Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Numbers are in for Year 2 of Homeward Bound Pound

For the 2nd year I paid my $5 and applied for a freedom of information request to the HRM to inquire about intake and euthansia statistics at our municipally (tax payer) funded pound where animals that are impounded by HRM Animal Control are sheltered by the private company "Homeward Bound" pound.

And for the 2nd year the numbers they give out are pretty interesting.

The questions I asked were -

# of dogs received by Homeward Bound - their answer - 612
# of dogs adopted to new owners - their answer - 135
# of dogs deemed unadoptable/euthanized - their answer 47
# of dogs transferred to rescue organizations - their answer - 49
# of dogs reunited with their owners - their answer - 381

So those numbers are actually very good - in my opinion they are a no kill animal control, which is something that I think is very important to them, and I am going to finally change my opinion in some ways and agree with the management of Homeward Bound who have said for the last year that they do fit the definition of a no kill shelter.

"No kill Animal Control" facilities are organizations that are becoming popular down in the States - which is also fabulous. The No Kill Advocacy Centre has an excellent document that you can download that outlines how to work towards becoming a no kill animal control that is a must-read - I thought it was super when I read it.

So what do the numbers tell me?

They took in more dogs in 2011/2012 (612) than in 2010/2011 (566) - but they killed fewer dogs 47 as opposed to 51 - which is very good.

The next thing is their funding and how much Homeward Bound is making for their contract.

Homeward Bound's contract is based on them taking in 850 dogs per year - and we can see that they're taking in far less than that - so they are getting a pretty good deal.

In year one they were paid $434,457 - divided by 850 dogs - that's $511 per dog - but at just 566 dogs - they made $767 per dog.

In year two - they were paid $455,373 - divided by 850 - that'd be $535 per dog - but at just 612 dogs - they made $744 per dog.

We also have to factor in the money they're making on the adoption of each dog - which is $200 for dogs (which is actually a pretty good deal compared to other local rescue organizations).

They are still falling very short of the projected number of dogs that their contract called for, so they should be doing pretty good at taking care of the animals they have - ergo - no kill.

Regardless - I am super happy that they are continuing to take the moniker of being a no-kill facility very seriously, thus keeping Nova Scotia closer to being a completely no-kill province along with the NS SPCA.

We are change leaders in all of North America - and that is something to be very proud of, I think. Homeward Bound Pound being a private company didn't have to be no-kill - which is what we in the humane community were are so terrified of - and 2 years into their contract - cementing their no-kill committment - is awesome.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Stuff to do coming up

There's quite a few dog events coming up - so I thought I'd do one of my posts outlining a few of them.

First up is that the Great Dane's of Nova Scotia group are having a walk at Point Pleasant Park on Monday morning at 11am - they haven't figured out yet where they're actually meeting up yet at the park - so you'll have to go to their facebook page to check out where the meet up spot will be - so if you want to walk with a bunch of very cute small horses - you don't need to have a great dane to walk with them - you just have to love them - and who doesn't?

Elderdog.ca is a fantastic local organization - that is also a national organization that helps keep aging dogs and their aging owners - together. Their "goal is to enable older adults, living at home and with challenges affecting dog care, to continue to benefit from their relationship with their canine companions."

They're looking for volunteers and are having 2 information sessions coming up - and are having a big fundraiser coming up that sounds really interesting - on May 22nd from 1-3 pm they're going to have an Information Session at the Keshen Goodman Library 330 Lacewood Drive, Halifax and on May 24th from 6-8pm they're going to be at the Atlantic Superstore 3601 Joseph Howe Drive, Halifax.

They're looking for volunteers to help with Dog Care Support for Seniors, Foster Dog Care, Professional Care, Professional, Artistic, and Technical, Leadership, Education and Outreach, Wool and Wood Working Program.

Their fundraiser is happening Saturday June 2nd - starting at 2pm - there's going to be a silent auction, raffles, and information about Elderdog Canada - the main attraction for the afternoon though is going to be a musical performance by 9 time award winner Hal Bruce.

You can call 1-855-366-4266 or email info@elderdog.ca to get directions to the event or to find out more about Elderdog.ca

Next weekend is going to be CRAZY - there is so much stuff going on I don't know if we'll be able to get to everything.

On Saturday May 26th from 9am to 2pm Second Chance Charity for Animals is having their semi-annual humungous yard sale and barbecue outside the Dartmouth SPCA shelter on Scarfe Court in Burnside - it is a huge yard sale where you'll find everything for super super cheap - and you might even find a kitchen sink or two - and all proceeds go toward the Nova Scotia SPCA and several other very needy cat rescues which include Pick of the Litter, TAPA, and several others - it's a must do on the rescue friendly pet owners schedule.

On Saturday May 26th the North End Dartmouth Cat Initiative is hosting the next Spay-ghetti Dinner Fundraiser at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Dartmouth from 4 to 7pm - Choose your favorite kind of spaghetti sauce, garlic bread, dessert buffet, tea & coffee. All for only $10. They want to sell all the tickets in advance - so go check out their facebook page to buy your ticket directly from the organizers.

Sunday May 27th from 11am to 3pm there's going to be a doggy expo up in the Annapolis Valley - I have no idea about geography - so you'll have to go their facebook page to get proper directions - it looks like it's going to be a ton of fun though with lots of stuff to see and things to do - so I think it's going to be worth the drive.

One of the hardest working rescues in Nova Scotia - Nova Scotia Lab Rescue - is having one of their major yearly fundraisers coming up in June - the "Big Doggy Doo" - a live auction that's going to happen out at Shooter's Restaurant out in Enfield starting at 6pm on Saturday June 9th, 2012 - if you think about the idea that labrador retrievers are the #1 popular pet - it makes sense that they're also the most popular animal that you see comes into rescue - so lab rescue sees a lot of animals coming through their doors - they use every cent they fund-raise.

June 22nd and 23rd the Nova Scotia SPCA is hosting the 2nd Annual Animal Wellness Conference at the NSCC Waterfront Campus starting at 8am - I went last year and am going this year and it's a ton of fun, you learn a lot of new things, you get to meet a lot of local people and it's a super time for networking - it's a wonderful resource that the NS SPCA has created and is well worth the money.

Liscombe Lodge is going to be the setting for another weekend of "Dogs Gone Wild" the weekend of June 22nd to 24th - I really wish I could take the time to go to one of these weekends - the agenda sounds fabulous, and Liscombe Lodge looks like an amazing place to spend time at. The "fun-filled weekend includes sessions on pet etiquette, pet photography, good nutrition tips, doggie Olympics, agility courses, guided hikes and more!" Check out Liscombe Lodge's website to find out more about what the weekend is all about - and if you go - I will be good and jealous.

I've bought a new ring - I had it made on Etsy - it symbolizes the commitment I have made to the dogs and the lifestyle my Dad worked so hard to provide for me. I don't want to forget that my Dad wanted above all else for me to be happy - and for me sometimes, that is the hardest thing to be.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A few new photos

I know I haven't posted much in the last little while - but the dogs continue to be as startlingly beautiful as ever

Bubby for some reason likes to lay on his back like a baby on my lap and have his belly scratched - I think it's pretty cute

And I of course like to take pictures of him while he's in this position

This is Sidney sort of hanging upside down while he's wrestling with Bubby

This is why I haven't been posting - this is my Dad making some liver for the dogs last October - he loved dogs and animals as much as I do, and he passed away April 29th, 2012. He was the most important thing in the world to me - even more important than the dogs, so the last 2 weeks have been difficult. I have to find a new way to live in the world without him.

I pretty much thought my Dad was perfect, so carrying on without him is going to be a challenge.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Bark & Fitz has some great dog groomers!

I've been struggling for the last couple years to find a good groomer - one that isn't all the way over in Cole Harbour, and one that answers their phone, and one that actually gives a good hair cut.

And I think I've finally find found one - I took both Bubby and Sidney to one of Bark & Fitz's groomers on the weekend - her name is Kim - and she was super! The above picture is their before picture - and these 2 photos are their after pictures.

Kim was super gentle - it turns out that Bubby is very laid back and Sidney is a bit of a diva! I thought it was going to be the opposite - and they got the exact grooms that I wanted. I of course took Buttercup with me and we spent the time downtown shopping, and when we were done shopping there are tables and chairs outside Bark & Fitz where we hung out and enjoyed the neighbourhood - very classy. So Buttercup had fun too - probably especially since she didn't also get her hair cut!

I think it's great that there's a couple talented dog groomer's - Addison and Kim - right in the downtown Halifax core - so you can drop off your dog for a couple hours, get stuff done - and then you get back a beautiful perfect dog. Bark & Fitz continues to do all the thinking for us! Yay!