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‘Original Sock Dogs’ made from scratch – Interview with the founder

I saw a link on a website which transferred me to another website and then another website. I lost track of what I was actual looking for, and somehow I ended up on This is one of the cutest hand crafted ideas I have seen this year. “Original Sock Dogs”… the name says it all. Artisan Stacey’s idea arose after a visit in Taiwan where she met a stray dog. In honor of this special dog. and to support her local Humane Society Organization, she started making original sock dogs from scratch.

Read our interview with Stacey, the founder of Original Sock Dogs, and see how an individual can make a difference in animals’ and people’s lives, by doing what she loves to do.

Original Sock Dogs by Stacey

Specializes In: Handmade Collectible Plush Art

Interviewee: Stacey Hsu – Kansas City, Missouri.

How and when did the idea for your business with handmade sock dogs come about?

Every year, my local shelter, the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City, holds a silent and live pet-themed art auction called Art Unleashed. In the past, I donated small paintings and illustrations, but I wanted to make something different in 2005. I found a great book called, of all things, Stupid Sock Creatures (John Murphy). Instead of making “sock monsters” I decided to make sock dogs to fit with the pet-themed auctions.

What is your background as an artist?

I’ve always enjoyed writing and drawing. When I was 8, I sat in my room and practiced drawing Garfield and Snoopy day and night—mostly to impress my friends and family. I enjoyed drawing so much that I kept up with it, and eventually branched out to other art forms like sculpting, character design and animation.  I have a degree in Advertising, but chose to follow a different path, and worked as an editor, producer and director at Hallmark Cards for 10 years. Now I’m taking care of my kiddos and running my own business from home. (Thank you, Etsy!)

Can you describe to us the material you use for the sock dogs, and the work that goes into making them?

They really are made of socks! (All brand new socks, I might add. I’ve been asked!) Most Original Sock Dogs’ noses are made from big black buttons—there’s just something about those big dog noses! Lately, most of the dogs I’ve been making are customs based on people’s pets. Each one is a new adventure! I learn a little about the dog before I start (personality, etc) and take a good long look at their photos. In a way, I suppose I meditate on all of that before I begin sewing. I want each custom Original Sock Dog to represent the real dog not just in appearance but also in spirit.

What do you love most about handcrafting sock dogs?

It’s so exciting to see a bunch of raw materials transform into a real character. Although the basic elements are the same on many of the sock dogs, they each take on their own shape and attitude. I can’t wait to add the finishing touches and see them spring to life.

Do you also create other animals?

I do! I’ve made seagulls, bunnies, bears and cats out of socks. I also make collectible artist bears from mohair and plush when time allows.

I checked your picture gallery on and your etsy shop on You are an amazing artist – every single sock dog is unique and absolutely adorable (smiling puppy faces)! I have already found my personal favorite. Do you have a favorite sock dog?

I don’t have one single favorite, but there is something really meaningful to me about the Sock Pit Bulls I make. I’ve worked with quite a few Pitties while volunteering at the shelter and they are really amazing, devoted, loving dogs. I’d like to think that I’m helping to soften their image a little, for people who fear or misunderstand the breed.

You offer many different sock dogs as well as custom dogs. If I want you to create a sock dog of my dog, what do I have to do?

To order a custom, all you need to do is visit my etsy shop, purchase a custom listing and email me photos of your dog. All customs are $85 plus shipping.

On your Facebook page people can follow your sock dogs/cats. I read you are fully booked for Christmas 2012 – and congrats! – but you can still do some of the itty pitties, right? And what are itty pitties?

Yes, I can still work in a few itty pitties! They are small (3” high) needle felted Pit Bull puppies that are posable and of course, each is one of a kind. Needle felting is a process of using a very sharp needle to poke and shape wool and other natural fibers. The end results are so cute, I don’t even mind occasionally stabbing my fingers while making them!

For a unique holiday idea, you offer gift certificates. How long does it take to finish a single custom sock dog and how much does it cost?

From start to finish, a custom can take anywhere from 4-12 hours. It depends on the complexity of the markings, the type of coat the animals has (long or short) and other distinguishing features or special requests. The time it takes to have it ready for a customer also depends on how many orders are already on the schedule—it’s first come, first served!

What is the secret of your success? Do you have any ideas, tips or advice for the next talented artist who might want to start a business like yours?

You have to love what you do. If you don’t have a huge passion for your craft, you just won’t stick with it. I have a 5 year old, a 2 year old, a husband and 4 pets that need me, and even when I’m dead tired at the end of the day, I still look forward to heading into my studio and designing and sewing the dogs. If you have a love of what you do and make, it will show in the finished product.  You might also consider donating a portion of your sales to a non-profit or mission that is close to your heart. It keeps you going, knowing that you are helping someone other than yourself!

You are an animal rescue supporter, you volunteer at your local no-kill shelter, and you donate 10% of your sock dog sales to the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City. Why are volunteers important for animal shelters and what have you learned through your work at the Humane Society?

Volunteers are absolutely essential to shelters. They are the glue that holds all of the shelter efforts together. They help coordinate events, help garner donations, take dogs out for adoption days, and spend one on one time with cats and dogs that need socialization, love and affection. I started volunteering to get my “dog fix”—I didn’t have any at the time. Now I have two dogs and two cats—all from shelters. So if you decide to volunteer, get ready to fall hopelessly in love with the animals you meet.

I saw the cute Johnny Justice Sock Dogs on your Facebook Fan Page. Can you tell us a little about “Johnny Justice”?

Jonny is one of the Pit Bulls rescued from Michael Vick’s dog fighting kennels. He was adopted by a loving family and has been certified as a service dog. He has worked in libraries, helping kids learn to read, and is a goodwill ambassador for his breed.

Can you describe an experience that has particularly moved or inspired you?

During a trip to Taiwan in 2004, my husband and I came across a stray black dog with an injured front leg. She was being bullied by the other strays—chased away from food scraps, snapped at, it was awful. She basically attached herself to me and followed me around all morning. My heart seriously broke that day.

This is the cute dog Stacey met in Taiwan.

I wanted so much to just fold her in my arms and take her with me. But we were traveling by train, and not knowing the country or the language very well, I felt helpless about the situation. We bought her a warm meal at a street vendor and sat with her while she ate, to protect her from the other dogs. I cried the whole way back on the train, and for days after. I vowed to do something to help other dogs like her when we returned to the states, and that’s why I started volunteering. I’ve always loved animals, but I think that sweet girl gave my compassion levels a huge boost—ever since I’ve been dedicated to finding ways to help the animals, through sharing my time and my art.

In general, why should people adopt from a rescue?

If you are looking for a companion, someone to love who will love you back unconditionally—please adopt from a shelter. There are so many animals waiting in shelters for loving homes. And every time a dog or cat is adopted from a shelter, space opens up for another homeless animal who otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to find a forever home. I also believe that shelter animals know they have been “rescued” and possess a special kind of gratitude toward their people.

If you could give pet owners one piece of advice what would it be?

Love them while they are here. Their lives are so short—never take them for granted.

Do you have pets of your own?

My two dogs, Lolly and Ava are both from the shelter where I volunteer. They are black dogs, which are very often overlooked in shelters. They are also two of the most loving, devoted, goofy, wonderful girls ever. Our two cats, also from shelters, think that they own us!

Which websites or pet-related books would you recommend to PackPeople?

I would definitely recommend that everyone check out their local shelter or rescue’s web site. Get to know what they are about, what they need, and how you can help out. There are so many ways, big and little, to pitch in and make life better for these wonderful dogs and cats. I’d also recommend taking a look at and

In terms of print publications, I am a big fan of The Bark Magazine. Great articles and a pro-rescue point of view.




Original Sock Dogs is also a proud member of HeArtsSpeak.

Adoption Articles Cool and Fun Stuff News Shelter Animals

L.A. Love & Leashes Benefit Event – The first non-profit pet store

Hey PackPeople,

We need your support: my friend Marissa is volunteering for a great organization in Los Angeles called L.A. Love & Leashes and she has asked me to help get them some exposure. Please read what they do and how you can help support their awesome work.

This Thursday night, June 28th, there is a special benefit for L.A. Love & Leashes – the first non-profit run “pet store” that adopts out only animals from L.A.’s city animal shelters. Milo Greene, an LA-based band getting some big buzz recently (on Letterman Tuesday, profiled in the LA Times over the weekend and sold out the Troubador last week) is playing. There will be an open bar, food (passed appetizers) by celebrity chef Sepi Kashanian and there is plenty of onsite parking.

If 100 tickets are sold, L.A. Love & Leashes can renew its lease after the summer. In their first six months, they’ve adopted out 224 dogs and cats (and one hamster) from LA’s city shelters. It’s a new, humane model for pet stores and the first and only store of its kind supporting our city shelters in L.A.

You can learn more and buy tickets on their website: – Make a donation here.

Where and when?: Thursday, June 28th, 7:30 – 10 p.m., 2750 Casitas St., Los Angeles, CA 90039

Please support this creative new model to increase shelter adoptions! Thank you for sharing and supporting.

L.A.’s first pet adoption store for rescued shelter pets.
Adoption Advocacy and Activism

New Facebook Fan Pages: Dog Adoption, Cat Adoption and @Lost_Pets

This week we created 3 more Fan Pages on Facebook to give Dog Adoption, Cat Adoption and Lost Pets a higher chance to be seen by our community of animal lovers and people who care about animal welfare.

Why Dog Adoption? I started to visit local L.A. shelters a couple months ago to help give more exposure to homeless dogs and cats. Through my work with PackPeople, I’ve met a lot of people who want to help spread the word about shelter animals by taking pictures of them, then uploading them on their Facebook pages or on those of different rescue groups and animal welfare organizations. The problem? Some of the rescue groups delete them from the wall, or don’t allow posts. Also, not everyone has a blog or a website or a twitter account, but still want to get involved and help.

This is why I always encourage people to post on’s Fan Page, I mean, we all share the same passion and want to help, right? My idea is to give everyone from everywhere the possibility to upload pictures and stories about a dog or a cat (or many dogs and many cats) on the Fan Page and to spread the word with social media tools. Please always write a short description (including the name of the shelter, dog ID number and, if possible, breed and age) or take a picture of the shelter’s intake information as well. Almost everyone (even my 6-year-old nephew) knows how to post on Facebook – A quick solution to make a lasting impact. If you visit the the Dog Adoption Fanpage please “Like” it – We need the “Likes” to reach more people:)

We’ve created the same Facebook Fanpage for cats called Cat Adoption and we’ve also created a Fan Page called @Lost_Pets along with a new Twitter account called @Lost_Pets. Why @Lost_Pets? I always twitter signs of lost dogs and cats, using different #tags as appropriate. It’s a great way to catch momentum and spread the word right away. Every week I find new posts on poles and intersections and I feel sorry for the pet and the owners – I try not to miss any with my smartphone. A short description of where I saw the sign and the area helps to find my tweet faster (or I hope so). @Lost_Pets is designed for every human who is able to use the camera in his/her smartphone and to tweet it or to post it on one of the walls.

Twitter @Lost_Pets

And if you know how to use your camera but don’t have a twitter account, and have no idea how to post it on our walls? No problem, just send the picture to our e-mail address and we’ll take care of it. We’ll tweet it for you, and the great thing about social media and applications are that the accounts are combined — every tweet appears on the @Lost_Pets Facebook Page automatically. In our mission to help animals, we surf a lot on pet-related websites and we always find great new sources – we’ll also share tips and guidelines, links and websites about Lost – Found Pets.


Please, visit the Fan Pages – Dog AdoptionCat Adoption@Lost_Pets and check out our new Twitter account @Lost_Pets, please share your pictures of adoptable dogs and cats, rabbits and every kind of animal you want to help to get adopted, Like and Follow Us to create a community. The profile pictures on the fan pages will vary every week, please don’t get confused about that. At the end of 2012 we are going to use our collected pictures of lost dogs and cats to design a fantastic collage with your help. I’m sure it’s not a tough task to stop for a minute to take a picture of a lost pet… just think about how grateful the owner will be for helping him/her to find his beloved pet.

Social media is great! Technology is providing us with awesome tools we could and should use to share information, help others and make an impact.

Adoption Interviews on Non - Profits Shelter Animals

Fundraising and Foster Homes are huge for us – Interview with Grateful Dogs Rescue

Another great interview from San Francisco! We had the pleasure of interviewing Grateful Dogs Rescue, an organization founded in 1990 by Michelle Parris. For more than 2 decades, Grateful Dogs Rescue is on a mission to save the lives of dogs at San Francisco Animal Care and Control that are at risk of euthanasia. As the oldest all-breed rescue group in San Francisco, Grateful Dogs saves as many dogs as possible, places them in experienced foster homes and provides veterinary care and training as needed until loving adopters can be found.

Medical Care is expensive and the organization is in need of financial funds and donations. Many fun events are upcoming in October in the Bay Area, so if you live close by please take the time and visit these worthwhile events to donate to the rescue,  to help them to keep up their great work or just to visit and say Hi.

Michelle Douglas shared with us her insights as well as the daily challenges of a busy dog rescue. Thank you, Michelle! PackPeople, enjoy the interview!

Grateful Dogs Rescue by PackPeople
Grateful Dogs Rescue:


Twitter: @GratefulDogsSF

Facebook: Grateful Dogs Rescue

YouTube: Grateful Dogs Rescue

In addition to the many resources provided on the “Links” page, Michelle also recommends:

Petfinder –
Adopt a Pet –

Books by Michael Wombacher
Books by Dr. Ian Dunbar

Spreading the word can help save lives! If you liked the interview please share it with your community by clicking the Facebook and Twitter icons at the bottom of this article or feel free to leave a comment. Thank you.

iTunes News: Get PackPeople’s interviews as a Podcast!

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Adoption Interviews on Non - Profits Pet Care Shelter Animals

Activism, Advocacy and the Choices We Make – Audio interview with Aubrie from Paws 4 Change

We recently had the great fortune of discovering, a highly informative yet personable animal welfare advocacy website that shares a strong, dedicated point of view. Webmaster/creator Aubrie Kavanaugh considers herself an animal welfare advocate armed with a laptop, as evidenced by Paws4Change’s address of many important and useful subjects, selected and compiled thoughtfully and carefully (breed bans, spay & neuter, aggression in dogs are just a few). Initiated by her own personal experiences with dog welfare, her goal is to encourage people to re-think their beliefs, behaviors and choices.

We had a really great time interviewing Aubrie Kavanaugh, and we’re excited to share with you her knowledge and insights about helping dogs and people.

Paws 4 Change  –

Facebook: Paws4Change

Interviewee: Aubrie Kavanaugh / Interviewer: Rufino Cabang (PackPeople)

Please check out the audio interview here:

Paws4Change Audio Interview by PackPeople

Websites Aubrie would like to mention are:

Petfinder /

No Kill Advocacy Center /

National Canine Research Council /

PetShopPuppies /

Dogs Deserve Better /

wonderpuppy /

Fisher – Official Band Site /

Spreading the word can help save lives! If you liked the interview please share it with your community by clicking the Facebook and Twitter icons at the bottom of this article or feel free to leave a comment. Thank you!

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Adoption Breeds Non - Profits Pet Care Pet Care Shelter Animals

Missy's story – The girl from the 405 Freeway, L.A.

Picture an off-ramp at the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles. What do you normally see there? Bushes, trees, maybe trash, plastic bags, cardboard boxes, paper, cans, bottles, maybe old tires, things tossed out of the cars driving by. This is where beautiful Missy was found over 3 years ago.

Missy is a happy, wiggly, kissy dog. She is a beautiful red-head, athletic and affectionate. She is always in a good mood when she is around a human being. Unfortunately, Missy has been living in a kennel facility ever since she was rescued over 3 years ago. She is comfortable there: She gets fed, she goes to play in the yard, she sometimes gets taken out for walks and gets a cookie, every time an employee walks by her. But does she get the attention she craves so desperately? Does she get to snuggle up next to her favorite person or family? Does she get to play ball every day (which she loves!)? Does she get to swim in the pool which is her absolute favorite activity? Does somebody tell her every day, what a wonderful girl she is and how much she is loved? No. Well, that is not completely true. She did have all that for about 2 months. Just recently. Missy got adopted by a nice couple and their teenage daughter. They had a dog before Missy for many years, they live in a nice home with a secure yard and a wonderful pool. They adored Missy, feed her the best food, bought her toys and gave her kisses. So, what happened? Why is she not with her adoptive family anymore?

Let’s reverse: We at Pacific Coast Dog Rescue are very careful when placing our dogs. We look for a stable life-style of our adopters, we make sure, that their home and yard are secure for the dog. We strive to place our dogs with people who are going to be committed to the dog. Who will work through any issues that may arise. We also outweigh the good and the bad, because there is always something in question. In the case of Missy’s adopters, everything matched, except, that maybe, there was a bit of a lack of confidence in handling Missy in certain situations. As mentioned before, Missy is a very happy and wiggly dog and that means, that she can get overstimulated at times. So, the key is, to keep Missy calm and controlled. Not that difficult of a task, as Missy has received our 3 week on-leash obedience training and she LOVES to show off her training. As a matter of fact, her adopters updated us on several occasions about her excellent manners and her obedience. They even had a cocktail party 4 days after Missy moved in, when she impressed everybody with her excellent manners.

We, at Pacific Coast Dog Rescue take the adoption process serious. We always conduct several home visits with the dog, before leaving them at the new home for good. During that time, we practice the training with the adopters. We also check in regularly for the first couple of months and ask the adopters to contact us right away with even the smallest problem or concern. Well, Missy’s adopters informed us, that Missy would get very excited, when she saw people playing basketball. I guess, the moving ball made her anxious. The founder of Pacific Coast Dog Rescue and also our trainer, David Roe, explained Missy’s adopters, how to use the training, to handle her in those situations. Everything seemed to be going well until we got the call: “We are heartbroken, but we have to return Missy. She nipped our neighbor, playing basketball.” How could this have happened? Missy was on a leash. Easy to control. According to the adopters, Missy was on a leash, they walked by the neighbor with the basketball and she jumped and nipped him in the leg.

I wasn’t at the scene but I know, that this was a no-brainer to avoid: 

1. Walk into a different directions, cross the street, go around the person with the basketball. 

2. Follow the training routine, don’t let the dog get to the point of over-stimulation, use the training to keep her focused. 

3. Ask the person to step out of the way because your dog gets nervous around basketballs. 

Either one of those solutions seem reasonable to me. And Missy would still be happy with her family in her home. Instead, this preventable incident turned into a huge scene. 911 was called, 2 police cars, a firetruck, an ambulance and animal control showed up. The person who got nipped in the leg, went to the hospital but his injury was so minor, that he did NOT need any medical treatment. Animal control determined, that Missy was NOT a danger to society, they actually commented on what a nice dog she was, after they tried to agitate her and push to see, how far they could go with her and all she did, was try to kiss them! But according to law, Missy had be quarantined for 10 days. Because she is such a nice dog and was not determined to be vicious, she was able to stay in her home during that time. But I have to warn you: Animal control has ALL the power in these kind of situations, they can determined a dog to be dangerous at their discretion. And then, there is nothing you can do, to save your dog’s life. Especially, if your dog is an American Pit Bull, American Staffordshire Terrier, Mastiff, Bulldog, or a mix of those.

The hysteria is big. So, where is Missy now? She is back at the rescue. Her adopters brought her back with tears in her eyes. I had to hold back, not to start crying, because I know, that I wouldn’t have been able to stop. Missy has always been one of my special heartbreakers because I know, how much she longs for a family to love her. On the other hand, I am happy, that she is back with us, safe. Now I know for next time, I have to be even more careful in placing her. So, that Missy truly has a forever home. Somebody who is sensible to her needs, somebody who loves her unconditionally and somebody who protects her. Because Missy is a wonderful girl!

If you are interested in adopting Missy please visit the website of Pacific Coast Dog Rescue and contact Ingrid.

Please also check the video interview with Ingrid Hurel here.

Adoption Interviews on Non - Profits Pet Care Pet Care Shelter Animals

Just do it! Audio interview with Kish from 4 Luv of Dog Rescue

4 Luv of Dog Rescue is a 503 (c) non-profit organization run 100% by volunteers and dedicated to rescuing and re-homing dogs in North Dakota. They don’t have a shelter facility; all dogs are in foster homes or are being cared for at local boarding facilities. They also provide a big source of educational information.

We had a great time interviewing and learning from the Adoption Coordinator, Kish, and we’re excited to share with you her experiences, knowledge and insights in helping dogs find loving homes and educating people.

4 Luv of Dog Rescue –

Twitter: @4luvofdog

Facebook: 4 Luv of Dog Rescue

Interviewee: Kish / Interviewer: Rufino Cabang (PackPeople)

Please check out this wonderful audio interview here:
4 Luv of Dog Rescue by PackPeople

Websites Kish would like to mention are:

Petfinder –
Ace of Hearts –
Karma Rescue –
The Humane Society of the United States –
Homeward Bound –

Spreading the word can help save lives! If you liked the interview please share it with your community by clicking the Facebook and Twitter icons at the bottom of this article or feel free to leave a comment. Thank you!

Adoption Interviews on Non - Profits Pet Care Shelter Animals

Why don't you get another one? – Audio Interview with Carie from Peace of Mind

Peace of Mind Dog Rescue is a non-profit organization founded in 2009 and dedicated to finding new loving homes for dogs whose senior guardians can no longer care for them due to illness, death, or other challenging circumstances, and to finding homes for senior dogs in animal shelters. Peace of Mind Dog Rescue also help non-senior dog guardians on a case-by-case basis who are facing difficult circumstances and need to surrender their dog.

We had a great time interviewing the President of POMDR, Carie Broecker, and we’re excited to share with you her experiences, knowledge and insights of her work in helping dogs and people.

Peace of Mind Dog Rescue –

Facebook: Peace of Mind Dog Rescue

Interviewee: Carie Broecker / Interviewer: Rufino Cabang (PackPeople)

Please check out the audio interview here:
PackPeople – Peace of Mind Interview by PackPeople

Websites Carie would like to mention are:

Petfinder  –
Adopt a Pet  –
PetHarbor  –

We’d like to urge everyone to visit the site for Carie’s terrific magazine “Coastal Canine” at

Spreading the word can help save lives! If you liked the interview please share it with your community by clicking the Facebook and Twitter icons at the bottom of this article or feel free to leave a comment. Thank you!

Excited to learn more about senior dog adoptions? Check out our article about Senior dog care and our  audio interview with Muttville.

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Adoption Interviews on Non - Profits Pet Care Pet Care Shelter Animals

Our dog adoptions increased 70% – Interview with Ingrid from Pacific Coast Dog Rescue

Pacific Coast Dog Rescue is a non-profit organization founded in 1998 by David Roe. This organization, which runs one of the biggest private shelter facilities in existence with 90 dogs, continually saves the lives of dogs and adopts them out to loving homes – over 2000 dogs have found homes through PCDR. We had a great time interviewing Ingrid Hurel, Adoption Coordinator of Pacific Coast Dog Rescue and we’re excited to share with you her experiences, knowledge and insights of her work in helping dogs and people to find the right match.

Pacific Coast Dog Rescue, organization located in Burbank – Los Angeles

Interviewee: Ingrid Hurel / Interviewer: Rufino Cabang (PackPeople)

Please check out the video interview here:

Websites Ingrid would like to mention are:

Blue Dog Ranch – Dog Boarding, Daycare, & Training Facility –

Pit Bull Rescue Central –

Spreading the word can help save lives! If you liked the interview please share it with your community by clicking the Facebook and Twitter icons at the bottom of this article or feel free to leave a comment. Thank you!

If you want to know more about Pit Bulls, check out our audio interview with Rachele @Chako or the video Misperception-and-Misunderstanding-of-Bully-Breeds

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Interviews on Non - Profits Pet Care Pet Care Shelter Animals

Find your perfect dog with Ace of Hearts Rescue Foundation

Ace of Hearts is dedicated to rescuing dogs, up to the day they are to be euthanized, from various Los Angeles shelters and placing them in loving homes. We interviewed Kari Whitman, Founder of Ace of Hearts, and we’re excited to share with you her experiences, knowledge and projects in helping rescued dogs find homes.

Ace of Hearts Dog Rescue Foundation, – 501-c3 non – profit organization located in Los Angeles

Founded in: 1999

Founder: Kari Whitman

Interviewee: Kari Whitman / Interviewer: Rufino Cabang (packpeople)

Please check out our highly interesting audio interview here:
ACEOFHEARTSInterview by packpeople

Spread the word! If you liked the interview please share it with your community by clicking the facebook and twitter icons at the bottom of this article, thank you!

Facebook: Ace of Hearts Dog Rescue

Twitter: @AceOfHeartsDogs

Websites Kari Whitman would like to mention are:

Greener Pup

Pet Friendly Travel