SALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Founder and President of American Dog Rescue (ADR), Arthur Benjamin, announced from his company headquarters in Dallas, on Friday a $50,000 challenge grant that will help bolster and bring awareness to the donations needed to aid domesticated animals affected by the Haitian disaster. ADR is supporting The Humane Society of the United States, by matching donor contributions dollar-for-dollar for up to half of the $100,000 initial goal.
"The devastation is so great as is the need that the animals -- as in Katrina -- are being lost to the greater needs," said Benjamin, who hopes to achieve $1 million in support.
"Someone needed to step forward, to 'prime the pump,' to help these animals and the people who love them -- the Haitian people," he said. "There are many people in Florida where I currently live that are very concerned for their families, including the four-legged members."
All funds raised will be made available to Humane Society International, the international arm of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which is currently in contact with veterinarians on the ground in Port-au-Prince to begin the process of assessment. A lead veterinarian with disaster certification has been dispatched to the Dominican Republic and will join a humanitarian convoy as soon as it is cleared to enter Haiti.
"We are grateful to American Dog Rescue for devoting funds to the crisis in Haiti," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. "Whenever people are in this kind of distress, you can be sure that animals are suffering, too. We hope to be able to put boots on the ground to help the people and animals in their greatest time of need."
Any donations submitted to ADR, or its website, www.americandogrescue.org by clicking on the "Help The Animals of Haiti" button, can participate in the match.
"HSUS is a national and international established relief organization with the knowledge and know-how to deploy the funds raised to the greatest benefit of the animals as soon as logistics make this possible," said Benjamin. "They are working with partner groups in Haiti and the Dominican Republic in an effort assess the situation to determine the best way to begin saving lives and averting pain and suffering by our four-legged friends there."
Benjamin's efforts to build additional support for the Haitian animals is evidenced in his professional networking as vice chairman and CEO of Dallas-based ATI Career Training, a 24-campus, 16,000 student education company. Benjamin has reached out to other senior executives in the adult education and training community to campaign for additional aid.
"I wake up each morning excited in supporting two personal initiatives -- adults seeking to improve their lives through education; and homeless animals that deserve a second chance at life," said Benjamin, who spends his time between Salt Lake City, Boca Raton, and Dallas operating a series of businesses and philanthropic efforts.
American Dog Rescue (www.americandogrescue.org) is a tax-exempt, non-profit 501(c)3 organization committed to finding a home for every adoptable dog in the United States. In instances of international tragedy, its support transcends national borders. American Dog Rescue is committed to placing healthy dogs in permanent homes that are the right fit for the animal and its family. Donations can be made by visiting www.americandogrescue.org/donate or calling 801-944-3023.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization -- backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- on the web at www.humanesociety.org .
SOURCE American Dog Rescue