Putting The Right Paw Forward

Since it’s the first day of the New Year, I thought I might share some goals for Happy Tails Books. Here are last year’s goals and how they relate to our plans for 2011:

1) Donate $10,000 back to animal welfare organizations: We wanted to donate at least $10,000 back to animal rescue causes. Early in the year, our customers helped us make a donation to the organizations helping animals through the crisis in Haiti. Then, this past month we donated another $9,800 back to our rescue partners and humane education causes, so over the year we did hit our goal. It was kind of fudged, though, to be honest. As we wanted so badly to reach this goal that we donated more than our expected percentage of net profits back to rescue. It was closer to 50% of net profits that the 25% we were looking for. Therefore, I’d like to try again for this year: At 25% of net profits, can we donate $10,000 back?

2) Publish at least five books about different dog breeds and a book about cats: We blew this goal out of the water! Last year we published Lost Souls: FOUND! books on Boxers, Chihuahuas, German Shepherd Dogs, Pugs, Beagles, Great Danes, Cocker Spaniels, Mixed-Breed Dogs, and Cats! We also published a very special book about mill dogs called Dog Blessed. This year we intend to reel in the number of books we are publishing to explore the idea of having them more widely distributed (our books are currently available through our website, Amazon.com for paperback and Kindle, and BN.com for the Nook). We are currently editing our Partners With Paws book about service dogs and the lives they change and our Lost Souls: FOUND! book on Basset Hounds. On our home page you can find a list of breeds we’re considering for this year and next year. The order of breeds we work on is dictated by rescuer and adopter enthusiasm, so if you’d like to see your breed up next, please send in your stories!

Note: We also have a few exciting books launching very soon from people who have asked us to help them publish their own pet-related books. Keep an eye out for Pit Bulls: Victims or Villains, a forensic study of violence in society and how it relates to the anti-pit bull craze, and Service Dogs: More Than Man’s Best Friend, a book for young people about service dogs.

3) Develop a 501(c)3 humane education organization to further fight puppy mills: I guess you could say that this was more of a personal initiative than a company initiative, but it bears mentioning anyway. Last year I decided I wanted to do even more to raise awareness about puppy mills and adoption, so I established Up For Pups, a humane education organization. The organization was granted our non-profit status a month-and-a-half ago, and we have since been working tirelessly to establish several effective programs to fight puppy mills. One of our first initiatives, a stage show called Don’t Kill Bill, will officially debut in Boulder, CO in February. You can get more info about it at the Up For Pups website.

Therefore, we expect 2011 to be full of some great books to promote service dogs and animal rescue. Up For Pups will be expanding on the work Happy Tails Books is doing with books to assist rescues to be even more successful and bring messages about rescue and adoption to the public through theater and other creative means.

Thank you so much to everyone for your support of our humane education efforts. We’ll need your support more than even this next year, as with the passage of Proposition B in MO and many cities banning the sale of companion animals in pet shops, important humane initiatives are beginning to gain momentum. Now is the time to continue that momentum and create a world full of love, happiness, and safety, which our furry friends truly deserve!