Mai pals I wanted to thank you all so much for the wonderful #dudefest celebration, in my honour which we have only just recovered from!! It was so lovely to have this idea suggested to me when some of mai pals wanted to have a celebration of all of the pawpawty achievements while I was still around to join in the fun! Given that I am a bit of an old boy now and we found out a few months ago that I have a tumour in my bladder, darn it I hate getting old!

It was a great event and a huge thank you goes out to all of you for your continued help and support. PawPawty started off in 2009 with just a few pals having some fun on twitter and it has grown into a wonderful movement which aims to help unfortunate anipals all over the world.

Thank you so much for allowing me to pick the two shelters who benefited from the #dudefest they are both great shelters who have been nominated continually for a pawpawty event and they both help animals in their care to find a new home or look after them if they are not suitable for rehoming.

Since we started this pawpawty thing we have raised $33,311 for 29 shelters from all over the world the breakdown in terms of countries supported is as follows:

  • 15  located in USA
  •  2   located in Canada
  •  1   located in Australia
  •  6   located in the UK
  •  1   located in the Bahamas
  •  1   located in Thailand
  •  1   located in Poland
  •  1   located in Germany
  •  1   located in worldwide which benefited Haiti disaster

We have a great number of followers from all over the world and our aim continues to be helping shelters from different parts of the globe. As you know on alternate month's we support @romeothecat 's furpower challenge which supports small registered shelters who help mainly cats within the USA.

We like to support smaller shelters who do not have access to large marketing budgets or thousands of existing supporters, indeed many of the shelters we support are funded entirely by volunteers who give up their time to help care for animals who have been rejected by the rest of society.

It has also been a great pleasure for my staff to have met some of you in real life when they travelled to New York for the Shorty Awards and also when they attended Blogpaws earlier this year. We hope that they will be able to meet many more of you face to face at BarkWorldExpo and again at BlogPaws West later this year.

The PawPawty events have helped to raise awareness of how we can provide much needed funds and many of you have gone on to hold your own events which have also helped shelters close to you or for which you have a special bond. It is heartwarming to think that we have started something which has spread to help so many animals.

We have around 40-50 prizes donated each and every month from individuals and companies, these help us have some fun quizzes at the events and it is such fun to see all of the photo of you receiving your prize package in the mail. A big thank you to each and everyone who has ever donated a prize.

Giving your time is also am important part of the events and each of you who play a role such as a BarkTender, a DJ or CJ, a Quizmaster, or as part of Sekurity team , E-Cafe , Cookie Cafe and Merchandise designers all have my eternal thanks for all of the effort that you all put into the events each and every month.

Of course I have to say a huge thanks to all of you who are able to donate funds to the various shelters we have supported,  I know that times recently have been tough for people all over the world so every dollar really does help and your continued support is very much appreciated.

Just joining in the fun and making new pals is also a big part of what happens at the events and it has been my pleasure to be a part of such a great band of pals who provide support through the good and bad that life likes to throw at us.

If through what we have created together even one more animal has a better quality of life or finds a loving furever home then all of this has been more than worthwhile and for that I thank all of you because without you none of this would be possible.

It was however with great sadness that I saw some messages on twitter which suggested that people were being ignored if they did not donate funds and, even worse comments which implied that funds where not being send to charities, and that perhaps myself or people associated with the pawpawty or dudefest events have been personally benefiting financially from the events.

So in addressing these comments I would like to say that the only fantastic benefit that I have ever received from these events is to be lucky enough to be a part of a very welcoming community of like minded pals who want to try to make a difference.

My intention was never to make it an exclusive 'club' where you have to donate funds to be able to join in. I make no bones about the fact that we ask for donations it is after all a big part of why we have the events, but we never intentionally ignore anyone who is not able to donate. Indeed unless people choose to leave their twitter details on the donation pages, anipals at the pawty have no idea who has and who has not donated. Ultimately it is a choice, if anyone does not want to donate to a specific shelter, then that is their choice and no judgements are made either way. It is also pertinent to note that during a pawpawty more than 2,000 tweets are usually exchanged and if someone does not get a reply this has never to my knowledge been intentional, it is more likely that the tweet simply got missed in the general tweeting madness that is the pawpawty.

As to claims that the funds do not go to charities or that the charities or shelters are not real, well, anyone can nominate a shelter to go into the monthly draw to be the recipient of pawpawty funds. Nominations come from the anipal community in the main and are shelters or charities who are known to the individuals making the nomination. The draw is a random selection so it can be a shelter from anywhere in the world who is selected. Although the majority of the nominations are for USA shelters so they do have a better than average chance of being selected.

All of the Firstgiving, Justgiving pages which are created for the registered shelters are available on line for anyone to access. We do not have any direct access to funds donated in this way, they are paid directly to the registered shelters. On occasions when we have used Chipin it has been occasionally linked to our own paypal account. However these pages are also available for anyone to inspect with regard to the amount of funds raised. All of the shelters we have supported are listed on the main pawpawty site and anyone can get in touch with them to check if they did indeed get the funds that were raised for them.

The PawPawty events are all about helping animals worldwide so if people want to help shelters which are more local to them then I am sure that there are more than enough shelters out there who would be happy to have additional help and support.

We have come a long way mai pals and I believe that there is still more to do and I will  continue to help animals who are not as fortunate as we all are, from wherever they are in the world.

Part of why the PawPawty is such a success is the very fact that it is made up of a community of people from all over the world, with different views and opinions on all sorts of things. But with a common goal to try to make the world a better place one paw at a time. You don't have to have bags of cash, or be able to design websites, or create menus, or blip tunes, or serve great drinks to play your part. All that is required is an open mind, a love for anipals, and a desire to do something to help, because every positive action you take today could make a difference to an anipal somewhere in the world who needs your help.

Once again I give you my heart felt thanks for the wonderful #dudefest that was held in my honour and the beautiful comments you have all left on the tribute site created just for me. I hope that long after I have passed to the rainbow bridge mai pals will remember the little terrier from England who tried his very best to help his pals one paw at a time.

Your Pal Forever
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