My wife had been asking for several years if we might possibly acquire a dog from one of the local animal shelters. She grew up with dogs; I grew up with cats. My immediate response was no. I explained: First, we have always had cats and this home was a forever home to these animals who have settled in nicely over the years- almost 40 to be exact. Out of my own ignorance, I was unaware that dogs and cats can peacefully as well as playfully coexist and if not, cats can easily seek refuge on higher....ground? or should I say, counter tops. We've had many cats over the years- cats we've adopted from local shelters, strays we've taken in as well as kittens being 'rehomed.' I truly hate that word when used to describe an unwanted animal.
Second, when I was 9 years old, I was severely bitten by two German Shepherds. On my way to a friends house after school, I walked up the street looking for a house address. Five or six houses up from where I stood, a dog owner opened the door to let his two dogs out for their afternoon bathroom break. Down the street they ran towards me and I froze dead in my tracks with the owner standing on the porch looking on. The two dogs lunged, knocked me to the ground and began ripping my heavy wool coat. I ended up in the emergency room needing about 10 stitches in my lower back. The coat? Trashed. Ever since that day, I gained a healthy and respectful fear of dogs which I had not had until that day. Of course, the dog owner didn't take responsibility and when my mother and I went door to door, all the homeowners denied having any dogs at all.
Years passed and my wife asked again. My response this time was quite different but still cautious: 'If you can find a small-ish dog, non violent and one with no teeth, it's fine with me!' Of course, what are the chances?
Within a few days, my wife proudly informed me that she had found a chocolate poodle at one of the local animal shelters who was described as being older, having no teeth, blind in one eye from cataracts with partial blindness in the other. Within a few short weeks, we were on our way to Sanford to bring Esther to her new home.
Esther was simply a rare find. She was loyal, loving and an overall good dog. She didn't bother with the cats at all. And me? That little doggie crawled right up into my heart, nuzzled in and is still there today. She was our miracle dog.
Esther died two years ago of complications due to advanced congestive heart failure. It was the saddest day of our lives having memories so vivid. And because of her, the paths of our lives were forever changed. I came to realize, there were more dogs like her out there and a good number of them suffered from abuse and neglect. My wife loved that doggie with everything she had and was left heartbroken and numb for weeks- but the tables had turned. I remember saying to my wife, "We gave her the best two years of her life and in her name, we can offer our home to another. The new doggie won't be Esther and that has to be ok."
Currently, along with our five indoor cats and five outdoor ferals, we have adopted: Molly, Emma and Buffy- each one unique, beautiful, and so loving- all from the loving and caring people at Carolina Poodle Rescue in South Carolina.
You can read more about her on our blog: Meet Miss Esther.
We are very proud to launch our FurMinded Gives program, a donation program helping to support the benevolent work of shelters and rescue agencies for abused, neglected, homeless and otherwise unwanted companion animals.
FurMinded.com and FurMinded UpTown.com offer a variety of pet accessories that the average pet owner purchases on a regular basis- collars, leashes, harnesses, hoodies, sportswear and the like. We are in the process of adding a second store showcasing difficult to find unique & designer products such as tees and tanks, hoodies, dresses, designer collars, leashes, harnesses, collar accessories and the like.
The majority of our products are made in the USA, handmade, are either online only or offered in exclusive high end boutiques, are not allowed to be sold on third party websites such as e-bay or Amazon, are not offered in big box stores, and are safe for pets- if we won't buy it for ours, we won't list it for sale for yours.
Between our two online stores, FurMinded.com & FurMinded UpTown, we currently have over 3,000 products and add an average of 50 to 100 more each week.
What makes FurMinded so enticing? We offer free shipping on ALL products with no hidden fees or surprises at checkout. The price the customer sees listed is the price the customer pays at checkout. We have highly competitive prices and are comfortable in taking less profit to keep our pricing competitive. We pride ourselves on honesty and integrity in doing business. The customer deals directly with the owners.
While some pet supply retailers give only .05% of an entire purchase to help companion animals in need (amounting to 50 cents for each $100.00 purchase) if they donate at all, FurMinded.com & FurMinded UpTown.com donate $1.00 per item purchased; these donations come directly from our profits and go directly to help 501 (c)(3) companion animal rescues and shelters. (For any single item sold for over $99.00, we donate $2.00.) For clarity, when a single item is purchased by a rescue/shelters associates/volunteers, FurMinded.com/FurMinded UpTown will donate $1.00 for each single item; if 10 items are purchased, say, but the same person the donation increases to $10.00. Should a customer purchase a single higher priced item at a cost of $99 or more, our donation increases to $2.00 for that item rather than $1.00. No catches, no restrictions, no hidden fees.
We also pay by business check so 100% of each dollar goes to the shelter & rescue agencies which directly help dogs and cats- transfer fees at about $6.00 per $100 can add up over the course of a year. So....Make Us Pay!
What is the receiving agency's role?
- Approved 501 (c)(3) companion animal rescue/shelter agencies let their supporters, associates and/or volunteers know about our donation program (through their newsletter, website listings or other means the rescue/shelter uses to solicit donations) and encourage them to make purchases through FurMinded.com or FurMinded UpTown.com when possible.
- Approved shelters/rescues assign one contact person with whom we can establish a relationship and work to resolve any problems that may arise at any time.
What is the supporter's role?
- A supporter associated with a particular rescue/shelter agency makes a purchase on FurMinded.com or FurMinded UpTown.com.
- A drop down menu visible at each product lists the qualifying shelters/rescue agencies we have researched and approved; the supporter indicates by highlighting the agency of choice to which rescue/shelter FurMinded is to make its donation. The chosen shelter/rescue agency chosen to receive the donation is listed on the check-out receipt.
- Purchaser may contact his/her specific shelter with the number of items purchased alerting the rescue/shelter to what they can expect.
What is FurMinded's role?
- On the last day of the month, the accumulated donations are sent to the approved shelters via business check.
- We will also promote your agency and the work you do on FurMinded's FaceBook business page as well as our blog.
- FurMinded generously donates $1.00 for every item purchased; not a dollar or a small percentage from an entire purchase.
- FurMinded makes the donation from our profits; we don't ask the customer to donate above their purchase order.
- We do not take donations on behalf of any rescue or shelter agencies; we ask interested parties to visit the individual website to do so.
- FurMinded is responsible in its efforts to support rescues/shelters and donates ONLY to shelters and rescues that:
- Are registered and active 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit no-kill
- Have clearly indicated on their annual IRS tax returns how their donation funds have been spent.
- Work directly to help companion animals (dogs/cats)
- Provide companion animals with quality medical care, dental care, medication, spaying, neutering, food, shelter, grooming, fostering, and adoptions
- Support the fur-ever lives of those companion animals so severely traumatized that adoption or fostering is no longer a viable option.
- Have an active FACEBOOK page with active members.
- FurMinded will make accumulated donations via business check on the last day of the month ensuring 100% of the donation goes directly to the rescue/shelter and 0% on banking and processing fees for electronic transfers.
- FurMinded will only list rescue/shelter organizations that we have researched and approved; we will not donate to private animal owners, hoarding situations, kill shelters, municipal or government run shelters funded through tax payer money, or breeders.
Not all shelters are created equal. If the shelter or rescue agency is on our list, it's a valid not-for-profit visibly demonstrating benevolence in directly impacting the lives of unwanted, neglected or abused companion animals in a positive way.
- We check the legitimacy of the organization
- Verify a 501 (c)(3) not for profit status
- IRS filing status
- IRS form 990 to assure that the shelter is appropriating money for direct animal care and the shelter is truly in need.
- Check public records for any misdoings, arrests, or animal cruelty.
FurMinded reserves the right to deny donations to any facility which we believe to be questionable in motive and benevolence through our research or their behavior.
FurMinded reserves the right to modify FurMinded Gives Program to better accommodate those participating agencies.