D.I.N.E. is a small, grassroots, volunteer program that seeks to assist as many homeless dogs in need as possible. Since 2005, we have been donating essential items to dogs in the care of shelters and rescues in the NYS Capital District - including Kuranda dog beds, durable chew toys, new collars & leashes, "special diet" dog food and other items that directly benefit the dogs (please see sections on D.I.N.E. Accomplishments, Photos & Projects and History of D.I.N.E.). We also publish a list of rescues, shelters and animal welfare organizations in the region & distribute it to the public (click here for printable version). Through the years, we have provided many educational programs to students and other community groups, networked to find homes for rescued dogs, helped with lost dog searches, worked to shut down hoarders, worked on legislative efforts and even helped Russian animal rescuers during the Sochi Olympics (please see sections on Photos & Projects and Sochi Dogs). In 2013, we started "Christmas Is Going To The Dogs" which has become a very special part of our D.I.N.E. mission.
Through these activities, we hope that we create community awareness, increase the quality of life for animals who are waiting for their forever homes, and increase adoption. We are not affiliated with any one shelter or rescue. We simply try to assist dogs in need everywhere.
Christmas Is Going To The Dogs
In 2013, Ray and I decided that instead of buying gifts for each other, we would buy items for dogs in some of the neediest shelters in New York State and deliver them on Christmas Day. Once we found 3 shelters that needed our help, we knew we couldn't do it alone so we put the word out on our Facebook page and our friends really came through! We worked directly with the shelters to determine their needs and spent Christmas day delivering plenty of goodies and other much needed items to benefit the pups. Please see more information and photos of our adventures by clicking on the years below.
One of the things that has really stuck with me is something my husband said: "Hopefully someday we'll be driving a U-Haul truck instead of our own." We're not quite there yet, but the way things are going, we have little doubt we'll meet that goal someday!
To Our Christmas Is Going To The Dogs Supporters: Some people donate money or items. Others donate their time to events. And several businesses donate space for these events. We appreciate every single one of you who help make Christmas Is Going To The Dogs so successful!
Note: Lists of our supporters may be found by clicking on a particular year. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know if we have omitted anyone so we can add them!! Unfortunately we do not have the names of everyone who attends our fundraising events but we appreciate you too!
Please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates!!
2015 FEATURED SHELTER
We will be traveling to Brookhaven Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, a municipal shelter in Brookhaven, NY. The reason we chose this shelter is because there are a large number of dogs who are unable to get outside every day for exercise. Many of them are bully breeds who have so much working against them simply due to the bad press they receive. These are the ones who often spend years in shelters waiting...waiting to get outside the confines of their kennels, waiting for a little human interaction & affection, and waiting for that special someone to come and take them home. We would like to give the dogs durable chew toys and treats that will provide them with some mental stimulation & physical activity in order to pass the time and help alleviate the boredom and stress that almost always accompanies kennel life. It's a tall order to fill because there are never less than 100 dogs, but we will try our best and hope you will join us in lifting their spirits this Christmas!
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BROOKHAVEN
Brookhaven Animal Shelter was built over 30 years ago and originally had outside runs attached to the kennels. But over time, it became over-crowded and the outside runs needed to be converted into inside kennels. There are currently 77 kennels and 30 crates. There is a solid budget for all the medical needs and supplies such as cleaning products, blankets, bowls, etc. However, the animals need more than proper sanitation & bare necessities. Despite there being a good-sized staff with almost 30 dedicated volunteers, it is still just not enough to provide individual attention and daily exercise to over 100 dogs in one of the outside pens.
The shelter is currently in the process of designing an "enrichment plan" for the animals to help provide a little more comfort when they're left alone and this is where we think we can help. According to Ashley, the shelter manager, "The animals in our care are so wonderful and they all hope to get that fulfillment every day from our staff and volunteers, but if we aren't able to give it to them, we are hopeful that these enrichment items will help ease their stress levels."
To purchase two durable "focus" toys, a long-lasting chew toy and some "stuffing" treats for each dog (100 dogs) and 50 cat toys, as they always need new ones when some cats go home and others come in. The only thing WE need is a little help from our friends...
(Prices below are based on a quick Amazon check but we will look for the best prices when we shop!)
Mammoth Tirebiters 10 inch - #75 – approx. $900
Kong Bendeez – size large - #75 – approx. $700
Jolly Pets Teaser Ball – 10 inch - #20 – approx. $350 NOTE: 10 purchased! Still need 10
Multipet Nuts for Knots Heavy Duty Rope with Tug Dog Toy – size large - #30 – approx. $490 NOTE! 15 purchased so far!
Squishy Face Super Tug - #5 – approx. $150
Cat Toys - #50 – approx. $200
Benebones – size large or jumbo - #50 – approx. $875
Nylabone Dental Dinosaurs - #50 – approx. $400 NOTE! We purchased all 50 10/21/15!
Pedigree Dentastix – size large - #25 bags – approx. $350
Zukes Training Treats – 16 oz. bags - #25 – approx. $300 NOTE: 15 bags purchased! on 10/23! Still need 10
Peanut Butter (for "stuffing treat mix") – 40 oz. jars - #20 – approx. $100
Cheerios (for "stuffing treat mix") - #30 boxes – approx. $100
Honey (for "stuffing treat mix") – 5lb. jars - #12 – approx. $180
Chicken Broth – 32 oz. boxes - #20 - approx. $25.00 NOTE: We think we will be getting this donated & will subtract $25 from the as soon as we receive it :)
Total Cost = $5120
Please Note: The list initially included more items but we always want to have an attainable goal and with your help, we believe the list above is something we can deliver! If we exceed our goal, this shelter, as well as many other shelters are always in need - we will continue to purchase and distribute more goodies to more needy animals!
THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE – HERE'S TO CHRISTMAS IS GOING TO THE DOGS 2015
-- Kathleen & Ray Collar
The Evolution of D.I.N.E.
"I have been worrying about animal suffering
for as long as I can remember. I became consumed with my
worries to the point of doing nothing. I wanted to go to
shelters to bring treats to dogs but I couldn't bear seeing
heartbroken animals living in cages... so I did nothing. I was
sickened by the idea of someone taking pleasure in forcing
innocent dogs to fight, but the task of trying to do something
about it was too overwhelming... so I did nothing. When I thought
about volunteering for an animal organization, I worried that I
would get pulled into organizational politics... so I did
nothing. When I donated money to animal organizations, I
worried that it would not be spent in the way I had intended... so
I stopped. I've seen starving, sick, abused, neglected, and
homeless dogs and I've helped a few along the way. But it
wasn't in a big enough way. I finally realized that if I could
put as much energy into helping dogs as I put into worrying
about them, I could make a difference in the lives of many.
This is the goal of D.I.N.E."
--Kathleen Collar, 2004