The 13 Project is a the mastermind project of Serena Faber Nelson of the blog Pretty Fluffy. A huge animal welfare advocate, Serena encouraged everyone to make a list of 13 acts of kindness that each of us can perform in behalf of shelter/rescue animals – one for each of the (almost) 13 weeks left in 2012 . These acts do not have to be huge goals, but should be reasonable and achievable…and your list does not even have to have 13 items. The idea is to show that even small acts of kindness can add up to big help for those animals in need.

Developing the Posh Pets’ list involved a lot of brainstorming! But, I think that the our list is totally do-able and will keep me focussed for the rest of the year. So, here is our list..

  1. Volunteer weekly at Toronto Animal Services (North) to take flattering images of their current adoptables. I have been doing this for almost a year now, and I can honestly say that this is one of the highlights of my week. I love meeting the new furry faces, spending some time with them and then watching as they find their forever homes!
  2. Blog and post the adoptables’ images on the Posh Pets’ Facebook page on a weekly basis. There are many wonderful fellow volunteers at TAS and together we work to share the stories and images of these lovely adoptables to a wide audience and help these animals in need. One volunteer has a very active page that shares these furry faces far and wide!
  3. Pin the adoptables on Pinterest to reach a wider/different audience. I have not done this regularly in the past, but now it will be done each week.
  4. Donate my extra towels, bedding and sheets. Over the years, we have gathered quite a collection…most of which are not regularly used. These are going to be given to our local shelter.
  5. Research a Canadian rescue/animal welfare group and commit to a small monthly donation. I, like a lot of others, fall into the trap of thinking that if we do not have much to give, then it is hardly worth it to make the donation. But, many small amounts can go a long way to helping animals in need.
  6. Network with other local photographers to find a photographer for Toronto Animal Service’s other location. This has already been done!
  7. Offer to donate photography and adoption story to a not-for-profit organization’s calendar which will be sold to help shelter animals. This means reaching out to those who have adopted from a shelter.
  8. Posh Pets is a member of a wonderful organization called HeARTs Speak who unite animal artists in helping animals in need. There is strength in numbers, so  I will introduce HeARTs Speak to 3 other pet photographers/artists in the hopes that it will encourage them to join and volunteer their time helping shelter animals.
  9. Write a Posh Pets blog post about the joys of adopting. Our cat, Lady Jane, is proof-positive of that fact.
  10. Educate others on the responsibility to spay and neuter their pets. We simply would not have an over-population problem if responsible pet ownership existed.
  11. Seriously consider adopting or fostering a shelter animal. This is a hard one for me as we lost our dear Ripley (who came from the Toronto Humane Society some 16+ years ago) last June. It has been hard for me to even think of another family member as it seemed like a “replacement” for our Ripley. I’ve come to realize that Ripley will never be replaced and that we, and our 15.5 year old kitty Lady Jane, just needed time to grieve. Of course, we will need to be thoughtful about introducing a new family member to Lady Jane, but I think that maybe, just maybe, we are ready to welcome a new furry face into our lives.
  12. Share the idea the 13 Project with other like-minded people and businesses.

So, that is our list…what is on yours?

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