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Cloud Star, which we reviewed a few weeks back, is holding a fundraiser this afternoon from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Pacific time. During this period, 100% of every purchase made at Cloud Star’s web site will be donated to Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue & Support and Japan Organization for International Cooperation on Family Planning.

Says Brannan Johnson, co-founder of Cloud Star: “While living in Japan, I had the opportunity to visit the Japanese city of Sendai, which is an incredibly beautiful area of the country. I’m deeply saddened by the trauma that the Japanese people have suffered in the past weeks and continue to suffer through. Thank you for allowing us to continue helping others.”

Visit cloudstar.com from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Pacific time (8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Eastern time) to help out.

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These little guys are so cool. Pet Flys is donating a portion of proceeds from their Perfect World Pets (aptly named Faith, Hope, and Peace) to Pets of the Homeless, a truly awesome organization. Each toy is just $7 — or you can get the whole set for $18.

Cute, colorful, and charitable? I’m verklempt, for real.

Tail wags to Barkzilla for the find.

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Phetched’s Barkworthy series highlights organizations that help to make life better for dogs and their people.

San Diego’s FACE (Foundation for Animal Care and Education) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) public charity that seeks to improve the lives of companion animals by providing access to veterinary care and education. When needy animal owners are faced with emergency medical care expenses for their beloved pets — in situations where euthanasia might be the only affordable option — FACE steps in to provide grants to provide access to care by fully or partially covering emergency expenses.

Thanks to FACE, which relies solely on donations, many families don’t have to lose their beloved pets just because of financial hardship.

And FACE takes the “education” part of their name seriously — through their website and other events, FACE seeks to educate pet owners on important medical information to help keep their pets safe and healthy.

Barkworthy, indeed.

You can learn more about FACE from their website.

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(Our Barkworthy series highlights organizations who help make the world a better place for pups and their people.)

They have names like Big Ant, Alley Cat, and Scott the Knife, and collectively they refer to themselves as the Army for the Animals. Rescue Ink is a group of tough, tattooed, big-hearted guys who fight animal abuse and neglect and promote second chances for rescued animals through adoption.

Rescue Ink know they don’t look like your average animal activists, and they hope that will help get their message across: “Hey, we’re no angels, and we’ve made plenty of mistakes in our lives, but we’ve been given a second chance. And we think neglected and abused animals deserve one, too.”

Word.

You can visit Rescue Ink’s web site to learn more about their mission, their success stories, and how you can help.

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(Phetched’s Barkworthy series highlights organizations that help make the world a better place for dogs and their people.)

I’ve started to notice a few more white hairs on Ming’s muzzle lately, which makes my heart sting a little. I try not to think about his growing older, since he’s going to live to be 25, right? RIGHT? (Please allow me to enjoy my delusion when it comes to these matters. I BEG.)

The Grey Muzzle Organization is founded upon a seemingly simple premise: They “envision a world where no old dog dies alone and afraid.” With the alarming number of senior dogs that are dumped at shelters when their “families” no longer want to care for them, though, the Grey Muzzle Organization (based in Raleigh, NC) has a tough row to hoe.

As of June 30th, however, Grey Muzzle had donated more than $100,000 to shelters, sanctuaries, and rescue organizations around the country working to provide homes, care, and better lives for abandoned senior dogs. Their grants (funded by donations) provide medical assistance and beds for senior dogs at shelters, fund hospice care for non-adoptable senior dogs, and help to educate the public about the adoptability of senior dogs, especially by senior citizens.

We think the Grey Muzzle Organization is Barkworthy. You can read more about their work, and learn how to help, on their web site.

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Our new Barkworthy series highlights dog-friendly and dog-focused organizations and events.

Southeastern Guide Dogs is a truly remarkable organization. At their Palmetto, Florida, facility, they breed, raise, and train assistance dogs that go on to give visually and physically impaired individuals mobility and, therefore, independence. What’s truly amazing is that Southeastern Guide Dogs, a nonprofit organization, accomplishes their work relying 100% on donated funds – providing assistance dogs to their students completely free of charge.

SE Guide Dogs breeds and whelps their pups onsite (primarily labs, Goldens, and collies) and relies on dedicated volunteers to help socialize the pups for work in the real world. (If you’re in the mood to squeal a little, check out Southeastern’s puppy cam.) The pups are then trained by skilled handlers to participate in the Paws for Independence program, which provides assistance dogs to the visually impaired, or Paws for Patriots, which provides assistance and therapy dogs to visually impaired and physically disabled veterans. Dog recipients and their canine match then attend training together at Southeastern’s facility.

The pups who don’t quite make it as assistance dogs? They enter the Gifted Canines program, where they learn such jobs as drug detection, arson detection, search and rescue, or specialized therapy – or are offered for public adoption, where they use their training to bring joy and love to their families.

I only wish I lived closer to Southeastern’s facility so I could volunteer as a puppy hugger or dog walker. Be sure to stop by Southeastern Guide Dogs’ site to learn more about their amazing organization.

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This post is part of an ongoing series here on phetched called Barkworthy, where we highlight organizations and groups that are doing good things for dogs and dog lovers.

As shelters across our state face massive overcrowding situations, North Carolina’s Pet Foster Network serves an invaluable purpose: they help to connect willing foster families with pups who need a temporary place to stay while they wait for their forever homes. Knowing that every open space in a shelter or rescue saves a life, the Pet Foster Network (based in Raleigh, NC) strives to educate citizens on the crucial role that foster families play and support those who are willing to open their homes to an adoptable pet in need.

For residents of North Carolina, there’s information on the Pet Foster Network web site on how you can sign up to help. For those who don’t live in North Carolina but wish to foster, PFN encourages you to search your ZIP code on Petfinder for local rescues and shelters in search of foster families.

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This post is part of a new series here on phetched, Barkworthy, which will highlight fido-friendly charitable organizations and events.

Last weekend the pups, my husband and I participated in Bark for Life here in Asheville, an event for dogs and their owners to raise money for the American Cancer Society. You’re probably familiar with Relay for Life, and Bark for Life is sort of a spin-off of that… the dog-friendly version!

The event, the first of its kind here in Asheville, was held down by the river at the Wedge Brewery and Studios. Hundreds of dogs and their owners showed up to show their support for the American Cancer Society. Special events included musical performances, agility and police K9 demonstrations, pet adoptions, and, of course, plenty of dog-watching and butt-sniffing.

More photos and words after the jump…

Read the rest of this entry »

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You may have heard the story of Sugar before, as her quest for a new, happy life garnered her a bit of internet fame. Sugar’s short life, though filled with pain and abuse, serves as a model of forgiveness, trust, and love.

Dropped at a Los Angeles shelter in a state near death, Sugar had been abused, burned with acid, and bore an infected scar from what looked like an amateur C-section job. (What the eff is wrong with some people? Guess what, turds? Acid HURTS.)

Through the efforts of shelter workers, community supporters, foster care, and rescue organization Molly’s Mutts and Meows, Sugar nevertheless overcame these horrors (plus a diagnosis of skin cancer) and displayed an extraordinary ability to love, trust, and forgive despite her horrific past. Sadly, though, Sugar succumbed to complications from the abuse inflicted upon her before she was ever able to be placed in her forever home.

Kim Rodgers of Bark Pet Photography, one of the tireless supporters who worked to give Sugar a better life, created Sugar Tags in memory of the sweet dog who, despite the terrible ways in which humans had treated her in the past, “somehow learned to forgive, trust, and ultimately love those around her.” All profits from the sale of Sugar Tags go to Molly’s Mutts and Meows, which spent more than $8000 trying to help nurse Sugar back to health.

In addition to helping support Molly’s Mutts and Meows, Rodgers hopes that Sugar Tags will help spread Sugar’s story of courage, forgiveness, and love.

You can fetch Sugar Tags from Bark Pet Photography.

Now! Dry those tears and get to work.

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The formal mission statement of HeARTs Speak, founded in early 2010, is “to unite the individual efforts of animal artists and animal rescues into collective action for social change.” Really, though, it’s simpler than that — get pets adopted.

Knowing that quality, professional-looking photographs help increase the appeal and adoptability of shelter pets, this group of photographers and artists are donating their talents to rescues and shelters to help dispel the myth that shelter pets are “inferior in some way,” increase adoptions, and thus decrease euthanizations.

For more information, including opportunities to help and donate, visit HeARTs Speak’s web site and fan them on Facebook.

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