Just so excited to have my favorite charity on The Skinny Confidential. Since today is Giving Tuesday, I wanted to bring highlight all the amazing work this charity does.
If you’re new to Giving Tuesday, it’s a fairly new global movement that takes place on the first Tuesday after Black Friday/Cyber Monday every year. It’s a chance to donate to non-profit charities and use our time or money for good.
This is a charity that I’m very passionate about, & I found out about them through my friends Lucy & Brianne. They raved about how I STAND WITH MY PACK helps animals are in toxic & horrible situations. They help them get well, find foster & permanent homes.
I Stand With My Pack is a non-profit organization providing global assistance to save the lives of animals & prevent suffering & cruelty. ISWMP’s domestic efforts focus on the successful removal of dogs from LA city & county as well as other parts of California high risk kill shelters, assisting them through the rehabilitative process & successfully placing them in their forever homes.
ISWMP has also created an international platform increasing awareness through education, hands-on field work, disaster relief, fundraising, non-violent protest, & legal action.
Additionally, ISWMP extends support and collaborates with like minded individuals, organizations and governments to build the momentum required for sustained changes in animal welfare.
These domestic and international efforts support our ultimate mission to create global, long-term solutions for a more humane world.
Today on the blog Aleksandra is going to tell us why she started ISWMP & she shares how to spot an abused animal, what you can do to help, & what to expect when bringing a rescue dog into your home. Be sure to check her out on the podcast too.
You should also know we’re working on something fun together. It’s coming soon & I think you guys are going to love it!
Hope you guys love this blog post because this subject is so near & dear to my heart ( Boone is a rescue ). With that, let’s welcome Aleksandra of ISWMP to the blog.
Why You Should Adopt A Rescue Dog: Everything You Need To Know From ISWMP
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♡ Introduce yourself to The Skinny Confidential audience.
Aleksandra Schiffer: Hi I am Aleksandra Schiffer, the founder & President of ISWMP. I am a refugee from Serbia, during the decade of the long civil war. I had the opportunity to live & grow in several different countries, which exposed me to many different diversities, cultures & communities. And I came to the USA fifteen years ago, from France. From a young age I was drawn to animals in all shapes & sizes. Throughout my life I have worked & volunteered to help & protect animal welfare.
♡ Why did you start I Stand With My Pack?
AS: I started ISWMP because I wanted to strengthen the human animal bond, & to be the voice for animals because they do not have one. From my life experience I saw firsthand through war how horrible humans can be to other species & each other. I wanted to do something about it.
I started with animals on the street, bringing them home, providing them veterinarian care & ended up keeping them all. In fact, I was even in situations where I was protecting them from the individuals who were trying to harm them. I had volunteered with other organizations, made financial donations & when I saw the cracks in the ongoing efforts of rescues & shelters is when I founded ISWMP. Through the work I had been doing I had created my own pack of fosters, donors, & volunteers that made it possible for ISWMP to do a wider range of work.
♡ What types of cases are you seeing right now when it comes to rescuing animals?
AS:The worst. We are seeing high medical needs for animals from abuse, neglect, backyard breeders, hit by cars, hoarders, animal returns, fighting dog rings, litters of puppies abandoned without Mother, & owners who cannot afford basic veterinarian care.
♡ What’s the difference between buying a dog & adopting a rescue?
AS: Buying a dog & rescuing a dog are two completely different things. Buying a dog is just continuing the vicious circle of breeding. A majority of the dogs that we rescue were acquired from backyard breeders. These individuals are not doing any of the requirements which are basic, like vaccinations, spay/neuter, feeding them, which leads to malnourishment & all other types of medical issues. Oftentimes female dogs are bred repeatedly & then dumped at the shelters or much worse.
Now rescuing a dog means helping first & foremost that dog, which probably didn’t have a happy & healthy life before. Secondly helping the rescue community to help continue to do the work. Third, it feeds your soul, which in turn helps that individual become a better person.
My goal is the ripple effect in doing the rescue, re-homing the animal, teaching unconditional love, then repeating itself. My intention in doing this is to continually keep bringing animals & humans together to literally save each other. Our rescue is the vessel.
♡ Why do you think people abuse animals?
AS: Hurt people hurt others. Humans are not born to hate, hurt or harm others. What I see is the lack of education, & this is all learned behavior, & we are failing them by not helping them to become better. It is a vicious circle & until humans want to stop & break the cycle we will continue to do the work to help them help themselves. We live in a disposable society & close our eyes to what is in front of us, because we are so over exposed to so much that it then becomes the norm & is accepted.
♡ If someone wants to help, what are some actions they can take to stop this?
AS: Volunteer at your local shelters, rescues, joining groups on social media. Organize fundraisers for your favorite charities, support candidates that support animal welfare, educate yourself on the systems of the county you reside in & how animal welfare is dealt with. You are the change & that means it takes effort. If you see or hear of animal being abused, report it.
♡ How can you tell if an animal is being abused & who do we alert?
AS: There are so many different ways that would be visual: hair loss with severe rashes, bite marks, scratches, deep wounds, broken bones, malnutrition-ribs outlined ( which could be a sickness ), large abscess. Alert your local authorities or local shelter as soon as you can.
♡ Some people are scared to adopt a rescue because they have babies or children. How can you ease someone’s mind who is on the fence?
AS: Do your homework about the rescue, their efforts to rehabilitate the animal. We take our animals to trainers to make sure they find the right home. Meaning they are not food aggressive, like or dislike children, or other dogs, resource guarding ( possessive of one owner, toy etc. ).
We have more puppies than most other age groups of animals. It really comes down to the individual doing the research, working with the rescue & knowing what your limitations are. Understanding what type of dog you need vs. the type of dog you want. Most importantly remember you are adopting a dog, & a dog will be a dog.
♡ Tell us about a recent case & how we can help as a community.
AS: All of our dogs are individually unique & each case demands attention & devotion equally. We will single out a really unique & incredibly special guy named Willie. We rescued Willie about two months ago. He was four months old & already completely blind due to juvenile glaucoma.
If he had been treated on time he would have been ok, & since it was not treated it progressed rapidly & he lost one of his eyeballs. Then the other was extremely infected & had to be removed immediately. Willie was in a lot of pain & despite everything was a happy boy ALWAYS. He spent ten days in the hospital & had his second eyeball removed. His foster took him in with enthusiasm & SO much love. Willie thrived & recovered completely. He became an inspiration to many people, & is the perfect example of what happens when an animal receives love, care & safety. Willie was adopted & is now the King of a farm with his own companion dog Carson!
♡ What’s a book, podcast or other resource you recommend about rescue animals?
♡ Where can everyone find you? Pimp yourself out!
AS: You can visit our website https://istandwithmypack.org/
Tweet us at @iswmp.
Hope you guys learned something new about rescue dogs from this post. Every single dollar helps so if you can donate, please do. If you can donate your time that helps too! For more details on how you can contribute & help rescue animals just click the button below.
Be sure to follow them on Instagram @istandwithmypack to stay up to date on rescue dogs & how your donations help their cause (like this cutie, Grandpa Larry). And if you haven’t listened yet, check out this podcast episode where Aleksandra talks more about what’s really happening at shelters and how you can help.
+ scope the test that can tell you so much about your dog.
++ meet my dogsitters: Mike & Jen.