Before You Adopt A Dog Or Donate Money, Be Certain You Understand How The Types Of Rescues Differ

Donating to charity is always open but make sure your chosen charity is not a scam. Over the past few years, the horrors of puppy mills have received a great deal of publicity. With that publicity has come a growing indignation about the treatment these dogs are receiving. That indignation is causing many people to want to be part of the solution to eliminating puppy mills. Some people are volunteering their time to rescue groups while people who can’t volunteer their time are donating money to rescue groups in hopes of making a positive difference. Unfortunately, there are many issues to consider before one makes the decision about where to be donating money. Rescue groups can be very different in form and function, and not all rescues are what they profess to be. Before you donate money to any rescue group you need to educate yourself about all of the “issues of concern.” This article will discuss the similarities and differences of two types of rescues.

Issue of Concern: Understand the similarities and differences of the various types of rescues.

(1) Shelters.

First, a caution! A very large percentage of Americans believe that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) are umbrella groups for the local shelters around the country. This is NOT true. Americans also believe their local shelters receive funding from one of these supposed umbrella groups. This is NOT true either. Each local shelter is independent. The HSUS and ASPCA publish information to distribute, sometimes coordinate rescue or disaster efforts, and make TV commercials to solicit donations, but these donations are for themselves! DO NOT mistakenly donate to the HSUS or ASPCA believing the money filters to your local shelter–it does NOT. Any organization can use the name “Humane Society” or “SPCA,” so be very careful. To support your local shelters, donate to them directly.

Your local shelters also receive no government funding. They are generally 501(c)(3), which means they are allowed to solicit for donations, and non-profit organizations. “Non-profit” is a tax classification with the IRS that specifies what income must be taxed. It does not mean the organization cannot make a profit.

Your local shelters rely on volunteers, foster families, donations, and adoption fees to function. They are taking in owner-relinquished dogs, abandoned dogs, stray dogs, and, occasionally, rescued dogs. These dogs are usually healthier and younger in comparison to puppy mill rescue dogs, and they are often already house-trained. Shelter dogs can make excellent pets because they tend not to have the extreme physical and/or mental baggage of puppy mill rescue animals. In addition, it IS possible to find a purebred dog at shelters since roughly 25% of shelter dogs are purebred.

In the past, shelters were expected to keep animals for only a few days and then euthanize any that had not been adopted due to space limitations and the lack of a sufficient number of foster families. Fortunately, there is a movement across the country to convert these “old style” shelters to NO KILL shelters. The Nevada Humane Society has an exemplary No Kill program and should considered a model for the entire country. Needless to say, the change to No Kill requires larger facilities, more volunteers, more foster families for dogs, and more money; but it is a worthy goal, a realistic goal, a necessary goal; and it is quite probably the only solution for eliminating puppy mills. Eliminating puppy mills will also require the proper legislation to give these shelters the power to investigate and close law-breaking puppy mills.

(2) Specific breed rescues and small local rescues.

Small local rescues (non puppy mill rescues) generally exist to rescue the dogs about to be euthanized from shelters. They also take strays that people turn in. Specific breed rescues are doing likewise with one or two specific breeds, like Shelties and Collies. Shelters often call breed specific rescues when they get in a dog that is obviously a given breed. Small rescues usually have volunteers who periodically check with nearby shelters to save as many dogs as possible. Very few of these rescues have their own facilities and rely heavily on foster families and donations.

These organizations are also 501(c)(3) and nonprofit organizations and they are almost always No Kill. They receive no funding other than donations and adoptions fees. The dogs they take in are usually younger, often already house-trained, more socialized, and without the extreme physical and mental baggage of puppy mill dogs.

One special benefit of breed rescues is that they know everything there is to know about their breed. They are excellent at rehabilitating the dogs they take in, and they are experts at matching people to the dogs.

Two other types of rescues will be discussed in another article and the nine remaining “issues of concern” for adopting and donating to dog rescues will be discussed in upcoming articles. Do not donate or adopt until you have read this information. If you absolutely cannot wait for those articles to be published, go to my website listed below where you will find a list of all 10 “Before You Donate or Adopt” issues of concern.

Shirley Slick, “The Slick Tips Lady,” is a retired high school math teacher and a life-long animal lover. In addition to her goals about mathematics education, she is equally concerned about puppy-mills, the dog rescue industry, and designer dogs. For more information about these topics, or tips about donating to rescues, visit her website at

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Artists Ask Questions About Art Marketing

Storyboard artist film of all levels have similar questions. These are answers I wrote for an interview in author Barney Davey’s Blog.

How is it different for artists these days from a decade ago?

The quantum change has been the impact of technology. It’s a double-edged sword. On the plus side, you can reach more people without leaving your studio. On the other hand, there is more competition and more complexity. Artists need to be able to navigate cyberspace as easily as the bricks and mortar world.

Technology has changed the way people find art. Now there are thousands of web sites to browse and comparison-shop without leaving home.

Technology has changed the way artists, art professionals and galleries promote. A web presence and involvement in social media are no longer optional.

Technology has changed the way artists offer art. It’s now easy to create digital versions of originals on various substrates, in various sizes, on demand without resorting to upfront expense for production or dealing with storage.

Technology has changed the way we communicate. We live in a nano second world where speed can supplant quality.

I remind artists that technology is a tool to spread the word, not a replacement for communication person-to-person.

What things have not changed, i.e., need for an artist’s statement, a résumé, and so forth?

The more things change, the more they remain the same. The human element is still the core of making, appreciating and marketing fine art. Even art mediated by technology starts with an idea in the artist’s mind.

Artists still need a solid body of signature work as the core of their business. They are still in charge of their brand and the audience is still in charge of sales. Exposure is still fundamental to success so the work is seen by the right audience. Consistent marketing is still the key to a sustainable art business. Relationships and trust are still the bedrock of sales.

Are artists having success using social media?

First, you have to define success. If you measure success by numbers, connect with anyone and everyone. The great promise of social media is relationship building. If you want to build relationships, you have to be more selective. Decide what you have to offer and what you want to know. Limit yourself to people who want the same things. It’s Pareto’s Law: 80% of the possibilities come from direct contact with about 20% of the people. Success for me and artists I work with has come from actually having extended conversations with people online and talking by telephone or meeting them in person. I know – it’s shocking.

How can artists maintain balance between creative, business and personal activities?

There are three categories here. Artists often think only about two at a time, which turns life into a teeter-totter. I define balance as a dynamic equilibrium of all the things that matter in your life. It’s dynamic because life is always in flux. There is no such thing as finding the perfect still point if you want to fully live your life. You know things are in balance when your stress level goes down and you get the results you want, most of the time, in all areas that are important to you.

There are no hard and fast guidelines for creating this delicate balance. Like balancing a mobile sculpture, it is a matter of experimenting with different configurations until you find the one that works. Many of the artists I work with have health issues, are caregivers for elders or children or have jobs other than making art.

For some artists, it works better to have certain days for production that are “sacred” – no matter what. If this fits with the rest of your life, that’s great! But not every life is so orderly – and on principle, many artists resist a schedule that is too rigid. In the end, it doesn’t matter what method you use to get it all done. Just make sure that balancing is one of your goals.

Has the internet forever changed the artist-gallery dynamic?

Galleries were never the whole art market but artists can now easily represent themselves if they are willing to do all the work. Online galleries come in various flavors and artists need to do their due diligence to make sure that they know who they are dealing with. There are many reputable galleries with an online presence, but there are always a few that artists need to look out for. My money is still on the gallerists who limit the number of artists they show and have direct contact with each artist.

What is the future for visual artists? Will the digital age overtake traditional forms of marketing art? Have new marketing paradigms changed how artists get their work to market?

Art has survived since the cave days and I don’t think demand for it will disappear in my lifetime. Creativity is hardwired into all of us. We live in a visual and graphic world, so there is always a future for image-makers.

  • The drive to create is timeless.
  • The need to see and interact is human nature.
  • There are more ways than ever to create and communicate.

The challenge remains making the best work and the best choices of marketing. New channels and speed have changed how artists market and how fast we need to respond, but the buying process is still in the same.

What is the most common misperception artists have about a formal mentoring or coaching program, and how do you overcome them?

The most common misperception is that there is a quick fix for every art business. Books, programs and recordings are a great source of information – but you have to apply them for things to change. It takes personal reflection and/or discussion to turn that information into knowledge. Knowledge without application goes nowhere. You have to apply knowledge to see what works for you and what doesn’t. That experience – along with successes and failures becomes wisdom you can take to the bank.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.” Winston Churchill.

Bottom line:

Find the spark that makes you and your work something only you can do. Make lots and lots of art. Make lots of connections. Build a handful of great relationships and nurture them. Art marketing is not as mysterious as it seems – it is simply a series of conversations designed to build abridge between you, your art, and your audience.

Subscribe to our newsletter today and receive a free art marketing guide: “Eleven Tips for Success for Fine Artists” Digital Recording and 15-page PDF Presentation at

Aletta de Wal
Author of the Forthcoming Book:
“My Real Job is Being an Artist: How to Make a Living Making Art”
Artist Advisor
Artist Career Training
(650) 917-1225 Pacific Time

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The Nitty-gritty of Organizing Events in Function Rooms Melbourne CBD

I always on the hunt for a good small function rooms Melbourne, so I thought it would be apt to share some small spaces in Melbourne I’m loving. Holding a function in Melbourne city has become easier and professional. But before you hire function rooms Melbourne CBD here are a few questions you should be asking.

The guest capacity of the room – For a formal corporate function you may have a set number of invitees; however there are numerous events we hold wherein we are quite uncertain how many guests may turn up. It would be prudent to check with the management the maximum capacity of the hired room and options available in room layout if the number of guests increase or decrease. Also check if the numbers vary hugely would they be ready to change rooms if necessary and what would be the extra cost involved. If you know there are restrictions you can limit the number of guests if need be.

Catering – Ask what catering packages is available, style of catering, variations possible and deadlines on the guest number. Make sure you visit the corporate meeting room Melbourne venue and see where the catering is going to be served, whether in the room and if so is the space adequate or will the catering be served at an alternative space. Confirm the break times; also make sure you leave instructions as to whether the leftover snacks, cookies and muffins should remain in the room or be removed.

You may also want to ask what would the cut-off date be to inform the final number of guests and if there is any variation would they be able to accommodate. Do they accommodate special dietary needs or unexpected dietary requirements on the event day?

If a function is an informal one you may also want to check on drink packages as well as service options. Does the venue provide bar service. Will there be cocktail service waiters carrying drinks around the room or the drinks will be lined up at the bar where guests can pick their like. For formal functions and corporate meetings plan if you want continuous service of coffee and tea and if so have it set up at a place that is easily accessible for the delegates, confirm when and how many times it will be replenished.

Room set up and changes if necessary – discuss with the venue’s event manager what type of equipment and furniture will be provided. If there is a stage you would be using will it be in a fixed location, does it suit your needs or does it need to be moved. If you are planning audio visual presentations and the hired rooms have windows, check if they are draped with heavy curtains so as to block out sunshine when needed.