Rescue + Freedom Project’s #RescueLifestyle campaign! The organization is urging supporters to share their animal’s rescue stories in order to promote adopting instead of purchasing from puppy mills and pet stores.
Animal lovers are asked to upload a 30-second video to their Instagram or Twitter account featuring their pet’s story of survival followed by their animal’s favorite thing to do now that they are free. All participants are asked to tag @RescueFreedomProject, #RescueLifestyle & mention 3 friends to help spread the message or donate $3 to help fund R + FP’s future rescue missions.
The organization is best known for saving animals from laboratories and other forms of abuse all across the world. Since 2010, they have saved thousands of animals and are constantly promoting the #RescueLifestyle by making sure their survivors are loved, taken care of and always promoting animal adoption.
Interview with Shannon Keith, Founder & President of Rescue + Freedom Project
OMTIMES: The Rescue + Freedom Project opened the first Project doors in 2010. How did your organization come to be?
Shannon Keith: I already had an existing organization, ARME (ANIMAL RESCUE, MEDIA & EDUCATION, a non-profit dedicated to advocating for the voiceless, exposing violence and enacting public policy end change the exploitation of animals. In 2010, I was informed that there were some animals in a laboratory in California who were going to be killed before the Christmas holiday because the laboratory did not want to pay workers overtime to care for them. A passionate employee reached out and asked if we could take some. On December 23, 2010, we rescued Freedom & Bigsby, two beagles who had spent their life inside a laboratory and never seen the light of day. These two sweet beagles were shivering in their crates as we brought them out into the California sun. As we opened their crate, they squinted as they looked up into the clear sky, their noses twitching in excitement; but, no matter how excited they seemed, they were far too afraid to step outside the only home they had ever known: a tiny cage. After nearly half an hour of coaxing, Freedom took his first step onto the grass and then walked over and coaxed Bixby to do the same. Their rescue was bittersweet and sparked the mission: Beagle Freedom Project which has since evolved into Rescue + Freedom Project. The mission was and still is to rescued animals from laboratories wherever and whenever possible and educate the public about animal testing through these wonderful ambassadors. By educating the public through their rescues, we have bee advocating for, and making real change.
OMTIMES: How important are donations when it comes to your program offerings?
Shannon Keith: Beagle Freedom Project blew up in 2010 and became an international phenomenon! We began enacting legislation, create a cruelty-free shopping app, developed a kids program and so much more. Initially it was called Beagle Freedom Project because beagles are the #1 breed of dog used for testing due to their docile and friendly nature, however, we always rescued other breeds and species from labs. We wanted the public to know that it was not just about beagles, so we changed our name to not only get the word out about other animals but to also expand and rescue animals from all forms of exploitation while still maintaining a very heavy focus on vivisection and the beagles.
OMTIMES: Tell us a little about “Cut the Cruelty Project”.
Shannon Keith: “Cut the Cruelty” is a campaign to educate the world about various forms of exploitation in order to put a stop to it. Our first focus has been on Marshall Pet Products. Marshall BioResources (aka Marshall Farms) is one of the largest breeding facilities for animals sold to research, puppy mills and more. Their partner company is Marshall Pet Products wherein they sell toys for companion animals in pet stores all over the world.
Sadly, people unknowingly purchase these products because they love their animals, not knowing that the profit is going right into the pockets of these people who breed animals for torture and death.
When we saw some of these products on Overstock.com, we immediately informed them and they instantly removed the items from their site. We are in talks with Petco and we have been targeting PetsMart, which still refuses to remove the items. Stay tuned on how to get involved in this campaign at rescuefreedomproject.org
OMTIMES: What resources do you offer for pet owners who feel they may not be able to keep their pet?
Shannon Keith: We are always at the ready to assist! We offer the names and contacts of various rescue groups who may be able to assist if we cannot. If the issue is financial and it is within a certain range, we offer to assist as well. We believe companion animals are family members and should be treated as such. far too many people give up their animals for superficial reasons or selfish reasons and we do our best to educate them.
OMTIMES: How has the mission of The Rescue + Freedom Project evolved since the initiative was started in 2010?
Shannon Keith: Donations are critical. We are a small non-profit but do the work of the big nationals. We can only exist and keep fighting if we have the resources to do so.
OMTIMES: How can people get involved with The Rescue + Freedom Project, and what are the opportunities available for those that would like to volunteer with your organization?
Shannon Keith: We are always looking for volunteers, interns, fosters, adopters and more! There is a contact page on our website. Email us and let us know your area of interest! https://rescuefreedomproject.org/
Original Article: OMTimes