Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Ring Dog Rescue Asilomar Accords 2014

Ring Dog Rescue

Beginning Shelter Count = 31

Intake from Public

Transfers from Organizations within Target Community

Transfers from Organizations outside Target Community

Total Adjusted Intake 2014=89


Subtotal Outgoing=87

Ending Shelter Count=33

Thursday, July 30, 2015

How does Richmond Rank? A note from Andrew at Dog-Friendliness Index.

Hello there,

I saw your blog and thought you might be interested in our Dog-Friendliness Index (we will publish the Cat-Friendliness Index next month). Nationwide, only 24% of apartments allow dogs, but there is significant variation across cities and states.

· Richmond ranked #65 out of 200 cities in dog-friendliness, with 30% of apartments allowing dogs
·Arlington, TX comes in at the top of the list, with 61% of apartments allowing dogs. Other cities that performed well included Indianapolis (43%), Chicago (42%), Denver (42%) and Seattle (41%).
·East Coast cities don’t appear to be very dog-friendly. Your best bet may be Alexandria or Arlington, where ~35% of apartments allow dogs.
·The best states for renters with dogs are Texas and Colorado; worst are Vermont, New York, and Rhode Island.

You can access the full data at this link. We also have data on which cities and states have the highest concentration of pet owners, and will release that soon. Please let me know if you have any questions.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Final Summary Maddie's Adoption Days (2014)

In 2014, Ring Dog Rescue participated in the Maddie's Fund Adoption Days event.  Along with several other local municipal shelters, humane societies, and rescue groups.  This event far surpassed our expectations with so many animals adopted.  Through this program Ring Dog Rescue was awarded a grant of $19,500.00, see below if you would like to know how this money was spent.

Ring Dog Rescue would also like to take a moment to send a big THANK YOU to Maddie's Fund and our host agency the Richmond SPCA, along with all the shelters, humane societies, and rescue groups who participated.  If you would like to find out more about Maddie's Fund click this link http://www.maddiesfund.org/index.htm.

Date: July 23, 2015
Ref: Maddie’s Adoption Days Final Report
Year End Summary
Ring Dog Rescue

            Maddie’s Adoption Days 2014 awarded Ring Dog Rescue with $19,500.  This award allowed for lifesaving surgeries, essential expenses, and individual treatments for over 60 animals in our program.  These included heartworm treatment, orthopedic surgery, teeth cleaning and extractions, cherry eye surgery, basic medical service (to include but not limited to spay and neuter, rabies and distemper/parvo vaccinations, collars, microchips, and internal/external parasite treatment.  It is through the generosity of Maddie’s Fund that we were able to take in several animals that needed more extensive treatments and required longer length of stay in our program.  Throughout the last 12 months Ring Dog Rescue has adopted out 89 animals, which would not have been possible without the grant award from Maddie’s Adoption Days 2014.
            Maddie’s Fund was formally acknowledged on our social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram).  Acknowledgement was also made in our news letter(s), along with many day-of event posts.  Going forward, Maddie’s Fund will be continuously acknowledged on our website and blog posts.

            We at Ring Dog Rescue would like to formally thank Maddie’s Fund for choosing our great city to represent Maddie’s Adoption Days 2014, and the Richmond SPCA for being the host organization.  We thank you for allowing us to provide lifesaving treatments for the homeless animals of Richmond, VA.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Removing Breed Labels: Easier Than You Think Posted on June 15, 2015 Guest post written by Kristen Auerbach, Interim Director of Fairfax County Animal Shelter in Fairfax, Virginia.

Animal Farm Foundation
securing equal treatment and opportunity for "pit bull" dogs
Removing Breed Labels: Easier Than You Think
Posted on June 15, 2015
Guest post written by Kristen Auerbach, Interim Director of Fairfax County Animal Shelter in Fairfax, Virginia.
About a month ago, Fairfax County Animal Shelter removed all breed labels from our adoption kennels. There was much discussion and debate prior to us making this decision. Would the public be confused? Angry? Would community members protest?
We were committed to being honest with potential adopters. If the dog they were interested in might be visually identified as a breed that faces restriction, we would make them aware that breed specific laws or housing rules could affect them.
But was that enough? Would taking breed labels off our kennels prove too disruptive to serve our purpose?
To our surprise, no one even asked why the kennel cards weren’t labeled with breeds.
We also learned that no matter what the kennel card says, potential adopters, volunteers and staff will make guesses. And they’re usually going to disagree with each other about those guesses.

We did notice an increase in people asking us about the breed of a particular dog. This turned out to be a good thing. The question provides the perfect opening for a staff person or volunteer to talk about the inaccuracy of breed labeling and the importance of getting to know each dog as an individual with its own unique personality traits.
Now that we’ve removed the labels from the kennel cards, we’ll be working with our shelter software system to remove the breed labels from our ‘adoptable’ pets list so dogs will be described only with their names, ages and personality profiles.
Our journey to do away with breed labels began about a year ago, when we stopped referring to dogs as ‘pit bulls’ or ‘Staffordshire terriers’ on our social media platforms. Between 2013 and 2014, adoptions of dogs visually identified as ‘pit bulls’ quadrupled and we knew we were on to something big. We talked about the individual dog’s personality, quirks, sociability with other dogs and people, but we stopped talking about breed.
We did this because we know the term ‘pit bull’ does not describe any breed of dog. Rather, it’s a subjective label that means different things to different people and has no basis in science or genetics. In our mission to get our adopters to see the dog not the label, and in the interest of full disclosure, the most honest thing we could do when describing our dogs was to simply say, “We don’t know what the breed or breed mix is.”

Things got a little more complicated when we stopped labeling all dogs, because we would all stand in front of a dog, and a staff member would say, “That IS a purebred Dachshund” or Rottweiler or whatever they thought it was. But, we asserted, the vast majority of dogs in our shelter are of mixed breed heritage and unless we have indisputable proof a dog came from a breeder and has a documented pedigree, we don’t know for sure. And even then, how does a breed label, any breed label help a dog get a home?
People are going to make their own visual breed identification whether it’s written on a kennel card or not. It simply isn’t necessary nor is it honest for us to present our guesses of any breed as if they are fact.
At our shelter, we’re having a lot of success focusing on the dog, not the perceived breed. But each animal welfare organization has its own challenges and in some places, not labeling is impossible because of breed specific legislation or breed-based adoption restrictions. What then?
It’s up to us, as advocates, no matter what our particular situation, to start explaining to people that breed labels are subjective, not based in science and that when we, as animal welfare professionals guess, we guess wrong at least 50% and often 75% of the time. We should be telling people that the vast majority of dogs in our shelters are mutts or mixed breeds and that the way they look says nothing reliable about their behavior.

If you are at a shelter or rescue where putting an end to breed labeling is a possibility, consider trying the following and tracking the results. You may be surprised at the immediate changes in your adoption numbers.
1. Stop using breed labels in social media posts. In some cases, a breed label gives your followers a quick reason to say no and keep scrolling. Instead, for a week, just tell the story of each particular dog. People love stories and it helps them connect with dogs they otherwise might be drawn to.
2. Remove the breed labels from your kennel cards for one week and see what happens. Make sure to spread the word to volunteers and staff so you can be on the same page with potential adopters.
3. Ask your shelter software provider if they can remove breed labels from adoptable dogs online. We use a provider that is able to remove the public labels on adoptable dogs (even though they will not remove the breed labels entirely).
4. Role play with staff and volunteers about how to respond when a visitor says, “What breed is it?” Not sure what to say? The truth works: “We’re not sure! The vast majority of our dogs are of mixed-breed origin and when we guess we are often wrong.”
5. It’s human nature to put things into categories and most of us label dogs by breed, even if it’s for a purely functional reason, like asking someone to, “Go adopt that Maltese.” Challenge yourself and your colleagues to find non-breed descriptors for your dogs.
It takes a lot of practice to break the breed labeling habit, but you can do it!

For more information on breed identification please see the National Canine Research Council’s website and the Animal Farm Foundation infographic, All Dogs Are Individuals.
And for more on Fairfax County Animal Shelter’s progressive and effective adoption policies, please see No Restrictions, Just Success

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ring Dog Rescue Annual Report 2014

The annual report required by all municipal shelters and private rescue organizations is maintained and published for public view via the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

 In 2014, Ring Dog Rescue adopted 81 dogs. While our number may not be as large as others, and may be more than some, we are proud to have rescued, rehabilitated, and re-homed these 81 dogs in 2014.  Helping these wonderful canines along with our outreach and enrichment programs we are confident that we have made an impact on more than 350 canine lives in the Greater Richmond Area.
Thank you for your support!

Check out all the registered shelters and organizations here