Swell Dog Gelato: Delicious Treats That Give Back

We want to give a BIG thank you to Swell Dog Gelato, our corporate partner since 2019. For the past four years, we have had the pleasure of working with founder Debbie Hendrickx to raise funds for animals in need. From reuniting U.S. soldiers with the animals they befriended during their deployment to helping shelters around the world provide emergency medical care to abused and neglected animals, every Swell gelato purchase has helped us save lives. And we’re excited to announce that Swell Dog Gelato has recently surpassed $10,000 in donations supporting our work! These generous donations keep more animals healthy, safe, and happy and advance our advocacy and education efforts. We are so grateful to Swell and their loyal customers. We couldn’t do what we do without the support of partners like them!

About Swell

Swell Dog Gelato was born in the summer of 2016 when founder Debbie Hendrickx took a break from her corporate career to focus on her two passions, dogs and gelato. With her two adorable chihuahuas by her side to serve as taste testers, Debbie began making dog gelato in her home and taking it to dog parks. The dogs at the park could not get enough of Debbie’s gelato, and at that moment, Swell Dog Gelato was born.

Let’s Talk Gelato!

Are you a dog lover who enjoys spoiling your furry friend with treats? If so, you and your pups are in for a treat! From day one, Swell has believed in giving dogs the very best by using quality ingredients and not taking shortcuts. Each batch is hand-made, crafted in small batches, and taste-tested to ensure it is dog-approved. Swell offers a variety of flavors that will make any pup’s taste buds happy. Current gelato flavors include Banana Peanut Butter, Pumpkin Cheddar, Sweet Potato Molasses, My Chill Time (blackberry), It’s My Barkday (triple berry), and Spiced Pumpkin Nog (spiced pumpkin). There’s something for every pup!

Aside from gelato, Swell now also offers delicious gourmet dog food toppers in Honey Glazed Carrots, Sweet Potato Medley, and Veggie Cheddar Melange. They are an easy and tasty way to ensure that your furry best friend gets all the fruits and veggies needed to stay healthy and happy. 

How Swell Gives Back

Swell isn’t just about making tasty treats for dogs; they also believe in giving back to those most in need. That’s why they donate a portion of their proceeds to SPCA International, enabling us to rush funds where they are needed most. 

Where to Purchase Swell Dog Gelato

Is there anything better than spoiling your pet while giving back to a cause close to your heart? We don’t think so! Check out where you can find Swell Dog Gelato near you and give your pup the delicious treat they deserve while helping continue our life-saving work around the globe.

Introducing Apollo’s Aid!

There’s nothing quite like the bond between humans and their pets. Since we launched our military programs, we have seen firsthand the many benefits that animals provide to the troops both on the field and at home. Whether they help our heroes cope while stationed overseas or help them adjust to life back home, these beloved animals are truly irreplaceable. That is why we are so excited to announce that our Operation Military Pets program is expanding and will be able to help more people and animals than ever before. And to better represent everything it now has to offer, the program is being renamed Apollo’s Aid. 

Apollo’s Aid is named after a brave dog named Apollo, who was rescued by a U.S. service member in 2018. Before being rescued, Apollo suffered severe abuse at the hand of locals. In his honor, Apollo’s Aid will offer:

Permanent Change of Station Support:

When military families receive orders to move to a new duty station, the cost of relocating their furry companions can be unexpected and overwhelming. Unfortunately, the military doesn’t cover pet relocation expenses, leaving many families in a difficult situation. In order to keep military families and their pets together and reduce the number of animals surrendered to shelters, we offer financial assistance to help with pet transportation costs. This assistance is available to military families from all branches of the armed forces.

Medical Assistance:

Following Apollo’s rescue, he received significant medical attention that emphasized the importance of ensuring our dedicated service members have the means to care for their beloved pets. To honor Apollo, Apollo’s Aid will offer financial assistance for emergency medical cases to all military members, including active duty, veterans, reservists, and DOD contractors.

Refugee Assistance:

During the conflicts in Afghanistan and Ukraine, we received heartbreaking messages from individuals who were forced to leave their pets behind while fleeing for their safety. We were determined to help these families reunite with their furry friends. In line with this mission, Apollo’s Aid will provide support to refugees displaced from their homes and requiring assistance for their beloved pets.

To learn more about Apollo’s Aid or to submit an application, visit: spcai.org/apollos-aid

Donate to Support Apollo’s Aid

May is National Pet Month! Ensure the Well-Being of Your Pets, Today and Always.

SPCA International knows that your pets are an important part of your life. May is National Pet Month, and I wanted to remind you of the value of having an estate plan in place to ensure the well-being of your companion animals.

As an organization dedicated to animal welfare, we believe in the importance of protecting every animal’s life, including those of our beloved pets. 

That is why we have partnered with FreeWill to offer you the opportunity to create your estate plan for free. With a well-drafted plan, not only can you guarantee that your pets are looked after, but you can also protect the people and things that matter most to you.

Create My Free Plan

This partnership is available so you have the chance to set a pet guardianship plan and also support the future of SPCA International in your will. Planned gifts are completely optional, but ensure that we continue our life-saving work for years to come. 

Remember, even small actions can make a big difference for our pets’ future, so take just 20 minutes today to create your will.

Have you already included a gift to SPCA International in your will or trust? Fill out this quick form so we can thank you for your contributions!

Available for Adoption: Mike

Can you believe someone tried to set Mike on fire? This sweet pup has not had an easy life. Born in Afghanistan, Mike endured so much cruelty and abuse at the hands of locals before being rescued. Fortunately, a dedicated veterinary team was able to give Mike a second chance. And in early 2022, Mike became one of the 286 animals evacuated from Afghanistan to Canada. Since then, Mike has been cared for by our incredible partners, Raincoast Dog Rescue Society, and he has made tremendous progress!

This once fearful pup has blossomed into the sweetest good boy who loves pets, snuggles, and affection. And thanks to lots of training, he now walks perfectly on a leash and is quite a good boy in the house. He is not destructive and leaves things alone for the most part — except for food left where he can reach. But after constantly worrying about his next meal for most of his life, we can’t Mike for being extra protective of yummy snacks. 

Mike is still young and has lots of energy but he also enjoys lying comfortably and looking out the window. He can’t wait to relax with his forever family, but he hasn’t found them yet. Mike has been waiting for the perfect family to adopt him for over a year, and while we’re surprised no one has scooped up this precious boy, we know his people are out there and ready to shower him with lots of love. 

If you would like to give Mike the happy life he deserves, please apply at https://raincoastdogrescue.com

Let’s get this special pup home!

Thousands of Miles and a Year Later

Freshta Siddiqui has always been an animal lover with a soft spot for those most in need. About three years ago, she heard a puppy crying so loud that his cries filled her entire garden. Freshta ran outside her house and found kids brutally stoning the tiny puppy. She immediately stopped the children and brought the dog inside. Her mother named him Lucky. And he quickly became a part of the family, warning them against dangers like scorpions that had entered the home and charming them into giving him human food as treats.

But Lucky was not the only animal Freshta rescued; she also saved Leo. Freshta saw a young girl carrying a crying newborn kitten and asked where she was taking him, and the young girl replied, “I’m throwing it away in the garbage at the end of the street.” The kitten was an orphan, and the girl’s family did not want to care for him. Freshta took him in, feeding him milk with her pinky because he was too tiny to drink from a syringe. 

Freshta had a beautiful life in Afghanistan with her parents, aunt, and beautiful boys, Lucky and Leo. But shortly after the Taliban took over, it all changed. Freshta Siddiqui, a women’s rights activist, quickly became a target. She had lost her father and aunt, leaving her and her mother without a male guardian or the support of other relatives. Staying in Afghanistan became increasingly more dangerous. 

At around 10 PM one night, Lucky began loudly barking. Leo joined meowing. Freshta was startled by their unusual behavior. She knew something was terribly wrong, and so she checked the garden. The Taliban was trying to enter her home. Freshta ran and, for months, continued running. 

Freshta and her mother fled Afghanistan, leaving Lucky and Leo in the care of the veterinary clinic she frequently visited, Kabul Small Animal Rescue. As much as it broke her heart to part from her boys, Freshta knew it was the only way to keep them safe. And in early February 2022, Lucky and Leo embarked on a plane evacuating 286 animals from Afghanistan to Canada, a joint rescue mission funded by SPCA International. 

For months, Freshta tried to make her way to Canada. In the meantime, Leo stayed with Freshta’s friends in Canada, and Lucky was sent to a foster home in Portland, Oregon. Once Freshta and her mom finally arrived in Canada and secured a dog-friendly home, we rushed to reunite this special family. 

“I’m filled with this overwhelming sense of joy and gratitude,” said Freshta as she waited in the park to reunite with Lucky. The moment she saw him, the two ran toward each other. After a very difficult year, Freshta and Lucky were reunited. It was an emotional reunion that none of us will ever forget and are honored to have been a part of.

Welcome Home, Liberty!

Liberty was once a scared and frail puppy sleeping in the dirt and scrounging for food. But thanks to Sergeant Eric, Liberty is now home in upstate New York, enjoying life with the Sergeant and his family. Liberty even has a new fur sibling she can play with all day. 

Sergeant Eric found Liberty sleeping underneath a truck on the base. She was hungry and fearful. Slowly, he started to earn her trust, and Liberty began coming out of her shell. She was friendly, playful, and an absolute joy to be around. 

“To find such a sweet dog in such a crazy place is unreal. It’s incredible how good Liberty is, how loving. She did so much for us. She was almost like our support dog. Returning to base and seeing her there really helped us.”, says Sergeant Eric. 

The idea of leaving Liberty behind once his deployment ended crushed the Sergeant. He knew she would likely not survive on her own. The Sergeant had promised Liberty a good life, and he intended to keep his promise. That’s when he contacted us for help, and we rushed into action. 

It took a few months, but we were finally able to bring Liberty to the U.S. through our Patriot Pets program. After a very long flight home, this sweet girl reunited with Sergeant Eric, who could not be happier to provide her with a good home and lots of love. 

Help make other reunions like this possible by supporting our Patriot Pets program.

A Simple & Stylish Way to Give Back

SPCA International is proud to announce our new partnership with the mindful glamour brand, BuDhaGirl! BuDhaGirl is all about living an inspired life — feeling connected to the world, giving blessings to others, and leaving things better than you found them. Their All Weather Bangles® are beautiful pieces of jewelry designed to promote mindfulness and gratitude in everyday moments. And thanks to BuDhaGirl’s BOGO+ promotion, they are also the perfect way to give back to animals in need. 

BOGO + is BuDhaGirl’s way of saying thank you to their clients. For one day only, on April 10, BuDhaGirl will give a set of their famous All Weather Bangles® to the person of your choice with the purchase of your own set. That’s basically 2 for the price of 1. And BuDhaGirl will also make a $5 donation to SPCA International for each qualifying purchase.

By purchasing a set of All Weather Bangles®, not only will you be adding ritual to your life, but you will also be helping us at the SPCA International provide even more great care to those that can’t fend for themselves.

Buy One, Give One+ All Weather Bangles from BuDhaGirl

& Support SPCA International

BuDhaGirl All Weather Bangles are handcrafted in Thailand by a team of artisans. They are weightless, soundless, waterproof, and TSA-proof. Each bangle is meant to represent an intention for your day. As you put them on in the morning, affirm your intentions for your day, and when you remove them in the evening, fill yourself with thoughts of gratitude. This daily ritual will settle your mind at the beginning and end of each day. 

When you purchase BuDhaGirl All Weather Bangles, you are giving yourself and a loved one the gift of mindfulness while giving an animal in need a second chance at life. Together, we can change the world for so many animals. 

Purchase All Weather Bangles Today!

Thank you BuDhaGirl, for helping us save the lives of abused and neglected animals worldwide.

About BuDhaGirl:

BuDhaGirl is a lifestyle brand that creates well-being by combining contemplative practice, validated by science, with incredibly glamorous fashion.

Values based on caring, compassion, and kindness are at the very core of BuDhaGirl, along with their simple morning and evening rituals, guiding people to be more aware and present in daily life. Awareness of the need and plight of others is so important, and doing something about it is even more so. That’s why BuDhaGirl is so happy to contribute to the SPCA, a charity that has been relentless in its care for unwanted and mistreated animals.

Join the Mindful Glamour® community at BuDhaGirl.com.

Women to the Rescue

Over the last 17 years, we have had the pleasure of working alongside many caring and hardworking women who use their voices to take a stand and help protect animals around the world. In honor of International Women’s Day, we want to recognize three outstanding women championing animal rights and welfare. From advocating for abused dogs in Spain to making spay and neuter services accessible in Panama to caring for thousands of strays in Lebanon, there is no challenge too big for these inspiring women to tackle. Join us in celebrating Helena Hesayne (BETA), Patricia Chan (Spay Panama), Anna Clements (SOS Galgos), and all the other powerful women working tirelessly to improve the lives of animals.

Helena Hesayne (Beirut Ethical Treatment for Animals – BETA)

In 2006, Helena came across Beirut Ethical Treatment for Animals (BETA) volunteers at a Garden Show. Still grieving from the passing of her German Shepherd, Brooks, Helena decided she wanted to start volunteering with BETA. Helena instantly fell in love with their work and, by 2008, decided to take a step back from her job as an architect to focus on animal rescue. Since then, she has been serving as the Vice-President of BETA. Helena shares, “It’s not easy in Lebanon. There is a lot of frustration, sadness and sometimes anger. We cannot save them all, but the ones we do, bring us so much joy and love, and when they are adopted and we see them happy in their loving home, it makes it worth it! And on the plus side, we get to meet so many amazing people in rescues around the World.”

BETA founded Lebanon’s first no-kill shelter and developed the first TNR program (Trap, Neuter and Return) in cooperation with municipalities. Since its inception in 2004, BETA has rescued and cared for over 5,500 stray dogs, cats, donkeys, horses and birds. Currently, BETA’s shelter houses over 1,000 animals who all get showered with love by Helena and the dedicated volunteers working alongside her daily. 

Pat Chan (Spay Panama)

Pat Chan has always had a soft spot for animals. As a child, she went to the circus, and while all the other children smiled and laughed, she couldn’t help but see the suffering in the animals’ eyes. Her heart broke for them at that moment, and Pat couldn’t understand why no one else saw their pain. In 2000, while driving to work and seeing how many defenseless stray animals were near the road, Pat decided she had to do something to help them. It became her dream to stop the suffering of Panama’s street animals, and after some research, Pat decided the best way to do this was by humanely preventing overpopulation. Shortly after, Pat founded SpayPanama.

SpayPanama hosts sterilization clinics for stray animals and offers free and low-cost spay and neuter services to low-income families nationwide. Thanks to Pat’s determination and her incredible team of over 100 volunteers from around the world, SpayPanama has sterilized more than 170,000 animals and prevented millions from reaching the street to live a life of pain and suffering. 

Anna Clements (SOS Galgos)

Anna Clements has always advocated for the well-being of animals. In 1999, after a Barcelona greyhound track’s closure, Anna decided to fight for the 700 racing greyhounds living in terrible conditions. By 2000, she had co-founded SOS Galgos to bring awareness to the plight of galgos. Anna has spent the last two decades on the front lines, rescuing galgos used for hunting from suffering terrible treatment and horrific death and demanding legislative action to protect these animals. While laws in Spain still do not protect galgos, Anna’s work has tremendously impacted how most Spaniards view galgos. Twenty years ago, galgos were not common pets. Now, it is common to see galgos enjoying a walk on a leash, being loved and cared for. 

SOS Galgos has rescued and rehomed over 4000 galgos. They strive to promote the galgo as a companion animal in Spain, bring attention to the plight of the galgos to members of the European Parliament, and educate children in schools to help break the cycle of cruelty and promote empathy towards all animals.

Lola’s Second Chance

Last month, we shared Lola’s heartbreaking story with you. Lola spent her entire life confined to a heavy chain in a filthy backyard, exploited and neglected by her owners. They used her for breeding, sold her puppies to dog fighters, and abandoned her on the street. When people on the street saw her barely hanging on to life, rather than helping her, they began throwing rocks at her. By the time our partner in Azerbaijan, Good World Animal Rescue and Protection (GWARP), found her, Lola was ready to give up. 

But we couldn’t give up on her, and thanks to your generous donation, she was able to get the emergency medical aid she needed. After much around-the-clock care and love, we are excited to report that Lola is on the mend. She has responded well to treatment, and her skin has dramatically improved. The team at GWARP is working on getting Lola to trust people again, and she has already started playing with other dogs and following the shelter staff around. We are hopeful that, with time, she will be able to fully let her guard down and feel safe.

Lola has suffered so much. She deserves a loving forever home where she will feel loved. We want to help Lola find her forever home, so we are covering up to $2,000 of her transportation costs.* If you want to give Lola the loving home she deserves, please email [email protected] or submit an application at www.gwarp.org.

*Lola’s adoption fee is $500 and must be paid to GWARP. SPCA International will cover up to $2,000 of her transportation costs. Should transportation costs exceed that amount, the remaining balance will be the adopter’s responsibility.

Leo & Lindsey: Together at Last

We’re excited to share that we recently completed our first Patriot Pets mission of 2023! Despite obstacles caused by the CDC’s new regulations regarding the importation of dogs into the United States, our team was able to bring seven very lucky dogs home to reunite with the U.S. service members who rescued and befriended them on deployment. Leo, an adorable big boy who loves belly rubs, was one of them. After months apart, he reunited with Lieutenant Lindsey in upstate New York. We couldn’t help but shed happy tears during this heartwarming reunion. 

Reunions like this one are possible thanks to generous supporters like you. Please consider donating to our Patriot Pets program to help make more reunions like this a reality

*We previously shared that Liberty (rescued by Sergeant Eric) would be coming home as part of this mission, but due to some health concerns, Liberty could not fly to the U.S. Fortunately, she’s all better now. Liberty will take her freedom flight in just a few days. Stay tuned for her reunion with her hero!