Five short months ago, the most pressing thing on my mind was the Australian Bushfires and Paws for Oz.
The videos of burnt, hungry, dehydrated and exhausted wildlife were keeping me up at night. What started as an idea that came to me at 4 a.m., in three short weeks was catapulted into a full blown international fundraiser – all with the help of my wine industry/animal loving friends, Jennifer Hart and Meg McGrath.
The idea was to bring together an international group of Pet Photographers – intense animal lovers by nature – under the banner of Paws for Oz. Knowing there is strength in numbers, our goal was to raise $10,000, which was later revised to $20,000 when we smashed the $10k goal! All donations were made directly to established rescue Wildlife Victoria, to help with rescue and rehabilitation of koalas, wombats, kangaroos, dingoes, kookaburras and many more species.
The first phase of the fundraiser involved a silent auction in Niagara’s wine country. The wine community donated exceptional wines and experiences that locals were invited to bid on at the launch event in January. The auction raised almost $7000 for Wildlife Australia, a rather auspicious start to the fundraiser!
Phase two was the recruitment of pet photographers – ultimately twenty nine incredible pet photographers joined the cause, representing Canada, the US and Australia!
Go big or go home!
A massive shout out and THANK YOU to everyone who supported Paws for Oz, through donations, time, expertise and interest! Together we raised $20,753 and I’m incredibly proud of that achievement. Over $3,000 was raised was through Indigo Pet Photography alone. We received lovely notes of thanks and appreciation from Wildlife Victoria via email and social media. Not to brag, but we were the top fundraising team in the Australian Bushfire appeal on GoFundraise, where Wildlife Victoria was taking donations! Okay, yeah, totally wanted to brag about that!
On Instagram we encouraged our Paws for Oz photographers to tag their posts, please click here for an assortment of adorable images captured – including a few by yours truly!
I still have several sessions in Toronto that I’m very much looking forward to once restrictions are loosened. I imagine they will need to be outdoors sessions – in keeping with the 2020 theme of social distancing – and they will be lots of fun, of that I have no doubt.
Please take care and think happy thoughts! Give your beloved four–legged some extra lovin’ for being such a great isolation partner 🐶❤️💕
Cheers and wags,