What’s the best nation in the world? Donation

Several years ago I was a teenager hanging out in Georgetown when some guy on the street asked me “What’s the best nation in the world?” and followed it up with “Donation!” I gave him a couple bucks and a smile. It was the best thing I’d heard all day, and it’s stayed with me ever since. In fact, I cracked that joke the other day when discussing how to distribute the generous donations we’d received from Optimeal Pet Food.

The Big Bad Woof regularly receives and distributes donations to various pet pantries and other entities, but Optimeal generously sent us an entire pallet of dry food for dogs and for cats, so we had some coordinating to do! It took some doing (a pallet is A LOT of food), but we were able to give these donations to three local rescues: A Cat’s Life Rescue, Homeward Trails, and the Humane Rescue Society.

A Cat’s Life Rescue (ACLR) is an all volunteer group located in the Takoma neighborhood of Washington, DC. We’ve hosted several adoption events with them at the store, but they do so much more than adoptions.

A Cat’s Life Rescue exists to provide a trap-neuter-return (TNR) program, adoptions, and medical care for cats, as well as education programs to the public. Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) is a program in which feral cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, and then released back into their colonies.

Cat colonies take a lot of work and are truly a labor of love. Paz is a volunteer who feeds two large colonies at two separate apartment complexes. She works with ACLR and another rescue group to place friendly cats and kittens born at colonies in foster care to be adopted. She’s said more than once that she’d feed “her” cats before herself if it came to that. The Optimeal dry cat food donation helped us make sure she didn’t have to make that choice.

Homeward Trails (VA) was founded in 2002 and works to secure temporary and permanent homes for thousands of dogs and cats annually who are rescued from under-resourced communities and shelters, or whose owners can no longer care for them.

Now, more than 20 years later and tens of thousands of animals rescued, Homeward Trails is going strong and has no plans of stopping until every homeless dog and cat out there can be assured of a loving home. A goal that ambitious requires a lot of resources, so when we reached out to them they gladly came and filled their vehicles to the brim with Optimeal dry dog food.

Humane Rescue Alliance (DC and NJ)

In 1870, the Humane Rescue Alliance (then operating as Washington Humane Society) was charged by a congressional charter to protect the children and animals of the District of Columbia, creating the foundation for the organization’s law enforcement work and its pursuit of preventing animal cruelty in the District. HRA remains the only congressionally-chartered animal welfare organization in the country.

HRA has the largest disaster response team on the East Coast, allowing them to quickly deploy to ensure animals survive and can be reunited with their families.

“With a people-focused, community-based approach, we treat every animal as an individual and emphasize specialized care for both animals and their families. Through our five campuses in the District of Columbia and New Jersey, we are the largest animal services provider in our region – touching the lives of tens of thousands of animals annually through direct rescue, care, and community-based services.”

Though headquartered in Ukraine, Optimeal understands that it’s the work done on the local level that matters the most. “The Big Bad Woof supports local shelters by organizing adoption events and acting as a pantry for donations, and we appreciate this important mission and want to help. By donating Optimeal, we can be confident that fosters, colonies, and domestic pets will receive premium nutrition with high-quality European ingredients. Keeping them healthy is essential and a mission for people who love animals and want to help them. Together, we are helping rescues, fosters and pet parents make a positive impact, ensuring that every animal gets the care and nourishment they need.”