Happy National Puppy Day!

Artists for Animals brings puppies into a performing arts school for students to draw them. The drawings are then auctioned off to raise money to help more animals.

It’s National Puppy Day, so we want to take this opportunity to celebrate the joy of rescue puppies.  There is an overabundance of dogs in shelters, so we’d also like to encourage people to please spay and neuter their pets, and don’t shop – adopt!  Now that we’ve made our point, enjoy these photos of some sincerely sweet puppies!

 

Erin Hannigan with her mom, Stacy, and a gaggle of puppies!

 

 

When I realized that today was National Puppy Day, I wanted to do a photo article with lots of cute rescue puppies, and I knew the perfect place to find all those pictures:  my friend Erin Hannigan’s Facebook page.  She’s the Principal Oboist for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and has fostered dozens of puppies over the years.

 

Erin at 10 with her beloved Scottie, Cinders – a dog lover from the start.

 

In addition to giving the best start possible to puppies from Operation Kindness, a no-kill shelter in Texas that pulls animals in urgent need, she’s also a co-founder of the nonprofit organization Artists for Animals and The Foster Dog Chronicles.

 

Erin with her own dogs, Callie and Livvy, in their Texas home.

 

“I started the Foster Dog Chronicles as a way for people to learn more about fostering and about rescue animals in general. We want folks to be able to see the fostering process and hopefully get involved, and if not foster, adopt,” Erin told Life With Dogs.  “We have new rescue litters from Operation Kindness pretty much all the time, and we document birth though adoption (and get updates from many adopters!). Some of our 180+ past fosters are turning 5 years old, and their entire lives have been documented!”

 

Teresa and Erin, the co-founders of Artists for Animals.

 

“I co-founded Artists for Animals (a 501c3) along with a wonderful photographer named Teresa Berg. We wanted to find creative ways to lend our artistic hands to the rescue community, and we saw such possibility in arts events that raise money for rescue organizations. We organize an annual event called the Concert for Kindness, which draws lots of Dallas arts groups (professional and student) together for a big fundraiser, with all proceeds going to Operation Kindness. It’s a celebration of our rescue pets through the arts, and we raised $80,000 on our March 12th event!”

“One other angle to Artists for Animals is that we go into the Booker T Washington School for the Performing and Visual Arts and take rescue animals with us. They draw them, and their incredible work is donated and auctioned at the Concert for Kindness. There are a bunch of pics of that artwork on the AfA page…a very cool collaboration!”

Erin also opened up about some of her and her husband Scott’s best and worst experiences as foster parents:

 

Erin and her husband, Scott Stratton waiting in the wings for a news segment featuring Erin and her puppies.

 

“Most challenging case: A mama dog named Harper who we actually went and took in off the streets. She and her three puppies were freezing on Christmas Eve and some friends asked if we could help. We went to find her, and she wouldn’t let us near. She actually ran across a busy road to get away, but came back because her newborn pups were with us. We did eventually catch her that day, but it was possible that she would remain feral.

 

Harper had a rough start, but she’s a happy lady, now!

 

“We left her to decompress in a quiet room overnight, then started working with her slowly the next day. Two days later she would snuggle up and wag her tail! She is now adopted to an amazing family and she lives in CA. Love fixes all wounds… we have seen it over and over with our fosters!

 

Counterclockwise from top:  Hope with her foster sister, Hope with her adoptive mama, and Hope now.

 

“Best moment: there are SO many…fostering is life-changing for the animals and the humans. If I had to name one I would say it was Hope, the orphaned pit bull. She was the emaciated runt of a litter of 12 orphans dropped off on Operation Kindness’ doorstep. They lined up bottle feeders but Hope was really weak (weighed under a pound!) and Operation Kindness asked if we would try to introduce her to our nursing foster mom and her litter of 12 since a mom’s milk would help bring Hope back. Our foster mom adopted her, and Hope is now adopted and weighs 22 pounds at 4 months of age!”

 

Here are some more of the many puppies that Erin has fostered over the years….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you tell someone isn’t really a cat person?  “This isn’t a puppy…. What do I do with it??”  🙂

 

Ahhhh….. now that’s more like it – puppies!!  This is heaven…

 

 

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