The Goal: Raise Funds to Cover the Veterinary Bills for the DOTM*
AND AT THE SAME TIME, FUND MANY MORE PETS Experiencing Medical Crises
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE New York, New York / September, 2019
The WaggleFoundation.org and ILoveMyDogSoMuch.com announced a partnership today to help raise both awareness and crowdfunding dollars for animals in need of medical treatment, by presenting a Dog of the Month campaign to be championed by both organizations. The Waggle Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Waggle.org, a pioneering fundraising source, dedicated to helping sick and injured pets regain good health through crowdfunding. I Love My Dog So Much is a cultural phenomenon in social media [@ilovemydogfans on Facebook] and is the force behind the fourth-most popular page in the animal category on Facebook with nearly six million followers.
I Love My Dog So Much is a cultural phenomenon in social media…its Facebook page is the fourth-most popular Facebook destination in the animal category…with nearly six million followers.
With the back-office infrastructure provided by the waggle.org and its ability to harness donors to give charitably to pets in crisis, combined with the muscle and popularity that I Love My Dog brings to the table, both organizations feel confident that this joint effort will be a home run: The ultimate goal is to aid animals and their guardians experiencing a double-barreled--medical and financial—emergency, and in so doing, help to eliminate economic euthanasia.
The announcement was made by the I Love My Dog So Much (ILMD) managing partner, Max the Pug, all 11 pounds’ worth of him. His human “employee,” David Abbott, founder and CEO of ILMD, confirmed that joining forces with Waggle dovetails perfectly with the mission of the I Love My Dog Foundation, which is dedicated to helping pets in crisis—whether in a hurricane-ravaged coastal city or in a prairie town devastated by a tornado. “We are so pleased to combine efforts with Waggle, to help promote its efforts to crowdfund for pets and their human guardians in a tight spot, so that they can afford to get the veterinary care their four-legged best friends need,” commented Abbott. “By promoting Waggle’s efforts in our social media, we can help drive pet lovers to the needy Waggle Dog of the Month and thereby get that animal’s treatment underwritten—and moreover, additionally aid many other animals whose owners are facing tough financial challenges.” Added Max, who Abbott says is a stern micromanaging busybody, “Woof.” (Translation: “Agreed.”)
“By promoting Waggle’s efforts in our social media, we can help drive pet lovers to the needy Waggle Dog of the Month… and help many other animals, as well, whose owners are facing tough financial challenges.”
—David Abbott, Founder and CEO of I Love My Dog So Much
The Waggle Foundation’s crowdfunding arm, the website waggle.org, officially launched in the fall of 2018, and has thus far helped hundreds of pet guardians by either fully funding their pets’ treatments, or at the least, offsetting their veterinary bills significantly. Bringing a pet back to good health is part of the Waggle mission, which is targeted to reduce and end economic euthanasia, a heartwrenching situation for many pet guardians who find themselves facing this stark reality. Arguably, the first of its kind on the internet, Waggle sadly acknowledges that economic euthanasia is a far-too-common, tragic outcome for too many companion animals. Waggle provides a hopeful solution for an optimistic outcome for all.
By combining its crowdfunding mission with the power that ILMD brings to the mix, Waggle will also be able to fund many more animals, as more dedicated pet lovers log on to donate. With additional funds in the Waggle Foundation’s coffers, it will be able to provide matching funds for other animals. At any given time, there are close to two hundred in-need animals featured on waggle.org, with that number growing rapidly every month. And, of course, as we all know: Behind those soulful canine and feline eyes are anxious and loving humans, desperate for help.
“We at Waggle are delighted to welcome I Love My Dog So Much into the Waggle family,” noted Steve Morelli, the CEO and founder of Waggle. “Being able to provide the funds for a needy animal is what Waggle is all about. We are fighting very hard to end the heartbreak of economic euthanasia. With our partnership with I Love My Dog, it is a given that the Waggle Foundation will benefit from a dramatic increase in site traffic, donations, and a plethora of new campaigns, given the passion and dedication of the millions of social media followers of I Love My Dog. After funding the Dog of the Month, the additional funds donated will be funneled into the I Love My Dog So Much Foundation Fund to offer matching donations for other animals’ campaigns,” he added. Clearly, this is a win-win for all—for the four-legged and the two-legged. (And, of course, Waggle’s original benefactors and sponsors will also benefit from the high-volume traffic.)
Those other animals’ campaigns will bear the logo of the ILMD Foundation and as Mornelli explained, “We know from experience, that when donors see that their dollar is going to be matched, that knowledge incentivizes contributors to give a little more. (For the record, his furry supervisor, Gracie, a Yorkshire terrier/cocker spaniel mix, voiced approval, in a resounding “Arf.”) In fact, this joint effort underscores the benefits that Waggle’s analytics have borne out: When a campaign features a matching-fund opportunity, a donor’s wallet “expands” a little; that additional foundation generosity gives donors the motivation to contribute more—as their one dollar becomes two, enabling campaigns to reach their financial targets more readily.
“When donors see that their dollar is going to be matched, they open their wallets wider and give more. We like that! Bow-wow!”
—Gracie and Max, Dogs-in-Chief for Waggle and I Love My Dog So Much
Waggle currently partners with GreaterGood.org and Eli’s Fund; additionally, Waggle has also received research support from Maddie’s Fund to explore innovative and sustainable models to solve economic euthanasia through early intervention. Added Mornelli, “We are thrilled that now we can also call the beloved I Love My Dog So Much another partner in our objective to ease the financial and emotional burdens of pet guardians facing daunting challenges—as we strive to ultimately obliterate economic euthanasia.”
“Our partnership with I Love My Dog So Much is a home run for all: Waggle Foundation will garner increased site traffic, more donations, and be a life raft for pet owners who are struggling with veterinary bills, facing the possible reality of economic euthanasia. We can provide that much-needed help.”
—Steve Mornelli, founder and CEO of Waggle.org and the Waggle Foundation
I Love My Dog So Much started in 2009, almost, as Abbott recounted, “accidentally.” He was so enamored of pug Max, his new family member, that he started to post pictures on Facebook. Max, who Abbott says “doesn’t have a mean bone in his body,” is irrepressible—“He has a George Clooney look,” Abbott confessed—and soon had many faithful followers. “By 2011 or so, I knew we needed a website for Max and for so many other animal lovers, a place where they could post pictures and where they could find useful information and practical resources for taking care of their animals.” Abbott noted that the site had a Pet of the Day feature that drew thousands and thousands of posts, underscoring that a wider platform was needed. Thus, I Love My Dog So Much mushroomed organically into a website, as well, and has continued to grow into the juggernaut it is today. (He also added that two-thirds of ILMD’s dog owners are also cat owners.)
Abbott further explained that over two years ago, the organization realized it could achieve some charitable goals by harnessing the power of its huge following. Thus, when Hurricane Harvey hit in the summer of 2017, ILMD started a Go Fund Me page to raise funds for animals whose plight was a corollary to the disaster. ILMD hoped to reach $15,000 in donations and ended up raising more than $300,000. “We knew then that we had to start a foundation to do more good in the world,” he added. “We began the foundation a little over a year ago and we are dedicated to helping in emergencies like Harvey. We used that money to buy vaccines and other medications, as well as gas for planes, which were rescuing people in hard-to-reach locations.”
The partnership between the Waggle Foundation and I Love My Dog So Much will enable both organization to further help pets and their guardians. The Dog of the Month campaign will be selected from grant applications submitted to waggle.org; Waggle will create and post that campaign on a dedicated fundraising page, with the ILMD imprimatur; ILMD, with its mighty following, will drive traffic to that pet’s page and raise awareness of the campaign, as well as Waggle’s mission to end economic euthanasia. Waggle will manage the transactional aspects of the campaign, including the fundraising process, closure of the campaign, and the back-end distribution of the funds. Waggle has prided itself on being totally trustworthy and transparent and funds raised on the waggle.org site for a particular pet: those funds go directly to the veterinary practice, not to the pet guardian.
*Dog of the Month