What’s Your Price?

There is a common saying, “Everyone has a price.” Confusion exists as to the origin of this saying, but it is recorded that Sir William Wyndham wrote in 1734, “It is an old maxim that every man has his price,” and the idea is at least as old as Epictetus, a Greek philosopher who lived AD50-135. (If you want to do a little research, the philosophy of this man is quite interesting!) Howard Hughes reportedly said, “Every man has his price, or a guy like me couldn’t exist.”

There is a price with every choice we make, even in the area of animal welfare. As Barbara Spencer points out, “It’s easy to spend thousands of dollars on an animal whom we love and have an attachment to. The question we need to ask ourselves is this: how much of our time and money are we willing to lay out for an animal to whom we have no ties and for whom we feel no personal responsibility? In other words, what is the price tag on compassion?

We agree that mistreatment and neglect of our animal companions is wrong; we claim to empathize with them because we understand our common ability to experience physical and emotional sensations, such as pleasure and pain, joy, fear, and sadness. We abhor puppy mills where animals live in squalid conditions, with dogs spending their entire lives with little or no human contact or medical attention, crammed into dirty cages where they are forced to breed until their bodies can no longer endure. We are disgusted that people “get rid” of their dog when he becomes an inconvenience. We care; we really do, but we have priorities….too many things to do and so little time. Are we paying too high a price in search of material possessions, or power, or prestige?

Epictetus discusses our ‘impulses to act and not to act’, and asserts that our pursuit of one set of objectives rather than others is in our power. It is a matter of choice, and it is in everyone’s power to do something to make a difference in the lives of needy dogs. We cannot save them all, but we can save some, and we can show compassion to all by walking the walk, not talking the talk….it is worth the price of giving up just a little for the dogs who willingly offer unconditional love, faith and trust.

  • Shelters rarely have enough volunteers to help walking, socializing, and providing basic training for shelter dogs. Writers, photographers, and graphic artists can help produce fliers, newsletters, or information packets. Staff members may also appreciate help when dealing with particularly challenging dogs. Call your local shelter to find specific ways you can help, and ask what they have on their “Wish List”….and monetary donations are always needed.
  • Familiarize yourself with local and state ordinances and legislation pertaining to dog welfare. Write a letter, or e-mail local and representatives expressing your views on puppy mills and basic dog welfare legislation.
  • Promote spaying and neutering…we have a crisis overpopulation of unwanted dogs, and this is the only way to lessen this problem. Spay or neuter your own animal, and encourage others by informing them of all the health benefits of this simple procedure.
  • Organize a fund raising event…it can be as simple as a bake sale or car wash, or as involved as a dog festival or black tie event. Have a party to help dogs!
  • Be alert for dogs that are too thin, consistently without food, water or adequate shelter, or appear sick. Call your local animal control office and continue to call authorities until the situation is resolved. Dogs can’t speak; be their voice.
  • Volunteer to foster a dog…Rescues can house only so many, so having foster homes is like having additional space, and a home environment is much less stressful to a dog in transition than a noisy shelter. Providing a calm, caring environment with basic training will increase the dog’s chances of finding a forever home, and remember: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP!.

Anything you do for a needy dog will be appreciated, and the rewards are priceless.

Our First Plea for Help in Fifteen Years!

Our first plea for help in fifteen years!!!

Most of you know that Iowa still ranks as number 2 in the number of puppy mills in the state in Iowa. For fifteen years , the TLC Canine Center has been actively working to raise awareness to the problem, and help Iowa dogs…we now have a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY, but we NEED HELP. We understand that animal rescue groups are all struggling, but we would appreciate it if all of you would just post our plea for help on every site you can think of, and list a link to our center- tlccaninecenter.com – perhaps some will be led to help our venture. As Mother Teresa observed, “I can do things you cannot; you can do things I cannot. TOGETHER WE CAN DO GREAT THINGS!”

Ellen Hartstack has been involved with the TLC for eight years, and she has committed to re-locating to Iowa in the Story County area…a very needy area that received a great deal of negative notoriety recently because of one of the 10 worst puppy mills in the entire country was located in that area. This facility has finally been closed down, which offers the TLC the opportunity (and responsibility) to turn a Bad Newz Puppy Mill into a GOOD NEWS rehabilitation and training center for homeless dogs out here on the Iowa prairie.  We have the option to buy the perfect place right down the road from the Bad News Mill…All perfectly situated to be exactly what we want and where we need it.

Our goal is to help find forever homes for deserving dogs and train dogs with behavior problems who might be in danger of losing their homes. WE NEED $100,000 TO BRING THIS DREAM TO REALITY! IMPOSSIBLE? As Shel Silverstein asserts, “Nothing is impossible. Anything can be.” We have been pledged $50,000 but WE NEED MATCHING FUNDS. I am reminded of Mother Teresa’s observation: “I can do things you cannot; you can do things I cannot. TOGETHER, WE CAN DO GREAT THINGS.” On behalf of the many Iowa dogs that are lonely, frightened, suffering, and sometimes dying, we humbly ask for your help. Working together we can make the Iowa prairie a safer, healthier, happier place for needy dogs. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

God Bless & Merry Christmas!
Pauline and Ellen
Co-directors of the TLC Canine Center

It takes a Village

Exciting things are happening at the TLC Canine Center… no, the Center is not closing, and no, it is not expanding… It is enlarging the vision to help more needy dogs not just in our local area, but throughout the state!

Locally we are in the midst of our spay and neuter campaign to help families afford to get their dogs altered, so that there won’t be an “oops, we have a litter of puppies… can you help us?” Iowa already has a definite overpopulation of dogs… there are simply not enough forever homes for all the dogs that need care, and this is your opportunity to be part of the solution to the problem. Vouchers are available to help with the cost of having this procedure done. Please contact your veterinarian or the TLC Canine Center for details.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 27 and join us for our annual Woofs and Wags” event in Storm Lake. The Walmart crew, under the direction of Lisa Billings, has a day planned for both four-legs and two-legs. There will be a bake sale and rummage sale with all proceeds going to the local TLC, and there will be TLC dogs there to meet and greet you. Details will be published next week, but be sure to reserve the day for the dogs!

Iowa needs a village of animal lovers… actually more than one village… to advance the humane and responsible treatment of companion animals, which will be accomplished through education and grassroots advocacy. The TLC is excited to have an associate who is committed to opening a TLC facility in another area of the state that recently received national attention because of a puppy mill facility that was ranked as 2nd worst in the entire country…. Because of the efforts of Iowa Voters for Companion Animals, with the support of various animal welfare groups throughout the state, this mill has been forced to close. We now have the opportunity (and responsibility) to restore the image of how companion animals are treated in our state. We are excited and hope you are too.


It takes a Village by Ellen Hartstack

What craziness is this? Something pretty exciting must be happening?!?! You’re right: it is! I am so excited to come back to my beloved Iowa.

We dream big! And to allow you to dream with us, we have opened an online fundraising campaign to help us establish a TLC facility in central Iowa which will include a no-kill canine shelter, and also a training facility where needy, abandoned dogs of the Midwest can be rehabilitated and live until they find their forever homes. With two TLC shelters serving northwest and central Iowa, we will be able to save even more of these wonderful dogs.

“Saving one dog will not change the world,
but surely, for that one dog,
the world will change. Forever.
-Karen Davison

You know the phrase, “It takes a village”. It was originally a part of an old African proverb which I think perfectly captures the day to day efforts of running the TLC. No single person can do everything the TLC needs to in order to function. It has taken hundreds of individuals to turn the TLC into the canine sanctuary that it has become. With diverse talents, abilities, and resources, working together, the NW Iowa TLC Canine Center has operated for 15 years. It has not always been easy; we have faced many challenges, but together we have seen hundreds of dogs have better lives. I have no doubt, that together we will do it again. Our dream will become reality!

I can do things you cannot.
You can do things I cannot.
Together. We can do great things.
– Mother Teresa

We need $25,000 by October 17 to help fund this new venture. Impossible? As Shel Siverstein asserts, “Nothing is impossible. Anything can be!!!” One of Silverstein’s poems refers to “all the Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda’s talkin’ about the things they woulda-coulda-shoulda done.” Would you join us in our journey as we become doers, not woulda-coulda-shouda’s. It is going to be a scary, exciting trip as we raise funding for the down payment on an acreage in Story county, near Ames, Iowa and the Iowa State University, to provide a sanctuary in that area to rehabilitate more dogs, and keep them safe until they find their forever home, and if there is no suitable home, there will be no time limit for a dog’s stay at the center. Healing often takes time, and whether for a few weeks or a few months, or years, we will provide them with TLC! (The NW Iowa TLC Center has had dogs as permanent residents for as long as 8 years. They chose the TLC for their forever home.)

Some believe it is only GREAT POWER that can hold evil in check.
But that is not what I have found.
I have found that it is the small, everyday deeds of ordinary folks
that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.
– Gandalf, Lord of the Rings

Visit our brand new online campaign at igg.me/at/tlccaninecenter to learn all about this new facility fundraising effort. We have numerous great prizes for those who are able to donate and we appreciate everyone who is able to chip in. If you can’t donate at this time, you can still help the TLC out! “Like” us on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/TlcCanineCenter and share our campaign post with your family and friends using the buttons below.

Remember, it takes a village… or two… or four… or maybe more… but NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. – Aesop