One year ago, in April 2010, I launched a project called the R.O.A.R. Squad: Rescue Owners Are Rockin! (you can read the launch post here)
Profile rescue owners from across the U.S. and Canada, share a bit of their life and rescue stories with readers, and via humour, inspiration and fun photos make adopting a rescue pet THE coolest thing around.
In one year, from April 2010 to April 2011, profile at least one rescue owner from every state, province and territory in the U.S. and Canada.
And today, exactly one year later on Blog the Change… I am so very happy to announce…
TOGETHER WE DID IT!
The final R.O.A.R. Squad member posts will be published next week and with over 100 R.O.A.R. Squad members to date I am incredibly honoured and inspired to have had the chance to meet so many wonderful, caring, ROCKIN’ people this last year (check out all the R.O.A.R. Squad members here)!
Who joined the R.O.A.R. Squad?
We’ve got rescue owners with every kind of background you can imagine…
- animal control officers and architects
- designers and doctors
- farmers and film producers
- make up artists and military officers
- performers and pilots
- writers and white water rafting guides
- (and we like to blog… oh we love to blog!)
And from every corner of the U.S. and Canada…
- Alberta to Arizona
- Manitoba to Massachusetts
- Nunavut to Nevada
- Prince Edward Island to Pennsylvania
- (and even Australia, Denmark, Italy and Kuwait!)
This is what rescue owners look like. This is where we live. We are your neighbours, brothers, coworkers and friends. We are funny, talented, interesting and the kind of people you WANT to go for a beer with.
The aim of this project has been to make adopting a rescue the coolest thing around. By giving a face and a name to the great people out there who choose to adopt rather than shop for their pets we are showing that creative and inspired and most definitely cool people choose adoption. By aligning our images and our stories with the rescue cause we are casting a positive and motivating shine on “rescue” as a brand in the same way popular celebrities promote running shoes and fabric softner.
Well over 4 million cats and dogs are put down every year in the U.S. alone- that’s around one every eight seconds (via). This is a problem that needs to be tackled in a myriad of ways including a “changing hearts and minds” approach. When people are thinking about adding a pet to their home, adoption must be the first thing they consider. When a child begs his mom and dad for a puppy he should be dragging them to the local shelter or rescue organization, not to the local pet store.
The members of the R.O.A.R. Squad are changing hearts and minds by choosing to stand up and shout, “I am a rescue owner!” They talk about rescue on facebook and twitter, in board rooms and around the kitchen table.
That is what I would like to challenge you to do: Just tell people about rescue. Tell your friends, family and colleagues about your rescue pet and how important it is to adopt rather than shop.
If cool people like this think rescue is the way to go… shouldn’t everyone else consider adopting as well?
What’s next for the R.O.A.R. Squad?
- Stay tuned next week for the last R.O.A.R. Squad profiles to be published
- Make sure to follow up in May for a special R.O.A.R. Squad wrap-up that I will be working on for the next month with the help of some talented folks
- After that? Well… you’ll just have to come back in May to find out!
To everyone who has supported the R.O.A.R. Squad for the last year I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your encouragement has meant a tremendous amount. To all the R.O.A.R. Squad members, to everyone who tweeted, facebooked, emailed and called their friends, fans and followers to track down rescue owners across the nation… thank you. Thank you for helping me reach my goal (which really feels like OUR goal to me, I hope you think that too!), but even more than that, thank you for introducing me to so many wonderful people. Seriously- every single story I read made me smile. Some made me cry… but they all made me smile.
And thank you to my husband, John, for putting up with me working on R.O.A.R. Squad profiles rather than cleaning up the dishes.
Learn more about Blog the Change.