Monthly Archive:: November 2010

Helping Pets + Domestic Abuse Victims

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I picked up a copy of the November 2010 issue of The Oprah Magazine last weekend to read while I burned off a few calories on the stairclimber at my gym. As I readied for my stairclimbing blitz, I noted I was flanked by a creepy sweaty man to my right and an overly primped super-cougar to my left. Within moments however, I had all forgotten about my odd neighbors as I became riveted and simultaneously choked up by Susan Hauser’s extremely moving story about a unique nonprofit organization called “Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims” or SAAV, founded by Pamela Hart and Megan Senatori.

Helping Victims of Domestic Abuse by Helping Their Pets

Domestic violence and animal abuse are often closely linked. Various studies have documented that nearly 48% of domestic violence victims say they would have fled their abusive situation sooner only if they had a safe place to leave their dog or cat. Most shelters for battered women do not allow animals and more than half of women in crisis centers who own pets report that their spouses abused or even killed their animals, as they were unable to take their pet when they fled from their homes.

Understanding the wrenching dilemma facing domestic abuse victims, Hart and Senatori founded SAAV because they did not want domestic abuse victims to ever have to "choose" between their own safety and the safety and well-being of a beloved animal companion. A Madison, Wisconsin-based organization, The SAAV Program is a network of temporary homes, shelters, farms and ranches, all in confidential locations. 

Since 2003, The SAAV Program has placed approximately 86 animals into temporary, confidential shelter while the animal's family was staying in a domestic abuse shelter or living with a relative or friend who could not also house the animal. The SAAV Program has provided domestic abuse victims with confidential shelter for a variety of beloved animal companions, including: dogs, cats, turkeys, turtles, birds, horses, goats, iguanas, and even a little hamster named “Faith.”

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How You Can Help

The SAAV Program has also assisted countless human and animal victims of domestic abuse by raising community awareness about the link between domestic abuse and animal cruelty and the importance of animal abuse prosecutions as a means to stop the cycle of abuse. In addition to providing shelter services, they also hope to inspire others to make a difference in their own community and are happy to serve as a resource. For more information, to volunteer or to join their network of foster homes by becoming a SAAV foster parent, visit or email them at



Article reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley

What We’re Loving: Personalized Pet Book Helps Shelter Pets

IMG_0758 Buy the Book – 100% of Proceeds Help Shelter Pets!

Following her passion as a lover of kids and animals, Jan Krystkowiak wondered how she could combine literacy, kids and pets – and found her answer with – personalized pet books that allow you to integrate your dog or cat’s breed, name and photo into the story! Jan came up with the idea after reading studies on personalization which indicated that reading and vocabulary improve substantially when children read materials with their name embedded in them. 

A supercharged go-getter with five kids and three dogs, Jan more than holds down the domestic fort while her husband, New Jersey Nets assistant NBA coach Larry Krystkowiak, is away. In fact, in January 2010, shortly after the earthquake in Haiti, Jan Krystkowiak and friends shipped 20,000 pounds of clothes, teddy bears, soccer balls and other goods to the devastated country and then traveled to Haiti where they spent 10 days helping out where they could.

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Paying it Forward: 100% of Proceeds to Benefit!

Starting now and through the holidays, in honor of adopt a shelter pet month and in the spirit of giving back, Jan and Where in the World Books is going to give 100% of all proceeds from her books to our friends at Foundation –  the virtual home of 352,660 adoptable pets from 13,583 adoption groups.

Knowing how much my 4 year old nephew, Colton, loves his Yellow Lab, Zoe, I ordered a personalized book from Where in the World books and now have a darling book featuring not only my nephew’s name throughout the book, but also his furry pal Zoe!  It even features a spot in the front of the book where I was able to write a personalized dedication and upload a photo of Zoe.

Why not personalize your own book for friends or family and help shelter pets at the same time! Available in both English and Spanish, there are 25 dog breeds and six cat breeds to choose from. Better yet, you can enter in the Promo Code: TAILS at checkout for an additional 10% off your entire order. Don't forget, the holidays are right around the corner!

Learn more at


Article reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley

Top 10 Reasons Why Senior Pets Rule

Petfinder Jack Russel Terrier Lila November is Adopt-a-Senior Pet Month!

If you've ever had the pleasure of sharing your life with a senior dog, you know what mellow, loving, happy-go-lucky, undemanding dogs they can be. Having shared my life with numerous senior doggies over the years, those fuzzy, grey-faced boos hold a special place in my heart.

November is Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month, and we, along with our friends at, are challenging everyone to spread the word! If you know someone who's thinking of adopting — or if you're considering adding a new furry family member yourself — please read on and share this list! To learn more about Lila, (right) the darling Jack Russell Terrier up for adoption, check out her page on

Top Ten Reasons  to Adopt a Senior Pet

1. Housetrained: Older dogs are housetrained. You won't have to go through the difficult stage(s) of teaching a puppy house manners and mopping/cleaning up after accidents.

2. Won't chew inappropriate items: Older dogs are not teething puppies, and won't chew your shoes and furniture while growing up.

3. Focus to learn: Older dogs can focus well because they've mellowed. Therefore, they learn quickly.

4. Know what "no" means: Older dogs have learned what "no" means. If they hadn't learned it, they wouldn't have gotten to be "older" dogs.

5. Settle in with The Pack: Older dogs settle in easily, because they've learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack.

6. Good at giving love: Older dogs are good at giving love, once they get into their new, loving home. They are grateful for the second chance they've been given.

7. What You See Is What You Get: Unlike puppies, older dogs have grown into their shape and personality. Puppies can grow up to be quite different from what they seemed at first.

8. Instant companions: Older dogs are instant companions — ready for hiking, car trips, and other things you like to do. 

9. Time for yourself: Older dogs leave you time for yourself, because they don't make the kinds of demands on your time and attention that puppies and young dogs do.

10. A good night's sleep:  Older dogs let you get a good night's sleep because they're accustomed to human schedules and don't generally need nighttime feedings, comforting, or bathroom breaks.

How You Can Help Spread the Word About Senior Pets

It's easy – here are a few ideas. Let us know in the comments below if we forgot any tips!

  • E-mail this post to a friend who wants a new pet
  • Promote one senior pet on Facebook or Twitter every day this month. (On Twitter, add the hashtag #PFseniorpets.)
  • Add a Petfinder senior-pet search widget to your Web site or blog.
  • Post a photo of your senior pet (and share why he or she rules) on the Petfinder Facebook wall.

Learn more about care for your Senior Pet at Portions of this story reprinted courtesy of our friends at

Article reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley

Top Ten Unusual Dog + Cat Names of 2010

Jackson fro
Buddy, Max and Bella's Need Not Apply

In an effort to pay homage to those that take pride in their pets’ unconventional names, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) set out for the third year in a row to find the 50 most unusual dog and cat names in the United States.

The resulting list turned out to be a mix of puns, pop culture, and a little bit of poop. They began by selecting 50 of the most "out-there" dog and cat names from the company's database of more than 485,000 insured pets and then slowly narrowed them down to their top 10 favorites. Here are their picks for the 10 most unique dog and cat names for 2010! Visit Veterinary Pet Insurance to see the whole list!

My favorites are Badonkadonk and Purr Diem! What are your favorites?


  1. Pickle Von Corndog
  2. Lord Chubby Pruneface
  3. Badonkadonk
  4. Ninjastar Dangerrock
  5. Molly Mcboozehound
  6. Dog Vadar
  7. Flospy Squeakerton
  8. Bettie Poops
  9. Geez Louise
  10. Barnaby Bones


  1. Purr Diem
  2. Bing Clawsby
  3. Cleocatra
  4. Admiral Pancake
  5. Optimus Pants
  6. Chairman Meow
  7. Boo Manchu
  8. Watts in a Name
  9. Chenoa Azure Marshmellow-Puff
  10. Senor Nachos


Article reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley