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SodaPup Announces MuttsKickButt Award Winners


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True Dogs LLC, maker of SodaPup brand dog toys, announced that the company has selected winners of its MuttsKickButt award program, which recognizes volunteers and employees of nonprofit organizations dedicated to dog rescue activities. The goal of the MuttsKickButt program is to highlight the amazing work that volunteers and nonprofits do to rescue and place dogs in forever homes, said Adam Baker, founder and CEO of Boulder, Colo.-based True Dogs.

First-place winner is Susie Hansen, a volunteer with Abandoned Pet Rescue (APR), South Florida’s largest no-kill shelter in Ft. Lauderdale. Although Hansen has a full-time job, she spends every waking hour that she’s not at work at the shelter, overseeing day-to-day operations. She can be found in the medical bay, administering to sick or injured dogs and cats that are left outside their door or found wandering the streets, or in the dog and cat areas, cuddling the animals and cleaning their environment. Hansen handles pit bulls, which are the hardest animals to place, she said, adding that she has adopted five of them herself. Hansen also is a familiar presence at the front desk, handling administrative and financial duties as well as greeting visitors, and overseeing the adoption process.

Second-place winner is Mark Lane, who volunteers at James River Greyhounds in Richmond, Va. James River Greyhounds has placed more than 1,100 greyhounds into caring forever homes. Not only has Lane taken in countless dogs into his own home, but he also works tirelessly to ensure all dogs are placed into loving permanent homes. He has made several cross-country trips to help transport these dogs to their new homes, and he also is building a facility at his personal residence to help expand his ability to help more dogs.

Third-place winner Melissa Meyer volunteers at Pets of the Homeless in Carson City, Nevada. Pets of the Homeless believes in the healing power of companion pets and of the human-animal bond, which is very important in the lives of many homeless, who find solace, protection and companionship through their pets. The homeless care for their pets on limited resources, so they themselves have less, Meyer said. The mission of Pet of the Homeless is to provide basic emergency veterinary care to their pets and, thus, relieve the anguish and anxiety of not being able to provide for their pets. Meyer works in the small office writing press releases, writing research grants, working on the database and whatever else needs doing.

To honor these dedicated people and the organizations where they volunteer, SodaPup will make product donations to each of the three organizations.

“The MuttsKickButt awards program demonstrates our ongoing commitment to recognize and give back to the community of dog lovers who do tremendous work to save animals,” said Baker.

SodaPup is committed to the development of high-quality, American-made dog toys that are both fun and innovative, according to the company. SodaPup products are available at pet specialty retailers in the U.S. and Canada as well as 15 countries in Europe, Latin America, Australia and Asia. 

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