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Audrey's 5K run & 1M walk

Founder Brittany's dog, Kendall, is lacing up for Audrey's Run Fur Fun!

When I made the ultimate decision to jump in feet first when founding Audrey’s Rescue Angels in the summer of 2013, one goal I was committed to was having our supporters be involved in the fundraising as much as possible. As someone who gives A LOT to charities, I get constant requests for money. While I know all too well how IMPORTANT monetary gifts are, I also believe that it’s important to help make our supporters feel like they are apart of the Audrey’s Rescue Angels’ family. We try to do this by hosting events where people can both donate AND have fun while feeling like they are part of the process.

So, without further ado, I am beyond ecstatic to announce that our little organization is taking a BIG step and will be hosting our first annual 5K run/1M walk on Sunday, May 8th to help raise money for Audrey’s and our general fund. 

While each year we receive more and more support, Audrey’s Rescue Angels is still run and operated by a VERY small team. Planning and executing a 5K race is slightly daunting, but I know that this event will be a complete blast and will once again allow our supporters to come out, join together, have some fun with their pups, and make a HUGE difference in the lives of animals. 

Now onto the details! As I mentioned, the run will take place on Sunday, May 8th along the Chestnut Hill Reservation. Registration will begin at 8am, and the run will begin approximately at 9am. We are working on confirming some very exciting details and sponsors, but our Eventbrite page is now live and you can register (please note you must register to participate). Please help us make our inaugural year a huge success and sign up today to join us. There will be vendors, refreshments, giveaways, and plenty of fun to go around for the whole family. 

Over the next two months, you will hear a lot about our Run Fur Fun but as always, if you have any questions, or are interested in sponsoring the run, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Thank you from the very bottom of my heart for your support, and I look forward to lacing up and making a difference in the lives of animals with YOU on the 8th. Come earn your wings with us and become an angel to an animal in need!

Best,

Brittany and the Audrey’s Family

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World Spay Day

It is the mission of Audrey’s Rescue Angels to help create a more humane and sustainable world for animals through education, advocacy, and promotion of respect and compassion. We believe that part of creating a more humane world for animals is helping reduce the over-pet population, thus reducing the amount of animals that end up in shelters. The best way we know how to accomplish this goal is by educating people on the importance of spaying and neutering! 

Last week, we briefly touched upon the importance of spaying and neutering in our blog post about being a responsible pet parent. However, in honor of World Spay Day yesterday (yes, that’s really a thing) we wanted to highlight this issue even more by diving into the benefits and addressing some misconceptions that come with spaying and neutering. 

We will be making some generalizations about spaying and neutering all pets, but this information especially pertains to dogs, cats, and rabbits. As always, please be sure to consult your vet about what is right for you and your pet. 

Benefits of Spaying & Neutering:

  • Reduces unwanted pets:  1 unaltered animal can result in thousands of offspring over the course of several years
  • No heat cycles and reduces/eliminates the urge for pets to spray or mark with urine
  • Pets will have less desire to roam, therefore become less likely to be injured or lost
  • Decreases aggressive behavior
  • Helps pets live a longer and healthier life due to decreasing the risk of ovarian and testicular cancer

Misconceptions:

  • “Altering my pet will also alter their behavior.” While a benefit of spaying and neutering is that some animals will become less aggressive, other behavioral traits (loyalty, lovingness, and so many more) will not be affected.
  • “Spaying and neutering will make my pet fat.” Not true at all! Weight gain is caused by excess calories. If you continue to give your pet a proper diet with ample exercise, excess weight gain will not be an issue.
  • “The procedure will hurt.” Just like most surgeries, spaying and neutering is safe and relatively painless when performed by a registered veterinarian.
  • “Puppies/kittens/etc. are so cute, it will be just one litter, and they will all go to good homes.”  Each time you purposely breed your pet, other animals are waiting elsewhere in a shelter (and possibly facing euthanasia) because of no available home.

Prove your love and devotion to animals by being part of the solution, not the problem. You can save hundreds of animals by spaying or neutering your pet, all while giving your furry friend a happier, longer, and healthier life.  Now that sounds like a win-win to us!  

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February is Responsible Pet Owners Month

It seems like there is a day/week/month for EVERYTHING these days. Literally. While some can seem a bit silly, others can offer times of recognition, and I am all for raising awareness and educating people about important causes. 

It just so happens that February is Responsible Pet Owners Month, and this is something that we can totally get behind. While this notion of being responsible might seem like common sense to some, we wanted to share a few tips and thoughts to those who might be considering getting their first pet and are wondering what it entails (and we of course hope you’re considering finding your next furry friend at the local animal shelter).  

Becoming a pet parent is a lifelong commitment and this responsibility should not be taken lightly. While being Mom or Dad to a fur baby should be taken seriously, there are some very easy steps that we should all take to ensure a long and happy life together!

  1. We can’t stress it enough - please make sure to spay or neuter your dog, cat, or rabbit (consult your vet regarding other small or exotic animals). Each day, there are more and more unwanted animals showing up at shelters and being surrendered due to no fault of their own. To help control the unwanted pet population from getting worse, spaying or neutering is the most effective way. The ASPCA estimates that 7 million animals enter shelters nationwide each year and sadly 2.9 of them are euthanized. Be apart of the solution, not the problem.  

  2. Annual veterinary checkups are critical to your pet’s happiness and are a very important part of being a responsible pet parent. Just like us, pets can have a wide range of issues and all are usually very treatable with proper and early detection. If you are concerned about cost, you can always look into one of the many amazing insurance companies, such as TruPanion, that help cover routine visits (and so much more)!!!  

  3. Make sure to ID and/or microchip your pet. Current ID tags on your dog or cats collar can help bring them home safe and sound if they wander out of your sight. Also, talk to your vet and consider a microchip for your pet. If your pet is ever lost or stolen, a quick scan will provide rescuers with your contact information and can help ensure a very happy ending.  

  4. Animals are curious by nature, especially in their younger years, so it is critical to pet-proof your home. Some hazards are a bit more obvious than others (we can all probably agree that those exposed wires are not the best idea, right?) but are you familiar with the common houseplants that are toxic to animals? For a complete list of these hidden dangers, read more here.

  5. Just like us, what we feed our pet is incredibly important. Animals also need a balanced diet and as responsible pet parents, we should be careful of weight gain to avoid issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and so many more.  

  6. As a Mom of both fur kids and a human version, I have realized how similar they are in theory when it comes to being responsible and prepared.  I ask people this all the time: “If you were having a human baby, wouldn’t you read the books and take the pre-parenting classes"? Nine out of then people say “yes.” Then I ask them, why would it be any different if they are becoming a pet parent for the first time? As we stated in the beginning, bringing home a new pet (or simply a new breed/species for the first time) requires the same amount of preparation. Please take the time to consider where the animal will sleep, eat, and play. Who will care for them when you are away? Will you need to hire a dog walker? What will you do if an emergency arises? Will you take the time to go to puppy classes or behavior classes if needed? I urge everyone to ask themselves these very important questions before you bring home your new companion. Perhaps, if some people were a bit more prepared, fewer unwanted animals would end up in shelters.

Opening your home to a furry companion is one of the best things you can possibly do (in our humble opinion)!  They provide years of unconditional love, companionship, and provide indisputable health benefits. While choosing to own a pet is a decision that should not be taken lightly, we ALL have the potential to be responsible pet owners. Let's take this month to be extra responsible and encourage others to join us too!

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Holiday Safety Tips

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring...except for all of your pets! With Hanukkah already here, and Christmas right around the corner, your house is likely decorated (or about to be!) for the holiday season. As wonderful as they make your home look, some of our favorite holiday decorations can pose some dangers for your pets. Thanks to the American Humane Association, we've got some helpful tips for keeping your animals safe this holiday season.

Holiday Safety Tips

  • Christmas Trees:  We've all seen it before, you bring the outdoors inside and suddenly your cat goes back to his ancestral roots and decides to go for a climb. Make sure your tree is anchored securely. That way, even if Fluffy does become an adventure-seeker, your tree doesn't come crashing down on top of him.
  • Holiday House Plants: Lilies, Poinsettias, Mistletoe, Holly, and certain types of Ivy are just some of the decorative plants that can possibly harm your pets. This doesn't mean you can't have them in your home, but be sure to keep them far out of the reach of your furry friends. 
  • Candles and Lights: It's the season of lights, but one swipe of a tail can lead to broken glass or even worse. Be sure to keep candles away from the floor or anywhere your pet might jump to, and since some strings of your Christmas lights are probably hanging on the bottom of your tree or windows, keep a close eye out to make sure they don't become a dangerous chew toy.
  • Tinsel, Ribbons and Bows: Your cat might think these look like fun, but small decorations such as ornaments and tinsel can pose a choking hazard. If they are dangling off your tree or presents, just be sure to keep them out of reach of your pets.

We hope you and your favorite animals have a safe and happy holiday season! And if you're looking for some pet friendly holiday fun, please join us tonight for Pet Photo Night with Santa hosted by the Shops at Prudential Center.  You can bring your four-legged friend to have their picture with Santa and we'll be on site personalizing copies of Rescue Pets of Boston to help you check off your holiday shopping list!  We're thrilled to partner with the Pru for a great cause - spreading love to local animals in need!

Happy Holidays from all of us at Audrey's Rescue Angels! 

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Rescue Pets of Boston

You have hopefully seen us talking about our book, Rescue Pets of Boston: At Home with the City's Luckiest Pets, but do you know the back story of how it came to be?  This book was our first official fundraising project for Audrey's Rescue Angels, but it truly represents so much more. 

Rescue Pets of Boston was self-published by Audrey's Rescue Angels founder, Brittany Bang, and Boston photographer, Li Ward, of Fat Orange Cat Studio.  Brittany and Li had worked together on several small projects throughout the years when Brittany had her retail store on Newbury Street, and their working relationship grew into a friendship as they bonded over their love of small business, long boozy lunches, and of course cats.  When Brittany found out that she was being forced to close her store due to an excessive rent increase, Li was one of her biggest supporters. 

One day, over a long lunch, Brittany asked Li if she would consider working on a photography book together.  The book would be all about rescue pets.  It would attempt to show that rescues are all beautiful, special, and unique through the power of stunning photography.  The book would benefit the animals who were still waiting to find their forever homes as 100% of the proceeds would go to rescue groups and animal welfare charities.  Much to Brittany's amazement, Li agreed without hesitation, and the duo started working immediately in the spring of 2013. 

Rescue Pets of Boston is so much more than a book.  It represents countless of hours of blood, sweat, and tears.  The process of self-publishing this book was more challenging than we had ever expected, but also more rewarding.  To see the faces of someone looking though the book for the first time, and being inspired by these once homeless animals, is more gratifying than you could ever imagine.  But what is truly the greatest gift of all is being able to donate so much money back to our charitable partners. 

Please remember that this truly is the gift that keeps on giving.  Not only will this book be a beautiful gift to give (or receive), but it will also make a HUGE impact in the lives of homeless animals. 

Top 5 reasons Rescue Pets of Boston makes a great holiday gift:

  1. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to local animal related charities - so you'll be giving twice!
  2. Someone reading your copy of Rescue Pets of Boston could be inspired to adopt a pet. You'll not only be supporting local animal charities, but helping a four-legged friend find their forever home.
  3. Don't you know a coffee table that could use a little jazzing up?
  4. Reading the stories of local rescue pets together is a great way to teach kids about pet adoption.
  5. By supporting this book, you're also helping the numerous local artisans and small businesses who helped make this project possible. 

Rescue Pets of Boston embodies everything we do here at Audrey's Rescue Angels. We would love if you'd consider buying a copy this holiday season.  We are so excited that in addition to purchasing our book online, you have two fantastic opportunities coming up where Li and I will be hosting Photos with Santa and personally signing books just in time for the holidays.  Please consider joining us at the South End Buttery on Saturday, December 5th from 11-1pm or again on Wednesday, December 9th at the Prudential Center from 6-8pm. 


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Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is just a day away, which means it's almost time to indulge in one of the best meals of the year! Turkey, stuffing, pies and more will be on the table, and if you have a four-legged friend, you'll likely be tempted to share some of the tasty treats. Before you toss some leftovers in your pet's dish, we wanted to share some holiday food DO's and DONT's from PetMd and the Animal League to help keep your pet's holiday happy and healthy.

DO share:

  • Turkey - Maybe the most quintessential dish on most Thanksgiving tables can also be added to your dog's holiday meal. Be sure there are no bones and that the meat is fully cooked.
  • Mashed potatoes - Potatoes can be a great snack for dogs, but make sure the mashed potatoes are pure. Salt, butter and milk can be problematic for pets - so think about giving them a taste before you add on the extras.
  • Green beans and other fresh veggies - Just like people, veggies can be very beneficial to a pet's diet. Just like mashed potatoes though, be aware of the different ingredients often added to veggies on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Pumpkin - Pure pumpkin is full of fiber, moisture and Vitamin C which can all be beneficial to your pet's diet. This is another food you want to double check before putting onto your pet's plate, though. Avoid sharing that sugary slice of pumpkin pie, but do share the pure pumpkin puree you used to make it!

DON'T share:

  • Bones - Bone shaped treats may be your dog's favorite snack, but the actual thing can block his throat or cause digestive problems.
  • Onions - Onions and onion powder can lead to anemia in cats and dogs. These ingredients are often used in many Thanksgiving recipes, so think twice before you share most leftovers.
  • Chocolate and other sweets - Best to keep your pet away from the dessert table altogether. Chocolate and large amounts of sugar can be toxic for them!
  • Grapes and raisins - These can lead to kidney damage for both cats and dogs. Keep an eye out - they can be easily forgotten on top of your casseroles or desserts. 

While you're cooking...add some pet treats to the kitchen!

Check out our friend Emily's DIY dog treats - featuring sweet potato baby food! - with help from this fun and easy-follow video. Be sure to check out the rest of Emily's Fedwell website for more tips and tricks for helping your dog maintain a healthy diet.

From all of us at Audrey's Rescue Angels: Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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Virtual Pet Food Drive

Thanksgiving is just about a week away, and in the spirit of the holiday, we're hosting a virtual pet food drive - and we want you to get involved! It takes a few short steps, and you don't even have to leave your couch. With your help, we'll be able to provide some shelter animals with the Thanksgiving meals they deserve.

HOW TO DONATE: 

  1. Visit our website
  2. Under our "Join Us" tab, scroll down to donate and click!
  3. Click on the yellow donate button, fill out your information and donation amount, and you're done! Almost...
  4. Be sure to write "Pet Food Drive" in the memo section! 

We're hosting the drive from now until Monday, November 30th. Once we've collected all of our donations, we'll use 100% of the proceeds to buy pet food to donate to two wonderful shelters. 

WHO ARE WE HELPING? 

This year, our pet will drive will benefit our friends at One Tail at a Time, Inc. and Gifford Cat Shelter. These local shelters do amazing work everyday to find forever homes for animals in need, and we're excited to be able to help!

WHY DONATE TO AUDREY'S?

Audrey's Rescue Angels exists through events and fundraising opportunities, but we can only continue to provide for animals with support from people like you. We're structured the way we are so we can impact as many organizations as possible, and really fill the need wherever we see it. By supporting ARA, you're helping us reach our goal of creating a more humane and sustainable world for animals - including people - through education, advocacy, and promotion of respect and compassion.

Please consider donating to help us reach our goal of providing $200 worth of pet food to pets in need this holiday season! Thank you!

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Veterans Day

We are keeping all of the country's veterans on our minds today - including our four-legged service members. Military Working Dogs provide so much for the US Armed Forces, in ways many of us might not even realize. We wanted to share a little bit about the incredible dogs who are serving our country, and ways you can help them while they're on duty, and when they've finished their missions.

YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW...

  • About 2,500 dogs are in active duty today, and 700 of those four-legged service members are deployed overseas, according to Barkpost.com.
  • Military dogs were officially recognized as service members during World War II, but have been in combat with US soldiers in every major conflict our country has faced.
  • These dogs are highly trained for a number of different purposes - including bomb/weapon detection and tracking - and only about 50% of the dogs who enter military training graduate into the service. 
  • Several breeds excel as military members, including German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Belgian Malinois.
  • After retirement, their handlers and their families have the opportunity to bring their four-legged partners home. If that's not possible, law enforcement departments are next in line to adopt these service dogs, and then adoptive families. 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Just like our human service members, military dogs like to get care packages, too! Barkpost.com also provides a list of organizations dedicated to getting dogs in service the items they need while deployed. We also have some of the direct links below to help you get started: 

JOIN US!

We are so excited to share that we'll be a part of the Mission K9 Rescue Tribute Gala  this Saturday, November 14th, at the Four Points by Sharaton in Wakefield. The evening is all about supporting and raising funds for our military and contract working dogs, and we'd love for you to come! 

Interested? Please email Brittany at Hello@AudreysRescueAngels.org for more details! We look forward to seeing you Saturday!

THANK YOU to our military members, both two-legged and four! 






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A Month of Thanks

Believe it or not (we certainly can't!), the holiday season is here! The Audrey's Rescue Angels team is working hard on all of our upcoming events, and as we've been tackling new projects, we've been reminded of just how thankful we are for all that you've helped us accomplish already. It would be impossible to include everything we are grateful for - unfortunately it just wouldn't fit in a blog post! - but we do have a list of some of the top reasons that come to mind! 

You can buy our stickers and more in our shop

You can buy our stickers and more in our shop

WHY WE'RE THANKFUL (and don't mind the order...)

2) We are thankful that Audrey's Rescue Angels has been around for TWO years. Our founder, Brittany, started ARA when she was forced to close her retail store, Audrey's, due to an extreme rent increase. Thanks to customer support, she realized that she did not need a brick and mortar to continue to make a difference in the lives of shelter animals. Now, two years later, Audrey's continues to promote animal welfare in a big way!

5) We are thankful for the FIVE items we have on sale - with 100% of the proceeds supporting animals in need. Our book, Rescue Pets of Boston, and fun gifts for your pets can all be found on our website.

130,000) We are thankful you've helped us raise more than $130,000 over the last two years! Whether you attended our annual fall fundraiser, Rescue to Runway: Featuring Boston's Finest, sent in your pictures for the New Faces of the South End Buttery Project, or simply donated to ARA, we couldn't have done it without you!

44) Speaking of our fundraisers, we're thankful for the 44 Boston celebrities that have strutted their stuff (and some cute, adoptable pups!) down the carpet for Rescue to Runway.

1,000) We're thankful for the $1,000 check we had the opportunity to present Danielle Murr with this fall as part of our Foster Funds Program. Danielle's work to keep rescue pets safe and happy inspires us to keep doing what we're doing, and we hope to continue to support foster parents through this project in the future.

1)  We are thankful to all of you that equal ONE big Audrey’s Family.  Audrey’s Rescue Angels was founded to help make an impact, but could not be sustainable without the help of each and every one of you. By sharing posts, purchasing "Rescue Pets of Boston", attending our events or sponsoring our projects, you have helped get us where we are today. We still have a lot of goals we want to accomplish, but together, when we move towards ONE common goal, we can achieve the dream of creating a more humane world. 

Thank you!

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Happy Halloween!

The holiday season is right around the corner, and to kick us off, Halloween is just three days away! For humans, that means getting all dressed up, enjoying some spooky activities, and collecting as many sweet treats as possible. One thing we can't forget about though - our pets! They'll want to get in on the fun, so we've got a few tips from the ASPCA and Humane Society to help keep them (and you) safe and happy on Halloween night.

TIPS AND TWEAKS

1) Curb the candy -  We might only have problems when we overdo it with the Halloween treats, but having ANY candy can be dangerous for pets. Keep all of the treats (especially chocolate!) out of your four-legged friend's reach. If they get into something, be sure to call your vet for the Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

Make sure your pet likes its costume before Halloween. Photo Source: examiner.com

Make sure your pet likes its costume before Halloween. Photo Source: examiner.com

2) Costume Fun? - Let's face it, animals in costumes are adorable. Keeping your pets comfortable and safe is key, though. If you do decide to dress your dog or cat up, make sure they can still move freely and be sure to check for any dangerous pieces they could choke on. Remember, MOST animals would rather just go as themselves! Don't push it.

3) Decoration Dangers - Everyone loves festive yards and glowing jack-o-lanterns, but they can pose a threat to our pets. Keep a close eye on your animals whenever fire - even candles - are nearby, and keep things like cords and small items out of reach. 

4) Door Dash - It's always exciting when trick-or-treaters knock on the door, but it's also a perfect opportunity for your pets to make a run for it. If you're planning on passing out candy, keep your pets in a quiet, safe room in your home. They won't be scared of all of the spooky costumes, and you won't have to worry about chasing after them.

5) Leash Patrol - If you do plan to bring your pet out on Halloween night, don't forget your leash! Keeping your pet close will help you keep her from harm, and her from causing any harm. It's likely to be busy and a bit scary out, though, so we suggest keeping your four-legged buddies in for the night.

DOG-FRIENDLY HALLOWEEN FUN

What's that? You still want to have some Halloween fun with your pup? We've got just the event!

Our friends at Brix Wine Shop in the South End are hosting a Halloween Wine Tasting for dog owners and dog lovers.

When: October 31st from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Why: For Fun! AND a portion of the wine sales will be donated to the Animal Rescue League of Boston!

Also Involved: PolkaDog Bakery and South End Buttery will be providing treats for both humans and dogs.

We'd love to see your Halloween photos, so send them our way! Be safe, have fun, and Happy Halloween! 



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A Great, Big Pit Bull Misunderstanding

"Gobi is the best thing that happened to my husband and me. He can sometimes be a punk, but who doesn't have their moments?!" -Sabina Keif, Gobi's Mom

Gobi poses for the camera

Gobi poses for the camera

It can be tough being a pit bull. Thanks to their history, and some not-so-great owners, the breed has a bad reputation for being aggressive, violent, and dangerous. In honor of National Pit Bull Awareness Day, and with the help of our friend Gobi (featured in our summer project "New Faces of the South End Buttery"), we want to help bring an end to the misconceptions about this fun and loyal breed of dog. 

WHY THE BAD REP?

Throughout history, pit bulls have been portrayed as fighters. OK, well at least from the start of the breed. According to the ASPCA, today's pit bulls are descendants of the English bull-baiting dog. These pets were bred to help in the hunt - holding bulls, bears, and other large animals by the head until the hunters could get the situation under control. Thankfully, this type of hunting was outlawed in the 1800's, but instead of stopping there, owners started fighting the dogs against each other. TERRIBLE! We know, but that's where it all began.

THE TRUTH

Pit bulls are loving, intelligent, loyal, and very active dogs! Yes, some can be aggressive, but that has everything to do with the way the pet was brought up, and much less to do with the actual dog herself. If you are considering adopting a pit bull, like any adoption, there are a few key things to think about:

  • Play Time! - Pit bulls are going to be active both inside and outside. Owners need to be ready to spend some time running around outside each day to help get that energy out!
  • Training - Learning how to be around other dogs and follow rules will help make life at home, and out of the home, easier for both you and your pit bull.
  • Be a Breed Advocate - If you do adopt a pit bull, help spread awareness about the breed and how wonderful your new family member is!
Lilly the Hero Pitbull enjoys time outside

Lilly the Hero Pitbull enjoys time outside

WHO'S HELPING?

We mentioned one of our favorite pit bulls, Gobi, who lives right here in the Bay State. Be sure to follow his Instagram to see just how playful and precious he is.

Lilly the Hero Pit Bull is a Boston celebrity - famous for saving her owner from a speeding train, and giving up one of her legs during the heroic act. You can't get much more loyal than that!

PitFit Apparel, based right here in Boston, is helping to end the misconceptions about pit bulls through fashion for both humans and dogs.

Help support the pit bull cause, and show them your love whenever you get the chance! 

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Don't Judge a Pet By Its Color

Photo Source: Rescue Ridge

Photo Source: Rescue Ridge

Part of our mission at Audrey’s Rescue Angels is to help all pets find their forever homes. Due to what many shelters refer to as “Black Dog Syndrome,” black animals are often overlooked during the adoption process. We want to help change that, so we took a deeper look into the difficulties shelters face with black animals, and what’s being done about it.

WHY?

So why is there a misconception about black animals? “The Black Dog Rescue Project” lists a number of reasons why potential adopters might overlook a black pet. That list includes:

·      Black isn’t the best color when it comes to pictures. It can be difficult to capture a black pet’s features in photographs – and people looking for pets may move past a weak picture without a second thought.

·      Black cats are often associated with superstition and bad luck – something most of us want to avoid!

·      Hollywood isn’t helping. Black animals often portray the enemy or evil in a film and TV. Adopters are looking for a hero to join their team, not a villain.

THE STATS

Despite many shelter workers reporting their difficulties finding homes for black pets, there are not many studies on the issue. According to Dr. Emily Weiss, who writes for ASPCA Professional, the reason it may seem harder to find homes for black pets may simply be that there are more black pets in the adoption system. In a 2013 study of 300,000 rescue pets, Dr. Weiss found:

·      30% of dogs taken into the included shelters were black (the second highest group: brown dogs with 23%)

·      33% of cats taken into the shelters were black (the second highest group: gray cats with 22%)

·      The statistics proved that more black dogs and cats came into the shelters than any other color

It may seem that Dr. Weiss quickly debunked the “myth” of Black Dog Syndrome, but she also emphasizes that because there are more black animals in shelter compared to other colored pets, they’re also euthanized at an alarming rate.

WHO’S HELPING?

We love what local photographer Fred Levy is doing to help combat prejudice against black dogs in shelters. Levy’s “The Black Dogs Project” features photographs of black dogs on black backgrounds – and is now available as a published book.

Black Cat Rescue, based in Boston, is also working hard to stop the stereotyping – with a focus on, you guessed it, black cats.

If you’re looking to adopt in the future, take a black pet into consideration. The best thing about black cats and dogs? They’re just as loving and loyal as any of the other beautiful colored animals out there!


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National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

In honor of “National Pet Obesity Awareness Day,” and our commitment to providing pet owners with useful information, we wanted to share a few facts and tips to help you keep your pets living a healthy lifestyle.

Did you know?

The “Association for Pet Obesity Prevention” estimates that nearly 53% of dogs in the US, and 57.9% of cats, are overweight or obese. That’s more than half of our furry friends! We wouldn’t be worried about those statistics, except that excess weight in pets can cause dangerous problems, including heart and respiratory issues, kidney disease, diabetes, and even cancer. All of that might sound scary, but we have good news! Pet obesity is easy to prevent.

Three simple steps can help you determine whether your pet is at a healthy weight.

·      First, gently feel for the ribs – they’ll only be difficult to find if there is too much fat    surrounding the rib cage.

·      Next, take a look at your pet’s abdomen – you don’t want to see any part of their belly sagging.

·      Finally, make sure you can see your pet’s waist when looking at them from above.  If the waist is missing, it likely means your pet is packing on at least a few extra pounds.

So, what do you do if you determine your pet could benefit from some weight loss? There’s no need to worry. With a few lifestyle changes, they’ll be back to a healthy weight in no time. Just like humans, keeping calories in check and getting enough exercise are two of the most important factors when it comes to pets losing weight.

·      Recording meals and avoiding automatic feeders can help you keep track of your pet’s nutritional needs.

·      Keeping your dog active is as easy as taking her for a walk everyday.

·      Cats may require a little more creativity when it comes to getting them off the couch, but toys and games can be a big help.

Want to know more?

For more information, visit the Association for Pet Obesity’s website: http://www.petobesityprevention.org/

Be sure to check back in for more tips and tricks to help keep your pet living a healthy lifestyle!

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On a Walk With: Slobbr

“Part of our commitment to our supporters, is to help create a better pet community by providing all sorts of useful information.  Whether it be information on shelters, awesome fundraisers and events, useful products, or highlight others doing good, Audrey’s Rescue Angels wants to help be that resource center.

By now, hopefully many of you have heard of us talking about our friends - Slobbr!  For those of you who have not, Slobbr is going to be the coolest thing to hit the doggie market and we wanted to make sure you hear it here firstt!  What is Slobbr?  In a nutshell, it is an iOS app designed by and for people who choose to live life with their dogs. A gorgeous intersection of dog-friendly information and unique boutique retail products, all in a seamless and chic way.  Launching soon, Slobbr is going to revolutionize the way people who want to spend their free time with their dog by exploring their own neighborhoods, out on road trips, or sniffing out the best local watering holes, even easier.  How cool does that all sound?

We wanted to take a moment to introduce the founder of Slobbr, Michelle Fournier, and give you a bit more background on why you should totally Slobbr! Michelle and Audrey’s Founder, Brittany, had known of each other from the pet industry for several years but their paths had not really crossed until 2014.  Michelle, owner of Durty Harry’s Dog Wash and Pet Boutique in Charlestown and Brookline is a leader in the industry and an all-around an amazing lady to have on your side. Michelle gave Brittany some insights on her dream to help make living life with your dog a bit easier and all out of the palm of your hand!  We love what she is trying to do and are with her 100% of the way. "We have been designing, revamping and in various stages of building Slobbr for years. We have heard what dog owners are looking for and are super confident we are delivering exactly what has been asked for. We can not wait to get into the hands of dog lovers everywhere and so appreciate the support of incredible organizations like Audrey's Rescue Angels as we make this dream a reality."

And to top it all off, Slobbr is our presenting partner for Rescue to Runway: Featuring Boston’s Finest this year!  Back for the second year, we are thrilled to partner with our friends at Slobbr and make this year even more successful than last.  (Do not worry, there will be a blog post about Rescue to Runway too!)

Slobbr is going to bring dog communities together like never before.  To keep up with all the action, make sure you follow Slobbr on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Oh, and sign up to get the latest announcements about when you can download the app at www.doyouslobbr.com!”

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Cats

These days, it seems everyone is obsessing over dogs. There are endless accounts on Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest that are all dedicated to the smushy, lovable faces of puppies and dogs. Now, we have nothing against dogs.  On the contrary, Audrey’s Rescue Angels is named after a most beloved bulldog, but dogs are not the only animals out there.  We want to remind everyone how great rescue cats are too.

In the United States, over 7.6 million cats and dogs enter animal shelters every year.  Of that number, 3.4 million are cats.  Yet, each year, more cats are euthanized than dogs by over 200,000.  And they are adopted less than dogs as well.  Cats are gravely under looked in the rescue system. 

But, cats are just as awesome as dogs!  To start, cats take a note from Beyonce’s book on how to be independent. A cat doesn’t need walked, doesn’t constantly need to be let outside, and they don’t need your undivided supervision. All a cat really wants and needs is your love making them great companions for workaholics and people living in cities.

Next, cats don’t need to be housebroken like dogs.  They are very smart and after a few tries they understand how a litter box works.  You won’t ever have to worry about getting home on time to let them out. 

Lastly, adopting a cat means bothersome barking and whining will never be an issue in your life. Cats are quiet, calm companions who adore affection similar to dogs. However, the only noise that comes along with a cat is a soft purr when you pet them.

It’s important to keep shelter cats in mind when you’re thinking about adopting a pet. Dogs may have a current monopoly over social media but that doesn’t mean you should forget about cats who are just as cute and cuddly. Plus, there are some great cat social media profiles out there!  If you don’t necessarily have a lot of time but you have a lot of love to give, one of the 3.4 million shelter cats is the perfect furry friend for you!

 

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Summer Tips & Tricks

The summer is in full swing, and we wanted to provide helpful tips and pieces of information to allow you to enjoy the beautiful weather WITH your pet while keeping them happy and safe at the same time. 

  • Avoid Overheating: It still amazes us that as many warning that are out there, there are still horrible stories of pets being left locked in cars, kennels, etc., resulting in dehydration and overheating.  PLEASE remember to provide your animals lots of fresh water and keep them in shady and cool places during extreme heat.  Never, EVER leave your pet in a car, even with the windows open.
  • Apply Sunscreen:  YES!  It’s true that pets need sunscreen if they are outside in the hot summer sun.  Pets with light skin and/or short hair are even more susceptible to sunburns.  Pet sunscreens are available and should be fragrance free to prevent breakouts. 
  • Avoid Antifreeze:  Even though antifreeze is something to watch out for year round, cars tend to overheat and leak antifreeze at a heightened rate during the summer months.  Pets find it very tasty, and even in small amounts, antifreeze is poisonous to dogs and cats. 
  • Life Jackets:  While seen as just another accessory to some, life jackets for pets near water and traveling on boats can be lifesaving.  A big wave will not only throw off humans, but animals as well.  One of our favorite brands is Ruffwear if you are looking for suggestions. 
  • Fireworks: While most of us adore watching fireworks burst high in the sky during the summer, a majority of our 4-legged friends do not find them as amusing.  First, be sure to keep fireworks properly stored for everyone’s safety.  Second, if your pet is frightened by fireworks (the same goes for thunder) provide them with a dark and cool space to hide.  Try to turn on “white noise” such as fans to help drown out the noise. 
    • While this may not work for everyone, I can personally say that we adore our ThunderShirt.  This dog wrap is a wonderful solution for situational anxiety.  The wrap mimics swaddling a baby, and applies gentle pressures to keep your pet feeling calm and safe.  The company is wonderful to work with and has a 100% money back guarantee if the ThunderShirt does not work for your pet. 

Now, get out and have an amazing summer with these tips in mind!  Summer is so short, so enjoy it while you can!

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Bark for Life: Team Audrey

Audrey was a very special little bulldog that touched many lives and continues to inspire even though she is no longer with us.  We lost Audrey to cancer is 2007 but her legacy has lived on inspiring a retail business, a non-profit, and life-long friendships.  One of the things that Audrey helped inspire is “Team Audrey” and the integral role the founder of The Greater Bangor Bark for Life her mom, Lisa Sturgeon,

Most of us have heard of “Relay for Life” to help benefit the American Cancer Society.  Several years ago relays called “Bark for Life” were introduced by the ACS which are fundraising events honoring the life-long contributions for Canine Caregivers.  It presents an opportunity for people to be empowered through their canine companion’s partnerships and contribute to cancer cures through the mission of the American Cancer Society.  Bark for Life is a special way to partner with your canine best friend, smile, and make new friends both canine and human. 

Three years ago when a dear friend Lisa (all because of Audrey) told me that she was starting a Bark for Life in her hometown of Bangor, ME I was so impressed by her and her willingness and desire to give back and help raise money for the ACS.  Then, when she told me her team would be “Team Audrey” the waterworks started.  I was blown away that once again, my little Audrey, was going to help make a difference and her legacy would be carried on. 

Since 2012, Bark for Life of Greater Bangor has raised more than $60,000 and Team Audrey along and brought in $3,500 of that.  All the teams have done such an incredible job of making this event so successful and I am just so humbled to show up and enjoy the occasion. 

Once again, I will proudly make my way up to Bangor, ME and join my dear friends and walk to raise money for the American Cancer Society.  Let’s face it.  Cancer sucks and we need to help find a cure.  Weather you have been directly, or indirectly, touched by cancer we all know of its evil.  I am so proud and honored to once again support Bark for Life of Greater Bangor and even more thrilled this year my Mom and son will be able to join me.  We will be wearing our Audrey’s Rescue Angels shirts and can’t wait to report back and share pictures.

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On A Walk with: Becky Cloutier (Volunteer for PAWS New England)

In addition to helping animals, which is obviously our main goal, the greatest joy of running Audrey’s Rescue Angels has been meeting some of the most amazing, and selfless people who all have the same wants, wishes, and desires that we have… to help rescue abandoned, neglected, and homeless animals.  We are humbled by how dedicated individuals are and that’s why we are excited to highlight our friend, Becky, and the work she does for one of our favorite organizations, PAWS New England.  Becky, we will never be able to thank you enough for the work you do to help give so many dogs the second chance they truly deserve. 

 

1.  Can you please elaborate on your organization, your mission, and your organization goals?

Eight years [since our founding], PAWS New England now has over 100 volunteers (with no paid employees), and a wonderful network of foster homes and rescue partners, including New England shelters, veterinarians and trainers. Based out of Barrington, Rhode Island, Paws New England has become one of the most recognized rescues in the area.

Paws New England started with a simple mission: save lives, one dog at a time. Over the last eight years, more than 7000 dogs from Tennessee, Missouri, our local communities, and various other shelters throughout the country have been put into loving homes.

2.  How did your relationship with Audrey’s Rescue Angels begin and how long have you been working with them?

We have been working with Audrey's Rescue Angels since the summer of 2014. At the time I was working at Durty Harry's and was asked to be on the committee for the event. When we were discussing who would be the beneficiaries of the event I of course piped up and suggested PAWS New England.

3.  How has the work of Audrey’s Rescue Angels positively impacted your organization?

Working with Audrey's Rescue Angels has been hugely beneficial for PAWS New England. Our inaugural event, Rescue to Runway, with ARA was multifaceted. On a base level we received a very generous cash donation which allowed us to continue our work at a point when we were buried in overwhelming vet bills. In addition to the cash donation the exposure to the city of Boston was priceless. Not only were there many A-list Bostonians who volunteered and attended but there were numerous articles and blogs about the event which mentioned PAWS NE. Last but not least we have a number of dogs adopted by people who met them at the event. Our favorite adoption from the event was Layla. Layla is a very senior yellow lab who is blind. While walking down the runway with Jerry Thornton Layla decided she was over it and she laid down on the middle of the runway and chewed on her bone. At that moment she stole the hearts of her new family and they applied to adopt her immediately. ARA continues to promote PAWS NE and spread information about our organization. We can't wait until Rescue to Runway 2015.

4.  What would your organization do with a 1 Million Dollar donation?

A 1 million dollar donation is almost unimaginable. What holds us back the most, beyond unlimited cash which we always find a way to get past, is the lack of foster homes. With a 1 million dollar donation we would invest in a PAWS Sanctuary. A place where our dogs could live happily and healthily while waiting for their forever families. We would still utilize our foster homes because there is nothing like being a part of a family and living in a home environment but a sanctuary would allow us to greatly increase the number of dogs that we are able to help each year. We'd love to have a little store front at this facility where would could sell dogs products that would help fund our mission and would increase the foot traffic and the number of people meeting our adoptable dogs.

5.  Do you have an inspirational quote or motto that you would like to share with us? 

“Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.”  ― Karen Davison 

 

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On a walk with: Michelle Fournier (Durty Harry’s and Co-Founder of Rescue the Runway)

This week we are excited to highlight one of the industry’s best, Michelle Fournier, owner of Durty Harry’s Doggie Boutiques and Founder of the doggie lifestyle app, Slobbr.  In 2014 Michelle teamed up with Audrey’s Rescue Angels to help host one of the most talked about animal welfare fundraising events Boston had ever seen called Rescue the Runway.  Ever since, Michelle has been an amazing supporter of our organization and we couldn’t be more appreciative. 

 

1. Brittany felt it was very important to reach out to you because of your work with her and Rescue the Runway?  Can you elaborate on why you enjoy working with Audrey’s Rescue Angels?

I came up with the idea of Rescue the Runway one evening, inspired by an event I saw being hosted by a like business in Chicago. I knew that I would need to partner with someone in order to make an event like RTR come alive and be successful. Though I hadn't known Brittany personally, I knew of her and had respected her work at her Newbury Street boutique, Audrey's. It just seemed to me to be a natural fit. I reached out to her, and as they say, the rest is history!

2. I understand you’re on the board of Last Hope K9 Rescue, can you tell us a bit about that organization and why it is special.

I am proud to be on the Board of Directors for Last Hope K9 Rescue. Prior to opening Durty Harry's, I truly had no knowledge of dog rescue, never mind the intricacies and inner workings of rescue. I am inspired every day by the work that these volunteers do to save the lives of literally thousands of dogs a year. LHK9 has grown exponentially over the past couple years, and with that comes more saved lives. It's wonderful to be so close to this.

3. Rescue the Runway was a huge success, especially for its inaugural year.  Can you tell our readers a bit about what it was like to put on such an event?

Stressful, HA! But seriously, it was pretty incredible. Britt and I worked tirelessly on every single detail, making sure we had thought of everything from take home treats, to our celebrity models, to our sponsors, and more. It was critical to the life expectancy of RTR and our future events that the inaugural show go off beautifully. And happily, it did. It was so much work, but in the end we were able to donate money to four deserving rescue/shelters and that is what it is all about.

4. Can we ask if there will be a Rescue the Runway in 2015?

 Yes, our 2015 event will be held at the Hotel Commonwealth on Thursday, September 10th. 

5. In the spirit of giving, if you had 1 Million Dollars to help animals, what would you do with the money?

That's a difficult question. There are so many worthy organizations out there trying to do such good work that I would likely distribute it to them. I would love to say I'd get a farm and rescue one until there are none. But again, so many good, worthy organizations currently exist that I feel like supporting them would be my angle. But who knows!

6. Do you have an inspirational quote or motto that you would like to share with us?

Educate, educate, educate. I just refer to my personal experience where I was a "dog" person pre-Durty Harry's, but I knew nothing about rescue. There are a lot of people who are where I was and if we shine the light on it, maybe we can save some ore pups.

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On a walk with: Dana Lawson (MSPCA-Angell)

This week we are excited to share with our readers a bit more about our friend, Dana Lawson, and her involvement with MSPCA-Angell in Boston as the Associate Director of Development. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Dana about her work at the shelter; she had lots to share with us and we were able to get some great insight from her regarding the collaboration between the MSPCA-Angell and Audrey’s Rescue Angels.  We hope you enjoy learning a little more about this special organization and why we continue to support all that they do!

1. Can you please elaborate on your organization, your mission, and the organizations goals?

The mission of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) is to protect animals, relieve their suffering, advance their health and welfare, prevent cruelty, and work for a just and compassionate society.  We serve the animals of Massachusetts through our four main facets- our Hospitals, our Shelters, our Animal Advocacy Division, and our Law Enforcement Division.

2. How did your relationship with Audrey’s Rescue Angels begin and how long have you been working with them?

Our relationship began actually pre-Audrey’s Rescue Angels. Brittany has been a long-time supporter of the MSPCA, and had always included us in her fundraising activities while she was operating her shop, Audrey’s Pet Supply. Brittany has been active on MSPCA Committees- and has both served on and Co-Chaired our Party Animals fundraising committee. In 2014, she was nominated to serve on our Board of Overseers. We were beyond excited for Brittany when she established Audrey’s Rescue Angels, and are always honored when we are selected to be a beneficiary of one of their projects. The most recent projects that we have been a beneficiary of include the Rescue Pets of Boston book sales and the Rescue the Runway event.

3.  How has the work of Audrey’s Rescue Angels positively impacted your organization?

Audrey’s Rescue Angel’s provides the MSPCA-Angell with critical, sustaining funds that directly support our mission. We simply would not be able to function and provide the services that we do, without support like this.

4.What would your organization do with a 1 Million Dollar donation?

A $1 million gift to our Capital Campaign could help us to endow our Pet Care Assistance program- a program which assists with the cost of pet care to our low income clients, and also covers the cost of pet care for abandoned animals, and animals who have been victims of violence.  

5. Do you have an inspirational quote or motto that you would like to share with us?

“Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way” ~ John Muir

 

 

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