April 2014 Pet of the Month Winner!

RileyCongratulations to Riley, winner of the April 2014 Pet of the Month contest on petconnection.ca. This months contest was a huge success and we couldn’t be happier with the results. Riley will now be eligible for a calendar spot and entered into a vote to be placed on the cover of Pet Connection Magazine.

The March contest will be accepting submissions tomorrow! Keep an eye out on Facebook & Twitter for a link to enter! You can also check back on the contest home page for voting and entry status.

We want to thank everyone who participated in the April contest and wish you the best of luck if you choose to enter again in March. Enter early and share often for the best chances of winning!

SOI DOG’S GROWING PRESENCE IN CANADA

By Nomi Berger

Screen-Shot-2014-04-27-at-9.20.36-PMThey roam the streets by the thousands, abused, abandoned and starving. They are stuffed in wire crates, smuggled illegally across the border to waiting butchers. They procreate indiscriminately, depositing new generations of puppies to join the others on the streets.

They are the stray dogs of Thailand. And in 2003, three people, stunned and sickened by what they saw, swore to each other and to them that they would intervene.

Soi means “street” in Thailand. How fitting, then, that an organization committed to saving and improving the lives of the country’s street animals should call itself Soi Dog Foundation.

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 9.13.05 PMNow a legally registered charity in six countries — Thailand, the United States, Australia, the UK, France and the Netherlands – Soi Dog Foundation was founded in the Thai province of Phuket by American-born Margot Homburg Park and British retirees John and Gill Dalley. Their mission: to reduce the province’s animal overpopulation through sterilization; to feed those who would otherwise go hungry; to treat those sick and injured animals left to die on the streets; to provide shelter for those no longer able to live on the streets; to rehome those who were fit and healthy; to teach local communities about animal welfare, and to stop the illegal and inhumane dog meat trade between Thailand and Vietnam.

Although their goals were lofty, their beginnings were small, starting with a single clinic assisted by volunteer veterinarians from overseas. As word about them spread, so did the number of clinics they held. With sterilization (spaying and neutering) and vaccination of Phuket’s dogs and cats as their primary focus, their methods and their message quickly moved beyond the province’s and, ultimately, the country’s borders. To accommodate the animals and their growing personnel, they moved to a large tract of land, where they built a formal shelter. In 2005, Soi Dog Foundation was the first of its kind to be granted official Foundation status in Thailand.Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 9.16.13 PM

As their reputation grew, they attracted the attention of generous donors and people of goodwill across the globe. Men and women began streaming into Phuket, at their own expense, to volunteer at the shelter, to see for themselves what they had only read about, and to help make a difference. They would all leave Phuket, forever changed. And the word spread faster still.

A permanent clinic was established in Bangkok in 2011, giving Soi Dog Foundation a second vital presence in the country.
They instituted a “Trade of Shame” campaign to halt the illicit dog meat trade between Thailand and Vietnam, where dog meat is considered a delicacy by some.

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 9.16.06 PMThey approached the ongoing problem on 3 fronts by: advocating for stricter enforcement of the existing laws; raising public awareness about the barbaric practice, and working with the governments of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam to introduce stronger animal welfare legislation.

As the organization recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, their achievements have been astounding. Thanks to their efforts in the area of vaccinations, Phuket is the only Thai province that is rabies-free. Over 60,000 dogs and cats have been sterilized across the island. More than 10,000 dogs have been rescued from the meat trade and more than 30 smugglers arrested. The Phuket shelter and Bangkok clinic never have fewer than 300 animals on site – both for treatment of grievous ailments or injuries and awaiting potential adoption.

And one of those adopters was Candace Cornock from Ladysmith, BC. In the fall of 2011, she was grieving the death of one of her beloved dogs and desperately needed another soul to love. One of her friends had adopted a rescue from Soi Dog Foundation and suggested she do the same. And it was on their website that she discovered a dog whose backstory would soon become all too familiar to her. The speckled, mixed breed dog, whose name, ironically, is Gracie, had been found lying, starving, sick and dying on a road in Thailand, with severe wounds to her front legs and burns from having had scalding liquid poured over her. Luckily, she had been found by a Soi Dog Foundation volunteer and brought to their shelter in Phuket for treatment. At that point, her chances of survival were slim. And yet, as Candace studied what she thought was the saddest face she had ever seen, something about that dog tugged at her heart and she fell in love. She began sponsoring her and following her progress, and as time passed and she grew increasingly attached to her, she knew that she had to find a way to make Gracie part of their family. But she was also learning more about Soi Dog Foundation, about their ambitious sterilization program, and particularly their efforts to halt the illicit dog meat trade. Soon she was making monthly donations to them and encouraging friends to do the same. She formally adopted Gracie, and when Gracie was well enough to travel, Candace arranged through Soi Dog Foundation to have her transported from Thailand to Vancouver in March 2012. . Candace’s heart was bursting as Gracie came through customs and she saw her in the flesh for the first time. Finally, she was able to hold in her arms and gently kiss the dog she had been dreaming about for months. After a calm introduction to Candace’s other pets, she settled into their home as if it had always been hers. Although she will always carry the physical scars of her wounds, with time and love, the emotional scars have begun to fade, and today, Gracie is as playful as a puppy, gentle and sweet, happy and affectionate. She loves cuddles and having her face rubbed softly. She loves racing around their vast yard, playing with her squeaky toys, lying in their bed sleeping under the blankets and Candace can’t imagine life without Gracie as a member of the family.

Candace spent all that year fundraising more and gathering supporters and friends and she gradually formed Soi Dog Canada over the course of the year in 2012. She

launched the regional support group officially with a Facebook page in April 2013. Her mission: to fundraise on behalf of Soi Dog Foundation and to raise awareness about the plight of dogs in Thailand.
Soi Dog Canada had been founded and has been growing fast ever since.

How fitting then, that in February 2013, on the other side of the country, a woman named Debbie Tremblay from Ontario began searching the web for rescues in need of volunteers, and found Thailand’s Soi Dog Foundation. How ironic that one of the videos she watched was of Gracie. Moved to tears by what she read, she promptly emailed them and offered her services. Debbie spent 3 weeks volunteering i

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 9.13.55 PMn the Phuket shelter, where she fell in love. “Gaius” was gangly with big ears and a crinkled forehead, and because he didn’t know his place in the hierarchy, was often bitten by the other dogs. The more Debbie tried to protect him, the more in love she fell. Despite his past, Gaius was trusting, gentle and eager to please, and the day an older dog grabbed Gaius by the neck and dragged him across the run, she made a mental promise to him that she would never allow him to be hurt again. On a cool October day in 2013, another dog of the east came bounding out of a wire crate and into the waiting arms of another woman in the west. Far from the harshness of his old world, Gaius charged confidently into the warmth and wonder of his new one. Affectionate by nature, he thrived on human contact, responding hungrily to every tender, human touch. Wherever he went, people stopped to meet him, to ask Debbie about his progress, or to simply look at him without saying a word. To those who criticize her for adopting a dog from overseas, she replies, “All life is important and love has no boundaries. Not only people come into our lives at a time of need, animals do too. Whenever I was sad and lonely, the animals were the ones to make me laugh, to help me see beyond myself. This is my way of paying them back.”

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 9.18.19 PMHer passion fuelled her own mission: to inform Canadians of the existence, goals, programs and achievements of Soi Dog Foundation; to educate them about the complex situation in Thailand and to encourage more Canadian to adopt dogs of their own from Soi Dog Foundation. Like other non-profits, Soi Dog Canada is run entirely by volunteers and relies solely on the generosity of others through grants and donations and by holding fundraising events. All of the monies raised go directly to Soi Dog Foundation. Just as in Thailand before it, this group is growing quickly, gaining supporters and volunteers from across the country. They are currently working towards registering as a nonprofit charity in Canada. More than 50 dogs have already been adopted from Soi Dog Foundation in Canada, and as the word spreads, so does the number of applications.

To contact Soi Dog Canada, please email: candace@soidog-foundation.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SoiDogCanada
Main webpage: http://www.soidog.org

Probiotics – Let Them Eat Dirt

By Dr. Jeannie Thomason

let-them-eat-dirtWhat are Probiotics you ask?

Probiotic literally means “for life,” or supporting life. Probiotics are microorganisms that are the essential “friendly” flora or “good” bacteria–that maintain the ecosystem in our pets (and our own) gut, or intestinal tract.

The role of the intestinal tract in nutrient absorption is well recognized by everyone. However, the microflora that naturally inhabit the intestinal tract and their vital role in maintaining normal functioning of the gut and immune system are often overlooked. The intestinal tract is often the ‘first line of defense’ for the body and must be in good order for the animal to maintain a healthy immune response. The intestinal tract houses 80% of the overall immune system.

There are two types of bacteria, which colonize our bodies, good and harmful bacteria. Good bacteria, most of which are Lactic Acid bacteria ensure good health. They normally inhabit the intestines and are critical in maintaining the correct balance of our intestinal microflora. However, to achieve this they must be present in optimal numbers, types and ratio (85% beneficial to 15% non-beneficial). The good should outnumber the bad and in a healthy body or intestinal tract it is the good bacteria that keeps the number of bad bacteria from multiplying beyond what is needed to be healthy.

Beneficial microflora include the lactic acid bacteria (e.g., lactobacilli, bifidobacteria and enterococcus). These microflora produce short chain fatty acids that modulate the gut pH and provide a source of fuel for the cells lining the gut. This, in turn, strengthens the intestinal cells and helps enhance nutrient absorption. Microflora also produce digestive enzymes and synthesize vitamins. One of the most important roles of lactic acid bacteria is to stimulate the immune response in the gut. These microflora can directly block attachment of potential pathogens to the intestinal wall. They are also known to modulate the intestinal environment to inhibit the growth of potential pathogens and produce immune stimulating factors. Animals born into a sterile environment where they do not establish a healthy microflora balance have a weak immune system and fail to thrive.” G.L. Czarnecki-Maulden and J. Benyacoub

Probiotics can be broadly classified into 4 areas: Metabolic, Nutritive, Protective and Anti-Microbial.

Good bacteria or probiotics are your pet’s (and your own)first line of defense against the all the potentially harmful microorganisms that your pet or yourself inhale or ingest. Think of them as a mighty bacterial army that defends the body against dangerous invaders. Having sufficient numbers of these friendly microorganisms in residence will help prevent a wide range of health problems.

You have heard the statement often that the gut or intestinal bacteria is out of balance, but what does it really mean? The answer lies in the vital role that intestinal tract flora plays in over all health.

Probiotics are absolutely necessary to aid the body to:

  1. Manufacture B group vitamins, biotin and folic acid.
  2. Reduce blood cholesterol levels.
  3. Produce natural antibiotics, which can protect against harmful bacteria such as salmonella, E.Coli and shigella.
  4. Regulate and stimulate many aspects of the immune system.
  5. Improve lactose intolerance.
  6. Display significant anti-oxidant activity.
  7. Inhibit the growth of some yeast (eg. Candida Albicans).
  8. Detoxify harmful chemicals and carcinogens from the body via the intestinal system.
  9. Increase energy levels.
  10. Regulate and increase hormone levels.
  11. Remove toxins ingested through foods (eg. Pesticides and Herbicides).
  12. Absorb nutrients, antioxidants and iron from your diet.
  13. Removal of toxins as waste products of digestion.
  14. Reduce food intolerance (eg. Lactose and Gluten).
  15. Reduce inflammation.
  16. Digestion of food.

The Royal Society of Medicine of Great Britain reported that 90% of chronic diseases are caused from an unhealthy intestinal system primarily the colon.

Research has shown that there is a connection between imbalance in the intestines and the following dis-eases: Arthritis, Candida/Thrush, Yeast infections, Asthma, Food Allergies, Psoriasis, Eczema, Acne, Irritable Bowel, Celiac Disease, Indigestion, Constipation, Lupus, and possibly to some auto immune disorders due to a weak immune System.

Compare the concept of pro-biotics with anti-biotic drugs, which are designed to be “against life.” Because antibiotics destroy “good bacteria/probiotics” along with the “bad” bacteria (the pathogenic bacteria), it is good practice to add probiotics to our pet’s diet. If at any point in our pet’s lives we have resorted to conventional antibiotics to treat an infection or had them vaccinated or even de-wormed then their intestinal flora will be out of balance and most likely overrun with “bad” microorganisms.

In reality, there are quite a few things can affect the intestinal bacterial balance in a pet’s gut:

  • stress
  • poor diet
  • prescription drugs
  • pollutants
  • treated water
  • environmental changes
  • chemical fertilizers
  • pesticides
  • soil sterilizers in agriculture (which damage the soil ecosystem and the natural flow of bacteria found in the food chain).

This destruction of the good bacteria allows harmful bacteria to multiply and produce large amounts of toxins and carcinogenic agents. These toxins inhibit the normal function of the digestive system and increase the demands placed on the liver and kidneys. Consequently, this speeds up the aging process and leads to various diseases and digestion problems.

So, If we wish our pets (and ourselves)to maintain a healthy immune system, we need to avoid antibiotics,chemical exposure and things known to destroy the probiotics/friendly bacteria in the intestines as much as possible. We need support and maintain large quantities of friendly bacteria. This is easily done by supplementing with probiotics.

Probiotic Supplementation

Live bacteria supplementation; as opposed to freeze-dried or dairy preparation (yogurt, etc.) tend to have a much greater effect on the re-colonization and re-balancing of the gut microflora. Recent studies show the need for soil based organisms (SBO) – especially for our pets.

Soil Based Organisms

When you see your pet eating grass and or digging and eating dirt – they are attempting to get Soil Based Organisms into their body. Some thirty years ago, laboratory research scientists began investigating why animals eat dirt and grass. It was only when they examined organic soils and grasses that they found them to be teaming with microflora and bacteria that were protecting and nourishing the grasses and plants. These same microflora and bacteria proved to have a profound probiotic effect in the intestinal tract.

Appropriately, these microorganisms were collectively named Soil Based Organisms (SBOs).
Totally unlike today’s chemically treated soils and grasses, organic soil is teeming with soil-based organisms (SBOs) that live right around the grass roots. These (SBOs) are what your pet is after when you see them pulling at the grass and eating dirt!

Let Them Eat Dirt

Dirt and its SBOs have always been a natural part of our animal’s flora. When wild or feral dogs, wolves, (even horses and birds) eat from the ground they are naturally getting soil based organisms on whatever they are eating on the ground. And of course they have constant access to wild grown (organic), pesticide free dirt and grass in the wild when ever they want or need it.

Most GI disorders develop as a result of bad bacteria overwhelming the good (probiotic) bacteria, the first course of action should be to restore the balance by administering SBOs. SBOs are scientifically proven to resolve GI disorders and are essential to maintain intestinal balance.

It seems like the simple solution would be to let your dog and/or cat eat grass and dirt. However, most of our domestic animals live in environments that do not provide these essential digestive aids. Lawns, and dog parks are treated with inorganic pesticides, fertilizers, and chlorine from municipal water. These chemicals kill the SBOs. Many horses are kept in stalls and only allowed very little grass grazing if any. Compare this to wild horses that graze constantly grasses grown on naturally clean dirt.

SBO probiotics best and work fastest

Unlike dairy and most plant based probiotics that take months to build up the beneficial bacteria/flora in the gut, just a few doses of SBOs will quickly dispatch most cases of minor GI upsets often before you could ever have your pet seen by a veterinarian.

grass-eat-dirtMilk is for infant animals

Despite what the dairy industry has led us to believe, common sense and science tells us that milk is not healthy for mature humans, dogs, cats, horses or rabbits to consume. In fact, the regular eating (or drinking)of dairy products can lead to many serious dis-eases.

Most probiotics are cultured or grown on or in dairy products. Cow or goat milk is simply not something a mature animal in the wild would ever have access to. God designed soil based organisms to nourish and protect the immune system of plants and animals alike – they are the perfect probiotic.

If our pets are to maintain a healthy immune system, it goes without say that they need large quantities of friendly bacteria. Begin with a raw, species specific diet and supplement the diet with SBO probiotic to give your pet the health that he most certainly deserves.

Dr. Jeannie and The Whole Dog use and suggest the SBO probiotic – Pet Flora by Vitality Science

Scientific Studies

1. Bittner, A.C., Croffut, R.M. & Stranahan, M.C. (2005) … Probiotic-Prebiotic Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Randomized, placebo-Controlled, Double-blind Clinical Study. Clinical Therapeutics, 27(6):755-761. 2. Smith, C. Open Label Clinical Study … for Diverse Chronic Conditions of the GI Tract (Report CS-01-05). Ft. Benton, MT: Safer Medical, Inc. 3. Gibbons, J.D. (1988). Sign Tests. In: Encyclopedia of Statistical Sciences, Vol 8:471-475. New York, NY: Wiley & Sons.

Alvah C. Bittner, Ph.D., CPE is a Research Team Leader with Bittner & Associates, Kent WA & Professor, affiliated with Department of Environmental Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Jeff M. Smith is Owner, Rocky Mountain Retrievers, Missoula, MT & President, North American Hunting Retriever Association, Fredericksburg, VA

Group, E.F. (Unknown). Probiotic Bacteria and Your Health. Natural Health and Organic Living. Global Healing Center.

“Research from California has concluded that a deficiency of medicinal ‘superbugs’ – known as Soil Based Organisms (SBO) – from our soil and food chain may be responsible”(1) for intestinal illnesses and diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, colitis, candidiasis, and colon cancer. Therefore, including SBOs in one’s diet, either in supplement form or from foods such as cultured yogurt, cottage cheese, whey, and buttermilk. “Chronic fatigue, frequent diarrhea, intestinal gas, frequent constipation, poor immune response, bladder infections, chronic vaginal infections, candida, allergies, skin fungus, dairy product sensitivities, menstrual complaints or chronic bad breath are all indicators of a possible imbalance”(2), and soil probiotics such as SBOs may help provide the healthy balance the body needs.

The Journal of Nutrition – Nutritional Immunology – Supplementation of Food with Enterococcus faecium (SF68) Stimulates Immune Functions in Young Dogs Jalil Benyacoub, Gail L. Czarnecki-Maulden,* Christoph Cavadini, The´ re` se Sauthier, Rachel E. Anderson,* Eduardo J. Schiffrin and Thierry von der Weid – http://www.wholedognews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Probiotics-affect-immunesystemDogsfromtheJournalofNutrition.pdf

Transitioning Your Cat to Raw


Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 2.57.50 PM

By James Hartmann

Cats are obligate carnivores and thrive on a raw food diet. Kittens usually take to raw food immediately, however the same is not always true for adult cats fed a kibble or wet food diet through adolescence and into adulthood. Some cats transition to a raw food diet in a single feeding. This typically is not the norm. Most cats take a little longer and in many cases this process can take a few weeks or even a few months.

Whether you have made the decision to feed a pre-made frozen diet purchased at a local pet food store or have decided to make your own, you may encounter some obstacles in transitioning your adult cat to raw. Cats fed kibble are often the most difficult to convert as they become very familiar with the texture of the kibble.

Here are some helpful hints to get you started if you currently feed kibble. Gradually add small amounts of raw food on top of the kibble. Over the course of 2 – 4 weeks eventually convert fully to raw. If after 2 – 4 weeks this does not work, begin to convert kibble eaters to a better quality canned food. Mix the canned food into the kibble over time until they are eating all canned. Introduce the raw food by gradually transitioning the raw into the canned until your cat is eating an all raw diet. This process may take 2 – 4 weeks, and will vary by cat.

If your cat is already fed a canned food, the transition to raw may be a little easier. Gradually convert canned food eaters to raw by slowly mixing the raw food into the canned food. Over the course of 2 – 4 weeks fully convert to the raw.

During the conversion process, feed 2-3 times per day. Remove the food after 20 minutes. Dispose of any uneaten food and feed fresh again for the next meal. Consider adding some salmon oil to the top of the raw food to entice trial. Cats love it and it’s a great source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. A slow conversion is recommended for cats whose immune system has been compromised or for cats experiencing other health issues. For those cats with immune or health issues, it is recommended to consult a holistic veterinarian or other veterinarian experienced in raw feeding.

Once you have converted your cat, begin a rotational feeding schedule between proteins. This will enable your cat to benefit from the diverse nutrition sources. Be advised, as with any raw meat product, surfaces, food & water bowls, and meat containers must be washed with warm soapy water, after use.

Congratulations, you have successfully made the switch to raw. Now how much should you feed as a whole meal? When determining how much to feed your cat, you must consider age, health, activity level, and weight, while closely monitoring their dietary intake and adjusting as necessary. Using a percentage of body weight as a guideline, feed approximately:

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 2.56.55 PM

  • Adults 2.5% to 3.5% of body weight per day
  • Pregnant or Lactating 4% to 6% of body weight per day
  • Kittens (8wks-10wks) 6% of body weight per day
  • Kittens (11wks – 12 months) 4% of body weight per day

Finally, don’t forget raw meaty bones. When adding bones to the feeding plan, always ensure they are served raw (never cooked) as cooked bones can splinter. Often referred to as “nature’s toothbrush”, raw meaty bones can be introduced a few times per week. Chicken necks and chicken wings are small enough for cats to chew on and work quite well. These consumable bones are a great source of calcium.

With your transition game plan in place you are set to begin. Stick with it and be patient, the health and well-being of your feline companion is worth it!

For the Love of Dog

By Richie Kul

2014-04-05-32My deep affinity for pups has been an admittedly recent development. In fact, growing up if I saw a dog approaching (particularly a big one), perceived survival instincts would kick in and I would make a beeline to the other side of the street. When I was younger, I was chased down a small alley and bitten by a vagrant white dog while on the way to my aunt’s house in Thailand. The aftermath required several rabies shots and resulted in emotional wounds and a slight apprehensiveness around dogs. The white dog fared even worse. Animal control was called and he was rounded up and taken away. Only one family cried, the same one that left out food and water for him each day but never let him inside the house. The other neighbors cheered, most being victims at some point over the years of the same fearsome white jaws that clamped themselves around my knee and drew blood.

For years my relationship with dogs remained a tepid one. Friends would gush about their dogs and I would feign understanding of the depth of their love for their furry friends. This little charade ended rather abruptly though when my sister, in her crusade to save the world one rescue pup at a time, emailed me a few years ago and announced that she had gotten me a dog for my birthday from a local high-kill shelter in Henderson, Nevada. I ran through the laundry list of reasons why this arrangement was an ill fated one – travel schedule, lack of experience, the fact that I lived in an apartment in the middle of a concrete jungle – but all those excuses fell by the wayside the moment the small little white puppy she had adopted crawled into my travel bag and looked up to signal she was ready to head to the airport with me.

From that day on, I was a dog person and the world was transformed into a different place through Lily’s soulful eyes. The dilapidated stretch of grass wedged between two old buildings? It became a grand meadow that Lily would squeal at and charge towards with great urgency each morning. Every walk became a new adventure of different sights, sounds and smells that never failed to captivate and delight. And New York City, famed for being hardnosed and impersonal, weakened its defenses and became downright friendly for this inquisitive little 6 month old puppy who disarmed passersby with her charm.2014-04-05-36

 

As I fell more and more in love with Lily and as I plotted ways to use my platform as an actor and model to help more animals in need, I found myself thinking more and more about another dog, the one they called “Old Whitey”, the one that bit me in the alley years ago. I have no illusions about what happened to Old Whitey. A stray dog with a history of biting humans has only one fate when picked up by animal control. There are, however, countless thousands of stray dogs wandering the streets of Thailand in search of food, water and a loving home. The more I educated myself about the situation, the more I realized that I wanted to be a part of doing something to help ease their plight.

2014-04-05-33That is how I came to be involved with the heroic efforts of Soi Dog, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving the lives of Thailand’s homeless street dogs and rescuing and rehabilitating pups from the pernicious meat and fur trade in Southeast Asia. I am just one of many, most of whom toil far more tirelessly to save the life of yet one more dog.

As a longtime vegetarian and staunch believer in the sanctity of all life, working with Soi Dog and beholding the heart wrenching images of beautiful pups being violently procured and crammed into transport trucks to meet an incomprehensible fate compels me to do more. This sad reality that resonates with and outrages so many of us dog lovers is a fate that befalls many other equally smart and sensitive souls each and every day at farms and slaughterhouses around the world, and I try to urge fans and friends to not be selective in our compassion and instead, to open our hearts and minds to the importance of minimizing the harm we inflict on our fellow sentient, loving creatures.

It is with that in mind that Lily and I proudly serve as ambassadors for great animal welfare organizations and vegan fashion brands such as Soi Dog, CARE, PETA, Vaute Couture, Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue, FARM, In Defense of Animals, Animals Asia, and NOHARM that are fighting for our animal friends – dogs, cats, wildlife, and farm animals alike.

I do it for Lily, an abandoned stray herself. I also do it for Old Whitey, for whom I still say a silent prayer every time I think of him.

2014-04-05-34

 

Actor, model, and animal activist, Richie Kul has starred in a number of independent films and has modeled extensively in the U.S., Asia, and Europe, appearing in international campaigns and fashion editorials for Swatch, BlackRock, Nivea, GQ, Samsung, Chevrolet, Vaute Couture, Robinson les Bains, Mr Turk, Men’s Health, Ballantine’s and NOHARM.

Born in Thailand, Richie grew up near the sun-kissed beaches of Southern California and later attended Stanford University, where he earned degrees in Economics and Organizational Behavior. After eye-opening stints in investment banking and government finance, he quickly learned that the life of a desk jockey was not for him and broke out his passport and enlisted as a global nomad (aka travelling international model and actor), a pursuit he has been happily embracing ever since. A devoted vegetarian and committed animal activist, Richie eagerly shares with friends and fans the many virtues and benefits of going cruelty free and living in harmony with our animal friends.