Dec 28 2010

A Year to Remember

As we move into the holidays, we have much to be thankful for at Wayside Waifs.  This year we were able to upgrade our 11-year-old kennels. There are no longer any animals at Wayside in a cage. The new state-of-the-art clear-front kennels are larger and more colorful.  The unique design doesn’t allow dogs to see other dogs in front or beside them, so the barking is minimal and it is so much quieter. Our adopting families love it too because the animals are easier to see. The new kennels have been written up in national magazines and shelters across the country want to visit Wayside Waifs to see it for themselves. Our cats are pretty happy too. We renovated the entire cat adoption area and added a sun room. The kennels are divided into four areas: a place to sleep and play, to perch, to eat and a little privacy for you know what. We have special cat colonies with wonderful windows and a kitty den for our little ones. These changes have been a big hit with our volunteers.

Speaking of volunteers, this group continues to grow and we have an incredible group of passionate and dedicated men and women who bring their talent and skill to Wayside. It takes a lot of man/womanpower to rescue more than 5,000 animals a year. We couldn’t do it without them.

We also became a leader this Fall in educating the public on Proposition B in Missouri. We know first hand the results of irresponsible breeders because too many of these puppies and their mothers they end up at Wayside in horrible condition. But, thanks to all of you, we are here to take them in, and get them ready for their forever home.

I hope you and your family will visit us soon to see all that has changed and maybe do a little shopping in our new retail store Whiskers and Wags Outfitters. All the money benefits Wayside and we carry great gift items and everything you’ll need to take home a new waif.

How to care of a new pet is just one of the goals of our humane education program. Our trainers and their dogs met 27,000 students this year in classrooms all across the metro. The children were also taught important lessons is respecting others through our “No More Bullies” program. 

As we wind up another year we are happy to announce a new community partnership. We are now an official training site for the K-9 unit of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department.

Yes, it has been a year to remember, and you made it possible. I hope you and your family have a happy, healthy holiday, and may 2011 bring you much joy.

Cynthia Smith
President, Wayside Waifs

Dec 21 2010

The Challenges of Raising a Puppy

My sweet boy Truman

An adorable puppy for Christmas – I can’t think of anything cuter.  But before you take home that darling little creature, there are some important things to consider. 

I write from experience.  After I got my first puppy nearly 10 years ago, I wondered if I had actually adopted a little monster cleverly disguised as a precious puppy.  I had no idea how much work raising a puppy entailed.  Truman had lots of accidents, chewed up countless pairs of my favorite shoes (and almost anything else left on the floor) and generated numerous complaints about his incessant barking from my neighbors.  I remember walking Truman around my apartment complex at three o’clock in the morning in the freezing cold, wondering what in the world I had gotten myself into!  

Make no mistake, I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world.  Truman taught me all about patience and responsibility.  And anyone who’s thinking about getting a puppy needs to have lots of both.  Just ask Alyssa Willet, the Adoptions Supervisor at Wayside Waifs. 

“When people adopt puppies, I ask them if they are ready to have a toddler in their home, because that’s what they are getting,” Willett said.  “Puppies don’t know right from wrong, they depend on you to teach them everything.  If you don’t have patience, don’t get a puppy.” 

You will also need lots of time for your puppy.  They develop most of their behavior traits during their first year of life, and you’ll need to be there every step of the way to help them grow into well-behaved, well-socialized members of society.  One of the best ways to learn the basics is by enrolling in an obedience class. 

“Even the most experienced dog owners can learn something at obedience class,” said Willett.  “And the puppies not only learn great skills, they also benefit from socializing with the other puppies in class.” 

Willett is a big proponent of crate training, because it can make housetraining a breeze.  She recommends keeping the crate in a high-traffic area of your home, possibly even your family room so the puppy can always see you and know it hasn’t been abandoned.  Willett also encourages you to keep a watchful eye on your puppy at all times, and don’t let them immediately have the run of your house.  It’s surprising just how quickly they can get into mischief. 

Even before you pick out that perfect puppy, you need to do some basic research.  A quick Google search will turn up loads valuable information about every breed of dog.  Knowing the personality traits, temperament and basic needs of your dog’s primary breed can help you determine if the dog is a good fit for your family.  

I also encourage anyone who wants a puppy to check their local shelters first.  You’ll be surprised at the wide varieties and breeds of puppies available for adoption.  If you don’t find your ideal puppy at a shelter, do your homework and find a responsible breeder who can guarantee your puppy and his parents were raised in a loving, humane environment. 

One other important thing to consider is the expense of a puppy.  One of the advantages to adopting a puppy from Wayside Waifs or your local shelter is your puppy is already spay/neutered and has already received its age appropriate vaccinations.  Still, the puppy will need booster shots every few weeks until they are five months old, so potential puppy parents need to keep vet bills in mind.  As your dog grows, you can also expect to spend more money on its food, a bigger crate and heartworm, flea & tick preventatives.  Obedience training is an additional expense.  At Wayside Waifs our professional dog trainers charge $100 for a series of six classes.     

Just remember the love of an animal is priceless, and even though raising a puppy is a challenge, it’s also highly rewarding.  Cherish all those puppy kisses, that sweet puppy breath and their hilarious antics.  Most of all enjoy building that special bond with your puppy as it grows. 

“It’s so fun to see who they become,” said Willett. 

Truman became the love of my life.  Yes, getting him through that puppy stage was a challenge, but it was worth all those ruined shoes, carpet cleaner and apologies to my neighbors.  Next month we’ll celebrate his tenth birthday and we’ll pray for many more wonderful years together.

Written by Ashlee Parker
Communications Relations Manager at Wayside Waifs

Dec 17 2010

Getting Ready to Travel? This Tote Bag is a MUST!

Are you getting ready to take to the friendly skies this holiday season?  Are you trying to figure out how to get all of those important items to your destination?  What about coming home?  How will you get all of those fabulous presents back home?  We have the answer!  The Wayside Waifs tote bag!

This bag is amazing- take it from a self proclaimed bag diva!  When I travel either by car or plane I am always searching for the perfect tote bag to put those extra essential items in.  I look for a spacious bag with a zipper, that isn’t too heavy when its empty.  So when we received these cheerful, Wayside Waifs logo tote bags for our Whiskers and Wags store I promptly put it through my own bag test.

I pulled together a myriad of items to see how much I could really fit into this canvas bag.  WOW was I delighted by how much stuff I could get into this bag without breaking anything!

As you can see we include two t-shirts, a fleece jacket, the Wayside Waifs logo travel cup, three dog toys, four books, hand sanitizer, the Wayside Waifs compact logo umbrella, Wayside Waifs “Rescue Me” Blend coffee, two packages of holiday note cards, a notebook, the Wayside Waifs planner and of course the unbelievably soft Gund kitty.  We still had room to spare.  The front has an extra pocket and the bag has a reinforced zipper.  The greatest part is that this bag sells for only $11.99! 

So as you prepare to travel, come out to Wayside’s Whiskers and Wags Boutique and purchase your tote bag!  100% of the proceeds from every sale benefit the animals in our care!

Tail Wags and Happy Travels!

Written by Trish Stinger
Web Marketing Manager at Wayside Waifs

Dec 13 2010




It’s the most wonderful time of the year.  So say all the pets snug in their beds on the living room floor of their families, warmed by the fire and eyes sparkling from the lights on the tree.  But not so much for the animals still waiting for homes at Wayside Waifs. 

Don’t get me wrong, if you have to be an animal in a shelter, I believe Wayside Waifs is the best possible place to be.  With our amazingly talented staff, our passionate volunteers, and the beautiful clean facility…it’s top of the charts for a stop over.  But we all know the best place in the world for a companion animal is in a forever home, with one, two or more humans (and other pets) to snuggle with, to listen to, to entertain and to love. 

This year, there will be over 6,500 such animals who have come to Wayside.  Sometimes they come to us well fed, groomed, and in good health from a family whom,  for many various reasons, can no longer care for them.  But more often, they have come from other high kill shelters, or they have been rescued from horrendous hoarding and puppy mill situations, been found wandering the streets cold, hungry, sick and alone.  Caring for the healthy ones costs money, but caring for the unhealthy ones require so much more of our limited resources.

Such as Daniela, a 4 year old St. Bernard who was brought to us this summer, skinny, filthy and lame.  Daniela was dumped in a field and who knows how long she had been there, if it weren’t for a kindly stranger who found her and brought her to Wayside Waifs.  She was half the weight she should be, and I cannot go into detail about the state of her skin, but suffice it to say, it was in bad shape.  Our admissions team sprung in to action and vaccinated her upon arrival.  Our veterinarians and vet techs then took over to clean and treat her wounds, and assess her dire situation.  Daniela had hip dyplasia so severe it was difficult to walk.  Treatment began, and Daniela was placed in a foster home.  At her bi weekly vet appointments, more issues were found and treated; heart worm, severe degenerative joint disease.  But exam after exam, Daniela continues to improve.  She has gained over 20 pounds, and is slowing learning to trust again.

You knew it was coming, here’s the ask.  We simply could not have treated Daniela without the financial support of good people like you.  Wayside Waifs receives no government funding.  While we do all can to provide the most we can for the most animals possible at the least cost, it comes to this: without you, Daniela wouldn’t have made it.  Daniela is just one of 6,500 stories that we see each and every year.  Please, we need you.  No gift is too small (or too large!).

From the bottom of our hearts, two legged and four legged alike, we thank you.

Written by Marla Svoboda
Vice President Marketing & Development at Wayside Waifs

Dec 9 2010

Meet Willy!

Handsome Hound Willy!

Handsome Hound Willy!

Totally adorable, energetic, and well behaved purebred Basset Hound searching for a forever home to call my very own. Hello there everyone! My name is Willy and I’m fully housebroken, 7 years old, and one of the coolest dogs out here at Wayside. Everyone who sees me or spends time with me gets a huge smile on their face. I’m that cute!

I came to Wayside when my previous owners no longer had the time to spend with me. I don’t really feel like I’m all that demanding, but I do require love and basic care. What I’d really like is a home where I can just chill out and enjoy my life. I’m a simple guy, and that’s what I’m all about…hanging out and loving life.

I have lots of great qualities. I’m very smart, and I know “sit”, “down”, and “come”. I have loads of energy and feel that I’m in the prime of my life! I love car rides, chasing squirrels, and eating ice cubes. I enjoy the company of other dogs, I am very well behaved in the backyard. I’m fun and sweet and goofy and a wonderful companion!

I’d prefer a home without small kids. I’m not aggressive or anything, just not interested in them and I love the attention of my adult people. I’d like a daily walk, because there is nothing better to a Basset Hound than smelling all the great smells of life. Walking around the Wayside Campus is awesome! I’d love a home with people who are laid back enough to allow me on the couch. I promise not to be destructive or anything, but I want to be as close to you as possible and the soft furniture feels good to me.

I’ve had a few struggles in my life. Haven’t we all? Well, I’m not complaining or anything, but I want you to know everything about me. I’m allergic to corn, so I will need to be on a special diet. It really isn’t a big deal, just something I have to keep in mind. And you’ll notice a scar on my head. I had a mass removed by the caring vets here at Wayside. They did tests and determined it wasn’t cancerous (whew!), but it was still a scary time for me.

So now I’m all set and ready to go! I promise to be a loyal and trusted companion to you, through the highs and lows of life. I need you and hope you need me too. I’m waiting patiently in my kennel for you to come and get me. Please come soon, OK?

Love, Mr. Willy

Dec 2 2010

Bonded Pairs


Huan Huan & Happy want to be together forever! Watch their video on Youtube.

At Wayside Waifs we see our fair share of sad situations. A puppy mill dog that we receive that has never been shown love, a puppy abandoned in a parking lot, or even a puppy who has never been shown love AND was abandoned in a parking lot. Some of the more heartbreaking cases are when two dogs, or two cats, get brought in together, have to go home together, and sit waiting in the shelter for weeks or months because people are afraid to take on two animals. And in most cases, it’s two older animals, which makes people uneasy as well. What most people don’t know is that bringing home two bonded pets is not half as much work as it is imagined to be! The pro’s of adopting a pair outweighs the cons by far.

When two animals bond to one another they tend to adjust to new situations better. For a puppy or kitten that has just been separated from their siblings, moving in to a new environment can be extremely scary and lonely. For an adult dog or cat, moving in to a new environment can be just as stressful- especially if they have been in a shelter environment for a long period of time, or if they are naturally on the shy/skittish side. When you bring home a bonded pair they have one another to cling to if they get scared. They have someone to sleep with, someone to explore with and someone to go through the change with. It can be less intimidating and they tend to adjust to the environment quicker.

Owners of bonded pairs also find that a duo is usually less demanding. Since bonded pairs have each other, they don’t rely as much on their owners for constant play and attention. Don’t read that wrong, bonded pairs want just as much love and affection from their owners as a single pet- but when it comes to boredom, they have one another to supply the activity. Also, since the pair can play and interact with one another, the probability of destruction in the house drops too.

Most bonded pairs tend to be older, and have lived together for years so they usually have some training under their belt already! You won’t have to go through the dos and don’ts of puppy hood and you won’t have to go through the scratched up furniture of kitten play. Studies also show that bonded pairs who stick together actually live longer and healthier lives. Love makes the heart younger and bonded duos are the perfect example of that. Some people don’t understand why duo’s can’t be separated, but the fact of the matter is that animals will become physically and emotionally ill if they are separated from their long term partner in crime.

When you adopt a bonded pair you are doing two wonderful things: you are giving two (typically older) homeless pets a loving home, and you are also saving them from being separated. They say rescued pets know they’ve been rescued; can you imagine having two pets who know you saved them?! Imagine all that love; double time!

So if you see an animal and think “Oh goodness, they would just be perfect!” and then find yourself changing your tune when you realize they have to go home with the other animal in their kennel, rethink. You obviously want to make sure you have the environment and space for two animals but it’s not as difficult as you may think. Don’t cast duos aside just because it’s double the animal. Realize the wonderful relationship those two animals have and honor it. You’ll receive double sloppy kisses, double sleeping buddies, and double the love; how can you go wrong?

Written by Alyssa Willet
Adoptions Supervisor at Wayside Waifs

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