by Maureen Burkley
If you read my blog, you will know that my new "hobby" is performing "squeaker-replacement surgery" on Kino's toys. He never rips the toys apart (It only took about 5 years to train him to stop doing that) LOL . . . it's more a case of him accidentally ruining the squeakers from over-use. To watch him march around the house as he makes a "squeak" with each step he takes, well it's just priceless. Given that the squeakers brings him so much joy, I am constantly on the hunt for better (longer lasting) squeakers. (Here's a picture of Kino patiently waiting for his "friends" to be released from post-op . . . I did a LOT of sewing, I mean I did a LOT of squeaker replacement surgeries that day!!) haha
Recently, my search led me to some squeakers I had never tried before. I was so excited to find them that I made the purchase without reading all the information they had available on the page. Fortunately, they were kind enough to include a brochure about their foundation because everything I read made my heart sing!
The first thing I noticed was that they take used kid toys and turn them into pet toys! Not only are they keeping unwanted toys out of the landfills, but they are upscaling them into safe and adorable pet toys. They are available for purchase if you'd like to support them by getting a few for your own pet. If your pet has other needs, they also have other items for purchase (treats, squeakers, leashes, collars, beds, etc.) And 100% of their profits are donated to the foundation! Ready for a little shopping for your own pet? Go to: gladdogsnation.com
Even nearer and dearer to my heart is - they also give these re-purposed toys to shelters and rescues. Shelters can be very scary places for an animal to be, especially if they previously lived with a family. They often feel so isolated and over-whelmed, they develop "kennel-stress" and can develop behaviors that make them seem unadoptable. How wonderful it would be if they at least had the comfort of a stuffed friend to keep them company. Knowing first hand how many dogs don't even know how to play with toys when they are adopted, it warmed my heart to think of animals in shelters and rescue groups having toys to play with while they are waiting for their forever families to find them.
This wonderful foundation offers lots of opportunities for you to be part of their mission. You can purchase toys from them, you can donate toys to them, you can donate money to support them, etc. Again, you can find them at gladdogsfoundation.org
As I kept reading the information they provided, my heart continued to beat a little faster . . . everything we ever attempted to do when I was involved in the German Shepherd rescue organization is part of what they do. It was as if the foundation's mission had been created based on every wish I ever held in my heart. Here are some of the things they do with the donations they receive:
- They work with shelters and rescues to increase the effectiveness of spay/neuter efforts
- They work with local advocates in rural areas to provide dog houses and better living conditions
- They support shelters and rescues by helping them fundraise and by supporting innovative initiatives
- They send free toys to dogs and cats who are not yet in loving homes
- They inspire community involvement by creating opportunities for groups such as Girl/Boy scout troops or Bar/Bat Mitzvah projects, or teens that need community service hours, to assist them in upscaling toys.
This is truly the most awesome non-profit I have come across and I am so excited to share information about them with all of you! If you feel inspired, keep spreading the word. With organizations like this, we really CAN make a difference! We CAN be part of the solution!
ps: This blog includes two different websites for this beautiful organization:
gladdogsnation.com takes you to the place where you can do your shopping
gladdogsfoundation.org has all the information about their foundation and the amazing work they are doing.
I highly recommend checking them both out!!