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Pets for Your Eyes and Soul

Ahisma Rescue Foundation

A finalist in the 2008 Maddie’s Fund Marketing Competition, submitted by Teresa L. Morton, Founder/Director, Ahisma Rescue Foundation, Muldrow, Okla.

Ahimsa Rescue Foundation serves a rural area and gives hope to animals that once had no hope. The Foundation is located in the small rural town of Muldrow, Oklahoma, with a population of approximately 3,000 and approximately 30,000 in the county. Ahimsa Rescue was initially formed six years ago in order to help animals at the city pound who were doomed to death. The city did not have an adoption program, and all animals, who were not claimed by their guardian were destroyed (even purebreds).

Ahimsa Rescue was created by Teresa and Don R. Morton, a devoted husband-and-wife team with a passion for animals. Don has been a dentist in Muldrow since 1973 and Teresa is the office manager. They provide financial support for the adoption program, emergency medical care, pet food/treats/toys, and microchips. At their busy dental office they promote and showcase the homeless animals and feature the special needs and hard to adopt pets.

They provide educational information about pet care, pet overpopulation and the need to have animals spayed and neutered. Don and Teresa Morton are also renovating the former Muldrow Nursing home (25,000 square feet of indoor space set on four acres) to be used for an animal rescue/sanctuary, an adoption facility and a low-cost spay/neuter clinic.

There are many animals that arrive at Ahimsa Rescue that might have once been believed to be unadoptable, including the elderly, deaf, heartworm positive, poorly socialized, large black dogs, mixed breeds, Pit Bulls, toothless, pets with missing limbs and pets with health issues that require veterinarian care and/or surgery. Ahimsa Rescue Foundation takes as many animals as possible into private homes in foster care where they become spayed or neutered, have their veterinarian needs met and learn how to live as a family member until an approved home becomes available.

Ahimsa Rescue Foundation now provides 100% of the care and welfare for the animals at the city pound to ensure their well being and has a developed a highly successful adoption program for animals at the pound as well as for homeless and needy animals in the community.

Ahimsa Rescue has a variety of marketing strategies, including “Pets for Your Eyes and Soul,” that are used in combination to promote the adoption of hard-to-adopt pets and pets with special needs; however, Ahimsa Rescue relies heavily on digital pet photography to help hard to adopt pets be adopted to approved homes. One of Ahimsa Rescue’s volunteers is an artist named Rebecca G. King (King Art Originals). Rebecca stylizes “hard to adopt” pets’ pictures for Ahimsa Rescue Foundation to help pets get adopted.

Ahimsa Rescue Foundation:

  • Relies heavily on photography and takes many hard to adopt pets to a studio to capture the best possible photo in order to promote the pet at his/her best.
  • Works with local artist and volunteer Rebecca King, who stylizes pet’s pictures to catch people’s attention and get them to take a closer look.
  • Works with artist and volunteer Nancy Smith, whose talent is writing. Nancy writes special stories for each pet that captures the readers’ attention and steals the heart with cute whimsical stories that tell the pets’ personal story through the voice of the pet. Nancy focuses on special needs pets and hard-to-adopt pets.
  • Promotes hard-to-adopt pets on four Web sites.
  • Promotes hard-to-adopt and special needs pets by placing their pictures and personal stories in the local newspaper on a weekly basis.
  • Promotes hard-to-adopt pets by placing posters at six area supercenters and local businesses on a regular basis.

Ahimsa Rescue Foundation’s measurable adoption success with “Pets for Your Eyes and Soul,” using special photography, stylized pictures and creative writing for the elderly, blind, deaf, special needs, hard-to-adopt mixed breed, black, heartworm positive, poorly socialized, pets with missing limbs, toothless and shy dogs is 85%. One hundred hard to adopt and special needs pets were photographed and eighty five were adopted to approved homes in nine months. The remaining ten pets will continue to live with their loving foster family until Ahimsa Rescue Foundation’s adoption committee receives and approves an adoption application, thus making “Pets for Your Eyes and Soul” a 100% success rate.

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