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100KChallenge: There’s No Place Like Home

29 May

We work hard to find the perfect, fulfilling forever home for every animal we rescue. We couldn’t do this without our amazing community of adopters and supporters. We are extremely grateful to be a part of a community that cheers us on every single day. We need your help now more than ever.

We are pleased to announce that we are the only New Jersey finalist in this year’s ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. The ASPCA is challenging fifty shelters and rescues across the United States to save more lives and find more animals homes this summer. We are in the running for over $100,000 in grants: money that we can use to build our new, permanent kennel, pay the incredible medical expenses for our animals, and continue to rescue until all the cages are empty.

Help us show our rescue animals that there really is no place like home. We appreciate your support in any way: adopt, foster, volunteer, donate, advocate.

Follow along via Facebook and our website.

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Foster Families: The World of Cat Fostering

23 May

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Most people are surprised when they enter my home.  I live with my boyfriend and our two very close friends in a three bedroom house, there are three personal cats who are there permanently.  Normally when people walk in they chuckle at the signs on the wall; “Home is where the cats are,”  “beware of the cat,” the standard kind of signs that garnish a home filled with fur-ball love, the only indications that there are kitties in our home.

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Out of the corner of their eye they see something dart across the living room, then look up at the bookshelf and see eyes peeking down.  Looking around the corner, they notice there are cats plopped here and there – two in the window, three on the couch, five in a pile on a tiny chair.

Wandering into the “dining room,” they realize the room isn’t meant for dining at all but is instead a cat paradise with toys, scratchers, food, chairs and beds galore.

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As they turn to me and say “how many cats do you have?” they continue to stare as I give them a number anywhere from 5 to 19.  Yes, 19, there have been three or four occasions where we have had 19 cats at once, more than our adoption facility holds.

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To answer some immediate questions:  No, my house actually doesn’t smell like cats.  Yes, I am out of my mind.  No, I am not some weird old woman who lives at the end of a cul-de-sac, I’m actually only 25 and no, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  We have saved 80 lives in 10 months – that’s 80 cats (and maybe 5-6 dogs) who would have died if we had not opened our home to them.  At times it is stressful but the majority of the time it is simply beautiful and fulfilling.

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Fostering cats has to be one of the easiest things possible to make a difference (unless you have 19.)  If any of the cats are sick, they are kept in large kitty condos in separate bedrooms as to not spread illness or infection.  Because of this, sometimes you’ll only actually see five cats, all the others are in quarantine.  I always tell people if you have a spare bedroom or small bathroom you can keep the door to closed, you can fosters cats.  All they require is some clean litter daily, some food and water and of course as much love as you’re willing to give them.  They repay you with purrs, tail swishes and leg rubs, the best forms of payment out there.

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There are so many stories I want to share with everyone.  The time we were given frightened, shaved Persians out of a hoarding situation and how good it felt the first time we got them to purr.  Or maybe the kittens that were taken from a meth lab who had been abused but immediately knew they were safe in our arms.  Perhaps I would tell you of another rescue that pulled a nursing mother and 9 seven week old babies from a high kill shelter right before they were going to be put to sleep, only to find out they had ringworm and thus wanted to take them back to be euthanized but instead we opened our hearts and our home to them.  I would tell you about the 9 month old cutie who was being given away on free website because he got too big, the playful girl abandoned at a local barn, the babies and moms we saved an hour before they were going to be put to sleep at a shelter in New York City, perhaps even the baby boy who was so sick and infected that he had to have his eye removed.  There are so many stories to tell but only so much time.  Each and every foster holds their own story and at the end of the day, when you say goodnight to each and every one of them, you can see the trust and love in their eyes and know that without you, they would no longer be alive.

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Fostering cats is the easiest thing in the world.  Yes, there are hardships, but that is expected when you’re making such a huge difference.  There is absolutely nothing better than watching them get adopted and getting updates, because more often than not, the adopters stay in touch.  Years later I still get updates from my first fosters, it shows me that not only did I make a difference in the cat’s life, I made a difference in the life of that family and the experience made a difference in me as well.

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If you’re interested in fostering cats or dogs with us, please fill out a foster application. To view our adoptable cats and kittens, please visit our website.

 

100KChallenge: Pup Rally!

22 May

We are so excited to once again be a finalist in this year’s ASPCA 100K Challenge. From June 1st – August 31st, we will be aiming to save even more lives and find more dogs and cats forever homes as we compete to win grants to help us build our new kennel!

Stay tuned for more details about special adoption events, how you can help, and updates on how we’re doing!

We wanted to get our amazing volunteers geared up for the challenge, so we hosted a Pup Rally last Thursday at the location of our future kennel! It was a fun night featuring delicious vegetarian appetizers from Marley’s Gotham Grill. Our group brainstormed some great ideas for the summer and had a wonderful time. Rescue pup Tyler even made a special appearance! He is looking so much better and has come a long way since we saved him thanks to his foster mom, our very own President!

We can’t wait to share all the exciting events happening this summer. Go Team EHR!

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Some of our amazing volunteers who attended the Eleventh Hour Rescue Pup Rally!

Kennel Club: Pack Walks

20 May
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Volunteers during one of our winter pack walks.

Last week, we gave you a brief overview of Eleventh Hour Rescue’s Kennel Enrichment Program and why it is so important for our adoptable dogs to receive various kinds of enrichment while living in a shelter environment, such as our kennel in Randolph.

This week, our focus is on one of the most important aspects of our program- our Pack Walks. Each weekend, our senior volunteers host pack walks, where a group of our volunteers get together and each grab a dog from the kennel to bring over to Horseshoe Lake in Succasunna for a nice leisurely walk. The walks last approximately one hour and we make the loop around the fields and lake (a little over a mile and a half in all). In the warm spring weather, middle of summer, the crisp chill of fall, and even the dead of winter, our dedicated volunteers come out to get our dogs out, exercised, and socialized in this great group activity!

According to FernDog Training– “Walking dogs together in a group is the single best way to help dogs achieve a calm state of mind in the presence of what normally causes them to react. By keeping dogs moving together you unify them, bond them as pack mates, and give them a non-confrontational positive experience around people and dogs (two of the biggest triggers of reactivity).”

While it is so important that our dogs get out and properly exercised, the positive socialization around other dogs, as well as people, is really the key for many of our kennel pups. It is amazing to see the transformation of a dog who gains confidence from experiencing these positive experiences when they may not have ever had that opportunity in the past. To see a row of 10 or so kennel dogs walking perfectly in sync down the path is really a thing to behold, especially when you consider that some of these dogs are considered dog-selective or dog-reactive.

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Some volunteers even throw in a little basic agility, like the jump that Bach is completing!

It only takes about two hours of your week to make the day of one of our adoptable kennel dogs! We are ALWAYS looking for volunteers to join us on our pack walks. Let our kennel dogs help you get active – it’s a win-win situation! Visit http://www.ehrdogs.org to fill out an application. One of our volunteers will be in touch to help you get set up and on your way to making a huge difference in the lives of our pups.

Volunteers on a spring pack walk

Volunteers on a spring pack walk

Happy Homes: Georgie

9 May

If there was a story that could touch your heart, it would be Georgie’s story.

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Like many of the dogs that come to us, she was unfortunately an abuse case.  After being rescued by a local Tennessee shelter, Georgie spent some time in foster care before making her way to Eleventh Hour Rescue, here in New Jersey.

But her troubles ended when she met her new mom, Patricia.

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Patricia had heard about Eleventh Hour through a friend and after loosing a dog a few years back, was growing lonely and was thinking about adopting a new companion.  Patricia was planning to go to an adoption event when she read about Georgie on Eleventh Hour’s website and was instantly touched by her.  It was puppy love at first sight when Patricia saw Georgie online, and Georgie’s touching background grabbed at her heart.

Three months later Georgie is well at home with Patricia.  Described as loving anything that squeaks, we know that Georgie has plenty of toys to play with.  “She can be a little shy at first”, noted Patricia, “but she’s getting better and liking people even more.”

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Patricia commented that “the nicest thing is to come home to a friend.  She acts as if she’s amazed that I came home each time, and I want to reassure her that I’m coming home”.

Upcoming Events: Pours for Paws

8 May

What could be better than enjoying a wonderful evening filled with good friends and great food, wine, and craft beer? Celebrating all this in honor of rescue animals!

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Pours for Paws: Taste of Morris County for Food, Wine, and Beer Lovers is in just one week on Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 from 7:00 pm until 10:00 pm at the beautiful Meadow Wood Manor in Randolph, NJ. This event will benefit our Building Hope project, which aims to raise funds to construct a new, permanent kennel to house some of the over 2,000 animals we save from death row every year. In addition to officially kicking off the capital fundraising efforts, Pours for Paws will also celebrate the success and support of local restaurants and vendors.

This celebration will bring together the top restaurants in Morris County, each offering a wide array of incredible tapas-style bites for guests to enjoy.  The event will feature fine wines from around the world with varietals hailing from Italy, South America, and the United States. Craft beer from US and international microbreweries and special brews from New Jersey will also be featured.

Participating restaurants include:

Amiya

Andrea’s Dining Room 

Ava’s Cupcakes

Bensi of Denville

Casa Bella

Cinders

Hot Rods

Joseph Cuccia Catering

Morris Tap & Grill

Nicole’s 10 

Redwoods

Sergio & Co.

Taste

Viking Bakery

 

Pours for Paws is the first official event aiming to raise funds for our Building Hope project. Building Hope is the effort to fund and construct a new kennel to be a permanent home base for us and our adoptable animals. Over the last few years, we have been leasing a kennel facility to house some of the animals in our care and it is currently on the market to be sold.  “I lie awake at night worrying about the day that it does sell, where am I going to put all these lives we have committed to saving?” states Linda Schiller, Volunteer President and Founder.  Another issue is that the facility is old and run down. Some of the kennel runs are so beyond repair that it has rendered them useless.  Schiller continues; “To me, an empty kennel run is a life that could have been saved and that is unacceptable.  It’s time to open new doors to our own home, to secure the future for our animals and save more lives.”

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The goal of Building Hope is to create a comfortable haven and a place of hope. Cold concrete and chain link enclosures are a thing of the past.  Specifically designed with our dogs in mind, the modern state of the art facility will be a healthier environment both physically and mentally.  Equipped with heated floors for comfort and ease of cleaning, solid enclosures and sound proofing to reduce stress, sound, and airborne illness. We have already purchased land and buildings in Mount Olive on Route 46 and the we are excited to kick-off the first big Building Hope fundraiser. Building Hope aims to raise $1.5 million to create this new home.

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Tickets for Pours for Paws are available for purchase here. Presale tickets are available for $85 per person until Tuesday, May 14th. Tickets will be available at the door for $95 per person. Please join us for a wonderful event benefiting a worthy cause.

Kennel Club: Introduction to Kennel Enrichment

8 May

The ultimate goal of Eleventh Hour Rescue is to find wonderful and loving forever homes for all our dogs (and cats!). In the meantime, it is important to keep those dogs happy, mentally stimulated, exercised, and socialized while in our care and this is especially important when the dogs live in a shelter environment, such as our kennel. To that end, we created our Kennel Enrichment program almost two years ago. The main goal of kennel enrichment is is to enhance the lives of the dogs in our care by providing them with activities and programs that keep their lives exciting and full of variety. Living in a shelter or kennel can be stressful- especially for dogs who stay for two weeks or longer. Kennel stress is a real danger to these dogs and is exhibited in barking, destructive chewing, and repetitive behaviors such as circling, licking walls, etc. Our Kennel Enrichment team focuses on ways we can alleviate that stress and keep our dogs happy!

Gloria is all smiles during visits from volunteers.

Gloria is all smiles during visits from volunteers

 

The Kennel Enrichment team is a group of volunteers who are dedicated to improving the lives of the dogs that live at our kennel in Randolph. At any given time, there are between 50 and 60 dogs living on property. While some of these dogs stay at our kennel for only a short time before moving on to a foster or adoptive home, some of our dogs are there for longer periods of time. Our volunteers work with these dogs to improve their adopt-ability, while giving them love, care, socialization, and exercise. Many volunteers even pick “Pet Projects,” dogs that they work with on a consistent basis while at the kennel.

Volunteer Nicole and her Pet Project, Blaze

Volunteer Nicole and her Pet Project, Blaze

Some of the fun activities and programs we have for our kennel dogs include:

  • Weekly Pack Walks and Pack Hikes
  • Doggie Playgroups
  • Food Enrichment- meals in Kongs, puzzle feeders, treat rings, and more
  • Dog and volunteer training classes
  • Pool Parties
  • Hotel Sleepovers
  • Sensory Enrichment- auditory, olfactory, tactile
  • Quiet Kennel Time- Read & Relax, Sit & Snuggle
Volunteer Tammy and her pet project, Sadie

Volunteer Tammy and her pet project, Sadie

Keep an eye on our blog in the coming weeks for more information on our Kennel Enrichment program and a more in-depth view into many of our programs.

Make a difference in the life of a rescue dog. We are ALWAYS looking for volunteers who want to spend time with our kennel pups. We will provide you with all the training necessary, as well as volunteer mentors who will help you become confident and prepared to volunteer at our kennel on your own. If you are interested in joining our Kennel Enrichment team, visit http://www.ehrdogs.org to fill out a volunteer application!

Please LIKE the EHR Kennel Club Facebook Page to see great pictures and updates of our weekly activities! https://www.facebook.com/EhrKennelClub?hc_location=stream