Thursday, December 15, 2011

Shelter Shiver: Crazy Fundraising Event!

Oh, it's no secret that we're crazy about our Project Rescue Chicago pups. We gladly dedicate our days, evenings and weekends to finding them in the various city in-take facilities; getting to know them so we can begin the search for their perfect families; sharing their ups when they fall in love with someone and their downs when it sometimes just doesn't work out. We teach them manners if no one else has done so. We learn their play style so we can ensure they find homes that match their energy level. We celebrate their virtues and help them learn to minimize their less desirable behaviors. We give them everything we've got.

What we didn't know until just a year ago is that we're not just crazy for our PRC pups, we're downright crazy in general! A year ago we participated in our first Shelter Shiver to raise much-needed funds for Project Rescue. We turned in late on New Year's Eve 2010. We woke up early on New Year's Day. We headed down to the shores of Lake Michigan—and then we went in. Yep, in January. In Chicago. When it's guaranteed to be fridgid and windy and snowy. And it worked! We raised over $6,500, which went a long way toward ensuring that we would continue the good work we committed to when we founded Project Rescue Chicago.

And now we're asking for your commitment, too. Not to us, of course, but to the dogs in our program that we're crazy about and the dogs you've met through us who captured your attention (and maybe your heart). We're asking you to join our Shelter Shiver team in one of three ways:
  • Stone Cold Chilla: Join us for every crazy step of it (this is the one where you put your head under!)
  • Shiver me Timbers: A nice introduction for new-comers—legs only
  • Warm and Dry Barfly: A perfect way to be part of our team if you're traveling or just can't bear the thought of Lake Michigan in January (we won't hold it against you!)
And if you need a little motivation, meet some of the crazy-good inspiration we use to make jumping in Lake Michigan in January seem like a perfectly sane idea:

Jubilee is one of those dogs we thought would be with us for a minute, find her forever home right away and have her happy ending. Her gentle demeanor, her love of play, her sweet manners, her affection for everyone big and small, her whip-smart mind—they all said "incredibly adoptable" to us. And yet, after nearly six months in our program, Jubilee is still waiting patiently for her forever family to find her.

We jump for Jubilee and our other dogs like her, who remind us that even when you have everything going in your favor, sometimes your happy ending is a little slow in coming.

Leah will always hold a special place in our hearts. Leah was living the life we try to give all of our dogs: She had a comfortable home. She had a family who loved her, a warm bed, plenty to eat—she had it made. Then one day she waited at the door as her mom went down the driveway to get the mail from the mailbox. As Leah watched, a driver sped through the cul-de-sac, struck her mom and then raced away. She broke down the door to try to help her mom. She stood watch over her and howled for help until a neighbor came home from work. Unfortunately, her mom did not survive the impact and Leah came into our program. We posted her profile online and immediately heard from a woman who had been looking for an adult mastiff. Nikki came to meet Leah and it was love at first sight. Leah now lives with Nikki and has a labrador brother, Gator. She is happy and safe.

We jump for Leah, for your dogs and even for our own dogs, in the hopes that if tragedy strikes, Project Rescue will be there to soften the blow.

Quinn's story is a true rags-to-riches one. Quinn, pregnant and emaciated, was tossed over a fence and into the yard of an abandoned house. As crazy luck would have it, the house was right next to Animal Welfare League's Wabash facility. Someone saw poor Quinn and took her in out of the 100 degree weather and into the shelter. But there was more work to be done. Quinn had likely never known an act of kindness in her life. She didn’t know how to take treats, snuggle into our laps or smile. But we knew there was a happy dog in there waiting to be introduced to the world. First through her time with us and then through the love and attention of her foster mom, Pam (who would soon become her forever mom), Quinn has blossomed into the happy, loved and loving, confident dog she deserves to be.

We jump for Quinn and other dogs like her—those in our program now and those we will surely meet in the coming year—who are just one lucky break away from escaping a lonely and undeserved death without ever knowing love.

Martha is a doll and we loved having her in our prgram, but she is one of those "thanks for the memories" kind of girls. Martha put her best self out there, met her forever family right away and headed out the door without a backwards glance. Of course, we couldn't be happier for her! We jump for all of the Marthas in our program who really just need a little help in getting to the right place at the right time in order to meet the people who will call them family.

In memory of Annie and her puppies
Annie was supposed to be one of our success stories. Annie arrived at Animal Welfare League's (AWL's) Wabash facility underweight and very, very pregnant. We don't often take puppies into our program, but something special about Annie prompted us to make an exception and we agreed that when she and her puppies were ready to make the move, they would come into the Project Rescue program. Annie and the pups were set to come "home" with us the same day we hosted a volunteer event at AWL. As our volunteers excercised dogs, cuddled with them, folded laundry and sorted donations of food, Bridgid checked in our new recruits—only to find several of the puppies showing signs of parvovirus. Extremely contagious, parvovirus has an over 90 percent fatality rate when left untreated. Unfortunately, treatment is lengthy, expensive, intense and has a low success rate. It quickly became clear that the entire family was infected. With heavy hearts, the obvious decision to euthanize this young family was made. We were forced to say good-bye to this spunky little lady and her puppies before we'd even finished saying hello.

And so, for Annie, her puppies and all of the dogs who miss their lucky break by an inch or a mile, we say, "Yes! We will jump into Lake Michigan in January—gladly!"

We hope you're feeling inspired, too, and invite you to join our Shelter Shiver team, either literally at the lake front or in spirit through a donation. Your participation will allow us to tell more stories with happy endings—there's nothing crazy about that!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dear World, It's Me—Roscoe!

Hello, world! My name is Roscoe and I’m looking for my forever family.

"I'm Roscoe! Pleased to meet'cha!"
My first family gave me up to a shelter either because they were moving or because they couldn’t afford vet bills. Either way, I was sad because at the shelter I didn’t get to spend any time hanging with humans—which is my favorite thing.

I had been there two months when Project Rescue Chicago discovered me. PRC took me outside and it was so nice to finally stretch out in the sun and get belly rubs. I was in heaven. Before I knew it, I got the best ride of my life—a ride away from the shelter. I knew I was on my way to a better life.

But, sadly, my troubles weren’t over just yet. When PRC took me to the vet, they found out that I had a bad case of heartworm.

"Boo crate rest; hooray no heartworm!"
It was a terrible time to have heartworm—there was a medicine shortage because some factory shut down or something. But PRC and some amazing volunteers scoured the ends of the Earth and found me the precious medicine!

After two months of treatment and bed rest, I was totally cured! Now I’m as healthy as can be. I love to run and I just learned how to swim.

As you can tell from my pictures, I’m a pretty dapper dude with my one blue eye, athletic build and shiny coat.

I’ve even got this cool white thunderbolt on the back of my neck. Speaking of lighting, I should warn you that I may steal some of your thunder. People actually stop me on the street to comment on how good-looking I am.

My foster sister is a hound/pointer like me and we get along great. We like to run, wrestle and steal chew toys from each other. I love to hang out and watch movies.

I’m also into yoga—I let my front legs fall off the bed, then I walk out so my hind legs are on the very edge of the mattress for an awesome stretch. I adore car rides and every day I get better on the leash.

When my foster parents are out of the house, I stay in my crate and chomp on my peanut-butter-filled Kong. I snuggle at bedtime, but after an hour, I usually go to my crate to curl up for the night. I’m pretty close to being fully potty trained—I can hold it until 8:30am!

As I'm about to become a free agent, here are my vital stats:
  • Breed: Hound, Australian shepherd mix (We think the shepherd half gives me my coloring and my one blue eye, and the hound part keeps my hair short and gives me my athletic profile.)
  • Gender: Male
  • Age: ~1.5 years
  • Weight: 67 lbs.
  • Vaccinations: Yes
  • Microchipped: Yes
  • Dog friendly: Yes
  • Cat friendly: I do great with my foster brother cat, but I get a little curious with cats I don’t know, so I need to be supervised when I meet a new cat.
  • Favorite foods: Ice cubes! Duck and beef treats.
  • Food aggressive: No
  • Awesome: Absolutely!

"What?! You want to meet me?! I'm coming!!"

Can’t wait to meet you!


Many thanks to Roscoe's foster parents, Meaghan and David, for taking dictation from Roscoe so he could share his story. To learn more about meeting or adopting Roscoe, please complete an application with Project Rescue Chicago.