It’s time for the ASPCA-Rachael Ray $100K Challenge!

Click on the logo for more info!

Click on the logo for more info!

The ASPCA is gearing up for the start of the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, where a total of $600,000 in prize grants are up for grabs to help shelters save more homeless cats and dogs.

The ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge is a groundbreaking contest that challenges animal shelters across the country to come up with innovative ways to engage their communities and get more homeless cats and dogs into loving homes.

The 49 contestants will work to save more animals – during the months of June, July and August 2013 – than they did over the same three-month period in 2012. Last year’s competing shelters saved more than 56,000 cats and dogs during the contest, an increase of 14,376 over the same period in 2011. For a full list of participating shelters, visit

Since Dakota and I live in Michigan, we are going to be pulling for the  Friends for the Dearborn Animal Shelter  and will help promote them when we can to help them increase their adoption numbers!

The ASPCA and Rachael Ray will award a $100,000 grand prize to the shelter contestant that achieves the greatest increase in lives saved during this three-month period. The contestant that does the best job of engaging its community members in helping to save more animals will win $25,000. Those organizations that do the best in their divisions will be eligible for between $10,000 and $25,000 in additional grants. In total, $600,000 in grant funding will be awarded for increases in animal lives saved, as well as a photo contest and general participation.

All her life, Rachael Ray has been an advocate for animals and a supporter of animal welfare groups. Her love for animals and for her pit bull, Isaboo, inspired her to create her pet food (which you read about A LOT on Dakota’s blog) called Nutrish® to raise money for animals in need.  Ray donates 100 percent of her proceeds from the sale of Nutrish® to organizations like the ASPCA so they can implement programs like the $100K Challenge and support shelters and animal organizations around the country.

So what are you waiting for? Find a participating shelter in your area that you can support by visiting:

Follow all the #100KChallenge action this weekend on Twitter, and best of luck to all the shelters as they embark on this exciting Challenge to save more lives!

Dakota and I wish them all the best of luck!

In full disclosure: Dakota and I were not compensated for this post. We were contacted by the ASPCA and were asked if we would share this info and we are more than happy to do so!





Thankful for the #ASPCA and their Campaign for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month

From the ASPCA: “April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, and each year, the ASPCA urges supporters across the country to support our efforts and Go Orange for Animals in honor of the signing of the ASPCA’s charter in 1866”

How can YOU become involved?

Here are some suggestions from the ASPCA:

Get to know and look out for the animals in your neighborhood. By being aware, you’re more likely to notice, for example, that the dog next door who was once hefty has lost weight rapidly—a possible indicator of abuse.
Make the call. Without phone calls from concerned citizens who report cruelty in their neighborhoods, we wouldn’t know about most instances of animal abuse. It all comes from the public, it all starts with YOU—that’s why it’s so important to keep your eyes and ears open.

Provide as much as information as possible when reporting animal cruelty. The details that you provide can go a long way toward assisting an investigating officer. It helps to write down the type of cruelty you witnessed, who was involved, the date of the incident and where it took place.

Support your local shelter or animal rescue organization. It’s a great way to make a difference. Some of our ASPCA volunteers foster animals who have been abused in their former homes, giving these dogs and cats the chance they deserve to have a good life. You can find a list of shelters and rescue groups in your area in our National Shelter Directory.

Start a Neighborhood Watch Program. Get to know the animals in your neighborhood and invite your friends and neighbors to do the same. Together you can keep an eye out for any suspicious behaviors—abuse and neglect of companion animals, the mistreatment of local wildlife, dogs left in hot cars and other signs of abuse.

For more ways that YOU can help stop cruelty to animals, read  the rest of the post here

Published in: on April 4, 2013 at 1:00 am  Comments (31)  
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World Spay Day 2013: Top Ten Reasons to Spay/Neuter Your Pet: by Kim Thomas

From Dakota’s Den: While reading blogs on February 18, 2013 I came across this post from my friend, Kim Thomas  who writes the  wonderful blog CindyLu’s Muse and loved it!

CindyLus Muse (3) (2)

Meet CindyLu!


Kim is one of the first people I met when I began blogging in 2009, and I greatly admire her. I contacted Kim and asked if I could “re-post” this blog post on World Spay Day and she graciously gave her permission. I am a strong believer in the importance of spaying/neutering and loved this concise and straight forward blog post. Thank you Kim!

World Spay Day logo


Top Ten Reasons to Spay/Neuter Your Pet

February is National Spay/Neuter Month – a reminder that there’s no better time than the present to ensure your pet is taken care of in the best way you can!

  • Collectively, with more spay/neuters, a community will have less stray pets, less disturbance and damage caused by them, and lower tax expenditures for the shelter of homeless pets.
  • You won’t add to the millions of homeless pets that are euthanized every year.
  •  Eliminate your risk! The average number of litters a fertile cat produces is one to two a year; the average number of kittens is four to six per litter.*
  •  Eliminate your risk! The average number of litters a fertile dog produces is one a year; the average number of puppies is four to six.*
  •  It’s cheaper! Spay/Neuter costs less than raising puppies or kittens.
  •  Reduces/eliminates spraying and marking, in cats.
  •  Reduces/eliminates desire to roam, territorial fighting and resulting injury and disease, in cats.
  •  Reduces aggressive behavior, including associated dog bites.
  •  Reduces/eliminates mammary gland/ovarian/uterine and testicular cancers and prostate disease.
  •  Encourages longer, healthier life for your pet.

Spread the word – spay/neuter saves lives!

Browse through more posts about Spay/Neuter –
read, share, Help Promote World Spay Day!

*Source: ASPCA
Additional information from SpayUSA

#PuppyLove Dating Show! Presented by the #ASPCA. Help Shelter Pets Find Homes For Valentine’s Day!


Winner of the ASPCA Holiday Gift Pack!

I would like to thank EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU who took the time to read the important give-away post for the ASPCAbefore I announce the LUCKY WINNER OF THE GIVE-AWAY don’t forget, tonight is:


Mom and I are going to try to be there!!



Jingle Bell Collars

Smidge Cat Toy

Paw Stockings

ASPCA Holiday Cards

ASPCA Orange Tote

Walker’s Shortbread Cookies

Gift Card to Paperless Post

ASPCA Orange Wristband

Is none other than:

Click on Sammy's photo to visit his adorable blog!

Click on Sammy’s photo to visit his adorable blog!






Enjoy your gift pack Sammy!!

Barks and licks and love, Dakota and “Mom”


Published in: on December 12, 2012 at 1:00 am  Comments (19)  
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Puppies are not Toys: Take the ASPCA Pledge not to Shop in Stores that Sell Puppies-Enter to win an ASPCA Holiday Gift Pack!

Before I began blogging I knew nothing about Puppy Mills and was one of many others who would walk into a pet store and would begin to “ooooh and ahhhh” over the adorable puppies that would greet me.

aspca we are their voice

I didn’t have a clue.

I knew nothing about where these puppies came from and what they had been through, until one day when I was playing with a darling Shetland Sheepdog puppy named Scarlet whom I had fallen madly in love with. I had fallen so deeply, that my husband and I were set to pay the $900 (YES $900 fee to purchase her), and then…I called the vet.

While excitedly telling him of my incredible “find”,  he asked where I had found this puppy. When I told him she was at a pet store I received an education…AND FAST. In no uncertain terms he told me NOT to purchase this puppy no matter how much I had fallen in love with her because she had more than likely come from a puppy mill. He proceeded to tell me exactly what that meant.

Please share this video with your friends on Facebook and Twitter—and kindly ask them to share it, too. We’re counting on your help to reach millions of people with this important message. For more info please visit

As you may know, the holiday season presents a time when many people are buying gifts in pet stores. According to newly released pollAmericans plan to spend more than $2.5 billion on pets over the holidays this yearUnfortunately, 59% of pet gift shoppers would consider shopping at a store that also sells puppies—meaning some of that $2.5 billion in revenue may be supporting the puppy mill industry.  The ASPCA is aiming to reduce this high percentage of potential shoppers by encouraging them not to shop for gifts at stores that sell puppies. As an alternative, shoppers may consider giving gifts that make a difference in the lives of animals in need, such as those from our online store.

When the ASPCA contacted me asking if I would share this video and information I happily agreed. If it will help educate millions of others the way I needed educating myself, I am happy to do so.

For those who may not be familiar with the ASPCA here is information about them from their website: “Founded in 1866, the ASPCA was the first humane organization in the Western Hemisphere. Our mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.” The ASPCA works to rescue animals from abuse, pass humane laws and share resources with shelters nationwide.”

The ASPCA has kindly offered a Holiday Gift Pack for one of my lucky readers and YES, THIS CONTEST IS OPEN TO EVERYONE, NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE!!!


How to win:

1) Please “like” the above post

2) Please share it either on Facebook or Tweet it or share it via email

3) Please visit and take the pledge that if a pet store you visit sells puppies, you will NOT purchase anything there!

Leave a comment (with a way of contacting you should you be the lucky winner) and let me know how many of the above steps you have completed. (The more steps you complete the more entries you will have in the contest). All entries must be received by 5pm EST MONDAY, DECEMBER 10th. THE LUCKY WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12! GOOD LUCK!

Also check this out! I am going to try to make it and hope that many of YOU will be there too!!!


April Is Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals Month-A Guest Blog By Heather Kalinowski of Trupanion Insurance

Heather Kalinowski is a pet lover and new mom
 who spends her days helping other pet 
owners protect their pets
 with cat and dog insurance 
Trupanion offers 90% coverage for 
diagnostic tests, surgeries, and medications
 if a pet becomes sick or injured. 

April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. While I believe every day of the year should be dedicated to preventing cruelty to animals, it is nice to have a month dedicated to it, to bring it to the forefront of the minds of all pet owners and non-pet owners alike.

Artwork by

It’s an unfortunate fact that we even have to spend any time discussing this, because it means that animal cruelty is still going on in the world. How can we be cruel to animals when they provide nothing but unconditional love, companionship, and in many times safety, to us?

I love to read stories about pets that have done heroic things for their humans. So to kick off this month, I thought I would recap some of the great stories I’ve heard of heroic pets.

Fidge: A woman became curious when her ten-month-old kitten started crawling up on her chest and sitting on her right breast every night for two weeks. When she went to the doctor, she was told that she had a cancerous lump the size of a pea which could have been fatal if left untreated. Read more about this story here.

Mabeline: This Rhodesian Ridgeback mix was available for adoption at the Friends of Strays animal shelter in St. Petersburg, FL. A 17-year-old girl took her out for a walk as part of a volunteer program. During the walk the girl was attacked by a sexual predator. Mabeline barked at the attacker and scared him enough that the girl ran free. Read more about this story here.

Monty: When his owner fell and landed unconscious at the bottom of a ravine, this Labradoodle stayed faithfully by his side until he woke up and then helped him climb back to the top of the ravine. If that wasn’t enough, Monty then ran to a local pub to get help for his owner, who was badly injured. Read more about this story here.


Pudding: This orange tabby cat saved his owner’s life just hours after adoption. When his owner suffered a diabetic seizure, he swatted at her face and bit at her nose to wake her up. When the woman awoke, she tried calling to her son for help, but her son was asleep. Pudding took charge and went into her son’s room to wake him up so he could call for help. Read more about this story here.


These are obviously just a fraction of the stories out there of heroic dogs and cats that will go to drastic measures to show their love for their humans. Let’s celebrate our pets and show them love every day like they do for us. Let’s end animal cruelty so there is no need for this month years down the road!




We were not compensated for this post.

ASPCA & Pets Alive to Help 88 Dogs Start a New Life this Winter-Guest Blog

Hi Everyone!!  We were sent an email from a nice lady asking us if we would help to spread the word about the wonderful work that the ASPCA and Pets Alive are doing to help these doggies and we said sure!! This is super important information and we are happy to share it! Barks and licks and love, Dakota and “Mom”

ASPCA transports dogs from Pope County, Ark. to Pets Alive Sanctuaries in
New York’s Westchester & Orange Counties as rescue facility closes

The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is providing medical care and
transportation for dogs from JP Ranch and Rescue in Atkins, Ark. to Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary in Middletown, N.Y. and Pets Alive
Westchester in Elmsford, N.Y. in two upcoming transport operations. The transports to New York from Arkansas offer the dogs a
second chance, as a founder of the rescue group currently caring for them is suffering from a terminal illness and must close the facility.

Many of the dogs—mostly medium to large mixed-breed dogs, with a handful of small breeds—will even have a chance to find homes
in time for the holidays as the receiving Pets Alive shelters place them up for adoption. The transport operation for the first 53 dogs—
which began on December 19th  in Arkansas—is scheduled to arrive at the first stop in Westchester County, N.Y. sometime mid-morning , Tuesday, December 20. The operation will then continue to Orange County, N.Y. Another transport operation for the
remaining 35 dogs will take place in the coming weeks. To learn more about the dogs, or to inquire about adoption please visit
“The ASPCA Relocation Initiative works collaboratively to assist animals at risk, moving them to where they have the greatest
opportunity to find a home,” said Sandy Monterose, senior director of community outreach for the ASPCA. “We appreciate Pets Alive
and Pets Alive West for providing a second chance for these 88 dogs.”
“We’re very grateful to the ASPCA for working so efficiently and quickly to help save the lives of these dogs,” said Kerry Clair executive
director of Pets Alive. “We also appreciate of the local on-the-ground support in Arkansas. This has been a very complicated rescue,
yet thanks to all the dedicated and passionate people involved it has been a smooth transition and transfer of animals. We can’t wait to
welcome these dogs into our facility and get them quickly into homes.”
In addition to the ASPCA Animal Relocation Team, which is funding veterinary care (including exams, vaccinations and treatments) and the transport of the animals, the transport operation was made possible thanks to the collaboration of the following groups:
Southwind Animal Hospital in Russellville, Ark. – Owners Justin Key and Dr. Corry Key provided all veterinary care, testing,vaccinations, and spay/neuter surgeries for all dogs being transported to N.Y.;
Arkansas Animal Rescue Foundation (AARF) in Dover, Ark. – AARF funded all spay/neuter surgeries for all dogs being
transported to N.Y.;
PetSmart Charities, Inc. – PCI provided all supplies – including crates, bowls, food and leashes – to temporarily shelter the
animals at Southwind Animal Hospital during the vetting and surgery process;
Sumter DART in Sumter, Fla. – Sumter DART is transporting the animals from Ark. to N.Y. in custom built vehicles; and
Pets Alive Sanctuary and Pets Alive Westchester in New York’s Hudson Valley– for accepting 88 dogs into their facilities in Westchester and Middletown.
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. More than one million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provid eeffective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team
and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit To become a fan of the ASPCA on Facebook, go to To follow the ASPCA on Twitter, go to
About Pets Alive:
Pets Alive is one of the oldest and largest no kill organizations in the United States saving more than 2,000 animals each year. Pets Alive is internationally recognized as a leader in developing alliances to end the killing of and promote the humane treatment of companion animals. The mission of Pets Alive is to improve the lives of companion animals everywhere by any means possible, including rescue, adoption, advocacy, collaboration, intervention and education. Pets Alive operates three locations: Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary in Middletown, New York; Pets Alive Westchester in Elmsford, New York; and Pets Alive Puerto Rico. Pets Alive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity operating solely on individual donations, receiving no
funding from city or state. For more information, please visit To become a fan of Pets Alive on Facebook, go to To follow Pets Alive on Twitter, go to

Published in: on December 20, 2011 at 1:00 am  Comments (5)  
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