July 2016
Wags and Tags
Celebrating the canine-human bond!

          This newsletter is brought to you by Arlington Dog Owners Group (A-DOG), a 501(c)(3) community organization promoting the rights and interests of responsible dog owners in Arlington, MA.  

If you're not already a member, we hope you'll want to  join A-DOG!

Wags and Tags editorial team: Joan Black, Jen Burns, Sue Doctrow, Ellen Leigh, Judy Weinberg, Janice Zazinski 
A-DOG logos designed by Lisa Berasi for Arlington Dog Owners Group, all rights reserved

In this issue: 
On some computers, you might have to click twice to reach the article. We've found, too that these links do not work on all devices.
Beginner's Guide to Volunteering for an Animal Rescue Group
Volunteers like you make animal rescue possible!

by Jacqui Gervais
Media Coordinator for Survivor Tails Animal Rescue

BeginnersguideYou've decided to volunteer. Even more exciting, you've decided you want to volunteer with animals (the best kind of volunteering in my opinion!) But what's the next step? How can I actually get involved with an animal rescue group?
This is one question that many people face when looking to volunteer. You have some free time, love animals, want to get involved, but being new to the world of rescue may not know what to expect or even where to start! In this Beginner's Guide to Volunteering for an Animal Rescue, we wanted to give you an inside look at what it's like joining Survivor Tails as a volunteer and give you some amazing tips directly from our wonderful volunteers!
To start off, it's helpful to have a bit of background. Non-profit animal rescues are 100% volunteer. Nobody takes home a paycheck from the animal rescue, and those involved typically have full-time jobs and responsibilities they must balance. This means that it takes a network of special and dedicated people to make sure the rescue gears keep turning. By the time a rescue reaches their forever home, anywhere from 10 - 20 volunteers have been involved, including transporters, application processors, vetting coordinators, and fosters. Each and every one of these volunteers has one common goal: to save the lives of those who can't help themselves.
We've all read heartbreaking statistics. You'll see things like "only 1 in 600 pit bulls are saved from euthanasia in animal shelters," or "this year, 2 million cats will be euthanized due to over-crowded shelters". Sometimes it's hard to tell if these numbers are 100% accurate, but they are pretty damn close. Let's face it: a lot of dogs and cats in the US go unnamed and unnoticed before they are euthanized. Coming from someone who was new to rescue once too, I can say that I am proud to be a part of an organization dedicated to helping find these deserving animals loving homes of their own and working with communities and like-minded organizations to stop the issue of overpopulation from the top. We don't want to just put a bandage on the issue, we want to prevent animal homelessness from the get-go.
Now that you've gotten a bit of background, let's jump in to the details of getting involved
1) Fill out the volunteer application.
Most animal rescues have a website where they ask you to fill out a simple form. You'll find that it asks for general contact information and for what ways you'd be interested in helping. Once you submit the application, a volunteer coordinator will reach out to answer your questions and to give you more information about how you can help. You'll be added to an email list - this way you get an email alert when the rescue needs a volunteer and you have an opportunity to help. Many rescues have a private Facebook group for you to join where you can talk all-things dogs and cats!
2) Find the right fit for you.
One of the great things about volunteering with a rescue is that we don't operate during "standard business hours." There's also tons of flexibility around where you can help and you can do so much just from the comfort of your own home.  Often times, people will log on at 7pm or 9pm or 7:30am to quickly check their email or Facebook page for updates and get a bit of rescue work done. Whether it's advocating for a misunderstood breed, making requests for donations (after all, 100% of rescue funds stem from donations), or opening your home to a foster - every little bit helps. With lots of moving parts to rescue, here's a taste of some of the positions that you could fill:
Processing: When a potential adopter fills out an application, someone needs to "process" the information. This means that references need to be checked and a short interview with the applicant needs to be conducted. Volunteers are provided with a script to make it easy. Time commitment: average of 1 hour per application, but could be spread out over a couple of days depending on the responsiveness of references.
Home Visits: Before a dog or cat can be placed into a forever home, someone needs to do a quick home visit at the potential adopter's place. It's not a "white glove test." Rather, volunteers make sure the home is safe and that the family is prepared for a potential new addition. You are given a form to bring with you with all of the questions to ask and things to look for while you're there. Time commitment: not including travel time, about 30 minutes on average.
Transport: Getting an animal adopted requires a lot of travel and transport volunteers are vital in the success of the rescue. When our animals arrive from the south, they go to a 48-hour quarantine facility where they are checked by a vet and monitored for health reasons. We frequently need volunteers to transport these dogs or cats from the quarantine facility to their new foster homes. Other times include when the rescue needs to go to the vet, an event, or a "meet and greet" Time commitment: Varies depending on travel time.
Fostering: Most animal rescues are "shelter-less" and rely on foster homes. Foster parents open their homes to a dog or cat until they are matched with their new adopter. We ask that fosters provide love, warm shelter and food. We cover the rest. There are foster support groups where you can share stories, pictures, and questions. You have endless resources at your disposal for any question. You are directly saving the life of that animal, as well as saving the animal that took that cage. Time commitment: Varies depending on the adoption status of the animal. The foster team will let you know about what you can anticipate for length of time fostering a specific animal.
Events: Not only do we need people at our events to advocate for these animals and answer questions, but we need handlers assigned to each animal throughout the event. We need "floaters" to greet people coming in the door. We need "set up and breakdown" people to get the gear ready for the event. This is a significant cog in the wheel to find forever homes. Families come and fall in love and it's our job to make sure we try our hardest to make their dream come true. Someone will always be onsite to equip you with all the information you need to be successful. It's a lot of fun! Time commitment: 1-3 hours.
Administration: Are you a marketing expert? Do you have experience training dogs? Are you a savvy IT guru? Do you have time to help with data entry? Do you have a network of people you can spread the word to about spaying, neutering, and microchipping your pets? Do you have a knack for organization? There are so many "behind the scenes" ways to help, and the volunteer coordinator can give you a really great idea on what is needed at any point in time.
Now for the best part. Some tips and tricks gathered from volunteers at Survivor Tails Animal Rescue that were once in your position. Here goes!
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions. You only learn by asking. There's so much to know, and so much to be done, and it takes a team and some time!
  • Be patient. Sometimes, if you are in a position where you interact with potential adopters, they'll have questions that you can't or shouldn't answer. That's ok! There are people dedicated to answering those questions, and it's as easy as directing the potential adopters back to their adoption coordinator.
  • Every single person you meet loves saving animals. Remember to remind yourself of that. You have one mission, and that's to make sure each animal is safe, happy, and loved.
  • Remember that everyone is 100% volunteer and the rescue relies 100% on donations. Things might seem slow sometimes, but that's normal.
  • There are opportunities for tax deductions. It could be gas mileage for travel, monetary or supply donations, or food for your foster. Make sure you talk to your accountant!
  • (From a foster) Be prepared before your foster arrives. Crates are very important (and if you don't have one, ask for one)! They are at their most-stressed and will really need decompression time. If you have other dogs, introduce the foster slowly and on neutral ground first. Try to get a feel for whether your own dogs are male/female friendly before taking on a foster.
  • Remember when doing the home visits that you are the face of the rescue, and your priority is the dog/cat's best chance at the right home. Make recommendations about your home visit on behalf of the dog/cat. Instinct is very important. Be honest about the transition period for the dogs when they arrive and need to decompress - if that scares them, then they aren't ready.
  • (From a foster) Be flexible and open-minded. All foster dogs/cats are different experiences and you can't judge the foster experience on one dog... also, worms happen! We treat it as soon as we find out about it.
  • Remember that it costs more than the full adoption fee to have the dogs up-to-date on shots and spayed/neutered. That's why we rely so heavily on donations.
  • (From a foster) Don't start bad habits with the dog. Think like an owner - would you want your dog doing this? Don't set the dog up for failure! And remember to take lots of pictures!
  • Get involved with events where you can meet the dogs. Knowing who you are helping makes it all worth it!
  • Be honest with yourself and the other volunteers about what you can manage, especially as a foster ... and take into consideration your house hold (children, cats, working full time, etc.)
  • (From a foster) No matter how short of a time you have them, they leave a paw print behind on your heart!
About Survivor Tails Animal Rescue
Survivor Tails Animal Rescue is a 501(c)3-approved, non-profit, all-volunteer organization that exists to rescue, rehome, and rehabilitate homeless, unwanted, abused, and neglected dogs and cats and place them in loving and responsible forever homes. 

We aim to decrease the euthanasia rates of our high-kill shelter partners by promoting adoption and educating the public on the importance of spaying/neutering and microchipping their pets. 

Lastly, we strive to maintain a network of dependable foster families, capable veterinarians, and experienced trainers to ensure preparedness of our rescued pets for healthy, fulfilling lives in their adoptive homes. You can learn more by visiting
our website

ACO Katie's Corner 
Our winner for June and key summer safety info for your dog

by Katie Kozikowski

Pawsitive Award for June
Meet Cody!! Cody and dog mom Rebecca were spotted walking down Oakland Ave abiding by the town bylaw by having Cody on a leash and picking up poop!! A round of applause for our June winners for Leash it and Ticket, they are the happy recipients of a $20 gift card to the Clip Joint here in Arlington, a Friend of ADOG that generously donated this gift. Thank you Clipjoint and thank you A-DOG for your wonderful contribution! May this also serve as a friendly reminder to be sure to be picking up after your dogs when they go to the bathroom, not only does it smell and people can step in it, but it tends to attract rats and other wild life that may fest on the left over tootsie rolls!


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                                               Table from American Veterinary Medical Association 

It's summer time in New England, which means the weather is unpredictable and usually unpredictably hot!! Here is an article from the ASPCA's website about leaving dogs in hot cars. I urge you to PLEASE leave your pets at home if you need to get in your car to run an errand; they will be much happier AND safer there!  
"As summer heats up, it's tempting to bring your pet with you on car rides around town. Sadly, many people believe that cracking a window is enough to keep their dogs cool in the car while they make a quick pit stop-but they couldn't be more wrong. When it's 80 degrees outside, your car will be a staggering 114 degrees in less than 30 minutes.
Worse still, dogs can't cool themselves down as easily as people, and once they overheat, they can suffer extensive organ damage or die. That's why leaving an animal alone in a car is more than just a bad idea, it's a form of animal cruelty. And since the ASPCA can't be everywhere at all times, we need YOU to be our eyes and ears on the ground. That's why we've created a hot weather safety infographic that you can share with friends and family on your social media networks, alerting others to the dangers of leaving pets in hot cars. 
Here are other ways to help:
  • Immediately call animal control or 911 if you see an animal trapped in a hot car. Local law officials have the ability to enter the vehicle and rescue the pet.
  • Do not leave until help has arrived.
  • Notify the managers of nearby businesses so they can make an urgent announcement.
We are working hard to spread awareness about the dangers of hot cars, but all too often, the difference between life and death comes down to the actions of individuals like you. Thank you for advocating for animals in your area."

ASPCA. "Download and Share Our Hot Weather Infographic to Prevent Pets from Suffering in Hot Cars" News. ASPCA.  18 June 2015. Web. 28 June 2016.

ACO Katie's Corner presents updates from Arlington Animal Control Officer (ACO) Katie Kozikowski.   
PAWS to Mark Your Calendar!
Save the dates for coming events

Junecalendar"NEW or RENEW: We still Need YOU to join the A-DOG pack!" It is NEVER too late.  
...Sign up today  here .  

Mark your calendar for these great EVENTS. Please consider attending or volunteering for the events sponsored or co-sponsored by A-DOG (shown in  GREEN

Contact us if you're interested in volunteering at any of these events...we need you!

  • July 22-24 weekendChairful Where You SitThis annual benefit for Arlington Public Art will feature over 50 chairs decorated by artists. Each chair is available for a $100 donation to Arlington Public Art. A-DOG is encouraging members to participate by donating, painting a chair, buying a chair (or all of the above!). Dogowners and their dogs love the parks and open spaces. Chairful Where You Sit will be held on Jefferson Cutter House lawn. A-DOG is proud to support the event because public art, parks and dogs go together! A-DOG, together with LUV and Other Gifts of Arlington, will be presenting a prize for BEST in SHOW to a chair with an Animal Themed Design. (This will be in addition to official People's Choice Awards presented at the Chairful event.) The A-DOG awardee will be selected by our panel of judges, all A-DOG members: Joan Black, Diane Buxton, Joe Curro and Judy Weinberg. Friday, July 22 is the opening reception, at 6 pm and Sunday, July 24 is the closing ceremony. Chairs are on display all weekend in between and are available for sale during volunteer-staffed hours. See the Chairful website (link above) for more details.
  • Saturday, July 23, Clear the Shelters Day, a national effort to help homeless pets find loving forever homes. Last year, nearly 20,000 pets were adopted, and local communities across the country were inspired to take action on behalf of animals in need. Shelters across the country will participate. Check the website for more details.
  • August (all month) A-DOG table at Robbins Library for DOG DAYS of SUMMER. For the month of AUGUST come view the A-DOG Display Table in the Lobby; coordinated by Ellen Leigh with other A-DOG committee members 
  •  Friday, August 5 at 6:30 pm. Shakespeare in the Park at Menotomy Rocks Park. Join ACA for our 2016 "Shakespeare in the Park" - a beloved summer staple, open to all ages! Arlington Center for the Arts and the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's Apprentice Program are excited to present this special production of Shakespeare's classic tale of virtue and vengeance, "Measure for Measure"! Vienna has fallen into disarray and debauchery. Can a noble nun and a disguised Duke work for good to turn around the lives of its citizens and reexamine the meaning of true justice?
  •  Sunday, September 11, 11am-3pm. Somerville Dog Festival, a unique event for you and your dog. Details here.

Send us calendar items for possible inclusion in this section in future Wags and Tags issues!  

Help Wanted: Your Dog's Face Here?
Wags and Tags Welcomes Your Contributions

ContributestoryJunA-DOG Members and supporters, Wags and Tags is YOUR monthly newsletter!  I f you have suggestions for an article, including one you'd like to write, for a future issue, please email us with "Newsletter" in the subject line.   
Maybe you'd like your dog to be one of our " Arlington dogs, or A-dogs ", like Molly, Remy. Tammy, potcake Lexi and others. Or, write an article about Happy Tails Trails, describing your favorite place to enjoy nature with your dog, like an article a few months ago about Whipple Hill. You don't have to live in Arlington, but can be a neighbor who enjoys Arlington's dog recreation benefits, or otherwise supports our mission.  You can also suggest a special Rainbow Bridge memorial tribute to a beloved canine or feline family member you've lost, like the tribute to our friend Duke last month.
Or, maybe you're a  Friend of A-DOG  Business and want to describe how you help A-DOG and what you offer to our community of dog owners and dog-friendly people.  Your business, too, can be featured like BlueSky Dogs, GoPlay!, Menotomy Beer Wine and Spirits,Your Wonderful Dog and Maida Pharmacy & Compounding Center.
Suggested article length for the newsletter is 500 words or fewer but this is only a guideline.  We will also need at least one photo, preferably a jpg or gif format, compressed to a size no greater than 1 MB.  (Please send the photo as a separate file, not imported into a Word document.) Depending on the topic, you might want to write a longer version for our website, with a link in the Wags and Tags article.

Articles on any other topic of potential interest to dog owners are welcome.  So are more volunteer editors and writers. Please send us your story proposals!  Wags and Tags editorial team:  Joan Black, Jen Burns, Sue Doctrow, Ellen Leigh, Judy Weinberg and Janice Zazinski.

Pssst...We are well aware that  our members are not likely to have issues with spelling or grammar that's a little "ruff", but don't worry....our editorial team can polish your story, as needed.
The Irish Setter on the computer photo is reprinted from a website called "iget2work". The "Bad spelling...image was posted on Facebook by Grammarly.  

Our next  A-DOG meeting  for 2016
A-DOG holds four meetings per year. The next one will be Tuesday, August 23 at 6:30 pm. Our Annual Meeting is held in October. Unless otherwise noted, meetings are on the fourth Tuesday of the month at the Community Room of the Jefferson Cutter House, 611 Mass Ave (at Mystic, in Arlington Center).  The Community Room is accessible via the rear entrance at the municipal parking lot. Refreshments are served. New members show up every time so please join us!

A-DOG Membership!
A-DOG's membership year runs from April 1 through March 31, so some full memberships are up for renewal each spring.  If your membership has expired, you should have received a reminder letter in early 2016 during our  Membership Drive.  As an A-DOG Full Member, you are entitled to discounts and benefits from our Friends of A-DOG businesses.  And, your dues and donations to A-DOG are tax deductible, to the full extent allowed by law.  
Shop for A-DOG!  

Please support businesses that support responsible dog owners in Arlington by patronizing our Friends of A-DOG Businesses.  

(If you are not a full member, please sign up and pay your dues at the link above for joining A-DOG. If you are unsure if your membership is still active, or need another membership card as proof, you can email us to check into it.)

Also, when you buy from Amazon, please start at the Amazon Smile website and choose "A-Dog The Arlington Dog Owners Group, Inc" as your preferred nonprofit group.  Amazon will make a donation to A-DOG and your purchase will not cost any more!

A-DOG members, Business Friends of A-DOG and other subscribers receive Wags and Tags each month.  If this issue was forwarded to you and you'd like to subscribe to Wags and Tags without joining A-DOG, click here or click the green sign-up button on the front page of our website.