This is a fabulous story and it turns the celebrity cat phenomenon into something incredibly positive and I love it. It is what celebrity cats are for or should be for and Mike Bridavsky, Lil BUB’s owner, should be very proud himself for making arrangements with the ASPCA to create Lil BUB’s Big FUND (“Fund”). This is a wonderful partnership.
It has been a huge success. Money for the fund comes from a range of programs including, even, a research project. The research project studied the positive benefits of watching cat videos. For each person who participated in the survey 10 cents was donated to the Fund. In this way $700 was raised. This is just one example of many imaginative ways to raise money for animal charities through this partnership.
Overall, since the creation of the Fund, over $100,000 has been raised for needy animals. Other sources of income for the Fund come from Lil BUB’s web store, in-person appearances and any other event in which she is involved. In addition, there are direct donations through a link on the ASPCA website.
The money raised is distributed by the ASPCA to animal welfare organisations across the USA. The target animals are special needs pets. Special needs animals are those that require special care and extra help to get adopted. These animals may have birth defects or developmental disabilities. They may be disabled or severely injured in an accident or through abuse. They may have a chronic disease such as FIV.
Specifically, the money goes towards things such as veterinary medical care and surgery, enriching the shelter environment, relocation programs with the intention of improving the chances of being adopted, programs involved in reducing the possibility of pet abandonment, foster programs and adoption events. These are just examples.
In 2014 the Fund distributed $75,130 by way of 38 grants to a range of organisations. The grant sizes ranged from $320-$2500. Geographically, the distribution across the USA is fairly even with, for instance, 29% of the fund being distributed to places in the West of the USA.
A specific example concerns the Humane Society of Western Montana. They were given a $2,500 grant. The money saved the lives of several cats. One of the cats was Jane. Jane and her two kittens were living in a shed. A good person brought them into the shelter. It transpired that Jane had been badly abused or had been hit by a vehicle. She was in a bad way and suffering intense pain. The grant money allowed vital surgery to take place and ultimately to rehome them via a fostering programme. All three cats, mother and two kittens, are doing well in new homes.
I can’t begin to tell you how impressed I am with this. I have been cynical and demoralised at what I saw as the exploitation of celebrity cats such as Grumpy Cat. However, this turns my assessment on its head at least in this instance. This is the way it should be.
Applications to the fund can be made by clicking on this link.
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