It’s my pleasure to introduce you to animal advocate, author, blogger, and social media star Rebecca Sanchez and her dog Mattie. I met Rebecca through the BlogPaws community and was so impressed by her efforts to help animals in need that I asked her to share her story with us.
Rebecca Sanchez and her husband are the founders of The MattieDog Foundation, an organization devoted to animal rescue advocacy and furthering the human-animal bond. She puts her expertise to work helping rescues with research, grant-writing, social media outreach and fundraising.
She is an inspirational example of how someone with a heart for animals can use her skills and talents to help animals (and their people) in need.
Giveaway: Rebecca is generously giving an autographed copy of her book, MattieDog Gets Adopted to three lucky winners. Enter for your chance to win at the bottom of the page. Good luck!
And now on to our interview with Rebecca Sanchez:
Who is Mattie and how did he inspire you to create The MattieDog Foundation?
It’s a simple story really. We really wanted to adopt a dog and every time we’d go to a rescue we’d find a dog and just miss out due to being a little late or someone else being right in front of us to adopt a dog. I was a bit tired from being let down and not being in time to adopt a dog… but my husband was still thrilled to find a pup and just kept pushing through.
It was a rainy day in Seattle – not the normal, somewhat drizzly day, but more so a hard rain which is very rare. So on the way home post grocery shopping my husband said, “let’s stop at the shelter and see if we can find a sweet, little pup!” He was all excited and I couldn’t bare to say no to him, so we parked in front of the shelter and I steeled myself to go inside…knowing we’d only be heartbroken one more time. When we entered the shelter I spotted a little brownish, matted dog and it was love at first sight. Together my husband and I stayed by the cell where this little dog was held and soon enough, after shooing away two other would be adopters, we were the proud parents of Mattie.
Mattie at that time was a little 14 pound dog with matted hair. That’s why he was called Mattie. We took him home and bathed him about 6 times in order to get him clean. I spent 2 months caring for Mattie – he was so sick and we really weren’t sure he’d make it. But with love, and some clinical interventions, he did! This was the beginning! We were inseparable.
Mattie made me a better person – he changed my life. And I knew that I had to find a way to thank him. My husband and I founded The MattieDog Foundation to pay homage to our fuzzy son. A way to reflect the kindness, joy, peace, and love that he brings to our life!
What is the mission of the MattieDog Foundation?
The MattieDog® Foundation mission and programs:
- educate and advance knowledge of the human-animal bond
- create and promote the combination of social media and animal advocacy
- explore products and services that help humans share their lives with animals
- bring together groups, organizations and donors dedicated to the advancement of non-lethal animal management
- and promote compassionate animal assistance and management programs.
We work with a number of charities throughout the US to to help share the story of Mattie with children. We learned that Mattie was loose in the city for a few weeks. No dog should be left to fend for themselves. Kids are our future so it’s so important that they understand that dogs need them in order to live. It helps imbed empathy – way more powerful than sympathy. Little kids love learning about Mattie and after hearing our story they recognize the power that they have – looking to adopt a dog versus buy. It’s powerful!
How do you help animal charities with social media and fundraising?
We were one of the grandaddies of using social media for raising awareness and funds for animals. We’ve helped to raise over $50K for animals in need. MattieDog partnered with Linda Blair to help raise awareness for her dog rescue farm. We used Twitter, created a marketing campaign and with some good planning and quality work we were able to raise over $2.5K in less than 2 hours. It was amazing and the record still stands! I am so so proud of that campaign, we helped save a lot of dogs that day. The amount of times I’ve collaborated to host online parties, or in-person events coupled with social media, are hard to keep track of – but it’s fair to say we’ve been involved with over 120 events.
Congratulations on writing a new book – tell us about it!
Our book, MattieDog Gets Adopted, is really our way to help the world understand that adoption actually happens to an animal. They have no choice. No voice. Unlike humans who attempt to try to influence their outcome, a dog cannot. So it is so important to show compassion and empathy when engaging with animals. Our book is told from a dog’s point of view, and so we hope through using Mattie’s vision of what happened to him, that people and children understand how they hold a place of trust with animals. Adoption is a beautiful thing and it happens to an animal, so please do so with a big, joyful heart – knowing that it’s forever!
Do you have other books planned?
Absolutely! We are working one another book right now. The crux of the book is that if we were to just look at our dogs, watch them in their lives, we’d naturally learn to meditate. Dog’s completely and inherently understand how to live a life of joy.
My newest MattieDog book celebrates all the subtle things a dog has to teach us – if only we are open to learning.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
If there is one thing I could share with everyone – it’s the importance of dog adoption. Puppy mill dogs often infiltrate dog stores, and the stories of these types of animals are painful – it’s very important to see animals as sentient beings. Not things, property, or transactional items. By doing this people begin to understand that animals have an intrinsic value beyond retail.
How can our readers contact you?
They can contact me through my website at http://mattiedog.com/contact/
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Giveaway – Enter to Win MattieDog Gets Adopted