FYSOP is Coming Soon!

We are so excited to meet with you and to share with you all everything we have planned for FYSOP. You are all going to learn so much about animals, Boston, and maybe even yourselves.

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Be prepared on education day for some great speakers. You will hear all about the ways that animals can better the lives of humans as service animals. You will also hear from David Coman-Hidy from the Humane League of Boston about what happens on factory farms.  Also be prepared for our own Docu-Blitz (If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry, you will understand soon!)

During the week of FYSOP, you will have the chance to meet and make so many new friends, some of whom will be your staff members. On the topic of staff,  you will be mentored this week by some amazing staff members, who are so excited to meet you and share their knowledge of not just the issue area, but of BU as well.

The service you will do this week will make such a positive impact on animals in Boston and beyond. Be excited to have you first accomplishment at BU be something that will never forget!

See You Soon!

Sending you all FYSOP Love,

Izzi and Kelsey

PS This is what happened when we tried to take a nice photo…

Photo on 8-16-13 at 12.57 PM

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FYSOP Travel Itinerary!

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Moving off to college is so exciting but can be hectic with all the packing and traveling. Fortunately for you FYSOPers we try to make the transition as smooth as possible! Please take ONE MINUTE to fill out the mandatory FYSOP Travel Itinerary form. If your moving in from around the corner and just bringing one suitcase, or flying in from abroad and shipping all of your life’s belongings, we need to know your story! Where are you coming from? How are you getting here? Do you need a pick-up from the airport?

Help us make Move-In Day on August 26th a fun and exciting day by filling out your travel itinerary at http://fysoptravelitinerary.eventbrite.com/. This way we can welcome you to campus right when you arrive! 

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Meet Our Friend!

Hey Animal Lovers!

Last week we visited two great sites that you will get to volunteer at during the week of FYSOP! One site was the Greyhound Friends Inc rescue, which takes in dogs that have been raced in states where Greyhound racing is still legal, such as Florida. The dogs were so sweet and loving- it was almost like they were lap dogs stuck in large bodies.

We also got to visit Nevins Farm, run by the MSPCA. They had so many animals of all shapes and sizes. We want to introduce you to our favorite friend we met that day. He wants to say hello:

FYSOP is less than a month away, and we are so excited to get to meet you all! Get excited!

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Visiting the City of Boston Animal Shelter

Hey guys! So last Saturday, Kelsey and I went on a site-visit to the City of Boston Animal Shelter. We loved it. Great place, with great animals, and some great people.

But here’s the thing about the City of Boston Animal Shelter. The more we talked to the staff, the more we learned about the eye-opening difficulties associated with a public shelter. First off, this shelter was lightly staffed having only a few regular volunteers. With the work they need to do, more hands could only help and the lack of people make their job all the more difficult.

Government funding for animal shelters and organizations is a low priority and places like the City of Boston Animal Shelter have to deal with the repercussions. Staff have to pay out of pocket for things like animal toys and even create make-shift equipment for certain situations. One of the saddest consequences of the lack of funding is what it entails for the animals in the shelter. The government won’t pay for an animal behaviorist to train the strays that come in. That means that dogs who can become adoptable with a bit of behavior training are instead immediately put down without ever getting their deserved second chance.

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As we continued our tour, we had the opportunity to meet some of the animals up for adoption. There were actually only four adoptable dogs that weekend and three of them were pitbulls. I make this distinction because we learned about the peculiar case of pitbulls in public shelters –specifically in Boston public shelters. The city of Boston deems it unlawful for anyone from Boston to adopt a pitbull from a public shelter. However, a Bostonian adopting a pitbull from a private shelter is. That left the three pitbulls at the shelter to wait around for several months in hopes of being picked up by a private shelter to be adopted. We met a particularly friendly pitbull named Cry Baby. He had been hit by a car before he was brought to the shelter. But he was healthy and happy when he was hanging out with us! The cutest thing!

This year’s Global Day of Service volunteered earlier in the year and painted the shelter walls to make the place more fun and lively! Our site-contact told us how she is thrilled to have us volunteer through FYSOP this year and to hopefully have us help paint some more to leave our FYSOP Lovin’ mark forever! Be excited guys!

 

 

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Visiting Ellen Gifford Cat Shelter

This Monday we visited Ellen Gifford Cat Shelter, a volunteer site we have booked for all of you animal lovers! Let me tell you, there are some cute cats, and a lot of good service to be done. Ellen Gifford is a cageless, no-kill cat shelter located in Newton that is home to many adoptable cats and kittens.

CatsWe met with our site contact who is super excited to host everyone again and possibly find some volunteers for the school year. We learned a lot about feral cats and “trap, neuter, return” an effective and humane method to keep feral cat colonies under control. Unfortunately, feral cats cannot be adopted because they are so unsocialized, but they can live healthy lives in their colonies. The biggest problem is keeping the large feral cat population under control. Trap, neuter, return is a method of capturing feral cats, spaying or neutering them, and then returning them to their colony. Ellen Gifford provides shelter for its own feral cat colony, many of whom cannot be returned to their colony for one reason or another.

Eliot and Izzi We also met a cat named Eliot, who has feline immunodeficiency virus, or FIV, which is the cat equivalent of HIV. Eliot can live a long and healthy life, and he is waiting to be adopted by a loving family. The disease can only be spread to other cats by deep bites or scratches, so he is kept in his own enclosure to prevent the spread of the disease.

Kelsey and KittenWe also got to play with some very cute kittens, who were rescued after being discovered in a hoarding situation. How sad! Ellen Gifford needs volunteers to help socialize them, so one of the volunteer tasks will be to play with them! We are so excited to be working with Ellen Gifford Cat Shelter again this year, and you should be too!

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A Dog, A Boy, & Our Vision

Hi Animal Lovers!

Izzi and I are booking some great service sites and getting some great information about the complex issues surrounding animal rights. We keep getting more and more excited about this year’s FYSOP! We want to share with you all the direction that this year’s animal issue area will be going. The best way to introduce our vision for FYSOP 24 is to introduce you to Xena and Jonny.

Xena and Johnny

Last September, a 4 month old Staffordshire terrier/pit bull mix was found collapsed on the side of a road. She had been confined to a cage for most of her short life and was severely malnourished. Animal Service workers did not expect her to live through the night–however she didn’t just survive, she thrived. Shelter workers named her “Xena the Warrior Puppy” because of her fighting spirit and she finally was strong enough to find a forever home.

She eventually found that home with the Hickey family, who adopted her in March. That was when Xena met Jonny.

Jonny, the Hickey’s son, is autistic. Prior to meeting Xena, he rarely spoke, had trouble forming relationships, and had personal space issues. However, since Xena has become a part of his family, Jonny hasn’t stopped talking–and the two have become inseparable. Jonny even sang about their friendship:

“I have spent thousands of dollars on therapy,” said his mom, “and I believe on February 11th when Jonny met Xena in our family room, that the best therapy in the world was standing in my home.”

Jonny’s confidence has grown so much that he even made a video promoting autism awareness and animal rights activism.

“My name is Jonny and this is my puppy, Xena. Well, my Xena was hurt really bad. By some not-so-nice people. And I have autism. So I think we make a pretty perfect team to spread the word to be nice to animals, and nice to kids like me.”

You may be wondering… how does this relate to FYSOP 24? Well if you want to understand our vision, the direction that the animal issue area will be heading this year, and how Jonny and Xena’s story relates, visit our Vision Page.

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FYSOP 24, Meet Your Coordinators!

Hello FYSOPERS!

Izzi and Kelsey here, and we are your Animals Coordinators for FYSOP 24! To introduce ourselves to you, we have recreated some famous cat videos for your viewing pleasure:

We can’t wait to get to know you all throughout the summer and during the week of FYSOP! Since we are sure that this video has convinced you that you MUST apply to FSYOP (and the Animals Issue Area!), you should visit this link to Apply for FYSOP 24.

To read more about us, visit our About Us Page!

ANIMALZ FO’ LYFE!

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