Daily Walrus - Helping People Help Animals

Use your car to help out

May 1, 2008
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Jenny volunteers some of her time at a cat shelter named Ollie’s Place.  I would love to regularly volunteer, but my schedule keeps me from doing so (until the summer, at least).  Though I can’t be physically present, I can still help out in other ways. 

Two people had contacted Ollie’s about donating large collapsible crates but they had no way to deliver them.  So we hopped in the car and headed from Brooklyn to Manhattan to pick up the crates.  It took a little while, and driving in the city is always stressful, but now there is room for a few more animals. 

If you don’t have time to volunteer regularly, offer to lend a hand (or your driving skills) when you can, picking up supplies or transporting animals.  It feels great to help, even if it’s on an irregular basis.          


Help Out Ollie’s Place

April 8, 2008
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Ollie’s Place, the shelter where Jenny volunteers, is trying to improve their fundraising tactics.  Are there any readers out there who can suggest tactics or events that have been successful for your favorite shelters?  If you have ideas, please leave us a comment.  If you would like to help out a FANTASTIC organization that helps stray cats find a new home in NYC, head on over to their homepage and donate a few bucks via paypal (the link is on the left hand side).  Thanks for reading and GO HELP OUT OLLIES PLACE!!   

Listen to Oprah – Say No to Puppy Mills

April 4, 2008
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Today on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Lisa Ling went undercover to let viewers know about the horrors of puppy mills.  According to wikipedia,  puppy mills “are large-scale dog breeding facilities that operate under substandard breeding conditions that provoke the development of chronic health problems, temperament issues, and hereditary defects.”  The animals are often sold through pet stores accross the country.  Winfrey, who had previously bought dogs from breeders, later stated “I would never, ever adopt another pet now without going to a shelter to do it. I am a changed woman after seeing this show.”

Kudos to Oprah and to Ling for bringing this subject to the attention of their HUGE audience.  To learn more, click here  and here.  If you are thinking of adding a new member to your furry family, listen to Oprah and avoid the pet store in favor of your local shelter!

Give Up Smoking To Give Your Pets Some Fresh Air

March 31, 2008
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A commenter named Moi directed us to the pet care section on gomestic.com.  One post in particular, by Dr Kristie Leong, caught our attention.  We have had plenty of friends in the past who loved their pets dearly, but lit up a smoke regularly.  It should be no surprise that second-hand smoke is dangerous to pets.  There is a long list of harmful side effects in humans – why wouldn’t pets face similar risks?

If you haven’t made the decision to give up smoking for your own health, Do it for your pets.  You may be harming your companion animals every time you take a drag of a cigarette or cigar.  You give them healthy food, clean water, brush their teeth and take them to the vet regularly.  Why pollute the air they breath with toxins?  It just doesn’t make sense. 

For more info, check out the links below…




Interested in Veganism? Like Cookies? Read Magazines?

March 28, 2008
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If so, head on over to the VegCooking Blog where you can enter to win a prize pack offered by VegNews Magazine.  All you have to do is leave a comment on the page stating why you should be the winner.  The prize includes a tote bag, vegan cookies, and a years subscription to the magazine.  VegNews is a great resource, especially for those new to veganism. 

If you have ever been curious about vegan food, check out the VegCooking Blog for great vegan recipes.  If you aren’t vegan, try one of the recipes out this weekend and we bet you’ll be floored by how great an animal-free meal can be.    

Let Your Local Shelter Know About InkBank

March 27, 2008
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Is there a local shelter that you support with time or money?  If so, let them know about InkBank, a program that gives money to organizations that collect and donate used printer ink cartridges for recycling.  InkBank pays for all supplies and shipping – all the shelter needs to do is collect and send the cartridges. 

To learn more, check out their FAQs here

Join animalattraction.com and Support Homeless Animals

March 7, 2008
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Animal Attractionis an online community for animal lovers and their pets.  It is kind of like myspace, but in addition to having your own profile you can create ones for your pets as well.  There are member profiles, articles about pet health care, blogs, photo galleries, and more.  The best part is that when you sign up, you get to select either the ASPCA, North Shore Animal League, Best Friends Animal Society, or the Petfinder Foundation as your charity of choice.  For simply signing up, your choice gets a one dollar donation.  For each day you log in to your profile, your charity of choice will get one cent.  It doesn’t sound like much, but its a couple of bucks that group didn’t have before.  You can also earn additional money for your charity by encouraging your friends to join.

 For more information, click here.

Wally and Tito are considering sharing a page with this as their main picture.  What do you think?

Wally & Tito

Goodbye February

February 29, 2008
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It’s time for another monthly round-up here at the Daily Walrus.  What have we done this cold, long (at least 1 day longer than last) February?  Lets review, shall we? 

We honored a lost loved one. 

We helped you spread a message of animal compassion here and here.

We chimed in on the political primaries with the League of Humane Voters.

We tried to help out some polar bears.

We helped you adopt a new friend.

We spread the love to shelter animals here, here, here, here, here,  and here

We let you know that dogs and cats can be blood donors too!

We revisited our New Year’s Resolutions

We helped you be a little nicer to those mice you want to get rid of.  

We gave you the scoop on pet health and safety here, here, here, and here.

We introduced you to the newest (and perhaps largest) vegetarian baseball player -Miluwakee Brewer Prince Fielder.

Eek! A Mouse!

February 26, 2008
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Some people have mice as pets.  To the rest of us they are unwelcome house guests.  Unfortunately, they aren’t good at picking up signals that you would like them to leave.    Thus, the cruel and unusual mousetrap was born. 

It’s amazing that the first design (the one with the springloaded bar) is still commonly used.  Mouse trap design has come a long way, yet people are still buying these old fashioned death machines.  If the mouse is lucky, these traps will snap its neck or decapitate it.  If it’s unlucky, bones will be crushed, and it will suffer until it dies.  For a while the only alternative had been glue traps, which are even more cruel!  Glue traps have bait for the mouse positioned on one of the stickiest glues available.  The mouse gets stuck and starves to death in about three to five days, before this they often struggle to the point of ripping out their hair and chewing their skin.  (If you do encounter a mouse suffering in a glue trap, remove it!  Cooking or baby oil can help free it.)

Even though mice are small, they have a nervous system just like us.  They suffer and feel pain.  Thankfully, there are humane alternatives to the mousetrap of old.  We found ours at a hardware store for a very reasonable price, check out this website to see or order these. 


To use, just slip a peanut butter cracker into the rectangular box.  When the mouse walks in the shifting of weight causes a door to close.  We found these to be very effective when we had a few mice a couple years ago.  Of course, do not forget to check the trap twice a day so that the mouse does not starve or suffer from fright.  Another humane mouse trap is sold by many retailers and looks like a little house.   The cheapest I found it is at Planet Natural for $11.00.  Remember, these are reusable!

Another option is to adopt a cat.  Now, you may be thinking “How humane is it to be eaten by a cat?”  That’s a good question – let me explain.  The idea is that the presence of a cat will cause the mice to seek another living arrangement.  When we moved into our new apartment, we had some mice living behind our stove.  The humane traps worked, but more mice kept taking their place.  Wally is a great cat, but he has bad eyes and never really was a threat to the mice.  When we adopted Tito, he would steak out their stove hide-out.  We haven’t seen a mouse since.   

Dogs and Cats Can Be Blood Donors Too

February 25, 2008
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On Saturday Night Live this weekend there was a cute joke during Weekend Update about Lurch, a 200 lb English Mastiff who won an award for donating the most blood this year to help out sick dogs.  It was interesting because Jenny had just read about dog blood donations online a few days earlier and suggested it for a Daily Walrus post.  After doing a little research, here’s what we found…

Injured or sick dogs and cats may need blood transfusions for many of the same reasons as humans.  One of the most common reasons is for the treatment of anemia.  There are several veterinary blood banks and schools across the country, and they are in need of more blood to provide treatments to sick animals nationwide. 

Many donation centers have weight requirements for dogs (60+ lbs seems pretty common), but smaller dogs may be able to donate smaller amounts at some sites.  It looks like cats should be above 12 lbs to donate.  Some sites or colleges will enroll you and your pet in a donation program that lets them donate every couple of months.  Some programs even offer small amounts of money, pet food coupons, or medical check-ups in exchange for donations.  If you are interested, ask your vet if they accept donations or know of collection sites in your area.  

For more info, check out the following links:

A Yahoo! news article on Lurch

Info from Washington State University on their dog (and cat) blood donation program

An online article that links to many donation sites accross the country

Info from the Ohio State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital

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About author

Hello - we are Jenny and Ryan, a couple living in Brooklyn, New York. We are both busy with school and work but try to take time to do something every day to make the world a better place for animals. Occasionally we may link to outside websites for additional resources, but we do not necessarily endorse all policies of these organizations. Despite the title of our blog, the focus is not only on walruses. So what's with the title? We named this blog after our cat, Wally, aka The Walrus. We are the proud parents of two cats (Wally and Tito) and one dog (Luigi).