Some conditions seem so horrible should the dog be removed from the home?
In doing this work, we have learned not all situations are what they seem. Straw For Dogs is a small 501 c3 non profit group of volunteers, so we can only offer assistance to caretakers that are willing to work with us. That said, our first visit is just the beginning of our relationship with a family. We offer spay/neuter services, free advice for common behavioral issues and may be able to offer medical care if the family can’t provide it. Straw For Dogs also has a refuge/ rehoming program for a limited number of outreach dogs who are surrendered to us, and are always in need of foster homes and adopters to help. However, many families do not want to rehome their pets, but just need a little help and guidance.
Don’t you think it’s better for the dogs to be in the house with the family?
Yes! We learn what we can about the family’s situation and see how we can improve the quality of the dog’s life. Some families just aren’t willing or able to have the dogs inside. Straw For Dogs believes a shelter and proper supplies can go a long way to improving the quality of life for a pet outdoors. We also offer crate training as a way to promote good indoor manners. Most dogs are calmer and friendlier with some basic care, so it’s easier for their family to spend time with them maybe by bringing the dog in the house more or spending time outside with the dog.
How do you find out about dogs who need assistance?
We learn of our outreach clients in several ways. Some families apply themselves; some are referred by neighbors, extended family members, other agencies, volunteers or friends. Anyone can fill out our easy, online form for an anonymous request for assistance.
Will you check on a neglected dog (horse, cat, etc.) in my neighborhood?
Straw For Dogs does not have animal cruelty enforcement authority—we are an all-volunteer organization and can only offer our assistance to help pets outdoors. Law enforcement agencies are required to investigate citizen reports of animal abuse and neglect. Most areas require that animals have enclosed shelter that protects against the elements, dry bedding, appropriate food and fresh water, and veterinary care to relieve illness or injury. If you think there is an emergency, neglect or abuse, please call the police or local animal control.
How can I request a visit?
The best way to request assistance for your own pets or a dog in your community is by our easy online Application for Assistance. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 907-310-7294. We are not an emergency or enforcement agency, and volunteers are only able to help when able. If a law is being broken or there is an emergency, please call your local animal shelter, animal hospital or police department.
Will you reveal my name if I refer someone’s dog?
No. Please indicate if you would like to remain anonymous– we respect confidentiality.
Do I need to financially qualify?
No. Many of our clients are low-income, but there are no income requirements. Straw For Dogs provides supplies based on the dog’s needs rather than the family’s financial status.
Why do people keep their dogs outside in the first place?
There are many reasons why people chain or house their dogs outdoors. Some well intentioned people simply do not know different, having been raised with chained dogs, but may be grateful for assistance to improve their dog’s life. Others may see dogs as animals who truly enjoy being outdoors, or consider them guard dogs. Others may have had dogs given to them by a family member and have no other recourse, or consider the situation temporary. Whatever the reason, Straw For Dogs’ mission is not to pass judgment but to help improve the situation for the dog by providing supplies, resources and education.
Thanks to our friends at Fences For Fido for helping us communicate reasonable and compassionate ways to reach families and assist pets outdoors.