One Year Later: R.O.A.R. Squad (Rescue Owners are Rockin’)

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)

The Idea:

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.

The Goal:

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…


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…

And from every corner of the U.S. and Canada…

We have rescue dogs, cats, parrots, horses and rabbits. We adopt mutts and pure breeds and puppies and animals in their golden years.

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.

Even if you don’t drink beer, you want to hang out in a pub with us, trust me.

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!

Me with Kayloo, my rockin rescue.

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.

Thank you to my dogs, Mickey and Kayloo, for inspiring all this craziness.

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.

22 Responses to “One Year Later: R.O.A.R. Squad (Rescue Owners are Rockin’)”

  1. Vicki Cook says:

    Congratulations on achieving your goal! I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do next.

  2. What great work! You and all the participants should be very proud! I love the diversity of backgrounds and areas. Very inspiring!

  3. Chandra says:

    Bravo! Amazing effort for such an important message and accomplished in such a fun way! Thanks for all the work you did to pull it together … now I’m off to enjoy the results!

    -Chandra at Daley’s Dog Years

  4. Ashley says:

    Congratulations!!! What a wonderful accomplishment. I’m so happy to have been apart of it, thank you!

  5. Stumpy and Cyndi says:

    ROAR Squad and you are just dripping with awesome-sauce! congratulations to everyone!

  6. Kristine says:

    Congratulations!! Seriously. I knew you would do it. 🙂 Thanks for working your butt off to spread one of the most positive messages I know. You rock!

    You better be doing some real celebrating!

  7. JessieDae says:

    YAYYY!!! Congratulations!! What a milestone! Glad to be a part of it with you … it was so much FUN!

  8. Congratulations on reaching your goal! What a wonderful idea! keep up the great work!

  9. Kim Clune says:

    It’s been amazing to watch this project grow over the past 12 months. Congratulations, Shauna! We’ll have to have a big party when every slot is finally filled!

    Thanks for Blogging the Change!
    Kim from

  10. Vicky says:

    Congratulations on succeeding on your challenge! What an awesome way to Be the Change!

  11. Kim Thomas says:

    Woohoo!! What you’ve done is truly awe-inspiring…and so very much needed. The animals thank you a hundred-fold, I’m sure! Rescue truly does rock!

  12. Heather says:

    AWESOME!! I am so, so happy to hear the great news! Excellent job, Shauna, that is a real accomplishment. I am proud to be a part of this squad. 😉

  13. FiveSibesMom says:

    That is so amazing! Congratulations! You’ve done such a wonderful job! I look forward to reading the profiles. Thank you!

  14. Peggy says:

    Congratulations! I’m so happy you and honored to be a member too. Can’t wait to see your updates. Rescue pets rock!
    Peggy from

  15. AJ says:

    Shauna, this is amazing! Congrats on making your goal – what an awesome project!

  16. blanket says:

    Great big Congratulations!! It’s been an amazing project and so wonderful to meet everyone and read their heart warming tales! Fantastic Shauna – well done!!

  17. Mary Haight says:

    That’s a huge accomplishment, and congratulations! It was fun reading these stories and thank you for presenting such a a great idea!

    Mary from

  18. Ashley says:

    Absolutely amazing! Congratulations! Watching this project grow and expand has been an absolute joy and pleasure. I cannot wait for May to see what’s going to happen next 😀

  19. Trude says:

    I’m a little late to the party but just wanted to say a big CONGRATS, and I’m so honored to be part of the squad! You’ve done an amazing thing and I hope you made yourself a nice big celebratory drink! 🙂

  20. Pup Fan says:

    Yay for the ROAR Squad! Amazing accomplishment. 🙂

  21. Thank you all so much for your support, encouragement and general wonderfulness! All you guys are so fantastic! Thanks again 🙂