Sunday, December 16, 2012

Dinner with Mike #IH4TH

As you know, I am a pet person, and my PJ Tricky and I have been working with Iams this past year, most recently in promotion of Iams Home 4 the Holidays pet adoption program, in partnership with the Helen Woodward Animal Center.  I was truly honoured recently to have the opportunity to meet the President of the Center, and creator of the IH4TH program.

Mike Arms was in Toronto to promote Home 4 the Holidays, and he took some time out to enjoy a meal with a group of us - Iams bloggers, Iams staff, and their PR team. He is an incredibly charming, inspiring, and dedicated animal lover. He talked with us about his experiences, his vision for change, and his passions. He made us all cry, more than once, with his stories - some horrible, some hopeful. Although making me cry isn't what I normally look for in a dinner companion, I could not fault Mike on this account. I left the dinner even more committed to adopting a dog from a local shelter, once we are settled in a new home and have a better idea of the space available to us. The number of wonderful animals out there in shelters looking for forever homes is truly staggering. For me, I can't think of a reason to look anywhere else for our next furry family member.

One of the things we talked about with Mike is the stigma that may be associated with the idea of animal shelters, and the idea that only ill or somehow damaged animals can be found in them. Mike pointed out news stories where the vicious dog is reported to now be in the control of the local shelter, and the perception that only strays, maybe made mean by the streets, end up there. And yes, there are certainly more difficult cases, whether through disease, disability, or temperament. But there are even more family pets who could no longer be looked after, or unwanted litters of kittens looking for a good home. Maybe the baby developed an allergy to the family cat, or a move to an apartment necessitated finding a new home for a  large breed dog. And did you know that your local shelter doesn't house just mutts and mixes? Purebreeds make up a large proportion of residents in these centers as well.

I want to share this clip with you, from Mike's interview with CityTV News. Here he talks about the goals for IH4TH, pet adoption, and points any potential pet parent should consider.

PJ Tricky relaxing by his fire on Christmas Day
As Mike says in the interview, IH4TH succeeded in finding homes for over 1.25 million orphaned pets last year, and they hope to surpass that number in 2012.  As of this week, over 3/4 of a million pets have been adopted through this program. If you are considering adding a furry family member to your brood this holiday season, I strongly encourage you to check out your local shelter or rescue organisation, and work with the staff there to find a great match for your family and your lifestyle.
after-dinner photo opp with Serena and Mike Arms

A Giveaway

Iams Home 4 the Holidays is offering a giveaway for one of my lucky readers, valued at $300.00. This is a wonderful prize pack, containing lots of items for your four-legged companion.

The package includes:- Pet bed- Pet blanket- Food container- Food scoopers- Poop scoopers- Poop bags- Two food coupons for large bags of food- Iams fanny pack for water bottle- Iams water bottle for pets- Iams portable water dish- Swifter cleaners- Febreeze pet odour spray - Iams Christmas stocking- Iams pet brush
- Iams bandana

Entries are via the Rafflecopter widget below, and will be accepted until 12:00 midnight EST, December 30. Giveaway is open to Canadian residents only, excluding Quebec. Best of luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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