to Chained and Penned Dogs
The American organization Dogs Deserve Better, 2003 First Prize Winner of the ASPCA Pet Protector Award, is holding its second annual national Valentine campaign, entitled "Have a Heart for Chained Dogs."
From February 7-14 during Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week, the organization will mail or personally deliver Valentines that have been hand-made by school children to chained and penned dogs, along with a treat for the dog and information for the dogs' caretakers.
Jackie Fodor, a kindergarten teacher in West Virginia, was the first to volunteer her class to make Valentines for chained dogs.
"I checked with my principal to be sure it was fine for our students to work on the Valentines. She thought it was a wonderful idea," Fodor said. "Our school is spending a lot of time with character education and I told her I thought this went well with the "responsibility" pillar of character ed. She suggested a school wide project."
The West Virginia school will be contributing as many as 300 valentines.
Other teachers and individuals in states including Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York, Wisconsin and Ohio have offered to participate by making cards, delivering Valentines, and by getting their local schools involved in the project.
Valentines will be sent to all 50 states and around the world as addresses become available.
The delivery goal for the 2004 Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Campaign is 2000 Valentines, which far exceeds the 200 sent last year.
To help with the cost of printing and postage, DDB has set up a Valentine sponsorship page at www.dogsdeservebetter.com/hearts.html. Valentine's go for a mere $3.00 for one and up to $20.00 for a dozen.
Individuals can sponsor Valentines to send either to a neighboring dog or to any dog in need across the country.
Even without financial sponsorship for the Valentines, addresses of chained or penned dogs can be sent via e-mail to aid in reaching the goal of the campaign.
Dogs Deserve Better representation can be found in many states, from Pennsylvania to California and as far away as Australia.
"We hope this year's event far surpasses last year's, as we've grown and many more people are now standing with us," said Tammy Sneath Grimes, founder of Dogs Deserve Better.
"We believe that the handmade valentines by school children may do a lot to soften hearts and help people see their pet with new eyes," she said. "This is our best effort to make that happen for many dogs across the country. Any additional effort by concerned citizens to send addresses is much appreciated, and could certainly change the life of a chained or penned dog for the better."
More information can be found at www.dogsdeservebetter.com or by calling toll-free 1.877.636.1408.
© 2004 Animal News Center, Inc.