Redwood Elementary students have a plan this Valentine’s Day and it’s to spread love to mistreated dogs. On Thursday, students in kindergarten through fifth grade made Valentines to give to the Dogs Deserve Better organization, a non-profit that aims to stop the suffering of chained and penned dogs.
The organization will send the donated, homemade cards to people who mistreat their dogs in an effort to encourage them to treat their dogs with respect and love.
“We are trying to convince owners who aren’t bringing their dogs inside from the cold to let them inside,” Jennifer Paull, Redwood teacher and organizer of the event, said at the event Thursday. “We need to get dogs inside and we need to make beautiful valentines that will convince the owners to treat their dog as a member of the family.”
Dogs Deserve Better is in its 11th year of giving valentine cards to owners of mistreated animals and winter is the most crucial time to reach out to the owners, according to founder and director Tamira Thayne in a press release on the organization website.
“Winter is the best time to reach out to those who chain and pen their dogs, and Valentine's Day is the perfect opportunity to show these forgotten canines a little love,” Thayne said in the release. “Every winter our rescuers see dogs that have frozen in the snow, suffered frostbite or otherwise endured horrific living conditions because of the longstanding misperception that it is ok to chain a dog outside in any kind of weather.”
The release also stated the group sends a coupon for a treat and a brochure for the dog’s caretakers with each Valentine, encouraging them to bring their dogs into the home and family or to release the dogs to loving inside homes and families.
The organization has sent thousands of valentine cards over the years, including nearly 20,000 in last year’s initiative alone. This year, the group hopes to reach 20,000.
Paull has been bringing the organizations Valentine initiative to Redwood School for eight years.
“We do this because it is part of showing our heart at Redwood School,” Paull said at the event.
In addition to the card making, the students listened as Paull read a book entitled, “Buddy Unchained,” which is based on a true story and about a dog named Buddy who recalls his former life of mistreatment after he is rescued and happy in a new home.
All of the students will complete their Valentine by Jan. 27, as they will be shipped soon after to the organization so they can send them to the owners beginning Feb. 7.
For more information on the organization or if you would like to send a Valentine, visit the Dogs Deserve Website here.