WPA Good Works Contest
Following the success of last year’s WPA Good Works social media contest, we’re delighted to be running the contest again for 2017. The winner, to be announced during SuperZoo 2017, will receive a prize of $1,000 donated to a charity of their choice. This year we will also be offering a second place prize of $500 and a third place prize of $250, again in the form of donations to the charities of the winners’ choice.
The theme for SuperZoo 2017 is ‘Better Together,’ and what better way to illustrate this than showcasing business owners in our industry going above and beyond by performing good works in their communities? 2016 saw over 75 entries, with many heartwarming stories that showcased the dedication and commitment of the pet industry community and demonstrated that we are truly ‘better together.’
The 2017 contest rules are simple:
- Contest opens June 12, 2017
- Contestants should post a photograph on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram of their pet business doing ‘Good Works’ for their community
- Posts must tag SuperZoo and use the hashtag #WPAGoodWorks
- All entries must be posted by Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 11:59pm PST
- Entering companies must be businesses in the pet industry
- Winner must be attending or exhibiting at SuperZoo to win
- Winner will be notified via social media prior to SuperZoo to choose their charity
SuperZoo Social Media Links:
To inspire greatness this year, we’re proud to showcase last year’s winner alongside some of our most popular entries.
2016 Winner: Huggles for Heroes
The inaugural “Good Works” contest winner was Danville, New Jersey-based HuggleHounds for its support for Warrior Canine Connection through its Huggles For Heroes Program.
Launched in 2014, Huggles for Heroes is a company initiative that directs a percentage of sales from a select HuggleHounds toy to support a chosen organization, in this case Warrior Canine Connection (WCC).
Headquartered in Boyds, MD, WCC is a pioneering organization that utilizes clinically based Canine Connection Therapy to help wounded warriors reconnect with life, their families, their communities, and each other, and enlists recovering Warriors in a therapeutic mission of learning to train service dogs for their fellow Veterans.
The toy selected to support the campaign in 2015 was the best-selling Knottie Moose and, in January 2016, HuggleHounds presented a check for $20,000 to WCC. This contribution signaled our sponsorship of a WCC puppy in training, preparing for life with the veteran it will ultimately be partnered with.
“Warrior Canine Connection is an amazing group that trains and places services dogs to help veterans who have served our country and might be struggling to adjust back into ‘normal’ life, into family life and into society” comments HuggleHounds co-founder, Bob Flynn. “These service dogs, which are actually trained by veterans, really do help veterans to get back on their feet, providing companionship.
Image 1: January 2016 – HuggleHounds co-founder Julie Krauss presents a check for $20,000 to Rick Yount, Executive Director of Warrior Canine Connection.
HuggleHounds donated its $1,000 award to the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA), an organization that Bob Flynn feels shares common goals with HuggleHounds and WCC in being committed to the well-being of animals and reinforcing the human-animal bond.
Talking about the importance of the pet industry being active members of their local communities, Bob shared some great insight: “We’re both an animal and a people business, and animals, whether they are pets, service animals or working animals, are a vital part of our society, our families and our bond with nature. Therefore I think when we do well it’s important for us to give back to those organizations that share our passion, to ‘pay it forward‘ and keep the goodwill flowing.”
Honorable Mention: TailsSpin Pets’ Low Cost Pet Vaccine Clinics
We all know that our pets are an essential part of our families and it’s vital that their health is maintained. We also know that this can often be a significant expense, which is why we felt that TailsSpin Pets and their low-cost pet vaccine clinics program really was ‘good work,’ bringing affordable vital services, vaccinations and in some cases, microchipping and heartworm testing, to local communities.
TailsSpin Pets offers the vaccination program six times a month at its three Georgia locations. The low cost vaccine clinics are also offered at all of TailsSpin Pets’ events. All of the clinics are offered at each location by a talented team of local veterinarian specialists.
Honorable Mention: Vitakraft
Vitakraft Sunseed’s Marketing & Trade Sales Specialist, Lisa Kniceley, recently attended the 2016 American Transplant Games in honor of her late husband, Gary who was a tissue and cornea donor. This bi-annual event honors both donor families and gives the opportunity for donor recipients to participate in various events and Lisa felt that the Games gave her a chance to celebrate Gary’s life by continuing to work for a cause that he was passionate about.
Honorable Mention: Handicapped Pets
HandicappedPets.com is a business that sells products, for example, the Walkin’ Wheels Dog Wheelchair, for injured, elderly, and disabled animals, giving many of our furry friends a new lease on life! This story of how this company donated a wheelchair to a young pup in desperate need really touched our hearts…
Exiled Tibetan monks at a Sera monastery in Bylakuppe, India, had rescued a puppy who was being attacked by stray dogs. Unfortunately, after consulting with a local veterinarian, it was determined that the puppy’s rear legs would be permanently paralyzed. The monks gave respite to the dog in their monastery and named her Tashi. They reached out to HandicappedPets.com after the puppy had grown, and the company happily donated one of its Walkin’ Wheels wheelchairs for Tashi so that she could enjoy running around with the other rescue dogs at the monastery.
We’re happy to report that Tashi is thriving. HandicappedPets received this update from the Monks: “A million thanks to this wonderful company for donating that roller to our sweet dog Tashi. She now has a new life of walking and playing around. I can see her face and read her feelings, and I am sure that she wants to say thanks for this precious gift. She loves it; you can tell by looking at her. I will pray for the people working in this generous company and I am so grateful for their noble deeds. I want to say ‘Thugje che’ in Tibetan and ‘thank you’ in English and ‘Dankeschoen’ in German. Thank you so much! — With blessings from Geshe Ngawang and Geshe Sopo and the monks from the Sera monastery in India.”
Good luck to all of those entering the 2017 contest. We are excited to see what good works are out there!