Holiday Gift Giving Ideas

Chuck with snake.

On Saturday, December 14 from 2 to 4 pm, we will be holding “Photos with Santa” at Health and Harmony Animal Hospital,1117 West First Avenue in Grandview. If you have questions, you can call Health and Harmony: 614-360-3941.

We’re asking people to bring their own cameras and phones to take as many photos as they want of Buddy and/or Fluffy posing on Santa’s lap.

There will be a $5 minimum donation that will benefit Black & Orange Cat Foundation and the Good Samaritan Fund at Health and Harmony – to provide veterinary care to animals in need. You can, of course, donate more – and we will love you for it.

We will also have a photographer on hand who can take photos if you don’t have your phone or camera with you. The photos can either be printed out on site or emailed to you.

You can take photos of four-legged and two-legged kiddos – or even add a few adults to the mix. Anyone you want can pose with Santa.

We’ll also have some gift items and bakery goods (doggie treats and people treats) available to purchase. There will also be someone set up to do gift wrapping for a donation.

We look forward to seeing you then!

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Chuck and Mrs. Claus

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After several days of crazy shopping sprees, Tuesday, December 3 has been designated as Giving Tuesday. On this day, people are asked to help all those charities who do so much good in their daily lives.

We are participating in Giving Tuesday with a campaign to help raise funds for a colony of cats in Buckeye Lake we’ve been trying to help for the past several months. Dr. Kim West and all of the staff at Health and Harmony Animal Hospital have been working with us on this project. When I was a bit overwhelmed to learn that there were over 40 cats in need of help, Dr. West told me we’d figure out something and help them. She then set up a Good Samaritan Fund through Health and Harmony and did a microchipping fundraiser to get the effort started.

To date, we have spayed and neutered 13 cats using the Good Sam fund–Dr. West has not charged us a penny for the surgeries or vaccines. And these cats really needed our help. We’ve also taken eleven kittens to be adopted. We have four remaining, all siblings–Winkin and Blinkin, TJ and Buff (who are currently at the PetSmart on Sawmill Road looking for their forever home). We’ve also taken three adult cats from this colony for a total of 14 cats that have been pulled to go to new lives.

One of those cats was Scruffy, who came to the Dr. West’s office looking a complete mess (see the before and after photos below). We thought he would lose an eye. His ear was infected, fur matted, and he was FIV positive. But with a lot of love and care, this special boy blossomed and even found a home! A lady who lives just down the street from Health and Harmony saw Scruffy’s profile on Facebook. A kind supporter had written that they hoped Scruffy’s home was “just around the corner.” The lady who adopted him took that as a sign–because she did live just around the corner. So she came in, met Scruffy, and took him home! And now this sweet boy is living the life of a King Cat–which he is!

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Scruffy before he came to Health and Harmony.

Scruffy after lots of love and care.

Scruffy after lots of love and care.

We think there are approximately 23 cats left that need our help. We set up a special Giving Tuesday fund to help get these final cats fixed before kitten season arrives in February/March.

You can make a donation to this special Giving Tuesday project and help the remaining cats by going HERE.

We will also be fundraising for these kitties when we do our Santa Photos on Saturday, December 14 from 2-4 pm at Health and Harmony, 1117 West First Avenue in Grandview. Our wonderful Santa (Chuck Gaul) will be available for photos with two-legged and four-legged babies. Bring your own camera or phone and take as many pictures as you want for a $5 donation to our fund to help these kitties. We will also be holding a bake sale and someone will be on hand to wrap gifts for a donation.

Here are photos of some of the other kitties we helped from this colony.

Winkin and Blinkin snuggling in their bed.

Winkin and Blinkin snuggling in their bed.

 

TJ and Buff are ready for their forever home!

TJ and Buff are ready for their forever home!

 

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The holidays are just around the corner. We will be participating in several holiday fundraisers, but there are also ways you can support us and other rescue groups from your computer by shopping online or by making donations that can be matched. Check out the ideas below.

Here is also a list of where you can come visit us during the holiday season and support our spay and neuter efforts.

1. On Saturday, December 14, from 2-4 pm, we will be taking photos with Santa at Health and Harmony Animal Hospital, 1117 West First Avenue in Grandview.

We are doing things a bit differently than we have done in the past at PetSmart. We’ll still have our wonderful Santa Chuck with us, but this year, we’re asking people to bring their own cameras and phones to take as many photos as they want of Buddy or Fluffy posing on Santa’s lap. There will be a $5 minimum donation that will benefit Black and Orange and the Good Samaritan fund at Health and Harmony (to provide vet care to animals in need). You can, of course, donate more–and we will love you for it. We will also have a photographer on hand who can take photos if you don’t have your phone or camera with you. We’ll get your email address and email those photos to you. You can take photos of four-legged and two-legged kiddos–or even add a few adults to the mix–anyone you want to pose with Santa.

We’ll also have some gift items and bakery goods (doggie treats and people treats) available to purchase. There will also be someone set up to do gift wrapping for a donation.

2. Saturday, November 30 is Small Business Saturday. We will be set up in Plain City Druggist, 480 South Jefferson Avenue in Plain City, from 10 am to noon wrapping all those presents you bought on Black Friday. So bring them in to us and let us wrap them for you. We are just asking for a donation to benefit Black and Orange in exchange for our wrapping expertise. We’ll provide the tape, paper, and ribbons. You provide the boxes to wrap.

3. We’ll also be wrapping presents on Saturday, December 7 from 5:30 to 9 pm during Christmas Under the Clock in Plain City. We’ll be hanging out in Plain City Druggist with all our wrapping gear. So bring in the presents you buy while shopping in downtown Plain City or even in the drugstore and we’ll send them home with you all tied up neatly in a bow (and disguised from the holiday snoops in your house).

Other ways to help without facing the holiday crowds:

1. Please make every gift count this holiday season. More than 1,300 top stores including Amazon, Toys R Us, Best Buy, Apple, Gap, and more will donate a percentage of virtually every sale to Black and Orange Cat Foundation. Just go to GoodShop.com, designate us as the cause you support and then click over to your favorite store. You pay nothing extra–and you can even save money as GoodShop lists thousands of money-saving coupons and free shipping offers. Or, add our toolbar to your browser at http://www.goodsearch.com/toolbar –and your purchase will count even if you forget to go to GoodShop first! There’s no easier way to support us this holiday season! Please spread the word.

Sign up now for Gooddining and every time you eat out with a registered credit card, B and O will get 6%! Find out more by going HERE.

And don’t forget to use GoodSearch each time you look something up online. When you choose us as your charity, we get a penny back each time you do an online search. GoodSearch now by going HERE.

2. We have a shop where you can purchase B and O logo items online at Zazzle.com. You can make your own Black and Orange logo t-shirts, shirts for your pampered pooch, or buy stamps and cards that feature rescued cats. Many of the photos we received in past calendar contests have now been made into really, really cool stamps. Buy those now and you can put them on your holiday cards and know that we are getting a portion back from that purchase, too–we get part of the proceeds!! Show your support for B and O in the coming year by wearing our logo!

3. AmazonSmile allows you to shop and give back to a favorite charity at the same time. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charity you pick. Black and Orange is signed up with AmazonSmile, so you can choose us when you shop on Amazon by starting on the Smile.Amazon.com web site. For more info or to start shopping, go HERE.

Inline Image4. Hooray for the Underdog cards, journals, and notepads all feature rescued animals. On the backs of the cards, the animal’s story is told–abandoned in boxes, left alone on doorsteps–these animals all had unhappy past lives before becoming a star on the covers of Hooray for the Underdog cards. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of all Hooray for the Underdog items goes back to support rescues and shelters.

Inline Image5. Rescue Chocolate donates 100% of their net profits to animal rescue organizations nationwide. With flavor names that draw attention to many pet issues, the packaging is as creative as the candy is delicious. From Peanut Butter Pit Bull to Mission Feral Fig (our favorite as it highlights the importance of Trap-Neuter-Return), these 100% Vegan products are sure to make nice stocking stuffers this holiday season.

6. B and O is enrolled in the Kroger Community Rewards Program. As you know, Kroger will give us money based upon the percentage spent by participating members who designate B and O as their charity of choice. If you are shopping at Kroger this holiday season for all the fixings for your family dinners or even for gifts for those on your “nice list,” make sure you are signed up to designate B and O to receive a percentage of what you spend this year on holiday must haves.

The number you need to use to designate your purchases for Black and Orange is 84918. 

You can sign up for the Kroger Community Rewards Program by clicking HERE.

7. Many people work for companies that will match their donations. For a list of over 100 companies that will match donations, go HERE and look for your employer on the list. You will need to scroll down to see the list. Don’t see your company on the list? Stop in your human resources department and ask them if your workplace has a matching program. If they do, you can help the charity of your choice even more!

8. This holiday season help prevent animal homelessness. Millions of cats and dogs are lost every year in U.S. shelters due to companion animal overpopulation. This year “Gift a Fix” and help prevent animal homelessness.

Many kind hearted people bring abandoned animals into their homes and families, but find even a low cost spay or neuter beyond their budget during a period of economic hardship. GetYourFix.org provides them with the hope that they will not contribute to the population of unwanted animals.

Why you should Gift a Fix?

1. Reduce the homeless animal population. – Expense is one of the top reasons why caregivers fail to spay or neuter their animals. FiXiT’s solution for assisting those going through hard times prevents new litters from contributing to the homeless animal population.
2. Great last minute gift.
3. Fits every budget. – Gift a Fix donations start as low as $25. For $100, you will receive a personal letter describing the animal benefactor, profiled on GetYourFix, and ongoing updates about the cat or dog’s spay or neuter.

Gift a Fix this holiday season and make a difference for our best friends. You can Gift a Fix by going HERE

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Sunrise Sanctuary, for those of you who don’t know, is an awesome long term home for those animals that normally are considered “food” in our society. Sunrise Sanctuary, however, considers these animals to be their duty to protect and love. They provide them with shelter, food, and a lifelong place to live lives free from the fears these animals normally face in our world.

Therefore, this Thanksgiving, rather than sitting down to a turkey dinner, the kind hearted people at Sunrise Sanctuary will be holding a compassionate Thanksgiving FOR the Turkeys and are asking everyone to join them in donating food to keep these lovely birds from going hungry. The turkeys don’t want their friends, the sheep, cows, pigs, horses, chickens, and ducks from going hungry either, so they are also asking for donations of food for their other buddies.

Join the animals and everyone at the Sanctuary on Sunday, November 17, from 1 to 3 pm for a Thanksgiving celebration you will never forget.

For this special event, Sunrise Sanctuary is partnering with ASE Feed & Supply, (who provides the quality food and supplies for the sanctuary animals at discounted price), to fill up the barns and bins with lots of yummy treats for the everyone living at the Sanctuary.

ASE is putting together a truck full of items that Sunrise needs for the animals. The truck will contain food, treats, and other necessities and will be parked at the Sanctuary during the Thanksgiving event. Pricing for the items in the truck will start at just $5. You can purchase food to help keep these wonderful beings happy and fed over the next few months. Credit cards will be accepted at the event. All purchases are also tax deductible!

You can also bring things that Sunrise needs to the event. To pick out items, visit their Wish List HERE.

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There will also be lots of great treats from the vegan bakery, Pattycake Bakery. Additionally, there will be other gift items available for the holiday season. Check out book markers, art, and pendants by Tina Lowery. The book “Journey to Gentle Barn” by Natasha McKeon will also be featured for only $14.99. And Sunrise Sanctuary t-shirts will be on sale for $10.

Please RSVP for the Thanksgiving event by November 11 by going HERE.

Make sure you check the weather forecast and dress appropriately. This is a working farm, so wear boots and old clothes to muck around.

And if you can’t make it to the Thanksgiving FOR the Turkeys event, consider adopting a turkey for only $7.50 a month. The Support-A-Buddy Program makes you a hero for the animals all Year long! Find out more HERE.

Sunrise Sanctuary is located just a short distance from Columbus and Plain City at 16730 Martin Welch Road in Marysville, Ohio.  Please consider taking a trip to visit the animals and enjoy a compassionate and gentle Thanksgiving.

And Please LIKE Sunrise Sanctuary on Facebook by going HERE.

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I am thrilled to announce that our web guru, feline friend, and local author, Vicki Watson, has just released the fourth book, Tender Mercies, in her Sonrise Stable series. I had the privilege of reading the book before it was published to give Vicki my thoughts on the story line, which features our board member, vet, and friend, Dr. Kim West, and a kitty she rescued, Sparrow, who had been shot with an arrow.

You can read Sparrow’s full story and see photos HERE.

Vicki was so horrified after she heard about Sparrow that she wanted to tell others about the extreme cruelty that brought the cat to the Humane Society of Delaware County and Dr. West, as well as the extreme compassion that saved her life. Sparrow has, by the way, gone on to a wonderful home with a friend of Dr. West’s in Chicago. So despite everything, this kitty got a happy ending.

Sparrow’s tale is a side story in Tender Mercies, which focuses on the fate of foals born to “nurse mares.” In case you don’t know about nurse mares, here’s the sad information. When an expensive thoroughbred horse gives birth, the owners will sometimes take the much wanted thoroughbred baby away from it’s very valuable mother and have a nurse mare raise the thoroughbred foal. Because the nurse mare must have milk, she will have just given birth herself. Her true baby is of no value and is often killed.

Luckily, there are rescues that take these unwanted “products” of the thoroughbred industry and find the babies homes. One of those rescues is Last Chance Corral in Athens, Ohio. Vicki visited Victoria Goss, who saves these horses, to get information for Tender Mercies. Both Victoria and the rescue are featured in the book and provide a very real and poignant portrait of the fate of these babies. Thankfully, there are places like Last Chance Corral for these foals that did not ask to be born and certainly don’t want to die.

Vicki wanted Tender Mercies to touch on the many cruel things humans do to animals to teach the next generation to be compassionate and more humane. The theme of Tender Mercies focuses on treating animals with kindness, based on Proverbs 12:10: “A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.

If you are looking for a great gift for kids this holiday season that not only promotes reading, but also teaches compassion for animals, Tender Mercies fits the bill. To read more about Tender Mercies and to order the book, go HERE.

The other three books in the Sonrise Stable series, Rosie and Scamper, Carrie and Bandit, and Clothed With Thunder, are also available by going to the web site HERE and clicking on the link at the top for BOOKS.

Vicki lives locally in Marysville and her web site business, VWeb Web Design, takes care of Black and Orange. Her good friend, Becky Raber, did all of the illustrations for the book and she lives here in Plain City. Visit Becky’s web site HERE.

I am so happy to support local artists who promote kindness and compassion to all animals and value the importance of rescue in the lives of unwanted animals. Thank you Vicki and Becky!

You can read another blog posting about Vicki HERE.

 

First off, as we are heading into the holiday season, I wanted to make everyone aware of an easy item you can pick up at your local PetSmart or online at www.petsmart.com. Each year, PetSmart Charities promotes two plush toys, Chance the Dog and Lucky the Cat, that they sell for the holidays. The toys sell for $5 each and make great gifts for your pets, kids, or as donations to local shelters and rescues. PetSmart donates 10 percent, or 50 cents, from the sale of each toy to their charitable foundation, PetSmart Charities. PetSmart Charities then gives that money out to local rescues, shelters, and other organizations working on behalf of homeless animals. This money is currently going to help the animals struggling after Sandy’s impact on the East Coast.

Fifty cents might not seem like much, but if everyone buys a Lucky or Chance toy, that money will quickly add up to help the animals. Black and Orange has received a grant from PetSmart Charities in the past and that money all came from donations made by people like you (usually as you checked out at the register for your own pets) and from folks purchasing items like these two super toys.

Order Lucky the Cat online HERE.

Order Chance the Dog online HERE.

Secondly, I know everyone has been waiting anxiously (I know I have), but the wait is finally over and the 2013 calendars are fresh from the printer (a big thank you to Tim Wilson and Melissa Noble from Wilson Printing and Graphics in London for putting this fabulous calendar together for us).

If one of your photos was selected to be in the calendar, you’ll be receiving a calendar in the mail to thank you for your support.

If you are ready to purchase calendars for the holiday gift giving season, you can do so in one of three ways. The calendars are $20 each.

1. Stop in Plain City Druggist, 480 South Jefferson Avenue (across from Der Dutchman Restaurant) any time during open hours and buy a calendar for $20 (no tax!). No shipping fees if you come in–just the cost of gas to drive to Plain City. The drugstore is open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm, and Saturdays, 9 am to noon.

2. Order on our web site under the special PayPal button that is set up about halfway down the home page. Shipping costs will be included. Shipping is $5 for 1-5 calendars; $10 for 6-10 calendars; slightly more as you order larger quantities. Look for the photo of the calendar on the home page and follow the instructions to order. You can use a credit card or a PayPal account to order this way.

3. Download a handy order form on our web site or do it right HERE. Send that back in to us with the costs of calendars and shipping and we’ll mail the calendars back to you. This is for those people who don’t want to use a credit card, but would prefer a check or money order.

Thank you to everyone who sent photos for the calendar and to all of you who are supporting us by purchasing them!

B and O volunteers will be in Plain City Druggist, 480 South Jefferson Avenue (across from Der Dutchman) on Friday, December 23, from 4-6 pm wrapping gifts for a donation to Black and Orange Cat Foundation. They will also be wrapping presents on Christmas Eve from 10 am-noon. Bring your gifts in or buy some in the store and they will wrap them for you for a donation to help spay and neuter area kitties!

Our volunteers will provide the gift wrap (you can choose which you like best), the bows, and even a box if you need one. All you have to do is provide the gift! We have professional wrappers on site (namely, my mom, Roberta Timmons, who has been wrapping gifts for Santa for years). Please stop in and let us help make your season a bit easier by wrapping your presents.

This is especially good for those guys out there who always have their wives, girlfriends, mothers, or sisters take care of their gift wrapping. Get your sweetie’s present wrapped and make it look good (you can even pretend you did it yourself–we won’t tell–and neither will the kitties you help).

 

I know everyone has been waiting anxiously (I know I have), but the wait is finally over and the 2012 calendars are fresh from the printer (a big thank you to Tim Wilson and Melissa Noble from Wilson Printing and Graphics in London for putting this fabulous calendar together for us).

If one of your photos was selected to be in the calendar, you’ll be receiving a calendar in the mail to thank you for your support. If your photo wasn’t picked, don’t be upset. We had over 120 pictures to choose from and it was really, really hard to do! Everyone sent in professional looking pictures–even our printer said he couldn’t believe how super the photos were.

If you are ready to purchase calendars for the holiday gift giving season, you can do so in one of three ways. The calendars are $20 each.

1. Stop in Plain City Druggist, 480 South Jefferson Avenue (across from Der Dutchman Restaurant) any time during open hours and buy a calendar for $20 (no tax!). No shipping fees if you come in–just the cost of gas to drive to Plain City. The drugstore is open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm (closed from 1:15 to 2:15 pm for Lunch) and Saturdays, 9 am to noon.

2. Order on our web site under the special PayPal button that is set up about halfway down the home page. Shipping costs will be included. Shipping is $5 for 1-5 calendars; $10 for 6-10 calendars; slightly more as you order larger quantities. Look for the photo of the calendar on the home page and follow the instructions to order. You can use a credit card or a PayPal account to order this way.

3. Download a handy order form on our web site or do it right HERE. Send that back in to us with the costs of calendars and shipping and we’ll mail the calendars back to you. This is for those people who don’t want to use a credit card, but would prefer a check or money order.

We will also have calendars with us for sale on Sunday, December 11, at our Photos with Santa at the PetSmart on Sawmill Road (next to Target). We will be there from 11 am to 4 pm, so bring your pet for a photo and pick up a calendar.

Thank you to everyone who sent photos for the calendar and to all of you who are supporting us by purchasing them!

 

We received over 120 photos for our first ever rescue calendar for 2012. And these were not run-of-the-mill photos. They were all gorgeous. We had a really hard time choosing our winners. We finally had to make it a rule that we would only pick one photo from a family, because some people sent in multiple beautiful pictures.

One example of this occurred with the Hamiltons. Dick and Linda sent in four photos and they were all stunning. It looked as if the cats had been posed–I do not know how they got the cats to sit so still for the camera. I am including two of their photos that did NOT win here. Just look how great they were. Their winner will be featured as the November kitty, so you can check that out when you buy your copy.

Another person with multiple great photos was Mary Dietz. Most of the photos that Mary sent were of strays who had been dumped on her. She mentioned that in one year, they had 22 cats dumped and we helped them get 12-13 of those fixed. The remainder either found other homes or ran off after the spaying and neutering efforts were under way. They now have a stable and fixed colony of 14 cats that they care for–proof that trap-neuter-return (TNR) and spaying and neutering are the solutions to feline overpopulation.

I am going to post a few of Mary’s “Loser” photos at the bottom of this. Her winner will be featured as “September” in the calendar with a picture of a sweet kitty named “Tres” who she says doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. Tres is currently an outside kitty, but Mary would love to find him an inside home if anyone sees him in the calendar and is interested.

I thought that over the next few weeks, as we are working on the calendar with our Printer, Wilson Printing and Graphics in London, that I would post some of the photos we received here and on Facebook.

Thank you to everyone who submitted their babies. It was so nice to see some of our former fosters and know they had found lovely homes!

 

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Several months ago, before we knew about Kitten’s Kiss from Eldchrist Winery, we wrote to Benefit Wines to inquire about a wine for Black and Orange. We sent photos of our group’s namesakes, our black cat mascot, Butler, and our ornery orange guy, Oswald. Just recently, we received notice that they had created a label for us and the wines can be purchased from their web site.

Butler's wine label (notice his angel wings).

Butler's wine label (notice his angel wings).

These wines are only available online, but they are available in several varieties featuring our label, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and a Sparkling White Wine. For every bottle purchased at $19.99, Black and Orange receives $7. There are even sampler and collector’s packages which allow you to purchase several bottles of wine at a discounted price. And we get a portion of the proceeds from those, too. Plus, all of the wines are shipped directly to your home. 

Oswald's wine label (so handsome!).

Oswald's wine label (so handsome!).

If you would like to learn more or order wine that features Butler and Oswald, please visit the web site: BenefitWines

Benefit Wines works with many, many charity groups to provide them with wine specifically for their organization. Check out all the many charities they support.

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