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Paw It Forward

Check out the many exciting ways these companies are giving back...real proof that the pet community cares.



Ark Naturals Products for Pets
Susan Weiss, owner
Naples, Fla.
We have been in business since 1996; we started donating within one year. However, we did not publicize it because, quite frankly, no one really cared. That was the world then.

Our mission has always been to support smaller local charities, as they are the ones that are most overlooked. The groups listed here are given combinations of cash and product donations.

• Humane Society of Naples, Florida
• Pekes and Pals Fort Myers Florida (places senior dogs, a subject near and dear to our hearts)
• Brooke’s Legacy Naples 
• Vet Dogs
• Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah

Additionally, we provide baskets for raffles and fundraisers nationwide for independent charities and rescues that reach out to us. We have no limit on the amount we give; they ask and we send. Our list has grown to more than 300 charities per year.

Fluff & Tuff
Ellen Lawson, owner
Bloomfield, Mich.


Fluff & Tuff has debuted its third annual Holiday Charity toy. Available through independent retailers from October to January, this year’s limited-edition toy is a 4-inch, classic red and green polka dot pattern ball that features Fluff & Tuff’s signature ultra-plush outer fabric, thick mesh liner and double-stitched seams.

“We’re very excited to partner with the Start a Snowball organization, one of our designated charities this year, to create its Animal Welfare Grant,” said Ellen Lawson, owner of the Bloomfield, Mich., company.

Start a Snowball is a nonprofit organization committed to empowering children between 5 and 18 years of age to engage in philanthropy by providing grants and support for their own charitable projects. Fluff & Tuff’s partnership will help create the company’s first Animal Welfare Grant, which will give startup funds to children who strive to make a difference in the lives of animals in their community.

The Holiday Charity Ball carries an MSRP of $9.95.

When we first started our company in 2010 and were building awareness for our brand, we became a Giving Partner with Leader Dogs for the Blind, which is based in our hometown. We didn’t wholesale to retailers then (no one knew Fluff & Tuff), but we would have a booth at American Kennel Club dog shows and other events and sell direct to the customer. We donated 50 cents from each toy we sold to Leader Dogs. It was important to us then, as it is now, to support those that “do the heavy lifting.”

As much as Fluff & Tuff has grown, we’re still small. We donate as much as we can, as often as we can, focusing on those charities where our donation will make a significant difference. Our first retailers had enough faith in our product to bring them into their stores; they gave us confidence, visibility for our brand and allowed us to grow. I take that same idea—giving someone a leg up—with our charitable donations and search out those organizations that might not have wide visibility but are well run and have a solid foundation.

• Peace and Paws - our first Holiday Charity Ball charity (peaceandpaws.org)

• Start a Snowball - startasnowball.com

• Montgomery County Shelter, Maryland - montgomerycountymd.gov/animalservices

• The Ronald McDonald House of Western Washington and Alaska - funding for its pet therapy programs (rmhcseattle.org)

• The Fix Foundation - funding for its spay and neuter programs (thefixfoundation.org)

• The Barking Lot Rescue/Shelter - thebarkinglot.net

Each holiday season since 2013, we’ve created a limited edition Holiday Charity Toy. We donate 100 percent of our profits from the sale of our charity toy to our Fluff & Tuff Charitable Foundation; through it we make monetary donations to our designated charities and nonprofits. In addition, we make countless product donations to rescues, shelters, clubs and organizations across the nation that value the education, health and overall well-being of animals.

Recently, we created the Who Gives a Fluff social media campaign. For every photo of a dog with a Fluff & Tuff toy posted on social media tagged with #igiveafluff, we donated a toy in its honor. Thanks to the overwhelming support and enthusiasm of our retailers and customers, we donated more than 300 toys to dogs in shelters and rescues during the short campaign alone. We were thrilled at the response and plan to make it an annual campaign during the summer months.

Halo, Purely for Pets
David Yaskulka, vice president, marketing communications
Tampa, Fla.

We’ve been supporting nonprofits in various ways since we were founded in 1986. Our giving program is two pronged: We support efforts to promote and increase pet adoptions, and we support the shelters and rescues themselves.

For example, Halo sponsors the acclaimed PBS series “Shelter Me,” which celebrates shelter pets, the Olate Dogs Rescue Tour 2014-15, the animal-focused crowdfunding site LoveAnimals.org and more.

In 2010, Halo donated 1 million meals to shelter pets for the U.S. Postal Service Adopt a Shelter Pet Stamp Program and now, through our partnership with FreeKibble.com, we donate more than 1.5 million meals annually to shelter pets.

"Customers and the local media love seeing the joint philanthropy efforts happening in their communities."

We also love to involve retail partners in our giving efforts. Each year we hold Kibble Drops, where we partner with retailers in various cities. Halo retail partners generously provide a place where area shelters and rescues can pick up their FreeKibble.com donation of Halo pet food. It’s always a lot of fun, and customers and the local media love seeing the joint philanthropy efforts happening in their communities.

We make donations to a variety of shelters and rescues throughout the United States and Canada. We know that good, quality food helps shelter pets look and feel their best, making them more adoptable and helping them find their forever homes.

Above all, Halo believes in bottom line philanthropy and is proud to “feed it forward” to animal shelters by donating more than 10 percent of profits, which is 10 times the national corporate average, to help feed pets in need.

Oxbow Animal Health
Lucas Stock, communications manager
Murdock, Neb.

At Oxbow, we are very passionate about giving back and the idea of “sharing what you’ve been blessed.” From the beginning, this philosophy has been central to our mission and operation. Since the mid-1990s, we have offered discounted pricing and various forms of support to animal rescue organizations.

In 2001, we established the Oxbow Rescue Grants. Each year, our grants provide up to $20,000 dollars in financial and product support to nonprofit rescue organizations throughout the United States and Canada. These grants help support operating needs, educational programs and capital improvements.

In addition to the grants, we provide product donations, educational support and emergency support in an ongoing fashion. As a company, we strongly believe in supporting all those who selflessly dedicate themselves to the protection, rehabilitation and care of animals of all shapes and sizes.

Poochie-Pets LLC
Dianne Howles, executive assistant
Simsbury, Conn.

Since Poochie-Pets’ inception in 2005, we have made it a practice to provide product and monetary donations to nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada.

In 2012, we began Saving Spot—Spotting Pooches In Need, a community-minded program whereby we sponsor for a designated period of time a nonprofit organization dedicated to the welfare of dogs, mostly through their rescue and adoption services, but we’ve also helped Pets of the Homeless in Carson City, Nev., and this period we are sponsoring Help Search and Rescue of Sidell, La.

Whenever products from our Saving Spot category are purchased, a portion of those proceeds go to purchasing nylon dog leashes, which are then donated. It’s a way our customers can feel that they are making a contribution as well. We bring awareness to this program by listing the information on our website with a link to the organization, and we also provide social media awareness through our blog, Facebook page, etc., about these organizations.

In addition, we continue to help nonprofits that reach out to us and provide items for their events, etc. Founder Cheryl Pedersen will be participating at Pug Rescue of New England this year. She participated last year as well. We have donated hundreds of collars and leashes over these past three years, not to mention the non-Saving Spot donations that we’ve contributed over the past 10 years.

PetSafe Morris Animal Foundation Gala 

Radio Systems Corp., PetSafe brand
Jason Hart, director
Knoxville, Tenn.

PetSafe brand is dedicated to helping communities become better places to live for both pets and people, and proudly supports charitable organizations working to improve animal welfare or youth education. PetSafe provides volunteer support, grants and product donations to charitable organizations.

For the past four years, we’ve helped the Morris Animal Foundation raise awareness and funds for canine cancer research by organizing the annual Knoxville K9 Cancer Walk and PetSafe Black Tie & Tails Gala. Since 2013, we’ve provided funding for Peaceful Kingdom’s GoNorth Transport Collaborative, which relocates animals from overcrowded shelters in east Tennessee to under-capacity shelters in the north, helping to reduce euthanasia in our local shelters.

Most recently, we awarded a grant to Sanctuary Rescue of Midlothian, Va., a small, foster-based dog rescue that specializes in saving pregnant, orphaned and sick dogs from shelters. Other recent donations have helped cover veterinary expenses for foster animals at the Small Breed Rescue of East Tennessee and 136 dogs that were rescued by the Union County Humane Society in one of Tennessee’s largest hoarding cases.

Many of our associates serve as volunteer leaders within our company and the local community. Our Shelter Enrichment Project supports animal shelter and rescue organizations by providing behavior enrichment toys and treats for shelter animals.

Each year, the PetSafe Philanthropy Committee makes charitable donations to organizations working to improve animal welfare or youth education in Tennessee and Virginia. We also support small animal behavior research and have funded one of the few veterinary school behaviorist positions in the U.S. at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Sojos’ Project Celia namesake is shown safely in the arms of her newly adoptive owner. Just eight weeks earlier she arrived at a shelter weak, covered in sores and nearly hairless.

Ward Johnson, co- owner and CEO Minneapolis

Supporting like-minded nonprofits is a natural extension of Sojo’s mission to transform the lives of pets. That’s why we have been active in pet-related charities from day one.

My passion for the well-being of pets was a big factor in my decision to purchase Sojos in 1996. That said, it’s always been second nature for us to do as much as we can to support pet rescues, no-kill shelters and other nonprofit organizations that share our commitment to the health and quality of life of dogs and cats.

As always, we continue to help a wide variety of organizations with cash donations and by sponsoring events and fundraisers. But for the past year we’ve been putting particular emphasis on a new Sojos initiative called Project Celia. It’s an outreach that works with rescue groups and no-kill shelters to provide raw nutrition to seriously sick and malnourished dogs.

In effect, it’s putting the healing power of raw food in the mouths of seemingly unadoptable pets—and as a result transforming their lives. We just posted the video stories of three amazing successes—including a little dog named Celia, the project’s namesake. You can see them at sojos.com/project-celia.

The Honest Kitchen
Carmen Velasquez, marketing director
San Diego

In 2006, The Honest Kitchen created a division of the company called Pawlanthropy, where we donate food and a portion of our direct sales to pet and humanitarian nonprofits.

It’s a bit more of an art than a science. We select them based on their operating needs and also let The Honest Kitchen staff members choose our Charity of the Month.

We have a budget for food donations, and we select a Charity of the Month, every month, to receive a percentage of direct sales.

So far in 2015, The Honest Kitchen has partnered with Stink Bug Project, HiCaliber Horse Rescue, Big Hearts Big Dogs Rescue, American Red Cross, Rover’s Retreat and Police & Working K9 Foundation.

Urban Paw
Ben Dadbin, co-owner of Sentiments Inc. and Urban Paw
Los Angeles

Urban Paw’s mission is to reduce the number of homeless pets in shelters by developing and donating to high-impact, outside-the-box initiatives that have the potential to increase adoption rates and/or reduce intake rates at shelters.

Ten percent of all profits generated by Urban Paw are dedicated to this effort.

We currently are working with Best Friends Animal Society to develop creative initiatives toward our mission. Best Friends is a national animal welfare organization focused on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters. An authority and leader in the no-kill movement, Best Friends runs the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as lifesaving programs in partnership with rescue groups and shelters across the country. Since its founding in 1984, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters nationwide from 17 million per year to about 4 million.

Urban PAWtners is a program we have dedicated to shelters and rescue groups. It is designed to empower these organizations with resources that they can leverage to drive their missions forward. We understand that oftentimes the biggest challenge rescue groups and shelters are faced with is fundraising. That is why we created a giveback program like no other. Through Urban PAWtners, participating rescues receive up to 50 percent of all sales they refer to our website (urbanpawpet.com/pages/urbanpawtners).

Precious Cat Inc.
Gina Zaro, marketing director
Englewood, Colo.

Dr. Bruce Elsey has been a feline-only veterinarian for more than 35 years, and his practice cares for more than 8,000 cats. Nonuse of the litterbox is the No. 1 behavioral reason cats are abused, abandoned and placed in shelters.

Dr. Elsey and his wife, Kathy, founded Precious Cat Litter in 1987 with the goal to provide products that help cats live happier, healthier lives and to provide litterbox solutions for the life of your cat. 

When Kathy was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2009, the Elseys combined corporate success with a philanthropic cause: a commitment to cure cancer by founding Dr. Elsey’s Fund to Cure Cancer. 

Precious Cat Inc. has consistently demonstrated a high regard for upholding business ethics and company values, and it is a role model in becoming involved to make a difference.

With a unique business model, the Colorado couple sought to create an innovative way to share their business success with the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and myeloma patients everywhere.

The answer came in the creation of a collaborative business model that supports the MMRF by Precious Cat Litter Products directing a portion of their customers’ purchases toward curing cancer. Through the establishment of Dr. Elsey’s Fund to Cure Cancer, the Elseys have donated nearly $7 million since 2009 in pursuit of a cure.

In 2014 and 2015, Precious Cat’s #CatsAgainstCancer campaign spanned across all social media platforms. As part of the campaign, users downloaded a coupon from a landing page to save $3 on their next purchase of a 40-pound bag of Precious Cat Ultra Litter; for every $3 saved; Precious Cat donates $3 to the MMRF. 

The Elseys exhibit endless compassion, inspire further support through generous contributions from thousands of other donors, and are dedicated to the lives of all cats and to cure cancer.

Keep reading for more giveback programs and details...

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