the Change for Animals, I wanted to highlight an organization that has been helping animals since before I was a twinkle in my parents’ eyes.

Friends of Homeless Animals (FOHA) in northern Virginia has been serving the DC area since 1973. Last year, FOHA gave me a wonderful place to volunteer and a new pup in the form of Tavish. This year, FOHA celebrates its 40th anniversary. Continue reading

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Awesome adoptable pups in northern Virginia: Holiday edition!

Friends of Homeless Animals (FOHA) recently posted two great videos of cats and dogs looking for a home. I already shared the felines. Today, it’s the canines’ turn!

Too. Cute.

Welcome to the Advent Calendar for Dog Lovers hosted by Kol’s NotesPupLoveRescued InsanityWoof Woof Mama & I Still Want More Puppies

Today’s giveaway is sponsored by Jones Natural ChewsClick here to enter to win a prize pack of their all-natural, US made meaty chews, plus be entered to win a Grand Prize package worth more than $1000!

 

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