Pet-care expenses would be tax deductible under a new measure introduced by U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.).

House Resolution 3501, commonly referred to as the Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years, or HAPPY Act, would amend the Internal Revenue Code to allow an individual to deduct up to $3,500 for “qualified pet care expenses.”

“Qualified pet care expenses” is defined as “amounts paid in connection with providing care (including veterinary care) for a qualified pet other than any expense in connection with the acquisition of the qualified pet.”

“Qualified pet” is defined as “a legally owned, domesticated, live animal.” It does not include animals used for research or owned  or used in conjunction with a trade or business.

The  act would not  apply for a person who deducted expenses under IRC sections 162 (ordinary and necessary expenses) and 213 (diagnostic and similar procedures, medical devices and other medical expenses not covered by insurance) during the preceding three taxable years.

The measure, introduced on July 31, was drafted in conjunction with data from the American Pet Products Association’s National Pet Owners Survey. It has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) issued a Pet Alert on Aug. 5 supporting the proposal.

“Providing pet owners the opportunity to deduct pet care expenses is an important step towards ensuring that pet owners provide adequate veterinary and other necessary pet care,” PIJAC stated. “It encourages responsible pet ownership and will hopefully reduce the abandonment of pets by people struggling as a result of the economic downturn.”

Wednesday, August 5, 2009, 6:03 p.m., EDT from Veterinary Practice News


The 11th Annual Romp in the Park takes place this Saturday at the Norris-Penrose Center in Colorado Springs.  Be sure to drop by and say hello to The Dane Gang!

Take A Dane To Dinner!

August 11, 2009

Well, you can’t really bring a dog with you, but you can help a tremendous cause by dining out at Chili’s Coal Creek @ 585 McCaslin Blvd, Louisville, CO 80027 beginning August 13th, 4-9 pm, and every 2nd and 4th Thursday thereafter.  CHILI’S GIVES BACK is a wonderful program in which the company donates 10% of the total cost of your meal to the ROCKY MOUNTAIN GREAT DANE RESCUE.

That’s HUGE!

Oh yeah, and you’ll need to present a flyer when you pay your check, which can be downloaded and printed from our sister website:

Or from our main website:

See you at dinner!


If you’re reading this, you’re probably already aware of what great works the Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue does for giant breed dogs in the south and western U.S.  Do you also know someone who has been looking for volunteer work?

Send ’em our way!

LOVE BIG DOGS? The Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue will be hosting a volunteer sign-up and rally in your neighborhood this month!

Like to find out more about our amazing non-profit rescue?

Join us on Saturday, August 29th, from 10-11:30am at Panera Bread, 1330 Grant Street, Denver, CO 80203, 303/830-7101 for an informative chat with other Rescue volunteers and to find out how you can get involved with this amazing animal rescue.

You don’t have to own a Great Dane — or be one! — to get involved. And there are many MANY ways to help!

Mark your calendar and plan on being there! Refreshments provided.

Spawlash Success!

August 2, 2009

Grif, owner of Spawlash Self-Service Dog Wash & Grooming Salon in Thornton was a gracious host to RMGDRI Volunteers and dozens of dogs (mostly Danes!) that trotted in on Saturday, August 1st for the Rescue’s dog wash fundraiser.  Christian Lyons, RMGDRI Events Coordinator, was the first of the volunteers to arrive at Spawlash, and, being the dedicated lead-by-example volunteer that he is, was the last to leave!  On behalf of Christian and myself, we’d like to give a shout out (a very special thank you!) to RMGDRI Volunteers Michelle Muraski, Julie Parker, Frances Scott & Richard Zwetzig (candid photographer!), Samantha Grey (candid canine moments/event photographer)  – we couldn’t have done it without these smiling faces and helping hands!

We’re excited to have raised so much funding at this first time NW Metro dog wash, and enjoyed all the Danes, their supportive owners, the Spawlash team, and local volunteers who made this event a success!

Spawlash is a great facility run by incredible people who’ve been very helpful and accommodating; Spawlash is up for a Channel 7/ABC Network “A-List” nomination, and you can find out more about their business (and vote for them online!) at Very special thanks and gratitude to Grif and his staff for providing an outstanding experience for RMGDRI, providing refreshments (as Christian did, too!), supplies, the beautiful facilities, encouragement, and all the assistance we could have ever hoped for!

Also, special thanks to all the Dane owners and foster folks who came by and supported a wonderful endeavor.  Without you, it would’ve simply been another Saturday instead of the great success it was!

We’re looking forward to hosting lots more events “up North,” and can’t wait to see the rest of you who couldn’t make it to the dog wash at Spawlash at the Broomfield and Longmont based events coming up!  Please feel free to contact Christian, RMGDRI Event Coordinator ( to find out how you can get involved!
The Set Up

The Set Up

A Special Plea

A Special Plea

Justice 1

Justice 1

Justice 2

Justice 2

Justice 3 and Christian showing off.

Justice 3 and Christian showing off.





Dog #4

Dog #4

Sophie all clean!

Sophie all clean!

Wait...who's getting the bath here?

Wait...who's getting the bath here?



A hairy beast!

A hairy beast!

Fezzig meets Rocky

Fezzig meets Rocky

Fabulous volunteers Renee and Julie!

Fabulous volunteers Renee and Julie!

Fezzig the Lover

Fezzig the Lover

Thanks to our Fantastic Hosts!

Thanks to our Fantastic Hosts!

Why We Volunteer

August 1, 2009

“Make Volunteerism and community service part of your daily life, and part of the life of this nation. And I mean everyone.”

-President Barack Obama-

Why do we volunteer for the Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue? There is such a phenomenon as the WIIFM? factor among people when it comes to volunteering.

WIIFM? stands for “What’s In It For Me?” It’s a natural part of human nature to ask such a thing when we’re supposedly giving “selflessly” to a cause or organization we truly believe in and care about. Asking does not make us selfish. It simply makes us a product of our culture and our own histories. It should not be a deal-breaker, either. For some, the WIIFM? factor becomes the springboard for a litany of ready excuses as to why they can’t volunteer.

My summer is already so full…

Work is keeping me too busy…

I don’t know what I could do…

I can’t afford to do it…

On the surface, those might sound like valid reasons not to volunteer. Like any endeavor, volunteering does require a bit of commitment. The question then becomes: How much time can I donate to something I truly believe in?

When I worked in the fitness industry, back when it was just becoming hugely popular, one of my jobs was to sell memberships to the facility I worked for in Boulder. At the time, I detested selling anything. My philosophy was: if someone has to talk you into it, you don’t really want it badly enough. Sure, people wanted a sculpted body, a look that they could admire in a mirror, but they didn’t want to have to actually work at it. They provided many clever and creative excuses as to why they couldn’t commit to putting in the time to get what they wanted.

However, none of the reasons given were good reasons. It was then that I began to realize that I wasn’t actually selling anyone anything they didn’t want or need – who doesn’t want to be healthy? – but it had turned into a tug-of-war because they didn’t want to volunteer their time to meet their own goals. They wanted it handed to them, no fuss, no muss.

Within a month, I became the corporation’s top seller. Why? Because I no longer believed I was “selling” them something, but rather overcoming their fear of commitment. If they didn’t want it, why were they there? Maybe we don’t volunteer because of the WIFFM? factor.

Here’s a reframe: does feeling happier, more contented and satisfied with your life intrigue you at all? Plenty of studies have shown those who volunteer actually have improved health, and trigger the same dopamine pleasure bath as when we eat our favorite foods or have deep and committed relationships with those we love.

So, why do we volunteer?

Here is some of the WIIFM? in donating your time and energy to the Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue:

• Meeting people you might never have met otherwise. Volunteering offers a vital experience of putting roots in the ground. Feeling a part of something larger than ourselves can transcend the heavy emotions of isolation and loneliness — even once a month makes a difference.

• Gaining Perspective on Your Own Troubles. No matter how hard life can seem, there is always someone worse off than you are and who could use a helping hand. Getting out of our personal mire for a while is healthy and therapeutic.

• Having Fun! A non-profit in my area recently held a gigantic tag sale to raise urgent last minute funds, as well as to put household items in the hands of those who need them. Their format was unique: nothing had price tags, and no haggling. Everything was to be taken at will, and donations given by choice. Guess what? They raised far more than they imagined, and everyone walked away feeling good about it. Was it a lot of work? Yes. The volunteers were exhausted sorting mountains of stuff, eating cold pizza for dinner, drinking soda in paper cups, and all the while laughing their heads off. Who won? Everyone.

• Helping. Our Danes need the specific help we provide. In this era of “downsizing,” Giant breed dogs tend to become marginalized, which is one of the many reasons RMGDRI was started in the first place. Where there’s a need, there’s a way. We’re here because we love Danes and this is an excellent opportunity to help where we can.

Volunteering means so much more than just having your name on a list. It means participating when you can (and sometimes even when you think you don’t have time). It means doing what you can to fill a need for someone – be it human or canine – who cannot do it for themselves. And when you do? Well, those problems you thought were huge in your own life just don’t seem that big anymore.


This summer is a-poppin’!  The volunteers and fosters of RMGDRI will be at Dogma Pet Supplies and Dog Wash in Evergreen, CO on Saturday, August 1st, from 11am-2pm so you can meet our wonderful staff of volunteers and our adoptable Danes!  Don’t miss it!


Chili’s Gives Back!

July 28, 2009


RMGDRLogo (2)Beginning August 13th

Chili’s Grill & Bar,585 McCaslin Blvd, Louisville, CO (Coal Creek) will donate 10% of the total sale of your meal to the Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue, Inc.

Join us on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of every month between 4 and 9 p.m. and give back to a great cause – just by dining at your local Chili’s Grill & Bar at Coal Creek in Louisville!

You can print the flyer at:

*Valid ONLY at the Chili’s Coal Creek (Louisville/Superior) location on the nights listed above. Please detach coupon and present at time of payment to insure 10% donation to RMGDRI.

Sales cannot be included in donation amount without flyer.

GetImage.ashxComing up on Saturday, August 1st, RMGDRI presents a fundraiser that’ll really get you in a lather!  Spawlash Pet Grooming in Thornton, CO is hosting our organization in a day-long event that benefits not only the Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue, but your pups as well!

For a donation, our volunteers will polish your pooch until they’re squeaky clean!

Here are the details:


11 A.M. – 3 P.M.





Bring your friends, your family, your dogs (current on vaccinations, please!) for a bubbly good time!

RMGDRI Volunteers had another successful meet-n-greet at Canine Campus in Westminster, CO on Sunday, July 19th.  As we got there first, we had prime selection of real estate and picked an excellent location.  Once the Danes arrived, it was hard to miss us no matter which entrance visitors used!  Fosters Monty, Justice, Meesha, and Kevin Doxie’s Dane Jackson greeted everyone with enthusiasm.

We could have called this a “Kiss-and-Hug” event, as all the Danes were generous with their affection, as were the visitors.  The Danes were well-mannered and didn’t seem at all bothered by the flow of people or the other dogs.

There was a steady stream of visitors from beginning to end.  Adoption applications were given out to interested persons, and several of them indicated they would probably submit theirs by the end of the day.

Visitor Anthony was eager to learn more about Great Danes and how they might fit into his lifestyle.  He met Jackson and Kevin when they dropped in to show their support. Anthony also spent quite a bit of time with foster Monty.

One gentleman was interested in Justice (aren’t we all?) and indicated he would submit his adoption application soon.  Several families with children visited and both Justice and Monty showed how gentle they were with kids.

At the end of the event, as the flow of traffic died down, Justice, Monty, and Meesha showed how well-behaved and alert they could be.

12 rescue groups were represented, including Golden Retriever, Beagle, Springer Spaniel, Great Pyrenees, and various others.  Our Danes were the most noticeable, though, not only because of our premium placement in the room (and in spite of the holding pens chock full of roly-poly puppies nearby!), but because our Danes presented with a quiet authority that was hard to deny.

All in all, a perfect afternoon!


Frances Scott and Richard Zwetig for being there all day and for simply being awesome!

Kathy and foster Monty

Christal (CO Springs) and foster Justice

Christian and foster Meesha (and thanks to Jennifer for getting our cutie north for these events!)

and of course, Kevin Doxie and his Dane, Jackson