Weekends are a time for “Mommy and Me” with my dog and my spouse. We take Dexter to his favorite retail store, PetSmart, where we mingle with other dogs, get our retail therapy fix, and we leave with supplies and toys along with a few goodies for friends’ dogs and the local shelter from time to time.
So when I read about dogs who are less fortunate, I count my blessings for that which I do have and celebrate the goodness of people who give back.
“I can’t do much to make a difference for homeless dogs, Carol,” are words that I hear uttered aloud from time to time.
“Actually one person CAN and DOES make a difference,” I usually respond.
If a kid can do something, so can you. Case in point: Meet Mimi Ausland. What began as a young girl’s idea to help her local Oregon humane society is now making a big difference for pets in need across the U.S. and Canada.
Mimi Steps Up
Freekibble.com is a web site that 11-year-old Mimi Ausland started in 2008. Visitors could go to the site, click on a trivia question to earn 10 pieces of kibble for Mimi’s local humane society. The site took off and now, 7 years later, Freekibble.com has donated more than 14.5 million meals to pets in need.
And, while donations to date have only made been to U.S.-based animal welfare groups, tens of thousands of Canadians visit Freekibble.com to click and earn food for pets in need, even if those pets reside in a different country. Talk about loving animals!
Needs Up North
This week, Freekibble.com and kibble sponsor Halo, Purely for Pets, made their first donation in Canada, thanks to assistance from PetSmart Canada, which facilitated the donation and hosted the donation pick up spot at a Toronto-area PetSmart store.
The organizations joined together to deliver 75,000 meals to two animal welfare groups making a big impact in Canada: The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)’s Northern Dogs Project and the Toronto Feral Cat Coalition, which cares for stray and abandoned felines in the Toronto metro area.
The communities served by the Northern Dogs are extremely remote and really do not have access to good nutrition, spaying and neutering, etc for their pets. Thank goodness the folks at Northern Dogs stepped up to help with the assistance of PetSmart Canada. If dogs need to be re-homed, the Northern Dogs team works with Canadian rescue partners to find each dog a loving home.
Halo Pets = Angels
My last dog was a female Cocker Spaniel who succumbed to complications of Irritable Bowel Disease. She ate Halo Pet Food and treats in her final years and I truly believe the good nutrition and quality of food helped extend her life and enabled her to fight as long as she did.
The Northern Dogs team received 25,000 meals of Halo Spot’s Stew and Vigor pet food, from Freekibble.com. Northern Dogs will deliver the food in the coming weeks to the communities they serve.
Jan Hannah, IFAW’s Northern Dogs Project Manager, says while the rest of Canada is seeing signs of spring, it’s still winter in many remote northern communities where IFAW works. “Believe it not, puppies are actually born in the dead of winter and feeding them is a huge drain on a mother’s resources,” she says. “With the dog houses we recently delivered and this generous dog food donation on the way, mums will now have the resources to keep themselves and their pups warm.”
Thanks to this partnership with PetSmart Canada, Freekibble.com and Halo are now able to benefit pets across North America.
All photos here are courtesy Colleen Yates, and they show the love and magic that happens when good people come together in the name of dog (and cat) to help animals in need.
Pay it forward and do something for an animal in your neck of the woods – a donation, a meal, anything will do 😉