As part of today’s Be the Change festivities, i Love Dogs and pawcurious decided to do a blog post exchange. While you read about this fabulous group’s many activities in support of the community, keep in mind they are also making a generous $250 contribution to Pets Without Parents in celebration of today! A big thank you to my very first Official Charity Sponsor!
by Linda Chavez, i Love Dogs, Inc.
On this special day, in honor of Being the Change, www.iLoveDogs.com and www.Pawcurious.com have switched blogs to raise awareness about the charities and organizations we each care deeply about. Please visit our blog to read Dr. V’s post!
No pet lover could have possibly imagined that a conference dedicated to the work of pet bloggers could be the impetus for such an inspirational movement. But when Jessica Vogelsang, DVM, Dorian Wagner, and Lynn Haighcame together at BlogPaws 2010 in a panel entitled “Be the Change You Want to See” moderated by Petfinder.com‘s Jane Harrell, the possibilities for creating change via this conference seemed infinite.
These women were at the helm of a panel discussion that called on BlogPaws attendees to take action to help our four-legged friends in need. Having each harnessed the power of social media to raise funds for animal charities in the past, all four had learned that anything was possible with a keyboard and some courage. So it was this spirit of just “diving in” to make a difference that inspired BlogPaws founders Yvonne Divita, Caroline Golon, and Tom Collins to bring these four lovely ladies together to show attendees just how they also could be the change we all want to see in this world.
After much plotting, these inspiring women came up with a strategy to engage conference-goers in participating in that change.
“After talking about our individual experiences and answering questions from the audience, we played a video that Lynn had specially made for the panel,” wrote Vogelsang on her website. “While that video was playing, we collected everyone’s names and threw them into a basket. Then, when the video was over and everyone was sniffling a little and basking in the prime moment of ‘I can do this, too’ fuzzies, BAM! We decided to throw down a challenge — nay, an opportunity, for everyone in the room to make something happen.”
The spirit of giving is one that i Love Dogs has embraced since our company’s inception, so when we heard about this call to action we knew it was right up there with our company’s mission to help animals in need.
i Love Dogs sponsors one of the largest efforts to reunite dogs from war-torn Iraq with the soldiers they befriended, consoled and protected through such a difficult time. A program under SPCA International (SPCAi), Operation Baghdad Pups was established in 2007 when a soldier sent a plea to the organization asking them to save Charlie, a dog he had befriended while inIraq and which he now desperately wanted to bring to the U.S.
Many of the dogs rescued by Operation Baghdad Pups are homeless strays that come to the soldiers for food, companionship, and shelter. Yet, in the midst of battle, like any dog lover would automatically understand, these dogs bring an enormous gift to soldiers – friendship, love, and comfort.
“Taking care of Charlie gave me something to look forward to every day,” one soldier explained. “When all the guys got to playing with him we forgot where we were, the horrible things we had seen, and what we still had to go through. Charlie definitely made our time in Iraq more bearable. He was like a welcomed piece of home right here in the midst of Baghdad.”
It’s for that reason that i Love Dogs helped to fund Operation Baghdad Pups’ first mission to save Charlie and reunite him with the soldier who loved him.
In the summer of 2009, i Love Dogs donated an unprecedented $2 million worth of premium canine
vitamins & supplements to non-profit animal shelters and rescues in need. Our goal was to ensure that every dog, whether homeless or not, would have the opportunity to live a healthy and happy life. Our vitamins helped support each rescue dog’s optimal health, while reducing each dog’s
susceptibility to illness that would normally require expensive veterinary treatments. The vitamins and supplements helped these pooches stay healthy while they waited for their forever homes.
Dubbed the i Love Dogs “Summer of Giving,” this large donation reached several local rescues in the Los Angeles area and beyond, including Karma Rescue, Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation, Animals Rule, Cage Free K-9 Rescue, Boxer Rescue LA, Downtown Dog Rescue, Noah’s Bark, Southern California Labrador Retriever Rescue, Boxer OC Animal Rescue, Border Collies In Need, Marley’s Pit Stop, Rover Rescue, Best Friends Animal Society and Last Chance for Animals.
The announcement of our donation brought much attention to the numerous rescue groups we contributed to and also helped to increase awareness about the health needs of rescue dogs.
We continued our commitment to homeless animals during October’s Adopt-A-Dog Month during which we featured a different adoptable dog each day from one of two amazing rescue groups, Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation and Karma Rescue. Every day we wrote a feature profile on our main website as well as a testimonial in the voice of the adoptable dog in our sister site, WWW.TJ.LA. Moreover, we promoted the pooch throughout the day in all of our social media, newsletter and for months after. Since then, 20 of our featured adoptable dogs have found forever homes and we couldn’t be happier.
In March of this year, i Love Dogs decided to host its very first TweetUp/MeetUp (gathering of Twitter and Facebook aficionados and their friends) at the Hotel Maya in Long Beach, Calif. At the time, we had no idea where we might start, but like Dr. Vogelsang, we decided to dive right in. Since we had heard so much about spcaLA‘s struggle to gather enough food to feed the homeless dogs and cats at their shelter, we felt compelled to do something to help. With that conviction, we decided to ask attendees to bring a bag of dog food to donate to the organization.
At first, we had no idea whether or not anyone would bring anything, though we hoped, and we weren’t sure if our contribution would be nothing more than a drop in the bucket. All we knew was that we had to give it a try because trying is half the fight. Well, were we surprised when the momentum slowly started to build and before we knew it, two other companies had committed to
match our donation – Dogswell and the Animal Care Center of Huntington Beach. Also, donations for a silent auction we planned to hold started rolling in. We were thrilled and more determined than ever.
When the TweetUp/MeetUp finally came together we were proud to have a community of such compassionate Southern California dog and cat lovers. With their help, and with the donation matches, i Love Dogs was able to raise 1,170 pounds of pet food and nearly $500 in monetary donations via our silent auction. And to think, all we did was “give it a try.”
i Love Dogs is now stepping up to a new commitment for our four-legged friends. We’re currently in the process of hosting a giveaway on one of our best pawl’s, Surf Dog Ricochet‘s, Facebook page. Though she recently suffered an injury, Ricochet has committed to raising funds for canine cancer research. This is an issue very close to our hearts, and we’ve agreed to host a giveaway of a supply of our Reishi supplement (an amazing supplement excellent for dogs with cancer undergoing treatment) and a copy of Nadine M. Rosin’s “The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood.”
We hope this will help Ricochet raise awareness and raise funds for such an important cause.
i Love Dogs believes that pet lovers are some of the most compassionate and driven individuals anyone will ever meet. That was solidified for us at this past weekend’s BlogPaws, so we know that the Be the Change goal of raising $500 for Ohio-based Pets Without Parents would be no problem for our community. That’s why we made the commitment to sponsor Dr. Vogelsang’s blog for this momentous event and help our BlogPaws friends with a donation of $250 to help get the cause half-way there!
Here at i Love Dogs we believe in change and in the health and well-being of our best pals, our animal companions – whether dog, cat, guinea pig, or ferret. Congratulations to you all for being the change we’d like to see in the world.
i LOVE DOGS INC. dedicates itself to formulating the highest quality natural vitamins and supplements available on the market today. Our name says it all – i Love Dogs is committed to the health of our canine companions and the peace of mind quality products bring to their pet parents. We pride ourselves on being leaders in animal wellness and welfare. Our products seamlessly blend natural ingredients with cutting-edge technology and science. i Love Dogs is also the designer of the
world’s most exclusive diamond dog collars, a portion of the profits of which go to animal rescue.
Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart says
I’d not heard about Operation Baghdad Pups. Very neat! Congrats on all your efforts.
I have heard of Operation Baghdad Pups in passing, but never really knew what it was for or who started it. Now that I know, my heart has swelled with joy at what a wonderful service it is. It’s one thing to help out locally, but to stretch your help all the way to other countries, especially those at war, is just astounding.
If this were a teen movie, I would be the one in the crowd, standing, starting the slow clap.