This month we bring you Be Fido’s Friend, a 501c3 organization founded in 2011 by a group of five animal advocates and is a 100% volunteer run, foster-based, shelter-less rescue. The group’s mission is to end the Chicagoland canine homeless population through education, spay and neutering, and partnering of resources to improve the quality of life for dogs in need.
Be Fido’s Friend is dedicated to animal rescue. In addition to their primary goal of helping homeless dogs find forever homes, they:
- Rescue animals from situations that are abusive, endangering and neglectful.
- Promote holistic and alternative therapies to allow our animals to live long, peaceful and happy lives.
- Educate the public on responsible pet ownership which includes the importance of spay/neutering.
- Support, encourage and join forces with other animal welfare organizations.
Here’s How You Can Help
By fostering, you can save two lives at once: you open up your home temporarily to a dog and free up a space in the shelter where that dog came from. Foster families are asked to care for their foster dog as if the dog were their own. They make sure the dog’s basic needs are met and also are encouraged to help with the dog’s basic training and socialization.
Foster families may occasionally be asked to help transport their foster dogs to/from adoption events and vet appointments, but Be Fido’s Friend will provide foster families with all the necessary supplies (e.g. food, leash, collar, harness, ID tag, crate), will offer moral support, and will pay for the dog’s vet expenses. In addition, BFF will make sure foster dogs are adopted into wonderful, loving homes. That way, foster families know that when they say goodbye to their foster dogs, they are sending them off to a great new life.
- Time Commitment: Foster homes are asked to foster for 10-14 days to ensure the dog is healthy before mingling in a daycare environment.
- Special Needs: Oftentimes dogs are rescued with special needs or medical issues. Loving foster homes will be needed to care for those recovering from surgery or who need extra medication and attention.
- Long-Term Foster Care: If fostering fits your lifestyle, this can be one of the most rewarding experiences. When a foster home is interested in adopting their house guest, their application will be considered first for adoption.
BFF is always looking for creative volunteers to help raise money! Volunteers can choose their own level of involvement from helping to gather raffle prize donations, securing event space, getting new sponsors, or throwing private events with friends.
- Special Events: Volunteer responsibilities will vary per event. As BFF grows, the group plans to organize more events to further promote their adoptable dogs and to get more involved in the community.
- Grant Writing: Volunteers can seek out grants and either write them, seek advice or recommend them to BFF’s fundraising chair.
- Raffle/Auction/Prizes: Volunteers find different goods and services to be donated as prizes.
- Bar Events: By far, the easiest and fastest way to raise a buck or two. Either send suggestions for your favorite place or feel to set up and let BFF know about it!
- Private Events: Hosting parties such as jewelry, handbag, etc.
- Donation boxes: Set up boxes in coffee shops, local retailers, etc and collect donations.
If you cannot foster but would like to interact with adoptable dogs, there are several opportunities for hands-on volunteering.
- Transporting: On occasion BFF will need help transporting their adoptables to the vet for treatments. There may be a need to accompany a dog to an adoption or fundraising event.
- Handling: At BFF events every adoptable BFF dog will need a handler. When at an event it is imperative that the handler have control and pay attention to the whereabouts and behavior of the animal they are handling.
- Temporary Foster: If you are unable to foster for 10-14 days or longer, there is always a need for short-term relief when a foster family goes on vacation for a week or weekend.
- Photographer: A good photo can drastically improve the chances of a dog getting adopted. If you are a photographer, your skills will help save lives more than you know!
If you’re looking to help out but want to stay in the comfort of your home or office, there are opportunities for you, too!
- Social Media: Updating Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram with BFF’s adoptable dogs, events, information and Alumni!
- Volunteer From Home: Write Thank You notes, follow up with Alumni, keep paperwork well organized, write for the adoption pages or newsletter.
If you are interested in helping this group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Your Calendar!
This summer, you can meet the people behind Be Fido’s Friend, along with a few adoptable dogs, at the annual Luau! Come dressed in your finest grass skirt, and join everyone at Bucktown Pub, 1658 W. Cortland St. Details will be announced on the group’s Facebook page.