Notes From the Janery Studio
As the world grapples with the serious impacts and social distancing required by the Coronavirus, animal shelters need your help more than ever.
They’re searching for temporary pet foster families to help clear the shelters so that employees can work in the safety of their own homes. It’s a win-win: you get companionship and laughs, while helping shelter employees and rescued pets.
Janery’s philanthropic partner, the Richmond Animal League recently sent out a plea for emergency fosters:
“In response to COVID-19, we’re trying to place as many pets in foster homes as we can.”
Here are the answers to the most common questions about fostering shelter pets:
I have a kid / a dog / a cat - how do I know it’s safe for me to foster a shelter pet?
The animal rescue organization will consider this information when they review your foster application. Reputable shelters always screen incoming pets for aggression and safety with kids and other pets. They want the foster experience to be safe and successful for all people and pets involved - so they will take care to make the right match when choosing which pet to place with your family.
I am on a fixed income - or - I don’t have pet supplies.
No budget? No problem. The shelter will provide everything you need to care for the pet you are fostering.
Do I have to be a current volunteer with this organization?
No, you don’t need to be a current shelter or rescue volunteer. Your application will be reviewed to see if you’re a good fit.
My schedule is complicated. Can I just do it for two weeks?
Always ask - because for emergency fosters, the answer may be yes. The Richmond Animal League will accept short term fosters because in this unusual situation, every little bit helps.
At this time, RAL may have found all the foster families they need, but if you’re local and want to sign up just in case they need more help, you can find their Emergency Foster Application here.
If you’re not local to Richmond, VA, please consider calling your favorite local animal rescue organization to see if they need your help.
Rescue pets have a soft spot in my heart. I found Charlie, my first dog, on the streets of Richmond, VA when I was working in a vet hospital there. In fact, all five of my first pets were from the streets of Richmond. (Yes, I said 5. Back then I had pretty open door policy for abandoned animals.)
It’s one of the reasons why I dedicate a portion of my profits to rescue organizations around the country, and it’s why I give Janery’s Catnip Cuddlers and dog beds to shelters for their oldest residents to enjoy.
It’s also why I love the Richmond Animal League Sugar and Spice Ball + Auction, which is happening this Saturday! We’ve donated to this special event every year since we opened our doors, and I was happy to send them a large Sapphire Charlie Cushion and our Cat Lady Starter Kit for bidding. I can’t wait to hear how much they raise this weekend because I know they use every possible penny to help abandoned pets in Richmond and Chesterfield County.
But here’s the best part! The auction is online, so you can bid on them and support RAL too!
Sugarbaker is waiting for a home at RAL | Click here for adoption information
While I can’t kick up my heels with the RAL staff, volunteers, and supporters this weekend, I’ll be following along via their silent auction online. If you’d like try your chance at an auction win, check out their Sugar and Spice auction page. All bidding ends by 8 PM on February 24th, so make sure you hop over as soon as you can!
Merryn is waiting for a home at RAL | Click here for adoption information
If you’d like more information about the Richmond Animal League, you can find them by clicking the links below. Then, grab your tissues, and read how RAL made Christmas extra special for a sweet old Beagle named Griswold this year.
Janery is proud to partner with worthwhile rescue organizations such as RAL, because, as I’m sure you know, doing good always feels good - like a nice scratch behind the ears. ;)
PS: Speaking of RAL, did you see their senior residents enjoying our Catnip Cuddlers, Merlin Mats, Catnip Kickers and gourmet dog treats from North Woods Animal Treats? Every animal should feel special at Christmas and I’m glad Janery could be a part of the celebration.
The pack of puppies stepped out in front of my car, oblivious to any danger. The big black and tan leader of the pack watched warily as my car slowed to a stop. I looked at Charlie in the back seat of my car, herself a former stray from this very neighborhood, and suddenly I was opening the door, climbing out, and cautiously approaching the pack of dogs.
It was a rainy day in early April, I was driving through the neighborhood where I’d found Charlie. When I’d lived there, it wasn’t unusual to see a dog roaming the street. I never knew which were strays and which just had irresponsible owners. One pair of strays was so street-savvy that animal control had been unable to catch them for years.
On this day, though, the motley pack of dogs seemed frozen in place as I exited the car and began to approach. I was slightly unnerved by the intense gaze of the Rottweiler. He didn’t trust me, and I didn’t trust him.
But before I could get too close to the pack, a small black and white puppy broke away and came up to me, and as I knelt down to him he wriggled right into my lap. When he cocked his head and looked up at me with one blue and one brown eye, and I was gone.
I didn’t need another dog. I had three cats and two dogs, and I was working several jobs while finishing my last semester of college.
As the black and white puppy cuddled in my lap, the rain began to fall harder.
I scooped up the puppy and stood there, unsure what to do. What if this was someone’s puppy? I wrestled with my conscience, thinking that anyone letting their puppy run loose in the city shouldn’t have a dog. Then I saw an old man sitting under his covered front porch, watching me with what I’m sure was wry amusement.
I can only imagine what he was thinking….
I waved and said hello, and then I wondered if the puppies were his. Never too shy to talk to strangers, I approached and asked him about the sweet boy who was now wriggling in my arms and licking delicate kisses on my face.
The puppies were indeed strays, born on Christmas to a white German Shepherd down the street. I knew that dog. I’d driven by her house many times, my heart breaking each time I saw her on a short metal chain in a patch of dirt, with only a decaying dog house for shelter. I’d also seen her running free in the neighborhood, but I don’t know if it’s because she escaped or the owners let her off the chain to roam.
The rain was pouring down now, soaking me and the puppy as the old man talked to me from his covered porch. After I learned the full story, I snuggled my Christmas puppy close as he licked my hands, and walked back to the car.
It would take me a few days to settle on just the right name for Merlin, the black and white puppy with the one magical blue eye.
We said goodbye to Merlin in July of 2017, after he suffered a fatal and unexpected heart problem. The last of my Richmond street pups who inspired Janery, his passing truly marked the end of an era.
From the earliest days of Janery, giving back to the community has been an important part of what I do. It's also my favorite part.
I've rescued at least 13 pets since college, starting with my first cat, Blossom:
Many were strays that I fostered before rehoming with the help of rescue organizations, so giving back to groups that help animals is second nature to me.
Supporting a group that truly helps homeless people transition to employment & housing is also very important to me, because of an eye-opening experience I had in college.
I believe that all businesses should give back to their communities. Caffe Amouri, an artisan coffee roaster in my town, really inspires me in this way. The owner says that as long as he helps his community, he considers his business successful.
I couldn't agree more.
Thank you for helping me make a difference in the lives of people and animals.
5% of all Janery profits from my dog beds, cat beds, and home accessories will continue to go to pet rescue and homeless outreach groups. If you'd like to nominate a pet rescue organization for Janery to partner with in the future, please let me know.
I was recently featured over at the fabulous design blog Cuckoo4Design in the "Living Pretty With Your Pets" series. I was honored that Julia included me - she has an incredible eye for interior design, and has a huge heart for adopting cats.
I shared a story I've never shared before, the story of how I came to adopt 5 very important pets in my life: Charlie, Merlin, Aretha, Doctor, and Amber.
For a peek at the pets behind Janery, click the photo below to check it out!