Now in their fifth year of volunteering for Straw For Dogs, a local non-profit whose mission is to provide supplies and resources for outdoor pets, ReAnn & Tom Johnson are January’s Volunteers of the Month.
ReAnn and Tom began with the Straw For Dogs by fostering and then adopting a dog.
Their volunteer work covers the Mat-Su Valley, loading up their truck once a month or so for a weekend of delivering straw, insulated doghouse kits, food and other supplies to their regular clients, or to make calls based on new referrals.
Along with most of the other offerings, the insulated doghouses are kits made with donated materials and labor.
Says ReAnn, “It’s something that people don’t always feel they have the income for, but if we can provide the doghouses, they care enough to care for the animals.”
In showing their love for animals through their volunteersim, the couple has found that their efforts have a lasting effect through Straw For Dogs. They feel the organization is improving the lives of dogs where they are, and spreading that education through the communities they visit.
Straw For Dogs can:
Provide a well-built, insulated dog house that is large enough for the dog to fit in comfortably but small enough to retain body heat.
Raise the dog house off the ground.
Fill the house with straw for warmth.
Build a secure fence to allow the dog to move about freely (if a fence can’t be built, we’ll replace a chain with a lightweight cable tie-out).
Offer free food to insure that no dog goes hungry.
Educate caretaker on ways they can provide fresh water.
Supply a heated water bowl if appropriate.
Fit the dog with a new collar, leash, and harness.
Bring toys so the dog has mental stimulation.
Take the dog on walks to provide exercise.
Offer spay/neuter services, grooming, and transport to vet appointments.
More information on the organization can be found at their website: http://www.strawfordogs.org , and reached by email at; firstname.lastname@example.org