In the last year, Janis Rosenthal and Jeff Rinkoff have become passionate and generous donors in support of our partnership with Soi Dog. Their matching gifts have helped build one shelter and renovate another, as well as helped to fund an x-ray room for a soon-to-be built new veterinarian hospital in Phuket, Thailand. We caught up with Janis to talk about the impetus for her involvement with Soi Dog and how her own two furry friends continuously inspire her to look out for animals in need.
How did you get involved with GreaterGood and Soi Dog?
It was a single photograph. I saw a picture on CNN.com of what I thought was a basket of laundry being weighed on a scale. Looking closer, I realized it was dogs crammed in a wire cage! I was horrified and wanted to look away, but Jeff and I read the article. I’m so glad we did because it really changed our lives.
We learned about the barbaric dog meat trade and how Soi Dog Foundation was fighting to end it. The photo haunted us. We had to help. We emailed Soi Dog and were amazed that co-founder, John Dalley, got right back to us, answering all our questions. We also wanted to talk to someone who had visited the Soi Dog facility in person, so I did some research online and found a GreaterGood employee involved with the program.
We decided to partner with GreaterGood so we could raise funds and double everyone’s donation for Soi Dog. We’ve now completed three matching programs via Gifts That Give More™. What we like best is that 100% of the donations go directly to the charity. Because of the incredible generosity of the GreaterGood donors, these programs have raised $150,000 for Soi Dog!
In your opinion, what is the greatest impact the projects have had on the animals of Thailand?
The dogs rescued from the meat trade have suffered terrible trauma. Once they are with Soi Dog, their worries are over. They are cared for by excellent veterinarians, staff, and volunteers. They’re fed nutritious food and given a safe place to lay their heads at night. Of course, the ultimate goal is adoption. Soi Dog works very hard to place these long-suffering animals into loving, forever homes. So far, they’ve adopted out over 1,000 dogs and cats. But, there are many more waiting. Maybe someone reading this will adopt a Soi Dog!
How did your two dogs inspire you to reach out and help dogs in Thailand?
Our “kids” are our biggest inspiration! We got Atticus, a wire-haired dachshund, from a dachshund rescue. He’s a crazy boy and obsessed with toys! Our girl, Sofia, was a street dog we brought back from Mexico. She’s unbelievably sweet and just wants to be loved. We hate to think of what might have become of them if they were on the streets of Thailand. What if they were picked up by a dog meat trader? We see them sleeping peacefully at night, without a care in the world, and that’s what we want for all the animals out there.
What’s the most memorable or happiest rescue story you can recall from your time working with Soi Dog?
Our favorite rescue story is Hero!! He was found in an alley, near death. He had been beaten and stabbed. Soi Dog rescued him and, over many months, slowly and tenderly nursed him back to health. They posted photos of his progress on their Facebook page. He started out looking so very sad, but over time, the light started to come back into his eyes. He was adopted and is now a happy, healthy and SPOILED dog! His story is what Soi Dog is all about!!
How else can people in the United States help the street animals and dogs from the meat trade?
There are lots of ways to help!
Spread the word! “Like” Soi Dog Foundation and GreaterGood on Facebook and share their postings. Do a local fundraising event. Bake sales, garage sales, or even an information table at a fair are great ways to get the word out and raise funds. We did a table at our annual July 4th party and raised over $700!
Give directly to Soi Dog via Gifts That Give More™ on the GreaterGood Animal Rescue Site. Even $5 will go a long way to help the dogs and cats. Sponsor a dog or donate on the Soi Dog website. Buy a Soi Dog calendar, t-shirt, or tote. They’re great for holiday or birthday gifts!
Any last thoughts?
I realize that animal suffering is hard to think about. Sometimes I get really overwhelmed when I see sad photos or read about animal abuse. But, then I remember my favorite quote:
“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
If everyone does just a little something, we really can change the world for these animals.
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