Lucky Dog Animal Rescue: Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The money provided in this grant was used to design and purchase merchandise (brochures, thank-you cards, coloring books, and t-shirts) to increase recruitment, engagement and retention for our Kids Club Program (ages 13 and under) and our Ambassadors Program (ages 14 and up).

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

This grant helped our organization by enabling us to grow our recruitment and engagement of young people. As a result of an event we hosted with grant funds, we recruited five new volunteers and spread our message to many more. Since the design, production and distribution of our new Kids Club t-shirts, camaraderie has increased among Kids Club members, who now regularly attend adoption events and help advocate for our Lucky Dogs and Cats to potential adopters.

How many pets did this grant help?

Many, but a few of the pets helped include Simpson (Kids Club member Rachel Barold’s foster and a rescue from the Thai dog-meat trade), Jack, Rucker, and Betsy (who each spent time socializing with our Kids Club members at this weekend’s events), various Lucky Cats fostered by Kids Club member Andrew’s family, and many more who benefit from this increase in advocacy by Kids Club members at events, as well as Kids Club member fundraising (calendar and bake sales, and general fundraising on behalf of our animals).

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Simpson and Me, by Rachel Barold, a 9-year-old Lucky Kids Club member: "When we first got Simpson (first photo) from Dulles airport, she was in a huge crate. The people traveling with the dogs from Thailand said they had been traveling two days by the time they arrived. Simpson had no collar or leash on when she arrived – it was at least 10 p.m. by that time. So our first stop was to go to Lucky Dog headquarters and get her a leash and collar. We brought her crate in with enormous effort and we let her settle a little bit, eventually finding a collar that fit her, and then we put a harness on her, just in case. She was so nervous – it took us a long time to get her in the car after that, but we finally did it!

"Then she climbed in the front seat. That’s when I realized her nails were like 1,000 feet long (okay, maybe not that long, but you get the point)! All the way back to my house I was saying “OW! OW! OW!” It was a treacherous journey, but one I was glad to make for her. When we got home, we let her roam the house with our other six dogs downstairs in my mom’s room. She settled right near our sliding-glass window. We put several beds around her, and while she refused to use beds for the first week, she finally relented and we were so happy.

"It took her three days to warm up to my mom and me. At her first Sunday event, she met this family we thought was perfect for her. They were going away for the week but said that if she wasn’t gone when they came back they were going to adopt her. During the week we gained her trust by taking her on walks, feeding her, and loving her. We also gave her ham. She LOVED ham. Sure enough, she wasn’t adopted when they came back. We gave them bully sticks, toys, blankets, ham (lots of ham, of course) and her favorite bed, a flowered bed that she would sleep in every night.

"On that car ride, she knew it was her time. She laid down on her bed and gave me kisses. And that was Simpson’s story. We were so sad when she got adopted – she taught us so much about shy dogs and how to help dogs be brave so they can find forever families of their very own."