During the recent Silver Spoon Dog and Baby Buffet in Los Angeles, we had the chance to meet Sarah Sypniewski from Bark Pet Photography. You might have seen the incredible photos from Bark Pet Photography–they’ve been featured on PEOPLEPets.com, TMZ, Dogs Today magazine and more–but what also struck us was the work they’re doing to help needy animals.
Sarah Sypniewski and Kim Rodgers, both owners of Bark Pet Photography, have created “Sugar Tags,” to honor the memory of Sugar Blue the Pit Bull, who garnered internet fame over the last year as a local rescue icon before she recently died. The tags raise much-needed funds for animal rescue work, even after her death, and have Sugar’s image on one side and the words “Forgive. Trust. Love.” inscribed on the other. All profits from the tags, sold for $25 each, benefit Molly’s Mutts and Meows rescue.
Sugar’s story of surviving neglect, abuse, and torture resonated extra loudly with people all over Los Angeles and the country. She had been rescued from awful circumstances and became a much beloved adoptable dog with her infectious happiness and love of people. She was so popular, she even had a Facebook page (which is still up).
“Sugar had an extra powerful ability to draw people in, despite her terrible past. Because so many people related so well to her, were able to share her story and the story of other animals just like her. She helped us educate the public on pit bulls, animal rescue, and showed us all how to ‘forgive, trust, and love,’” said Rodgers.
Though Sugar was never permanently adopted, she was under the care of a foster, as well as supporters associated with Molly’s Mutts and Meows rescue in West Hollywood. It was this rescue organization that paid for Sugar’s extensive medical needs, including multiple surgeries and treatments due to her early life of abuse and a cancer diagnosis earlier this year.
Sugar succumbed to complications in March 2010, but not before all possible treatments were exhausted, which strained the financial reserves of the rescue. Rodgers and Sypniewski have been on a mission (with Sugar’s help) to raise back all of the funds that Molly’s Mutts and Meows spent on Sugar’s care so they can continue helping animals who need it most .
“It’s our goal—and the goal of Sugar’s many fans and supporters all over this country—to give back to Molly’s. Molly (Wootton, owner of Molly’s Mutts and Meows) never left Sugar’s side, so to speak. She never stopped supporting Sugar. We are going to do the same in return by supporting Molly so she can keep helping animals who need it,” said Sypniewski.
The Sugar Tags are serving not only as a fundraiser and education and prevention piece. By sharing Sugar’s story through the tags, Rodgers and Sypniewski hope to prevent other animals from suffering the same fate while continuing to raise vital funds for animal rescue work.
- Sugar Tags are available for purchase through Bark Pet Photography’s website: www.barkpetphotography.com
Photos courtesy Bark Pet Photography