Monday, February 23, 2015

Charmed Lives

Charms That Save Lives.     This rescue based business was was founded by two college students with the promise to create jewelry that uniquely expresses the beauty and courage of homeless pets, and raises money to protect them until they can be fostered or adopted.



In communicating with different rescue groups to find the best places to send sales proceeds from The Book of Barkley to help rescue dogs, I found Dog Saving Dogs and  ordered one of the beautiful charm sets, which would came with two, one for me, and one for Miss Abby-- happily noting they had set up their business and marketing in beautiful South Bend Indiana. Being a "Hoosier" for many, many years, that made me smile. And so I contacted one of them and asked for their story, delighted to find this company was founded by two young men  more concerned with others, than themselves. In this day of many young people asking for the world handed to them without effort it was so refreshing to meet someone committed to hard work, entrepreneurship, even as they help others.
Keith and Maya

The Story began when Texas college student  Keith W. visited an animal shelter within walking distance of his apartment to take a photo for Facebook of a dog needing a home that he could share even if he couldn't adopt himself.  While he was there one of the volunteers brought out Maya, a  1.5 year old Staffordshire Terrier. She had been at the shelter for 6 months and had no visitors or adoption requests. He said she was the sweetest dog in the world. She knew how to sit, stay, shake, and just loved to be petted. In so many ways, she reminded him of another beloved pet, just in a Staffordshire Terrier body. He wanted to take her home, but as a full time student with no permanent home for a dog, he knew could not--he could only try and find her a home on his own.

Keith did all he could through social media to see if he could find her a home, with no response. Two weeks later, he went to the shelter again to visit her, only to find that Maya had been put down. One year from graduating he felt powerless to help her, having neither the money nor the means to help such dogs in the way they needed.

After moving back to Indiana, he knew donations were an option but he really wanted to see where the money went, and how it would help the dogs. That was the inspiration for Dogs Saving Dogs, but the specific idea (and the name!) came when he met Declan F. at a meeting for entrepreneurs.  Declan had been working with a friend on a new kind of surgery cone that would be a lot more comfortable for the dog. The two of them began talking and planning and Dogs Saving Dogs was officially started in November 2014.

Their mission, simply put, is to make animal rescue fashionable. In their own words - they want to give ordinary people the power to do something extraordinary, provide the necessary funds for an animal to be rescued from a shelter and brought to a pet rescue, where they will be fostered until they find a forever home. They are currently working two shelters in the South Bend area and a new one in New York, all operating as non-profits,

The charm set comes with two charms, one for you and one for your four legged best friend, so that the two of you become partners in rescue. The Charms are nickel-free, non tarnishing and American made, with locally sourced materials, keeping the communities hard earned money local, so local business can grow and prosper. Their  commitment to American-Made, quality jewelry comes from their desire to create lasting and timeless art that has a positive impact on everyone involved. They are really beautiful, and I can guarantee if you have a daughter or other lady in  your life that loves dogs--- she would love to have one, the "human" charm, coming with a matching chain to wear around your neck.

With every set, they provide a paper insert that tells you exactly where your donation went. The donation is currently 50% of profit, the best they can do as a initial start up, but the goal is 100% of the profits once, they get going
Bear - the dog my charm set is helping to save.

Their story made me misty-eyed, thinking of the months Abby Lab spent in a high kill shelter, thin and sick and scared. I was so happy to be able to rescue her with the help of like-minded people and now, like these wonderful young men, want to make sure I do all I can to help other dogs. Because if we save one, or a thousand, we will know that there are people in the world that care. As Keith says - "every name that we engrave into a charm set is one more dog that gets out of a shelter and that much closer to finding a home and a family that will love that dog for the rest of its life."

I love the one I purchased and received today in the pretty gift box with a note that said it went for toys for Bear and his buddies and Abby's is already on  her paracord collar. (yes, that's U of I-- not the Miami Dolphins -  Partner in Grime is a graduate)  The collar is from Pudin's Paw Paracord for Dogs. They are a wonderful family owned business (Pudin is their Lab) from my home State, that makes beautifully crafted, high quality paracord leashes and collars of many varieties, all custom made for size and color selection.  

Please go check out Dogs Saving Dogs, consider a set of charms or simply say thanks. I asked if I could share their story here, and Keith, coming from a rural family that tended and  hunted the land, said "yes, please!"

www.dogssavingdogs.com 


Please share and support their mission in memory of all the dogs we have loved.