Villalobos Rescue Center

On October 1, we were able to send $398.10 to the Villalobos Rescue Center in Louisiana. You may have heard of them from their TV show, Pit Bulls and Parolees, which features the incredibly tough rescue work they do. At any given time, they have about 150 pit bulls in their care, a figure that ends up costing the center about $1000/day! Pit bulls are currently the #1 most euthanized “breed” of dogs in shelters, so they need all the help they can get. Below are a few of the thousands of dogs lucky enough to be saved by Villalobos! If you’d like to learn more or donate, visit their website here.

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Pet Adoption Center of Orange County

This summer, we hosted an extra long (6 weeks) fundraiser for the new Pet Adoption Center of Orange County. By the end of August, we were able to donate a total of $2554.40 to this incredible project! For years, we’ve seen and heard stories about the Orange County animal shelter. It’s underfunded, outdated, and often completely full. Despite efforts from all the local independent rescue groups, too many animals are still dying there.

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An example of the Orange County animal shelter’s rust-eaten outdoor kennels.

Fortunately, many of these animals will now have a second chance at life through the Pet Adoption Center of OC! This new consumer-friendly building will house animals that have been taken from the OC shelter and give them a much better chance of finding a forever home. Many people are understandably afraid to visit the OC shelter (I’ve been three times and each visit breaks my heart), but this new center will be quite the opposite! Visitors and potential adopters will love meeting these pets in a comfortable environment run by compassionate animal advocates.

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An example of the suite style you may find at the Pet Adoption Center of Orange County (actual photo taken from Jet Pet Resort)

The building is still undergoing remodeling to get ready for its furry residents, but you can keep up with the organization’s progress on their Facebook page here!

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Images from the construction of the new center.

Recap: March to July!

Hello! Unfortunately I’ve majorly dropped the ball on reporting about our recent fundraisers. If you’re someone who frequently checks in to see where your donations (or the donations generated by your purchases from The Tree Kisser) are going, that must be frustrating! In an attempt to catch up, here’s a brief summary of our impact over the past few months:

Animal Rescue Corps

On March 4, 2015, we were able to donate $863.00 to our friends at Animal Rescue Corps (ARC), an organization we’ve supported in the past. At the time, they were still working to cover the cost of Operation New Day, a rescue mission during which they saved 54 animals from a horrific hoarding situation in Kentucky. Below are a few images from that incredible rescue (video here). Following the rescue, all animals are sent to approved ARC placement partners to be loved and fostered until they find forever homes.

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Rancho Relaxo

On April 2, we were able to send $987.30 to support Rancho Relaxo, an independent animal sanctuary in New Jersey. The couple that runs this organization is such an inspiration to all animal rescuers and advocates. They take in as many farmed animals as they can accommodate, and they foster rescue dogs on the property as well. Below are the faces of some of their incredibly fortunate residents! It’s so hard to pick a few to share, I definitely encourage you to check out their Facebook and Instagram pages for giggles!

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Fix Long Beach

On May 4, we were able to donate $925.00 to Fix Long Beach, an organization that provides FREE spay/neuter (as well as low cost vaccines) to low income residents of Long Beach, CA. I am a big supporter and admirer of independent rescues that save companion animals from over-crowded, high-kill shelters. However, even though what these organizations do is incredibly valuable, I sadly know their work will never be done if spay/neuter is not more widely encouraged and available. Many dog and cat guardians simply don’t understand how overpopulated our shelters are, and even if they do, the expense of a surgery is often not something they can afford. Fix Long Beach has already made a visible dent (shelter kill rates are down, though still not down enough!) in the area, which is a huge accomplishment. The more donations they receive, the more animals they can fix, and the more kittens and puppies will not be born into a world where we can’t even accommodate the ones we already have. Below are a couple shots from their spay/neuter events!

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St. Martin’s Animal Rescue

On June 2, we were able to send $389 to our friends at St. Martin’s Animal Rescue. This non-profit is run entirely by one tireless, dedicated, phenomenal woman, Susan Brugato. She operates primarily out of her home, taking in sick and elderly pets who, without her intervention, likely wouldn’t survive the shelter system. She takes the tough cases, the ones many other rescues are afraid to take on. Below are some lucky dogs who owe their lives to Susan.

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Stray Cat Alliance

On July 16, we were able to donate $1012.00 to Stray Cat Alliance, an organization that works all angles to help unwanted and unloved cats across the country. Society certainly treats cats with much less respect than dogs, which results in higher shelter kill rates for forgotten felines. Between their adoption programs, their spay/neuter support, and their TNR (trap, neuter, return) advocacy and community assistance, Stray Cat Alliance works to reduce shelter killing and protect the lives of stray and feral outdoor cats. Below is a before/after of Grace, just one of thousands of cats saved and healed by these heroes!

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That about catches us up! Check in at the end of August to read about our fundraiser for the new Pet Adoption Center of Orange County.

PreetiRang Animal Sanctuary

On February 5, 2015, we were able to donate $729.35 to the PreetiRang Santuary, a farmed animal rescue in Northern California. PreetiRang Sanctuary is run by a husband and wife team of former Silicon Valley professionals who, in recent years, have dedicated their lives to caring for unwanted and unloved farmed animals.

Through their rescue stories and sanctuary tours, the team at PreetiRang works to inspire their supporters and visitors to transition to a cruelty-free, vegan lifestyle. By allowing people to bond with the sanctuary’s animals, they enable those who otherwise may never meet farmed animals to get to know the beings most commonly raised and killed for food.

Below are some of their beautiful rescued residents!

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Learn more about PreetiRang Sanctuary at their website, Facebook page, or Instagram.

The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals

In November and December of 2014, we raised funds for The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals, an organization that has been combatting the devastating fur trade since 1953! The organization had just launched their international #MakeFurHistory campaign, which brought discussions of the fur industry into the mainstream by partnering with influencers like Lush Cosmetics, a company that promoted the campaign and encouraged discussion in its stores.

Image from the #MakeFurHistory campaign

Image from the #MakeFurHistory campaign

The #MakeFurHistory display at Lush Cosmetics in Laval, QC

The #MakeFurHistory display at Lush Cosmetics in Laval, QC

They also launched a “Fur Discounts” website, which cleverly tricked bargain-hunting fur shoppers into learning about the horrific, cruelty-laden fur industry (you have to see it to understand).

Promotional image for the deceptive "Fur Discounts" website

Promotional image for the deceptive “Fur Discounts” website

These campaigns reached millions of people and brought much-needed media coverage to the reality of fur farming. This kind of exposure is vital to waking up complacent consumers and encouraging cruelty-free fashion, but it doesn’t come cheap! Thanks to holiday sales from The Tree Kisser shop, we were able to donate $1925.28 (US) towards covering this expense. We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to support these compassionate, creative activists!

Craig Street Cats

This October, we raised funds to support Craig Street Cats, a rescue organization that helps protect and reduce their local stray cat population. There are estimated to be more than 100,000 stray cats on the streets of Winnipeg, where winter temperatures are consistently below freezing. Sadly, many of these cats do not survive the harsh months. NY115_KILLING_WILD_CATS.jpg Through spay/neuter programs and their no-kill shelter, Craig Street Cats volunteers are working persistently to combat the heartbreaking plight of the stray population. Every donation that goes in enables them to make an even bigger difference, so we were ecstatic to be able to send $952.22 ($1043.83 Canadian) to support their programs! Below are some of the hundreds of cats for whom this organization has found lovely homes! 10606273_825736370792718_7103126568606193162_n 481292_822939527739069_8268987281867650362_n 1977294_823435871022768_5682003317949281269_n

Mercy For Animals

In September 2014, we raised $825.23 for Mercy For Animals, once of the nation’s leading farm animal advocacy organizations! MFA’s undercover investigations, corporate outreach programs, social media campaigns, and other creative forms of activism have contributed significantly to our society’s understanding and increasing rejection of factory farming conditions. They are repeatedly making headlines and appearing on national and local news networks to expose cruelty within the animal agriculture industry. To get a sense of their 2013 accomplishments, please check out this video:

In addition to their groundbreaking investigatory work, MFA also promotes cruelty-free eating through their website www.chooseveg.com. They provide an abundance of ideas and resources for compassionate consumers who want to make a progressive change in their diets.

I’ve long admired the heroes at MFA, so I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to their success!