Help Lucky Dog Save 240 Animals
Every year 2.4 million healthy and adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in U.S. shelters, or roughly 1 every 13 seconds. Lucky Dog Animal Rescue is determined to change that statistic, and they have set a bold goal for their Do More 24 campaign: to save 240 animals in 24 hours. Do More 24 is the DMV's largest annual 24-hour online fundraiser, powered by United Way of the National Capital Area. The idea is to rally around one focused day of giving so DMV residents can create the greatest impact together as a community.
Mirah Horowitz, Founder and Executive Director of Lucky Dog, sat down with DCDogMoms to talk about Lucky Dog’s mission, why Do More 24 matters, and how the local community can help save dogs in need.
“Lucky Dog is an entirely foster-based rescue,” Horowitz explains. Lucky Dog partners with overpopulated or under-resourced shelters in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Puerto Rico. Dogs are taken from these high-kill shelters and brought to the DC area where they are placed in foster homes until they can be adopted. “We’re committed to working with shelters that have no one else,” Horowitz says. “At one of these shelters, the animals’ chances of survival are less than 10% without us.”
Lucky Dog’s Do More 24 campaign is focused on raising the funds to provide rescue, transport, and appropriate medical care for 240 animals from these high-kill shelters. “We are volunteer powered, so we have a very small staff and very low overhead,” Horowitz says of Lucky Dog’s model. “All of the fundraising that we do goes to animal care.” That commitment enabled Lucky Dog to rescue nearly 200 animals left homeless in Puerto Rico and Texas after the hurricanes this fall. All told, Lucky Dog was able to rescue more than 1,700 animals in 2017.
“We want to build on this momentum with Do More 24,” says Horowitz. “And we also want to raise awareness the work Lucky Dog does and how members of the local community can get involved.”
Lucky Dog has a wide range of volunteer roles available, including transporting animals, handling adoptable pets at events, administrative work, and screening adopters or new fosters. There are also three separate foster programs: The full-time program is for families who can take in a pet and house it until it is adopted. Puppy and kitten fosters take care of new arrivals who aren’t yet vaccinated and need some extra attention. And overnight/weekend fosters are responsible for taking a dog or cat off transport, providing them with love and attention overnight, and then showing them off to new families at the adoption event the next day. “The overnight foster program is great for busy professionals in the area that might not be able to commit to fostering a dog for weeks, but still want to help these animals find new homes,” says Horowitz.
Of course, any dog mom who is considering fostering or adopting needs to consider her pack first! Horowitz has some great advice for people who are considering taking in new pets: “Always introduce a new dog on neutral territory,” she says. “Bring your dog outside somewhere and have someone bring in the new dog, but don’t let them walk right towards each other. Instead, start walking them parallel to each other so they can walk side-by-side and get to know each other in a way that’s less intimidating.” Horowitz also recommends keeping a new dog on leash for their first 24 hours at your home. “If they decide to mark or chew something, you can quickly grab the leash and lead them outside.” It also helps prevent antsy dogs from bolting out the door when it’s opened. “After 24 hours you know they’re settled in a bit and you can take the leash off,” Horowitz says.
The Do More 24 campaign kicks off at noon on May 17 and runs through noon on May 18. Visit https://www.domore24.org/LuckyDog to support Lucky Dog’s goal of saving 240 animals, and visit https://www.luckydoganimalrescue.org to learn more about volunteer and foster opportunities.