We all know what goes into running our own households — whether it’s supplies we need or things we have to do. But do you know what goes into operating the Forever Loved Pet Sanctuary shelter? The following quiz is intended to give you a fun overview of our goings-on. If you’re so inclined, read each heading and take a guess before looking at the answer. (And for those that are super-serious, please note that all answers are approximate!)
We use about three bags of food a month in the shelter and we give another approximately 12 each month to foster volunteers. When someone fosters a dog with FLPS, we give them a bag of food and dog bed, as well as treats, blankets, and other items if needed. FLPS is very fortunate because about once every three months, we pick up about 40-50 bags of dry dog food from Community PAWS, which distributes food from chewy.com. They give damaged and otherwise unsellable bags of food to shelters. If there’s any in our allotment we can’t use (like puppy food or cat food or litter), we pass it on to other animal groups.
This is really what it’s all about, isn’t it? During the pandemic, our adoptions have stayed pretty consistent thus far. We adopted out three in February, five in April, and four in May. During our approximately two-month pandemic lockdown, we found fosters for the four dogs remaining in the shelter so that they could continue to get social interaction. And happily, all but our long-term resident Ruby were adopted.
While on lockdown (until the end of May), we were still taking in owner surrenders. We took in five dogs in April, eight in May, four in June, and six in July. Reasons for these surrenders included divorce, loss of housing, allergies, and owners passing away.
A: 0, 7 or 14.
This is a wishy-washy answer because it really depends on the weather. During times when the weather is nice, all the dogs are walked once and often twice a day. We are so thankful for our volunteers who help our dogs in this way. Walks are so important for dogs’ mental health and overall well-being. When it’s really hot, rather than walks, the dogs get time in the play yard — in the early morning or later in the evening.
As the name suggests, kennel wash is the special soap used to mop the kennels. It’s specifically designed to clean up after dogs and eliminate odors. Our dogs keep both staff and volunteers busy! The kennels are swept every day and mopped a couple times a week with the kennel wash. We also use it for spot cleaning.
We are very grateful that our supporters frequently donate Costco wet dog food. We use it in the shelter and give a couple of cans to each foster, as well. "People are so generous and we are so lucky that we rarely have to buy wet food," says Luisa Chocron, FLPS Executive Director. Forever Loved maintains an Amazon wishlist which has been an effective way to let our community know our prioritized needs at any given time. With limited storage, this is key, Luisa says.
While we have a sink at the shelter where hands can be washed, hand sanitizer is always handy, and it is vital right now with Covid. We encourage volunteers use it in between caring for the different dogs.
The dogs at our shelter typically get treats at feeding times, when volunteers finish their shifts, and when their dog doors are closed in the evenings. If you’ve been to the shelter, you’ve probably noticed the random assortment of treats we have. Luisa explains that having a variety of treats at the shelter is important because different dogs need different treats. For example, a big dog may prefer a large Milk-Bone whereas a dog with teeth issues would need something soft, and a small dog would need a smaller treat. “We always appreciate different kinds of treats and always need a huge variety — but please no rawhides,” says Luisa.
The shelter receives somewhere between 2-15 emails a day from owners wanting to surrender a dog. We get another 5-8 emails per day from other county shelters. Most are related to animals needing homes, but a lot are ones we can’t help, such as cats or puppies. FLPS staff do their best to reply to those inquiries and suggest relevant resources. As you can imagine, this can be time-consuming.
How did you do? Are you an FLPS all-star expert? If you weren’t before, you probably feel a bit like one now! If you’d like to read about some of the direct beneficiaries of all these efforts, you can read about Betty, Angel, or our adoptable dogs. And if you have suggestions for future quiz questions, contact us!