Dogs Forever of Iowa, Recipient

On a scorching hot summer day, Dogs Forever in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was able to bring relief to attendees at a Dock Dogs event. Thepromotional sport bottles and sunglasses they handed out were not only a welcome respite, but they also helped spread the word about one of the few Adoption Guarantee shelters located in the area. The shelter’s all-volunteer staff feeds, walks and cares for dogs three times a day, 365 days a year—with no local, state or federal funds. Instead, they rely entirely on donations, including a 4imprint one by one® grant that they used to purchase the promotional products. Finding the right “fur”-ever homes Dogs Forever | 4imprint promotional sports bottles.“We just want to give the dogs a second chance at a better life,” said Lisa Carrara, a volunteer at Dogs Forever. “As an Adoption Guarantee shelter, the dogs stay in our care until we find their forever homes. We want to strive to find the best match for both the dog and the person—no matter how long it takes.” Although Dogs Forever can only house eight dogs at a time, they partner with foster families and other reputable shelters and rescue groups. They also work with the local animal control facility to take in as many dogs as possible. They also understand that sometimes animals need new homes for unexpected reasons. “We love to help people who need help—someone in hospice, people who have lost their home, people who have fallen on hard times,” Carrara said. “And we have a special heart for senior dogs. A lot of times the older dogs get overlooked. If a senior citizen adopts a senior dog, we waive the adoption fee.” Raising awareness and funds with promotional sports bottles Because the shelter relies entirely on donations, Dogs Forever holds multiple fundraisers every year. They also attend several events to make people aware of their organization. The Dock Dogs event gave them a chance to turn challenging weather into an opportunity. This popular event drew an extensive crowd. “Because of this event, we had people coming from other counties and other states,” Carrara said. “Something like 800 people came to the event.” With the heat index over 100 degrees, people were searching for a way to keep cool—and Dogs Forever was happy to help. In addition to putting out a small swimming pool dogs could sit in to cool off, Dogs Forever offered sunglasses and promotional sports bottles to people who visited their pop-up display. “We used a Plinko board to give away the items,” Carrara said. “They could win sunglasses, a water bottle, get a choice or win both.” The winners appreciated both prizes. “People could fill the water bottles up and use them right away. And they were great for raising public awareness of our organization,” she said. With more fundraising events coming up, Dogs Forever is looking forward to passing out more giveaways and spreading the word about the dogs who need “fur”-ever homes.

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