Elwood Helps Shelter Pets

December 4, 2008 | By Jill R. | Category: Current Events

Elwood's book

Each year across the U.S., thousands of dogs suffer euthanasia, even though they're perfectly healthy and adoptable. To combat this problem, one special dog and his human companion are taking their message of rescuing shelter animals to school kids, in hopes of teaching them early on this important lesson.

Pet Pulse first met the “World's Ugliest Dog” at the Super Pet Expo, held in New Jersey (See story, “Pet Lovers Flock to NJ Expo”). That's where we learned that he is more than just a “pretty” face.

Once Elwood was crowned the World's Ugliest Dog last June, he and his mom, Karen Quigley, decided to write a book that has a clear message.

"We want kids to always be kind to animals and to know that we do have a lot of homeless animals out there that need to find loving homes," said Quigley.

As part of "Read Across America" Elwood paid a visit to Collings Lake Elementary school in South Jersey where he and Quigley read to the students and reminded them that its okay to be different.

"Sometimes we have to take a step back and say 'just because you're different doesn't make them any less special'," said Quigley.

And Elwood is definitely different.

Considered by his breeder to be too ugly, she was going to end his life. Luckily for Elwood a woman intervened and took him to live with her at 4 weeks old.

Then a call to the NJ SPCA changed Elwood’s life forever.

At just 9 months old Quigley's boyfriend, an animal case investigator, called her to come see the peculiar dog. The connection was immediate, and the pair headed home to join Quigley's family of other rescued dogs.

She believes that they were meant to meet, and to do what they're doing. The message they deliver seemed to connect with Collins Lake Elementary students, too.

"It doesn't matter what you look like, because everyone is the same,” said student Lynnsie Collins. “Everyone should be loved."

"The kids really get the message and I'm proud that our next generation is thinking more along the lines of being tolerant and being kind," said Quigley.

And the students decided to help animals, so they donated their lunch money change and pet supplies to the Atlantic County SPCA.

"All week long, kids brought in dog, food supplies, all these things to contribute to the animal shelter, along with change, they collected over $100," said school principal Dan Benedetto.

As it goes with volunteer work, Quigley said she got a lot from her experience at the school – and working with little Elwood.

"I'm very proud of the kids. Sometimes we can learn a little more from our kids than they can learn from us,” she said.

Elwood doesn't just give back through volunteer work. Quigley has commissioned a book in his honor, entitled “Everyone Loves Elwood” it tells the tale of a dog that nobody wanted. A percentage of the book sales of are donated to helping homeless and abandoned animals.

To buy one or to find out where Elwood will make his next appearance visit loveelwood.com.

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