Hello friends,

During the first few months of 2018, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in many rewarding activities that supported animal welfare, and I’m enthused to share my experiences with you.

Last month, I teamed up once again with Petco Foundation for its annual “Love Changes Everything” campaign, which helps animals in many ways. This year, the campaign included a nationwide adoption event, the creation of the world’s largest photo mosaic of adopted animals and their people, contests and drawings for adopters and rescue groups, and an adoption rally in New York City. Throughout the entire month of March, Petco Foundation collected donations to support animal welfare and offered tote bags featuring MUTTS artwork to anyone who donated $10 or more.

The tote bags sold out online and many donors posted photos of their bags (and their adopted animals). It was a true pleasure to see all of these images, knowing that each represented a donation to help animals in need.

On March 25, I attended Petco Foundation’s “All for Love” Adoption Rally at NYC’s Union Square Park, which featured adoptable animals from more than 20 animal welfare organizations (including ACC of NYC and Posh Pets, the two organizations that helped me find Amelie, my own adopted pet). I spoke to members of these groups and learned that many of them found forever homes for ALL of the animals they brought to the rally. More than 200 cats and dogs — and a bunny — were adopted overall. That was amazing, considering that everyone had to brave that cold, windy day just to show up. Thank you to everyone involved. Yesh!

At the event, Petco Foundation also unveiled the full-size photo mosaic, which included more than 30,000 adopter-submitted photos! The final image, which had been kept secret until that day, featured Mooch and Earl from the MUTTS comic strip. It was both thrilling and humbling to see my MUTTS characters come to life in such a meaningful way.

In my last letter, I talked about attending the “Me…Jane” musical with Dr. Jane Goodall and expressed my appreciation for the talent and hard work of everyone who helped create the play. Recently, I learned that the musical has been nominated for five (!) Helen Hayes Awards, which celebrate excellence in professional theatre in the Washington, D.C. area. The winners will be announced on May 14.

I am also enthused to announce a new addition to the MUTTS Shop. If you are as inspired by Dr. Goodall as I am, and would like to pass her story along to a budding conservationist, you can now order the “Me…Jane” Bundle. It includes my picture book as well as a plush toy chimpanzee based on Dr. Goodall’s special childhood toy named Jubilee. This beautiful plush chimp was designed by the Jane Goodall Institute to closely resemble the toy that inspired Jane when she was young.

As I reflect on these last few months, I’m thankful not only for the chance to work alongside such talented and hardworking animal advocates, but also for our amazing community of MUTTS lovers. Thank you for your ongoing support.

— Patrick

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