All posts tagged 'pet kids'

Our Foundation Awards Grants to 9 Rescue Groups

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Did you know that when you shop from Life’s Abundance, a portion of the profits is set aside to fund the good words of our charitable foundation? It’s true! Whether you’re ordering the finest nutritional supplements for yourself or premium food, treats and supplements for your companion animals, your repeat business will help fund the efforts to save the lives of homeless, abused and neglected animals throughout our great nation.

Our non-profit agency, The Dr. Jane Foundation, provides financial support to small and medium-size rescue groups from coast to coast. Each charitable organization dedicates itself to the hard work of ending animal homelessness and helping pets survive and overcome the effects of chronic abuse and neglect. Many of these rescue groups are just getting their operations off the ground, and the financial support we provide can help them grow and enable them to save even more lives. Since 2007, our foundation has awarded in excess of $200,000 to over 150 deserving groups!

The needs are many and great. Even though reliance on euthanasia is but a fraction of it was 20 or 30 years ago, still far too many adoptable dogs and cats have their lives ended prematurely ... nearly three million pets every year. The vast majority of recently founded animal rescues are committed to a no-kill approach, something we very want to support. For these new groups, many of the obstacles they face boil down to limited resources. If we can help dozens of these groups every year to save more lives and further establish their agencies as agents of positive change, we are thrilled to do so.

To qualify for funding from our foundation, applicants must meet rigorous criteria. Most of our grant recipients utilize one or more strategies that have proven successful in curbing pet overpopulation and reducing the number of dogs and cats euthanized. These initiatives include low-cost spay and neuter surgeries, TNR (trap-neuter-return) management of feral cat communities, affordable adoption fees and community education efforts regarding the proper care of companion animals and the dangers of animal abuse and neglect. And all of this is done in addition to the day-to-day activities undertaken by these committed workers to place rescued animals in loving adoptive homes.

Just think, simply by buying from Life’s Abundance, you’ll be making the world a better place for dogs and cats in need. How often do you get to do something super positive without having to do anything different at all? As long as you keep purchasing our health-promoting products, you’ll be supporting rescue efforts across the US!

And now, we’re pleased to inform you that our Board of Directors held a quarterly meeting on July 17th. We approved funding several grant applications and sent checks the following worthy rescue organizations.

ACTion Programs for Animals

Located in Las Cruces, NM, this 100-volunteer-strong animal rescue is making a tremendous difference, not only in their local community, but even beyond state lines. Since May of 2012, they have rescued more than 3,500 dogs and cats. Nearly all of those were pulled from a nearby high-kill shelter. They have been able to make such great strides through the tireless work of their committed volunteer network of rescue and foster coordinators and families. They've even managed to hold weekend adoptions to locate loving homes for their rescues quickly and efficiently, all on a shoe-string budget. Soon, they plan to move into a newly purchased facility that will double their housing capacity, further bolstering their presence in the area as a welcome alternative to municipal shelters.

Animal Rescue of Southern Colorado

Based in Antonito, CO, this small yet committed animal welfare group focuses their efforts on two pressing needs: one, to house, care for and adopt out neglected and abandoned dogs; and two, to reduce pet overpopulation through spay-neuter services. Now barely into their second year of operation, this hardworking rescue managed to save 74 dogs in their first six months! Their goal - and fervent hope - is to never have to turn away a dog in need. Our financial grant has been earmarked to help cover the costs of constructing a modern kennel, which will allow them to rescue even more homeless animals. The new kennel will utilize solar panels to provide heat during harsh winters.

Bounce Animal Rescue

This foster-based rescue organization is located in beautiful Northern Colorado. Their goal is to grow to the size where they'll be able to rescue unwanted animals from high-kill shelters all over the country, place them with loving fosters and ultimately find them forever homes where they will be loved unconditionally. Even while they're out there saving lives, they're still focused on the well-being and adoption of unwanted animals. They're committed to building stronger community relationships, investing in technology and fundraising at the grassroots level. Bounce focuses on quality veterinary care, nutrition, spay/neuter programs, training and, of course, adoptions.

Boxer Aid and Rescue Coalition, Inc.

Headquartered in Tallahassee, Boxer Aid and Rescue Coalition is a not-for-profit rescue organization that operates a network of volunteers in north Florida and south Georgia. In their decade of operation, these devoted caretakers have helped to rescue and find forever homes for hundreds of Boxers. Each dog receives medical care, basic training (including a behavioral assessment), a caring foster environment and the promise that they’ll be ultimately be placed in homes where they will be treated "as a member of the family." Keep an eye on this group, as they plan to expand their organization to help provide care for senior and hospice dogs. 

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Eastern Plains Animal Welfare Alliance

Based in Burlington, CO, this small non-profit got its start in 2011 as a TNR program for feral cats. That has now grown to a much larger effort to rescue both cats and dogs, and to help curb overpopulation in their area. In just a few short years, they've achieved great success, altering more than 1,700 animals and vaccinating over 360 feral cats! A dedicated team of volunteers help with all aspects of the rescue effort. Amazingly, they're able to locate loving homes for their dogs and cats in record time. They're so insistent on matching up prospective pet parents with new intakes that the average wait-time for these creatures just two-to-four weeks before moving from terrible situations and into their forever home. Our grant will go towards the costs associated with low-cost spay/neuter community clinics or towards the purchase of a high quality shed to safely store their supplies, which has previously been done by their many volunteers. 

MeeowzResQ

Located in Orange County, this non-profit, all-volunteer organization is dedicated to the rescue of cats and kittens in Southern California. Every year, they have been able to save more than 2,000 felines! Their kittens are hand-raised in foster homes, and many of those are bottle-fed babies. These kittens grow into sweet and people-oriented cats thanks to the amazing foster care by pet parents who are dedicated to raising and finding good homes for these abused, injured or abandoned cats. They routinely hold feline adoption events in numerous cities, and operate an extensive foster network spanning even more locations throughout Southern California. Our financial grant will help them to further their mission as their current needs dictate. 

My Second Home Rescue

Based in Carr, CO, this no-kill organization is on a mission to rescue and re-home stray, neglected and abandoned dogs from high-kill shelters. They believe that all living creatures should be treated with dignity and respect. They provide much needed care, medical attention, microchipping and socialization, all towards their ultimate goal of placing these pups in permanent adoptive homes where they will be loved like family. At present, they adopt out between 125-150 dogs per year, which is no small feat for a small rescue. They strive to increase public awareness about overpopulation problem and hope to see an end of euthanasia in their area. Our award was earmarked to help fund heartworm treatments for two very sick dogs. 

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New England Society for Abandoned Animals

Located in Centerville, MA, this non-profit was founded in 2009 to serve the Cape Cod community and surrounding areas. They are one of the few organizations committed to hands-on rescue work in the region, whether those cases stem from neglect, abuse or abandonment cases, to assistance with strays and their TNR program for feral cats. They take it as their mission to advocate, protect and rescue, using a proactive, humane approach. They are committed to increasing community awareness and creating progressive changes in animal welfare. As a “no-kill” organization, NESAA has a no-exceptions spay/neuter policy ... that notion is at the heart of every program implemented by the organization. They have established relationships with other organizations who serve individuals with disabilities, and these groups routinely help volunteers socialize animals at the shelter. Our financial award is earmarked for their multiple overpopulation prevention programs, from TNR to low-cost spay/neuter programs for the low-income community.

Res-Que, Ltd.

Based in Reno, NV, this non-profit group rescues dogs of all breeds. Res-Que was founded by Rhonda Shafer in 2009, after working as a distributor of dog food and supplies for local rescues. They work extensively with small, outlying shelters to rescue dogs and find them forever homes in both Northern Nevada and California. As their rescues recover from trauma and learn socialization skills, they live with one of the 15 caring families who make up their foster network. This group works very hard to find the less popular dogs from surrounding shelters where they will likely languish without interest from possible adopters, then place them in nurturing environments where each dog's true personality can finally shine. And their efforts are definitely paying off. In 2016, they were able to provide quality care and adopt out 147 dogs, and last year that number more than doubled to 303 dogs! Our financial grant will go towards covering the costs of veterinary medical care. 

To all of these groups, we say "congratulations!" Your remarkable efforts to make the world a better place for companion animals are truly paying off.

Are you involved in an animal rescue, or know someone who is? It's not too late to apply for 2018 funding. Our Board will be considering another round of applications at our final quarterly meeting in mid-October, so try to have completed grant requests submitted by the end of September to ensure your group’s consideration.

For all of you who actively support the vital work of our non-profit, we can’t thank you enough. Thanks to your personal donations and continued Life's Abundance patronage, we are continuing to make great strides towards helping animal rescue groups achieve their goals. Together, we’re making a positive difference in the world, one animal at a time.

The Future of Veterinary Medicine

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Our lives have been immeasurably changed since the dawn of the computer age. It’s hard to overstate the impact of technology on the future of medicine: it’s changed virtually everything. Much of it is already working its way into your veterinary office. So, what does the veterinary clinic of the future look like? Here are my predictions:

1. You’ll Be Taking Advantage of Telemedicine Options

Fifteen years ago, if your vet wanted a radiologist’s opinion on an x-ray, she would have to pack the film into an envelope and send it off. Nowadays, with digital x-rays, an expert opinion is just a click away.

Right now, telemedicine is mostly used as a means for one veterinarian to consult with another one. Having a remote veterinarian examine and diagnose your pet without seeing him or her in person is currently against the law in most states. Expect veterinary medicine to follow the trends in human medicine; I can talk to a doctor I’ve never met before over the phone about my child’s ear infection and get a prescription, so it’s only a matter of time before consumer demand will make veterinary telemedicine more accessible. It won’t happen until state regulatory boards make it legal, though, so don’t expect this to happen anytime soon.

The intermediate step you will probably notice first is either remote consultations with a veterinarian you already have a relationship, or a third-party triage service that can provide general advice without providing a diagnosis or treatment recommendation. Both of those options are legal under today’s laws. Once that becomes the norm, the rest will follow suit pretty quickly.

2. Health Monitoring Technology Will Grow

Each night, my husband and my son sit down to compare notes from the little fitness trackers they wear on their wrists and see who got the most steps in for the day. In the morning, my husband can tell me exactly when he was in REM sleep and how often he woke up. These devices even sync with our scales. The amount of data is almost overwhelming!

Over the past five years, multiple fitness trackers for dogs have come and gone. Most are still too large to fit on a cat’s collar due to the limitations of the battery size, but we’ll get there soon. Some of them just track steps for the day, but the latest versions can look at data such as breathing rate and whether or not a dog is scratching excessively. That’s good data to have if you are concerned your pet is in pain or wondering if those new allergy meds are helping!

In veterinary medicine, these fitness trackers are just the start. For those who live with diabetic cats, a litter box is in the works that can track glucose in the urine, a vital marker for diabetes. Imagine if that same litter box also could tell you when your cat loses a pound, which is a substantial health concern but often subtle enough that owners don’t notice right away. Expect these technologies to help us catch disease processes sooner rather than later, which will undoubtedly save lives!

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3. We’ll Be Using DNA Analysis to Predict Health

Ever swabbed your cheek and sent it off for a DNA analysis to learn about your ancestors? That’s only the beginning. Genetic testing to see what dog breeds make up your dog’s DNA has already expanded into an enormous database that helps improve our understanding of canine disease. Mapping of the dog genome already allows us to pick up early markers for many genetic diseases such as the MDR1 gene, degenerative myelopathy and Von Willebrand’s disease. Our ability to anticipate these disease processes before they develop will allow us to provide much more meaningful care and prevention.

Having such specific health information about individual companion animals will allow us to make completely individualized treatment plans!

4. We’ll Be Using Bioengineered Solutions to Treat Disease

Stem cells are a huge buzzword these days … but do the results really backup the hype? According to many veterinarians who use them to treat dogs, cats and horses, the answer is “yes!”

Stem cells are unique in that they can differentiate into different cell types, which makes them particularly useful in orthopedic disease where regeneration is a challenge. Stem cells can be harvested from a dog or cat’s own adipose tissue, grown at the lab, and returned to the veterinarian to be introduced to the site of an injury. A 2008 study in Veterinary Therapeutics showed a significant improvement using stem cells in dogs with elbow injuries, a notoriously difficult joint to treat.

Another area of research that makes this vet excited is immunotherapy: a cancer treatment that helps the pet’s own immune system recognize cancer cells as abnormal. Scientists are currently investigating the ability to create immunotherapy treatments for tricky cancers such as mast cell tumors, melanoma and osteosarcoma. Imagine a future where an injectable vaccine reduces the need for more invasive treatments such as chemotherapy, surgery and radiation!

Technology is both a blessing and a burden. I admit I sometimes long for the days when I wasn’t accessible 24 hours a day, and have to chase my kids outdoors and off their mobile devices. That being said, I am also so very excited to see how these amazing new developments will improve life for both pets and people!

Are pet health monitoring devices something would consider using? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Dr V
Dr. Jessica Vogelsang, DVM

Our Non-Profit Announces Four New Grants

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Even though great progress has been made in the last 30 years to reduce the number of animals being euthanized, a recent report by Best Friends Animal Society puts that number at 5,500 per day. To put that in a historical context, in 1984 that total was well over 46,000 per day (approximately 17 million per year)! While that represents a huge decrease, we think everyone can agree that two million every year is still two million too many.

That’s just one of the many reasons why our non-profit’s work is so important. By supporting the vital work of animal rescue groups who are dedicated to saving all lives, we are truly making a difference.

As the charitable arm of Life’s Abundance, The Dr. Jane Foundation provides financial support to small and medium-size rescue groups who work to prevent animal homelessness, abuse and chronic neglect. Because charitable work is central to our mission of wellness, every order we process aids homeless animals. And all of those small donations add up to a significant force for good. In the span of several years, The Dr. Jane Foundation has awarded funding to over 150 groups!

In a very real sense, every one of our loyal customers helps to support the cause of animal rescue, regardless of what you buy! While your focus may be on the well-being of your companion animals, or even yourself, you can rest easy knowing that you're not only helping homeless animals become companion animals, you’re also helping to eliminate the need for euthanasia.

And now, we’re pleased to inform you that our Board of Directors just held a quarterly meeting on February 8th. They approved four applications, funding the grant requests of the following animal rescue organizations.

Snickers

Hoopeston Animal Rescue Team

Based in Illinois, this all-volunteer, no-kill organization only began last year and they’re already having an incredibly positive impact on their community. According to their charter, HART is “dedicated to meeting the physical, emotional and medical needs of all local homeless animals”, a claim easily backed up by their record. Amazingly, they have been responsible for reuniting dozens of lost pet kids with their families (46 dogs and 12 cats in 2016 alone!). Hundreds of animals came through their doors last year, and they take enormous pride in the fact that no animal is ever turned away, for any reason. They even operate an open-intake shelter, so they’re on the front lines of all sorts of pet emergencies. Thanks to the superior medical care they provide, some of their patients have made recoveries that are nothing short of miraculous! To see the before-and-after photos, and for more information about their adoptable dogs and cats, visit hartshelter.org.

Bentley

Pawsitive Tails

Pawsitive Tails is a non-profit organization focused on finding forever homes for dogs and puppies in Kansas City and Topeka. They are not a traditional shelter organization, but rather a network of foster homes. This all-volunteer organization puts special focus on finding the perfect home for each rescue dog. During their time in foster care, the temporary pet parents closely observe the behaviors and personality traits of the pups. Later, they will use this info to help match prospective adopters with their ideal dog.

Another new rescue group, in their first 12 months of operation they took in 379 dogs and 349 were placed in loving homes ... remarkable! And every penny they raise goes directly to the care of their rescues. Our financial award will go towards funding their spay-and-neuter program and to help provide food for the foster pups. For more information about their adoptable dogs, visit pawsitivetailskc.org.

Winston

Schnauzer Rescue of Louisiana

Based in New Orleans, this foster group has been active since 2003 and was severely impacted by Hurricane Katrina. With a focus on purebred and mixed-breed Schnauzers, this small but dedicated rescue takes in dogs from local shelters and owner surrenders. Many of the pups in their care were made homeless when their caretaker passed away. They have rescued more than 300 Schnauzers since they began operations, and save as many as 38 per year. While some canines require months-long stays due to medical complications, this group attempts to place new rescues in loving homes in just a couple of weeks. Currently, they are working to expand their foster network and to provide rescue services in areas of Louisiana where shelters rely on euthanasia. Now that Schnauzer Rescue has built a reputation for their commitment and superior care, more and more rural areas are looking to them for help in dealing with homeless dogs. For more information about this rescue’s adoptable dogs, visit nolaschnauzer.com.

WestTNSpayNeuter

West Tennessee Spay Neuter Coalition

Based in Jackson, this coalition works on multiple fronts to reduce pet overpopulation and to foster a culture of responsibility when it comes to pet parenting. Their primary focus is on providing low-cost spay and neuter surgeries for both dogs and cats in West Tennessee. We’re proud to contribute to this relatively new enterprise, which only began just last fall. While they have performed procedures on cats in feral colonies, the vast majority of their ‘clients’ are dogs and cats who have a home. Based on their research, making alteration surgeries affordable for low-income pet parents will have a dramatic effect in preventing overpopulation, thus reducing incidence of homelessness, neglect and euthanasia. Eventually, they hope to open a spay-neuter clinic, which will help them to make even more of an impact in their community. For more information about this alliance and the work they do, visit westtnspayneuter.org.

To all of these groups, we say "congratulations!" Your remarkable efforts to make the world a better place for companion animals are truly paying off.

Are you involved in an animal rescue, or know someone who is? We are currently accepting applications for 2017 funding. Our Board will be considering applications for the next round of funding in April, so try to have completed grant requests submitted by the end of March to ensure your group’s consideration.

For all those who actively support our non-profit, we can’t thank you enough. Thanks to your personal donations and continued patronage, we are taking real steps to help animal rescue groups across America achieve their goals. Together, we’re making a positive difference in the world, one animal at a time.

 

Dental Care 101

Does your fur kid have dental disease? If your dog or cat is over the age of two, then the answer is “highly likely”.

It’s February, which means it’s also National Pet Dental Health Month! If you’re wondering why the awareness campaign lasts for a whole month, it’s because periodontal disease is the most commonly diagnosed disease in dogs and cats. Veterinary dentists will tell you, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats over the age of two have some form of periodontal disease.

That number may seem awfully high, but unfortunately it’s also accurate. Plaque and tartar accumulate on our pet’s teeth just like it does on our own, but the vast majority of pet parents don’t brush their companion animal’s teeth twice a day. Or even once a day. (It’s OK to admit it, you’re in good company). By their second birthday, your fur kid is basically fully grown. And far too many of these adults have never had their teeth brushed.

“But his teeth look fine!” you might protest. That very well may be true. However, plaque (the gummy film that forms on a pet’s teeth within hours of eating) isn’t obvious to the naked eye. Over the course of several days it combines with minerals to harden into tartar. Over weeks and months, this tartar builds into a thick brown stain. Often referred to as “yuck mouth”, there are less familiar technical terms for it (such as Stage IV periodontal disease, the worst level). With routine care and attention, you should be able to prevent them from ever experiencing that stage.

Evaluating a pet kid’s teeth and gums begins with a visual inspection. I call it “flip the lip” because you really need to lift that lip up to view the back molars, which is where the really bad buildup occurs. During the visual exam, we check for tartar, any anomalies (like extra or missing teeth), and for gum inflammation. We also check for any unusual masses. Two of my dogs have had oral melanomas, both discovered during routine exams.

Even if you regularly brush their teeth, they will eventually need a full cleaning at the veterinarian. This dental cleaning will often include x-rays of the mouth, a vital component of an oral exam. Bone loss, where the root is diseased below the gum line is more common than many realize.

Cats suffer a unique condition that makes x-rays even more crucial. Three quarters of cats over the age of five suffer from tooth resorption, a painful condition where the body reabsorbs the protective dentin covering on a tooth, leaving the root exposed. The cause is unknown, and it can affect just one or many teeth. The worst part is, the entire lesion may be below the gum line, resulting a normal-looking crown but with a terribly painful root. The only treatment at that point is extraction of the affected tooth. As stoic as felines are, even the most observant pet parents won’t see any evidence of this problem. Scary, right?

The concept of “anesthesia-free dentistry” has become very popular over the years, but I would caution you to know its limitations. We anesthetize our fur kids because that is the only way we can be thorough in our examination, clean underneath the gum line where much of the bacteria and plaque reside, and extract teeth if necessary. I have seen many dogs and cats at my clinic just weeks after an anesthesia-free cleaning who are still suffering from significant dental disease. If you do use this option, just know that while it may remove tartar and plaque from the visible surface of the tooth, it does not provide the health benefits that a full cleaning under anesthesia would.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, treat your companion animal to the gift of health! Many veterinary clinics offer special deals or packages during the month of February, so if you’ve been putting off that dental cleaning, there’s no time like the present to schedule an appointment. And be sure to check out the Life’s Abundance dental-health products discounted for the month of February in celebration of National Pet Dental Health Month. We’re offering these great products at their reduced Autoship prices (up to 18% off retail!): Gourmet Dental Treats, Porky Puffs and Buffalo Bully Sticks!

By making just a couple of improvements to your care regimen, you could help to add years to your pet kid’s lifetime.

Dr V Dr. Jessica Vogelsang

New Year’s Goals for Pet Kids

Frenchie

Ah, January. A season for new beginnings, new resolutions, and some measure of regret for all the indulgences of the holiday season. If my gym is any indication, “get more exercise” is still on the top of most people’s list of New Year’s resolutions.

Fur kids don’t make resolutions, but if they did, half of them would be joining us in our pursuit of a healthier weight. Here’s a few facts about canine and feline weight you might not know:

1. More than half of dogs and cats in the US are considered overweight. It’s right up there with dental disease in terms of how frequently it is diagnosed. Because it creeps up slowly over time, many pet parents don’t even realize it’s happening until an annual vet check. Suddenly, your 12-pound cat is now 15 pounds. Yikes!

Tabby

2. Being overweight increases other health risks. Diabetes, joint disease, heart and lung disease, some forms of cancer and high blood pressure are all linked to excessive weight in dogs and cats. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same list we see in people. We all need to make an effort to go out and play, walk or run as a team!

3. Weight loss is a process. Some companion animals lose weight more easily than others, so it may take some experimentation to figure out the best course of action for your own dog or cat. One of the most common pitfalls is neglecting to measure food portions. When my dog Brody put weight on after my son took over feeding duties, I was shocked to realize that he was dumping food in the bowl without measuring. Brody was being overfed by almost 30%!

Whippet

4. Helping your fur kid be healthier can make you healthier, too! The Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that people who live with dogs are 34% more likely to walk at least 150 minutes a week. And if your fur kid is a puppy, guess what? You walk faster than people walking without a dog. Sometimes not in a straight line, am I right?

5. Pet kids at a healthy weight live longer. Dogs and cats at a normal weight have an average life expectancy up to 2.5 years longer than those who are overweight. So commit today and add more and better years to not just your own life, but your companion animal’s as well!

The great thing about weight, compared to other medical conditions, is that it is reversible. Talk to your veterinarian about the course of action that’s right for you. They can help you figure out your companion animal’s caloric requirements and ensure weight loss is done gradually and safely.

Here’s to a fruitful and healthy 2017, and successful squad goals!

Dr V Dr. Jessica Vogelsang, DVM

Giving Rescues Reasons to be Thankful

A time of fellowship and enduring affections, this year’s holiday season has come. For many Americans, the chance to value and support friends, family and community offers a welcome change of pace, given a fractious election year. Many of us are already throwing ourselves headlong into preparations to spend quality time with family and friends. And while we may be fully invested in our immediate and upcoming holiday plans, this time of year finds us considering the plights of others … it is the season of giving and thanks, after all!

I’m so grateful to have helped establish a company that does so much to promote the welfare and health of companion animals. As I’m fond of saying, we’re a small company with a great big heart. Helping companion animals to lead healthier, longer and happier lives is not just an important company commitment … it’s our personal mission.

I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of our non-profit’s essential work. The Dr. Jane Foundation provides funding to an incredibly diverse array of small and medium-size animal rescue groups. Regardless of geography, all of these groups are united in common cause … doing whatever it takes to save neglected, abused and homeless animals. Over the last 10 years, it’s been my great honor to discover the hundreds of rescue organizations who invest so much time, energy and passion into forging a brighter future for these helpless creatures. Along with my fellow Board Directors, I have witnessed the amazing resilience of companion animals who have suffered any manner of trauma. Their journeys of healing and hope inspire us to do more for the legions of volunteers, foster parents and veterinarians who work so hard every single day.

Best of all, every time you purchase Life’s Abundance products, a small donation is made in honor of these groups. Simply by shopping with us, every one of our loyal customers helps to support the cause of animal rescue. So, while you're actively working towards wellness for yourself, your family and your companion animals, know that you're also giving a helping hand to the people who have dedicated their lives to making life better for homeless animals.

It seems only right this holiday season to share news of our most recent round of funding. And, seeing as how this IS Thanksgiving, I’d like to personally thank the following seven rescue groups, each of whom received financial backing from our non-profit. Please note that most, if not all, of the dogs depicted in the following photos are available for adoption.

New Kent Humane Society

Founded in 2009, this small-town animal rescue works to reduce the growing number of homeless animals. Run entirely by a dedicated team of volunteers, they strive to liberate dogs and cats from the county pound. Their greatest wish is "to reduce the number of animals being euthanized locally". Thanks to their tireless advocacy and a budding network of foster homes, more and more dogs and cats are finding forever homes. In addition to their adoption efforts, this group is also committed to helping lost pet kids be reunited with their families. We support the superheroes of this small community who strive to improve quality of life for so many, especially those who do not have a voice. To learn more, visit www.newkenthumane.org.

D.R.E.A.M. Dachshund Rescue

Serving Atlanta, North Georgia and the Savannah area, this breed-specific rescue is 100% volunteer operated. All of their dogs are temporarily homed in foster care, affording every volunteer ample opportunity to really get to know each foster pup. This hands-on approach can make a huge difference when it comes to matching their personalities with prospective adopters, as it helps to guarantee successful outcomes when their Dachshunds are ultimately placed in their forever homes. To learn more, visit www.dreamrescue.org.

Greyhound Pets of Greater Orlando

Originally founded in 1996 as a chapter of the National Greyhound Pets of America, this Orlando-based non-profit has two main goals: to locate loving homes for ex-racing Greyhounds and to educate the public on the merits of adopting this breed. Unlike most of our grant recipients this quarter, this group operates a physical facility, where right now nearly 50 of these elegant creatures are awaiting placement in their forever homes. Another fully volunteer enterprise, this group is proud that all donations go directly to the care of their rescued Greyhounds. The depth of their connection to the breed is evident in their commitment to never turn away a Greyhound due to injury, illness or old age. To learn more, visit www.greyhoundpetsorlando.org.

Southeast German Shepherd Rescue

Founded in 2010 to save German Shepherd Dogs from abuse, abandonment and high-kill shelters, this non-profit organization owes its existence to the compassion and dedication of its volunteers. Their efforts to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome this noble breed take place primarily in North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, but they provide assistance to rescue efforts throughout the Southeast. Everyone in the organization volunteers their service, doing their utmost to identify and place these social, intelligent and agile creatures in loving homes where they can thrive as loving and loyal family members. To learn more, visit www.southeastgermanshepherdrescue.com.

Lovebugs Rescue

This non-profit was founded by Heather Peterson in honor of Kaya, a special-needs Chihuahua who was rescued from a high-kill shelter. Located in Southern California, this foster-based rescue has made remarkable progress building relationships with overcrowded animal shelters in the area. Taking homeless pups into foster care not only saves their lives, it undercuts the reliance on euthanasia by other shelters as an acceptable response to overpopulation. Leading by example, their hope is to educate people about the gravity of the issue and how easy it is to make a difference that benefits everyone involved. To learn more, visit www.lovebugsrescue.org.

Southwest Metro Animal Rescue & Adoption Society

Based in Chaska, MN, this all-volunteer organization has more than 35 years of combined experience in the animal rescue field. One of a growing number of shelter-free charitable groups, this foster home-based organization commits serious time and energy into rescuing abandoned, abused and stray domestic animals. They are passionate about their work, and their mission of caring is clearly born out in the good works they accomplish every day. They have seen firsthand how the bond humans and companion animals share is strengthened through education, whether it's on humane treatment, the vital need for spay/neuter programs or the legal protections afforded animals. To learn more, visit www.swmetroanimalrescue.org.

Southern California German Shepherd Rescue

Founded in August 2006, this amazingly dedicated team of volunteers rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes pet kids all across Southern California. Additionally, they provide veterinary care and spay/neuter surgeries. In the last decade, they have successfully located forever homes for over 900 companion animals. Despite what you might think based on their name, this foster-based rescue saves not just German Shepherd Dogs, but also Great Danes, Poodles, mixed breeds ... even a few cats! To learn more, visit http://socalrescue.org.

Including these awards, The Dr. Jane Foundation has awarded grants totaling nearly $24,000 to 18 worthwhile rescues this year! Soon we will reveal more details about what these non-profits are able to accomplish with our funding. But for now, we extend our hearty, holiday congratulations to all of these groups for their remarkable efforts to make the world a better place for companion animals!

Are you involved in an animal rescue, or know someone who is? We are currently accepting applications for 2017 funding. Our Board will be considering applications for the next round of funding in January, so try to have completed grant requests submitted by the end of the year to ensure your group’s consideration.

This holiday season, any contribution you make will help to ensure that deserving groups like these continue to receive much-needed financial support. We will be thrilled to receive your donation, in any amount. For all of you who have already supported our non-profit, we can’t thank you enough. Thanks to your personal donations and continued patronage, we are taking real steps to help animal rescue groups across America. With your help, we’re making a positive difference in the world, one animal at a time.

Wishing you the very best this holiday season, and always!

Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM