SodaPup founder and CEO Adam Baker announced this week that SodaPup has selected winners of the MuttsKickButt award program which recognizes volunteers and employees of non-profit organizations dedicated to dog rescue activities. The goal of the MuttsKickButt program is to highlight the amazing work that volunteers and non-profits do to rescue and place dogs in forever homes.
The first place winner is Susie Hansen, a volunteer with Abandoned Pet Rescue (APR) in Fort Lauderdale, South Florida’s largest no kill shelter. Although Hansen has a full time job, she spends every waking hour that she’s not at work at the shelter. Susie oversees the day to day running of APR. You can find her in the medical bay, administering to sick or injured dogs and cats that are left outside the rescue’s door or found wandering the streets. She can also be found in the dog and cat areas, cleaning and cuddling them. Hansen also handles the powerful pit bulls, which are the hardest animals to place, adopting five of them herself. Susie is also a familiar presence at the front desk, handling administrative and financial duties as well as greeting people that stop by and overseeing the adoption process. Hansen is the heart and soul of APR and truly does it all.
“I am honored to have been entered and to win this award,” Hansen said. “Abandoned Pet Rescue is heart work. We see some awful situations and, oftentimes, we’re able to help heal these animals and find them loving homes. What better job is there than that? Thank you so much for the toys! Our dogs will be very happy to receive them!”
The second place winner is Mark Lane (pictured above), another true dog hero, who volunteers at James River Greyhounds in Richmond, Virginia. James River Greyhounds has placed over 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 make sure all dogs are placed into loving permanent homes. Lane has made several cross country trips to help transport these dogs to their new homes. He is also building a facility at his personal residence to help expand his ability to help more dogs.
“Wow! I’m honored to be a recipient of the MuttsKickButt Award on behalf of James River Greyhounds.” Lane said. “I have been involved with James River Greyhounds over the past 11 years and am humbled for the recognition given from SodaPup/True Dogs as we continue to find forever homes for these retired racing greyhounds!”
SodaPup’s third place winner is Melissa Meyer (pictured to the left) who 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. They find solace, protection and companionship through their pets and care for their pets on limited resources so they themselves have less. The mission of Pets of the Homeless is to provide basic emergency veterinary care to their pets and, thus, relieve the anguish and anxiety of the homeless who cannot provide for their pets. Meyer is a tremendous help in the small office writing press releases, writing research grants, working on the database and whatever else needs doing. On top of that, she’s a joy to be around and willing to help with any and all special projects.
“I was so touched when Genevieve [Frederick, the organization’s founder] said she had nominated me for the award.” Meyers said. “I have mainly worked for large corporations, this is my first time to be involved with a non-profit organization. The passion Genevieve and Renee [Lowry, the organization’s executive director,] have for Pets of the Homeless is beyond words and I am so honored to be part of the organization. The people that call in needing help for their animals are so taken aback and grateful that there is an organization that wants to help them. These people who are down on their luck love their animals just as much as you and I love ours but unfortunately are in a situation in which they need a little help, which Pets of the Homeless is willing to provide.”
To honor these dedicated people and the amazing organizations where they volunteer, SodaPup will make product donations to each of the three organizations: Abandoned Pet Rescue, James River Greyhounds and Pets of the Homeless.
“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,” Baker said.
Based in Boulder, Colorado, SodaPup produces high quality, American made dog toys that are both fun and innovative. 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.