Woof is the heart and soul of a dog. Woof is compassion. Who’s got woof? Planet Dog’s got woof. In 2006, the Planet Dog Corporation founded the Planet Dog Foundation. I encourage everyone to visit them at www.planetdogfoundation.org. Planet Dogs’ core philosophy centers on social responsibility. They want to provide for those organizations that enhance the lives of dogs and their people. The foundation funds programs in which dogs serve and support their best friends. Their motto is “Think Globally, Act Doggedly.”
Planet Dogs’ home is in Portland, Maine. All the Planet Dog toys are proudly made in the USA. They are available in many sizes. The chew-o-meter rating system makes it easy to choose a toy for aggressive chewers. My golden retriever, Ricky; is an aggressive chewer. As his mom, I appreciate the ease of finding an appropriately sized and rated toy. Toys not properly sized and rated can pose a choking hazard. Planet Dogs’ toys are “Ricky Tested, Pet Safety Moms Approved”.
Planet Dog has created an impressive line of toys for dogs of all ages. The Orbee-Tuff for Puppies has added softness and pliability. An innovative feature of the baby blanket fabric toys is that it takes on the scent of the parents. Planet Dog for Old Souls takes on the needs of the older dog who still wants to play. They have accounted for reduced vision and snout strength, weakened jaw muscles and brittle teeth.
2% of all sales help fund the Planet Dog Foun
dation. The signature fundraising toy is the Glow in the Dark Orbee-Tuff Glow for Good ball. The cost is $9.95 and 100% of the proceeds go directly to the grant program of the foundation. To buy this toy, please visit www.planetdog.com.
Since its beginnings in 2006, the Planet Dog Foundation has totaled more than $400,000 in grants and in kind donations. The grants awarded for 2008 will be $112,000. As Stephanie Volo, Planet Dogs’ Top Dog has said, “Planet Dog, as the leader in the pet industry, has prioritized giving back to the community that sustains us. Through the work of our charitable Foundation, we can support service dog users throughout the country. We also increase awareness and help the industry to learn more about all the amazing skills dogs can share with people in need. It is the Planet Dog Foundation that sets us apart, allowing our customers to help us spread the woof!” They have several programs in place to fulfill their mission.
Planet Dog was instrumental in pre-selling the required 2,000 license plates for the Specialty License Plate Initiative to benefit the Animal Welfare Program for Maine. The Animal Welfare Program is a state funded division of the Department of Agriculture. They are responsible for puppy mill seizures and animal neglect and abuse cases.
They are also a proud sponsor of the Humane Society of the United States Shelter Partners Program, which builds awareness about the unacceptable number of animals in shelters due to puppy mills. The program advocates adoption when choosing a pet. Planet Dog provides adoption kits to shelters to promote adoption days. They have provided more than $100,000 worth of toys to shelters.
The Planet Dog Tribute program allows pet lovers to make a donation in their pet’s memory. The donation goes directly into the grant making program. The tribute to Officer Spikes starts, “Spike lived from February 7, 1994 until January 19, 2008. Spike was a Portland Police Dog from July 1996 until his retirement in 2001.” To read more about Spike and the other Tribute dogs, visit the Foundations’ website.
Any qualifying non-profit organizations that support people and dogs that support them can apply for a grant through the Planet Dog Foundation. Grant eligibility criteria are available on their website. This is a partial list of the 2008 grantees.
1. Children’s Hospital Boston Pawprints Dog Visitation Program. They have therapy dog visitations for hospitalized children and their families. Their website is www.childrenshospital.org/pawprints.
2. Hearing and Service Dogs of Minnesota. The Autism Assist Program trains dogs for children with autism spectrum disorder. Their website is www.hsdm.org.
3. Working Dogs for Conservation Foundation. Dogs are chosen from shelters. They are specially trained in conservation efforts. Their website is www.workingdogsforconservationfoundation.org.
4. Gabriel’s Angels. They train therapy dogs for abused, neglected and at risk children. Their website is www. Gabrielsangels.org.
5. International Hearing Dogs. They train dogs for the hearing impaired. Their website is www.ihdi.org.
6. People. Animals. Love. They train therapy dogs to visit care facilities. Their website is www.peopleanimalslove.com.
7. Service Dog Project, Inc. They train large breed dogs to work with people with mobility issues. Their website is www.servicedogproject.org.
8. NEADS/Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans. They train dogs for people who are deaf or physically disabled. Their website is www.neads.org. Sheila O’Brien, Executive Director of NEADS said, “The Planet Dog Foundation is an active and enthusiastic supporter of NEADS. We are deeply grateful for their support. They were instrumental in helping NEADS develop a unique harness for our Assistance Dogs. The dog wears the harness as they help with the balance and mobility challenges of our clients. Both our civilian and military clients use this harness. This is just one example of their support of our programs, mission and our clients; who are the beneficiaries of canine assistance.”
Both paws up and a hearty woof woof to Kristen Smith, the Foundations’ Director; and everyone at Planet Dog. I applaud the heart and soul you have given to the Planet Dog Foundation.