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Last Day Dog Rescue

New year, new rescue! We're happy to announce that our new partner animal rescue is the Last Day Dog Rescue.

LDDR is an independently funded, no-kill animal rescue, based in Livonia, Michigan. This organization has made it their mission to "reduce the number of homeless and euthanized pets by rescuing dogs and cats whose lives and/or well-being are at risk". They've saved countless cats and dogs facing extermination solely because of their breed, size, disabilities and/or shelter overcrowding. The stray dog epidemic in Detroit alone leads to a staggering 90% of the city's stray dogs being euthanized, no matter their health or temperament. Organizations like the Last Day Dog Rescue give animals in this situation a second chance at life. As their name suggests, the pets they care for are often saved from the brink of death. LDDR focuses on rescuing animals from the "Urgent" list in high-kill shelters across the nation. By several state laws, Michigan included, pets at these types of shelters have one short week to be claimed by an owner before they are condemned to euthanization, crowded gas chambers or being sold to labs for research. The need for heroes like the Last Day Dog Rescue is at an all time high, for nearly half of all shelter pets in America are being euthanized on a daily basis.

Last Day Dog Rescue is not a physical shelter, but something much larger than that. They are an entirely volunteer based network of foster homes throughout the state of Michigan. This means that all of their dogs and cats are cared for in loving foster homes, learning trust and socialization skills, and awaiting a more permanent family to call their own. You can browse the pets they have available for adoption on their website and at the numerous adoption events they participate in. Finding your perfect pet match has never been easier! LDDR also has programs that match up senior dogs and hard-to-place animals with senior citizen and veteran owners, respectively. How cool is that?

                 Hart, a beautiful female Labrador Retriever / Rottweiler mix

Adopting around 1,000 pets a year is no small feat. LDDR is constantly in need of volunteers, foster homes and donations to aid their cause and we're here to help! 10% of the profits from your purchases will be donated directly to the Last Day Dog Rescue from now until June 2016. To find out more about the pets they house and how you can help, visit them at here.

New Beginnings Animal Rescue

We're happy to announce that our new partner shelter is none other than the New Beginnings Animal Rescue in Royal Oak, Michigan!

Something I'm coming to realize is that each individual shelter has its own unique personality. New Beginnings really does put forth the extra effort to try and provide a home-like environment for their four-legged residents. Simple touches like pastel painted walls, cat shelves on every corner and the abundance of toys and trinkets destroy the stereotype of cold, cage-ridden shelters.

 When you're a cat, everything and everyone is a toy.

The feeling of comfort transcends through the volunteers, who come in to care for the animals on their own time, as well. Dressed in their own casual clothing and relaxed demeanors, New Beginnings appears to be a refuge for human beings as well. It's a place you could imagine going to after a long day at work or school, and enjoy playing with and caring for the animals. After all, who doesn't love some good old-fashioned pet therapy? Volunteering at New Beginnings would be a wonderful way to spend your days, especially if you're unable to adopt, and you can learn more about it here.

#squadgoals

In a country where nearly half of all shelter pets are euthanized, no-kill shelters remain a beacon of hope for homeless animals in America. New Beginnings epitomizes this concept by not only being filled to the brim with loving animals, but loving foster humans as well. Their network of dedicated staff and volunteers spreads far beyond the brightly colored walls of the rescue and throughout southeast Michigan.

At only 12 weeks old, Pearl was the friendliest kitty and the first to greet us!

New Beginnings is connected to numerous foster families in Oakland County. And in this case, out of sight does not mean out of mind. Although they are temporarily residing in loving homes, these dogs and cats are just as desperately in need of more permanent ones. New Beginnings regularly hosts adoption events where you can meet all of these animals and you can find one near you here.

Times are tough and one of the main reason families are forced to give up their beloved pets is because they can no longer afford to feed them. NBAR is an exemplary rescue because it not only provides amazing care for the animals currently in their custody, but they are also fighting to keep families, who are struggling to properly feed their pets, together. The shelter provides a pet food pantry to families who have hit a rough patch and need a little extra help feeding their furry family members. But this pantry depends on monetary and food donations from the kind people who can afford to do so. Help us help this incredible shelter by purchasing any of our products, or making a direct contribution yourself!

Why Black Pets Are Less Likely to Be Adopted

The periodic visits to our partner animal shelters may very well be my favorite part of this job. I get to play with an array of different animals, as well as provide an update on the state of the animals that our generous customers are donating to. However, this particular visit to our current partner, the Michigan Animal Rescue League, had a peculiarity about it. 

You see the color of the day was black. As in, over 50% of the animals we saw had black coloring. 

We got to play with a few adorable kittens...

as well as say hello to several adult black cats. 

Leah is still up for adoption!

We've all heard the superstition that black cats cause "bad luck".

 

 "You know, places in the world like Japan, Scotland and Britain actually think I bring good luck"

And terms like "Black Dog Syndrome" are thrown around the internet to describe the negative stigma that people often associate with big, black dogs. Shelter workers often have to reassure potential adopters that this is not the case.

Spencer is a loving Lab/ German Shepherd mix and still up for adoption!

Now it may just be a coincidence that these black cats and dogs were at MARL during the time of our visit. No studies have been able to provide statistics backing things like Black Dog Syndrome but the stereotype still lingers, with shelters worldwide providing the same anecdotal evidence. Many shelters have even gone so far as to hold special events for their furry black residents, or waiving their adoption fees when the population grows to be too overwhelming.

Some animal shelters in the U.S. even prohibit the adoption of black cats around the time of Halloween out of fear that the animals may be tortured or used as living props and then discarded.

We can, as always, blame the media. Black dogs and cats are often portrayed as evil or villainous...

"Bow down to your canine overlord"

or we can blame ourselves, for perpetuating the idea that the appearance on the outside has anything at all to do with the personality on the inside. But pointing a finger does nothing, so here are some tips to help end the stereotype. 

Black animals don't often photograph as well as their lighter counterparts. In fact, there was a recent internet rumor that the reason people were less likely to adopt black pets was because they were harder to take selfies with. While that is just complete garbage, it does makes sense why a shadowy, dark picture could discourage a potential adopter browsing pictures at a shelter from choosing that animal over others.

Some photography tips include photographing darker animals in front of brighter backgrounds. Also, try increasing the brightness or exposure to bring out their features, 

 or lowering the contrast to decrease harsh shadows,

and if all else fails, change the Instagram filter...

For those looking to adopt, consider steering clear of the internet all together and, instead, scheduling a visit with your local shelter. You'll learn far more about an animal's personality while interacting with them in person than you ever could from a photograph.