Aug 292011
 

Update: The fund raising campaign for this project has moved to ChipIn. Please check out the Okey’s Promise ChipIn page if you would like to become an Okey’s Promise Keeper.

Despite a slightly abbreviated crowd due to Hurricane Irene, a brand new Okey’s Promise project was launched at BlogPaws in Tyson’s Corner, VA this past Saturday!

Along with youthful blogger/dancer Miah Thornton, I presented about Okey’s Promise at BlogPaws to a courageous and enthusiastic group at the BlogPaws pet bloggers conference. Special thanks go to the Found Animals Foundation for sponsoring the presentation.

Miah very beautifully enacted Okey’s story and the mission of the entire project, and her moving performance was enjoyed by all. During the presentation, I kicked off the new project on Kickstarter, which you can read about here.

After running into difficulties with finding a permanent location for the last mural, I have decided that the new project will be a traveling exhibit. I plan to create many images of survivors – animal and human – that tell the story of resilience and hope, while also bringing home the reality of pet abuse and domestic violence. There will be several pieces that will go together as a whole, and will have numerous options for indoor and outdoor exhibition.

Please contact me if you would like to consider exhibiting the completed piece in your area.

Before the new work can be exhibited, however, it must be funded. I only have a month to raise the funds. Backers for the project will become a part of a special group called “Okey’s Promise Keepers” as well as receive special awards at specific funding levels. I hope you will consider becoming an “Okey’s Promise Keeper”, and encourage others to do the same. No pledge is too small!

There is plenty of information about the Okey’s Promise mission on this website and on the Kickstarter page. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to learn more. The Kickstarter page allows you to embed the video and a widget that links to the page. I would be thrilled if you chose to share about the project on your blog or website!

I said that we presented to a courageous and enthusiastic group at the BlogPaws, because Hurricane Irene did come through our area, and we had some wind and rain. More than anything, fears of closed airports compelled some to leave early to return to their families. Those of us who remained had a bit of frivolity making fun of news reporters by making crazy hurricane videos. Truthfully though, our area was spared any serious weather. We were all thankful for that!

Although I had great fun at BlogPaws meeting new and old friends, I was very happy to return home to Okey and the rest of the crew.

Okey-white-black-rescue-cat-photo

Okey was happy to see me, and I was happy to see her.

By the way, the music in both Okey’s Promise videos is by my good friend Jason Farnham who has graciously given me permission to use it. Please visit his website and his Facebook page if you like it!

BZTAT

Aug 212011
 

Tigger – a loveable cat seeking a home.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Found Animals Foundation (FAF) is sponsoring my presentation about Okey’s Promise at at the BlogPaws pet bloggers conference  later this week. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a presenter at the best pet lovers conference around, and I am thrilled to be a part of the great work that Found Animals does for pets.

FAF assists efforts to curb pet overpopulation in the Los Angeles, CA area. They collaborate with a number of spay/neuter and animal adoption programs, and they also sponsor a number of their own initiatives.

They currently have the “Cat Days of Summer” initiative running, featuring special programs and information for cat lovers. As an avowed “Crazy Cat lady” who has a passion for rescuing and helping cats without homes, I find this initiative to be so valuable.

The initiative includes an “adopt a kitten” program which helps people adopt 2 cats for the price of one, with FAF paying the adoption fees of the second animal. The also have a “cat spay or neuter” special going on, offering 3,000 low-cost cat spay & neuter surgeries in Los Angeles through September 2011. They are offering spay/neuter surgeries for $15 for male cats and $25 for female cats with no income restrictions. (Call 1-888-WE-SPAY-LA (1-888-937-7295) for more information or to make an appointment).

The cat days of summer also features tips and information about cats that are helpful to both new adopters and seasoned cat lovers.

Three things are clear to me about FAF:

1) They are serious about the problem of pet overpopulation and unnecessary euthanasia, and they are showing it by offering effective and proactive programming to address the problem.

2) They recognize that educating people about responsible pet ownership helps to reduce both abandonment and abuse to pets.

3) They love cats! (OK, they love all animals, as do I, but I like that they are paying extra attention to the felines.)

I look back on the time when I rescued Okey, and I realize how valuable this kind of programming is. Although I had help from friends in pet rescue, and although I was experienced at having pets in my home, it was a rather scary sort of process. And despite the fact that I took Okey to a low-cost spay/neuter clinic, her surgery and shots weren’t cheap. Luckily, I had friends who donated money to help with her care. Many people, however, are not so lucky. And many pet owners have found themselves in unanticipated financial crises of late.

Thank you Found Animals for sponsoring my co-presenter Miah Thornton and me at BlogPaws. But more than anything, thank you for helping so many pets and families overcome the obstacles to finding each other.

Found-Animals

Follow Found Animals on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!

Aug 132011
 

Found Animals Foundation

Thanks to my wonderful sponsors Found Animals Foundation, I will be presenting at the BlogPaws pet bloggers conference about Okey’s Promise on Aug. 26. This will be a different sort of presentation, however.

I am teaming up with young dancer and blogger Miah Thornton to present an artistic and inspirational dramatization of the project. Art moves us to action more than mere words, so we have chosen to share with images and movement as the focus of the presentation.

I am very grateful for Found Animals Foundation‘s sponsorship at BlogPaws. They are an organization that does so much for animal welfare, and their mission is completely compatible with the Okey’s Promise project.

Found Animals is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding unique and entrepreneurial solutions to pet overpopulation and to reducing unnecessary euthanization of stray pets. One major focus of the organization is promoting pet identification as a preventative measure, so that lost pets can be returned home rather than euthanized. They promote pet microchipping as a means to ensure that pets will be returned to their homes should they get lost. Pet adoption is also a primary focus of the organization.

Found Animals also provides valuable resources for responsible pet care to educate the public about pet needs. Responsible pet care is the key to eliminating abuse and abandonment with pets.

I hope that I will see you at BlogPaws in Tysons Corner, VA , Aug. 25-27! You can find registration information here if you have not yet signed up!

BZTAT