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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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You might have seen Rigel Stuhmiller’s letterpressed stationery before, either right here on phetched, or maybe on the Today show, Apartment Therapy, or Daily Candy. In an effort to help Save the Children with support efforts in earthquake- and tsunami-ravaged Japan, Rigel is currently donating all profits from her sales to the organization, with generous donors matching her donations up to 300%.

Rigel says:

As most people will know, many coastal regions of Japan were devastated by the recent tsunami. Over the past decade I have met many Japanese agricultural students from these affected regions through my work on Chino Nojo Farms in San Diego. Many of these students’ hometowns have been severely affected by the tsunami.

Save the Children is the leading independent organization creating lasting change in the lives of children in need in the United States and around the world. They work with other organizations, governments, non-profits and a variety of local partners while maintaining independence without political agenda or religious orientation. 90% of all expenditures go towards program services.

Check out the fun doggie designs in Rigel’s shop. She’s running her fundraiser through 12 a.m. March 22nd.

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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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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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Heyooo, pups! Today at phetched we’re participating in Blog the Change, which, in 25 words or less, is an effort by pet bloggers and Be the Change for Animals to spread the word about pet-helpful causes and organizations. (Is that less than 25 words? I didn’t count. But you can head to Be the Change to find out more.)

In thinking about what pet cause I’d like to pledge my support to, as I felt the welcome evening breeze blow into our non-air-conditioned house, the answer came quickly and easily:  I want to help you help me (thanks, Jerry Maguire) spread the word about the dangers to dogs and cats left inside hot cars. We all know the danger of leaving animals in cars on hot summer days, but apparently a lot of folks out there don’t, and they drive me to cussing on at least a weekly basis. And did you know that even temperatures that may be comfortable for you can become deadly for pets inside a parked car, even with the windows cracked? It’s true.

My Dog is Cool is a great resource with all kinds of information about the dangers to pets left in cars – including downloadable, printable flyers you can keep in your car to help spread the word.

I’m going to print some off for myself so I can spend less time cussing and more time Being the Change.

(P.S. – You can go to Blog the Change, scroll down the page, and find a list of links to other pet blogs that are blogging for change today.)

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Y’all, no doubt, know Barkwheats because, well, we’ve featured them here before, and because our good pal Abby McMillen‘s art is featured on their (adorbs) packaging. Makers of wholesome, grain-free treats for dogs, Barkwheats buys their ingredients from local organic farmers in Maine, utilize wind energy for production, and employ 100% compostable materials in their packaging.

Barkwheats was born in 2007 as a little homespun operation and already has grown into a successful business with nationwide distribution. Barkwheats has grown so much, however, that their current baking equipment can’t keep up with demand. They’re running a campaign through Kickstarter to try to raise enough money for a new biscuit moulder. This new biscuit moulder a) sounds like something I want in my kitchen and b) would increase Barkwheats’ production by, like, a million (or basically a whole lot).

Check out Barkwheats’ Kickstarter page to find out more about this awesome company and how you can help.

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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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An awesome organization from my town of Asheville, NC was featured in USA Today this week.

The Humane Alliance is a non-profit group of vets and other professionals who are saving thousands of lives by performing efficient, inexpensive sterilization procedures — and training others around the country to do the same. According to the USA Today article, last year alone HA spayed or neutered more than 23,000 animals in western North Carolina alone. TWENTY-THREE THOUSAND. That’s a lot of adoptable lives potentially saved from euthanasia. HA is so good at what they do that they’ve been trusted with millions in grants from organizations like PetSmart and the ASPCA.

(All images © John C. Fletcher for USA Today. Please don’t sue me.)

Read more about the Humane Alliance’s wonderful work at USA Today. (And read the comments to get an idea of the kind of morons that live in our country.)

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I have a distinct memory of standing with my mother in an art museum somewhere at a youngish age, looking at abstract art (I think Mark Rothko) and stating, “Well, I don’t get what the big deal is. That doesn’t look like anything. I mean, even I could do that.” And then my mom replied, “Well, good. Do it and make a ton of money.”

And the thing is, even though I’m older and supposedly wiser now, I still don’t get it when it comes to a lot of abstract art. (Still lookin’ at you, Mark Rothko.) And am I so wrong? I mean, I’m not trying to be ignorant or insulting here, but I just think you could hang some of Mozart Dane‘s work right alongside some museum pieces and a lot of people wouldn’t even get suspicious. I’m amazed at how the bright colors mix together with seeming purpose to end up looking like, well, something.

Mozart, a 5-year-old Great Dane, paints with his paws using acrylic on canvas. A discarded puppy bred in an Amish puppy mill, Mozart was given a second chance at life and happiness at Harlequin Haven Great Dane Rescue in Bethel, Ohio. Now Mozart, still healing from the physical and emotional trauma he suffered in the puppy mill, serves as the spokesdog for HHGCR, and all the proceeds from sales of his work go to help homeless animals and raise awareness of the horrors of irresponsible and inhumane breeding.

You can read more about Mozart’s story and mission and see more of his work here.

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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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