Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hands and Heart for Nogales, AZ Animal Shelter - our Valentine goal


This isn't Astrid, but it could be mistaken for her...they look a lot alike. This is Negra. Negra lived at the Santa Cruz Co Humane Society in Nogales, AZ at the same time Astrid did. Negra is still there, Astrid has been with us for over two years now. Notice that the floor of Negra's kennel is just rocky dirt. That's what the land is like in the high desert country where Nogales, AZ is with its elevation of over 3800 feet. Many of the kennel floors are now a nice cement slab, with gravel in the other half of the kennel. That is much cleaner and healthier for the resident dogs and much, much more comfortable. This is a story of how we are working to help the shelter make all the kennels cleaner, healthier and more comfortable.

We reached our goal of raising $175 with Astrid's Etsy dog boutique and we did it just in time for Christmas. The Santa Cruz Co Humane Society in Nogales, Az where Astrid made her home for a period of time is pouring cement slab in every kennel and each slab costs roughly $175 . To reach our goal, we sold bandanas, dog collar scrunchies and greeting cards through our online Etsy shop.

Visiting southern Arizona this Christmas, '08, we stopped at the shelter to pass out treats to the guests there and to hand deliver our check for $175. The improvements we saw at the Santa Cruz Co Humane Society in Nogales were extensive. When we found Astrid there, she was in with two border collie type dogs that had spent their entire young lives in that shelter. My husband and I dubbed them 'the bros' for lack of knowing their names, if they had any names at all. These two dogs quarreled a lot and maybe Astrid was, with their shortage of space and her even temperment, about the safest dog they could put in with them. We are so happy that, for some time now, 'the bros' have been gone. You see, the Santa Cruz Co Humane Society is a 'no kill' shelter so someone, somewhere, must have seen the hidden miracles in these two scruffy black dogs.

As in all shelters, there was, is and probably always will be, over crowding. Compounding this overcrowding problem, was a lack of seperate kennels and many dogs were kept in one large kennel. This situation has dramatically changed, too! There are seperate kennels now, with one or two dogs in each. They are seperated by fencing according to their temperament and size. Now, each kennel is continuing the makeover with a cement pad being poured in each. Helping this project to reach its goal, Astrid continues to raise money with her Astrid Nicole Etcetera doggie boutique.

We had a wonderfully successful Christmas season. This being the first year that we have worked on our Etsy for Nogales' Shelter project, we had no idea what to expect. We were kept mighty busy as people we knew from dog social networking sites bought Astrid's bandanas, collar scrunchies, and greeting cards. We were kept busy by people we didn't know, that had heard of our project, or simply liked our things and wanted to share them with their own dog or someone else's dog. Now, we are headed into 2009 with the same goal...to help the shelter continue to pour cement pads in ALL kennels at the Santa Cruz Co Humane Society in Nogales, ensuring that the canine guests there will have a healthy and clean environment while, like Astrid did, they wait for a special forever home to open its heart and doors. We'd like to reach our second goal, a second cement pad paid for by the Astrid Nicole Etcetera shop by Valentines Day. We've even given our St Valentine's Day goal a name...hands and hearts for Nogales, AZ animal shelter.

And Astrid? How is she doing? She just became a member of Therapy Dogs, Inc. She is spreading joy one touch at a time in nursing homes and alzheimer's centers in Charlotte, NC, where we all moved just five short months after she took that ride home to her forever home. She also considers herself representative of shelter dogs every where after earning her AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate. She attends day camp once a week where she spends an entire day playing with her 'own kind'. She has probably pretty much forgotten shelter life. We wish all dogs could.

90% of the proceeds from each sale are donated to the Santa Cruz Co Humane Society in Nogales, AZ. The remaining 10% will be used to buy fabric for making new items for Astrid's Astrid Nicole Etcetera doggie boutique on Etsy and to pay postage when we ship these items out. We want to help the shelter finish the cement pouring project and we want to be part of the next project, and the one after that.

This story would not be complete without this message. Please, when you consider getting your next canine companion, consider adopting, not shopping.

1 comment:

Joseph Smith, Jr. said...

It is great to read that you are able to clean up the shelter and make improvements on the animals living areas. I wanted to share this site with you that I found. It's called National Animal Index. This site has excellent resources for pet owners. Whether you are looking to purchase a pet looking for breeders, veterinarians, groomers, excotic animals etc. www.nationalanimalindex.com has everything you need. You may even want to tell some of your adopting families about this site. Check it out! Have a great day.