Playing off the popularity of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, Petplan’s Tournament of Tails features adoptable pets from 32 shelters across the country vying for the crown of top dog or cat. More importantly, the tournament brings much-needed awareness for the need of pet adoption.
It’s not an easy bracket to fill out though! These cuties are all so adorable. Half of the first-round (Terrific 32) action of the popular Tournament of Tails is already over, but you can still get in on the fun. Visit the site and vote on the current cat and dog match ups, download your bracket to play along, and of course, be sure to share on social media!
In its fourth year, Petplan’s Tournament of Tails is a bracket-style challenge, which lets fans vote to advance their favorite pets to the next round. There is nearly $11,000 up for grabs with the champion earning $5,000 for its host organization and no pet goes home empty-pawed when eliminated from the challenge. Those bounced from the Terrific 32 receive a $100 donation for their shelters, players whose run ends at the Spirited 16 receive $200, pets knocked off in the Eager 8 round receive $300, while those who claw their way to the Final Fur net $500.
More than 250 human/animal causes benefit as Surf Dog Ricochet achieves this major fundraising milestone on New Year’s Eve!
Surf Dog Ricochet celebrated New Year’s Eve by reaching a new milestone… raising ½ million dollars! These funds have helped more than 250 different causes, as well as Ricochet’s programs and initiatives.
Reaching this major milestone demonstrates how much Ricochet’s worldwide community supports her efforts. She sincerely thanks her individual donors, social media followers, corporate sponsors and members of the media for their continued support.
Most of Ricochet’s fundraising has been done through social media, such as her popular Facebook Page with more than 259K supportive fans, Instagram with more than 104K followers and her inspirational video “From Service dog to SURFice dog” with more than 6.4 million views.
Ricochet has been raising awareness and funds for human/animal causes since 2009 when she made an independent decision to jump on a surfboard with Patrick Ivison, a quadriplegic surfer. As a result, she became the only SURFice dog® on the planet who creates unique programs, initiatives and surf therapy experiences that empower kids with special needs, people with disabilities, wounded warriors & veterans with PTSD.
Prior to Ricochet, there were no dogs committed to adaptive surfing. As such, she became the Canine Ambassador for Surfers with Disabilities, and revolutionized the healing power of the ocean, and the healing power of dogs. As the years passed, there have been a number of surfing dogs inspired by Ricochet’s work who are now sharing the stoke of surf therapy, such as Leia from Walking on Waves in South Africa. Ricochet acted as a mentor to their program, and made a $500 donation to one of their surf sessions this past summer.
Having more dogs in the line-up comes at a time when Ricochet’s grassroots initiatives have organically evolved to the next level. One of those initiatives is her Waves of Empowerment program that empowers individuals to help themselves by helping others, while maximizing their well-being. These are folks that Ricochet has previously surfed, or worked with, who are now volunteering to help the next wave of disabled surfers get on board with her.
A look at Ricochet’s achievements, aside from fundraising, includes a wide variety of projects that focus on community outreach including her PTSD Battle Buddy Initiative, Operation Socialization, Friends of Bethany Hamilton Beautifully Flawed Retreat, ISA Adaptive Surfing Championship, Surf Away SMA, Life Rolls On, The Best Day Foundation, Veteran’s Adaptive Sports Camp, The Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation Ocean Therapy program and many more that can be found on her website at http://www.surfdogricochet.com.
A key to Ricochet’s success was retiring from surf dog contests. Although she typically placed in the top three winning positions, she found adaptive surfing to be the ultimate prize. She has a powerful ability to make immediate, deep, heart-to-heart connections with the individuals she interacts with. She intuitively and empathically alerts to their emotional and physical changes which allows for profound paws-on healing interventions. She balances boards… and lives!
Next up for Ricochet is her 9th birthday on January 25. She has also been cast as one of the dogs in the upcoming IMAX film, Superpower Dogs. In addition, Ricochet is currently training her new puppy, a golden/lab mix named Encore (Cori). Although it’s not known if Cori will follow in Ricochet’s pawsteps as a surFUR, it’s a given that whatever she does will be in the spirit of pawing it forward!
Ricochet graciously thanks her generous supporters for these crucial donations that make it possible for her to carry out her work, proving what dogs are capable of.
ABOUT SURF DOG RICOCHET
Ricochet is a world famous, award-winning surfing dog who surfs for fun, wins surf dog contests & most importantly… SURFS WITH PURPOSE! She surfs solo, with children, adults, pros, celebrities, other dogs, a goat & even Rob Machado!
She is a certified and registered therapy dog who lives a lifestyle of helping others by pawing it forward while raising funds and awareness for human/animal causes. Her life story is penned in a book called Ricochet: Riding a Wave of Hope with the Dog Who Inspires Millions (available on Amazon).
She has gone from service dog to SURFice dog and back again! She holds the titles of AKC Therapy Dog Distinguished (THDD), American Humane Association Hero Dog, ASPCA Dog of the Year, AKC Award for Canine Excellence, Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Surf Dog Hall of Fame, International Surfing Museums Surf Dog Walk of Fame, San Diego Humane Society Animal Compassion Award, and many more that can be found on her website.
This elephant was saved from drowning in a manmade structure in a Zimbabwe national park by a team that is using drones to deter poaching. The rescue was made by the Air Shepherd team in Zimbabwe’s vast Hwange National Park.
To learn more about this rescue and the Air Shepherd team, click here.
Finding Shelter is an amazing documentary about an English family who found themselves unexpectedly rescuing street animals in Bulgaria. The film shares how the family has shared love and compassion for the homeless animals in their town. It’s not just the animals who benefit though, an entire generation of people are learning compassion for the animals they once disregarded (and sadly, abused).
The family are true heroes. Please consider watching the film, which is available for purchase on iTunes. The film won the audience choice award from the The Animal Film Festival, and I can see why. The love and dedication the Rowles family has for their rescues is truly inspiring, and I am sure that you will fall in love with them when you watch the film.
Filmmaker Erin Parks is donating 10% of all proceeds to their shelter, as well as covering costs to get the film out to more places around the world! You can visit her Facebook page, and learn more about the film Finding Shelter, here.