Thursday, September 9, 2010

Yorkville’s Swanky Lounge For Celebrity Pets (And A Good Cause)

Rob Goddard, president of Helping Homeless Pets, holding nine-year-old miniature dachshund Layla, and Canine Culture founder Bianca Kapteyn (Image: Karon Liu)
Apparently we’re not the only ones who wonder what happens to stressed-out celebrity pets after years of getting bombarded by camera flashes (really, it’s amazing that we don’t hear reports of more chihuahuas having stress-induced seizures). The folks atCanine Culture, the same ones behind Woofstock, have created the Four-Legged Lounge, in which celebrity pets can rest while their owners are off at pressers and galas for the Toronto International Film Festival. No, this is not a joke; it’s a little piece of Hollywood, right here in Yorkville.
Bianca Kapteyn, the brains behind the lounge, partnered with gossip site the Hollywood Minute, Central Image Agency and Modern Dog magazine to take over part of Tire-Biter’s premises, on Scollard Street, to house celebrity pets while promoting awareness of homeless animals. About 40 framed pictures of dogs (and some cats) that need homes sit on shelves in the lounge. In addition to getting those pups adopted, the goal is to get the celebrity clientele to autograph those pics, which will be auctioned off to raise funds for Helping Homeless Pets.
Kapteyn is tight-lipped about who’s scheduled to drop off their pets—that would defeat the purpose of the lounge being a safe haven for the four-legged family members—but she says celebrity clients have to make an appointment through their publicist before coming, which will prevent bookings by celebrity impersonators hoping for free doggie daycare.
The Four-Legged Lounge runs from Sept. 9 to Sept. 14 at Tire-Biter Inc., 104 Scollard St.

Veterinarians Ride 160 km to Raise Money for People and Pets Who Need It Most

TORONTOSept. 9 /CNW/ - This Saturday, September 11, fifty-two veterinarians and veterinary health professionals from across Ontario will embark on a cycling journey through the Milton area to raise funds and awareness for the Farley Foundation; a charitable organization that assists low-income seniors, disabled persons and women at risk of abuse* with the necessary veterinary care of their pets. 
Established in 2001, the Farley Foundation was established as a means to assist those who benefit the most from pet ownership. To date, the Farley Foundation has disbursed over $700,000 to assist over 2,400 people across Ontario who may well have been forced to give up their pets to a shelter, or in some cases, have them put to sleep.
Members of the media are invited to the Farley Foundation head office at 420 Bronte Street South in Milton where riders will gather prior to departing on their, 160km, 100km and 50 km rides.  Riders will be available for comments and photographs between 8:30am and noon.
The Ride for Farley is one of three major fundraising events held each year by the foundation and began in 2005 when a small group of veterinarians cycled through northern Ontario to raise donations. In order to be accessible to more veterinarians, the event was moved to southern Ontario last year, resulting in veterinarians raising a total of $77,000.
Farley Foundation president and one of this year's cyclists, Dr. Mark Gemmill comments, "Veterinarians not only care for the health of pets, we also help people make extremely difficult decisions about their pets welfare. Raising money for a cause that directly benefits the people who need it most, and who consider their pets to be family members is something every veterinarian can relate to on an emotional and professional level. My hope is that we continue to grow the foundation and reach out to as many people as possible who might benefit from it."
October is Fundraise for Farley month where again, Ontario veterinary clinics, supported by the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, will fundraise all month long. Of the 240 participating clinics, each will fundraise in various ways including the sale of re-usable Farley shopping bags by donation through their clinics. The shopping bags, made of 80 percent recycled material are sponsored by Hills Pet Nutrition which means that 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the Farley Foundation.
*OVMA's SafePet Program assists women at risk of abuse who are entering women's shelters. For more information about the program, please visit