When Debra reached out to us about her Doggy Noses & Yoga Poses we wanted to jump on the opportunity to profile her program and see how it works!
Doggy Noses & Yoga Poses is a unique animal fundraiser that combines a love of yoga with a love of dogs and we couldn’t imagine a better combination. The classes feature dogs that are available for adoption and while you are doing your downward dog, it is pretty safe to say – kisses will be part of the fun.
Every event helps a local 501(c)(3) and to date they have been able to raise over $6,000 to help the rescues they have worked with. Given they just started this program in August 2017 – this is a pretty amazing contribution!
We also love the uniqueness of the locations – like an upcoming event in NJ that is taking place in a brewery!
One of the rescues we interviewed recently for their success with an animal fundraising event, Bully Rescue Warriors – recently held one of these events for their own rescue.
Below is our interview with the founder of Doggy Noses & Yoga Poses, Debra Furstenberg.
What was your inspiration for Doggy Noses & Yoga Poses
Doggy Noses & Yoga Poses was originally intended to be a one-time community service project I was planning with my daughter, as part of her karate black belt application. Our family loves dogs, and we have a particular fondness for rescues. Our husky, Kaia, is a rescue and she is our crazy, funny, amazing companion!
I was inspired to do a yoga fundraiser with dogs after hearing about goat yoga – I thought it sounded fun, but I thought dogs would be even better! From there, the idea for Doggy Noses & Yoga Poses was born. After the first class, we got requests to do more, and the rest is history!
What areas do you currently host events in? Will you be expanding?
Our classes are concentrated in NJ right now, as that is where we live and are headquartered. However, we just completed our first class in Washington, DC, and have classes now scheduled in MD and NY. We plan on expanding to many more states starting in 2018!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself
I am a divorced mom to 2 daughters, and happily engaged to my fiance Rich. Rich and I are also business partners; we formed MoJo’s Morsels in 2012, and launched our first product in 2014. MoJo’s Morsels are all natural artisan treats for dogs, made with simple and limited ingredients. As part of MoJo’s Morsels’ mission is to give back to the rescue community, we have run several fundraisers with our treats in the past. However, I always felt I could do so much more, and Doggy Noses & Yoga Poses gives me that opportunity.
Where do you find the pups you use in your classes?
We approach rescue groups local to the venues at which we host our classes. If the venue has a relationship with a particular rescue, we will reach out to them first. As these classes are fundraisers for rescue groups, we only allow the rescue’s puppies and dogs on the class floor.
How much can a rescue earn on average with a class?
Our donations average between $300-$500 per class (classes are typically 1 hour).
How many people are in a typical class?
Participant numbers vary, based on the capacity a venue can accommodate. An average class size is 30 people, but it ranges anywhere between 20 and 45.
If rescue dogs are used, have there been any adoptions stemming from a class?
There have been adoptions resulting from our classes! However, it’s sometimes a bit difficult for us to get that information, so we don’t have an exact number. The best part of these classes are the benefits for the dogs–we raise money for their care, they get time to socialize with other dogs and with people, and applications are usually submitted to the rescue after the class for adoption, fostering, and volunteering.
Awareness is raised, not just about the specific rescue participating in any given class – but also about different breeds (for example, pit bulls), as well as about dogs people might not have considered adopting before (such as senior dogs or special-needs dogs).
These classes are less chaotic and more intimate than a traditional adoption event, so it becomes more enjoyable for everyone–including the dogs! We handle all the planning, including obtaining the venue and instructors, as well as managing ticket sales and advertising. We try to keep everything as easy as possible for all involved parties, so the rescues can focus on what they need to focus on — the dogs!
Can you tell us how much you have raised so far to help rescues?
We have been able to successfully donate $6,000 to date!
What if someone wants to hold a Doggy Noses & Yoga Poses fundraiser in their area?
If anyone is interested, they can reach out to Debra directly at firstname.lastname@example.org – or they can PM us via our Facebook page! Of course these are a lot of work to coordinate – especially in new areas, but we will do what we can to make it happen as quickly as possible.