Portland, ME (12/06) - The Planet Dog Foundation (PDF) is celebrating the holiday season by supporting several local and national non-profit organizations in need. In addition to awarding $20,000 in grants to canine service organizations in October, PDF will give a total of $10,000 to Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO), My Wonderful Dog (MWD), the Portland Police K9 Unit, National Education for Assistance Dog Service/Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans (NEADS) and the Children's Cancer Center of the New England Medical Center.
Planet Dog is a socially responsible designer and retailer of award-winning products for dogs. A percentage of every Planet Dog purchase goes directly to PDF to support the grantmaking program.
During the month of October, PDF conducted their first annual Glow for Good Campaign at the Planet Dog Company Store to raise money for Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO). All proceeds from the sales of the Orbee-Tuff® Glow for Good Ball were donated to ARNO which was formed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and is the last rescue group still helping animals in the affected areas of the city. Kristen Smith, the Executive Director of PDF, traveled to New Orleans not only to deliver a $1,500 donation and Planet Dog collars and toys, but to volunteer for a few days with the no-kill shelter.
"ARNO operates on a shoestring budget and must rely on volunteers to do the majority of the daily tasks for the 30 dogs and over 100 cats and kittens currently depending on their care," says Smith. "By being there, I gained a better understanding of the challenges still being faced a year after the hurricane and will be exploring ways to continue supporting their impressive animal welfare efforts in the region, "adds Smith. For more information about ARNO, visit www.animalrescueneworleans.com.
In November, Bark: a not-so-silent auction was sponsored and hosted by PDF to benefit My Wonderful Dog (MWD). The event raised $4,500 for the Portland-based non-profit organization that trains service dogs to help people with disabilities live more independently. The MWD program uses at-risk youth and inmates at the Windham Correctional Facility to train the dogs, teaching them compassion, responsibility and trust. To learn more about MWD, visit www.wonderfuldogs.org.
In response to an inquiry from Systems Engineering, a Portland-based IT solutions firm, PDF has contributed $1,750 to match their $1,750 fundraising drive for the Portland Police K9 Unit. The $3,500 will help enable the Portland Police Department to build their canine squad.
Santa Claus also helped PDF raise funds this holiday season by participating in the "Sit with Santa" event at the Planet Dog Company Store. The annual event raises money for the Cycle of Life Fund at the Children's Cancer Center of the New England Medical Center in Boston. Over 40 dogs had their photos taken with Santa and all proceeds will help pay for toys, books, games, field trips and other therapeutic initiatives for children in the oncology unit that are not in the day-to-day hospital budget.
Each year, instead of an internal Secret Santa gift exchange, employees of Planet Dog and the Planet Dog Foundation will be collecting toys for the Portland Family Shelter. The toys will be given to children and Moms who are staying in the shelter through the holiday season.
PDF donated $1,500 to NEADS to produce The Many (Dog) Faces of NEADS, a calendar that celebrates 30 years of partnering people and assistance dogs and will help to raise money for their new Canines for Combat Veterans program. For 30 years NEADS has been helping children and adults who are deaf or physically disabled live more mobile, social and independent lives through partnership with a dog individually trained for their lifestyle and assistive needs. For more information, visit www.neads.org.
The mission of the Planet Dog Foundation is to promote and celebrate programs in which dogs serve and support their best friends. "The response to our grant program has been overwhelming," says Smith. "It demonstrates the dire need for funding for service dog organizations. We are proud to support them and look forward to increasing our impact as our Foundation grows along with Planet Dog," adds Smith.
"As a small company doing big things, we are supporting like-minded organizations that will most benefit from our support," says Alex Fisher, Planet Dog's co-founder and Chief Creative Officer. "From the beginning, we knew we wanted to build a socially responsible company that not only enhanced the lives of dogs and their people, but one that also improved the world around us by giving back," adds Fisher.