Philanthropist Jean Shafiroff spoke with us ahead of the 2020 Hero Dog Awards.
Philanthropist Jean Shafiroff spoke with Dog O’Day via a phone interview ahead of the 2020 Hero Dog Awards, which are put on each year by American Humane.
The Hero Dog Awards are currently in the 10th year, and the 2020 Hero Dog Awards show will be aired on the Hallmark Channel at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, October 19.
Jean Shafiroff is the author of the book Successful Philanthropy, and hosts a local TV show with the same name, in addition to serving on multiple boards for various animal welfare organizations, which include Global Strays, a charity her daughter founded several years ago.
Shafiroff is the national spokesperson for the American Humane’s Feeding the Hungry COVID-19 program, which assists shelters around the United States by providing meals for dogs in their care, with roughly one meal per dollar given.
“When people lose their jobs, they’re not able to feed their families, they’re not able to feed their dogs, they may not be able to pay their rent, pay their mortgage, or pay for school supplies – if they were giving small donations to different groups, obviously they cut that out. So, funding across the United States, at shelters large and small, has dried up.”
That led to the creation of this program, which is aiming for at least $1 million in donations, and as of Monday, October 12, had achieved around $600,000 towards that goal.
“It’s a really uplifting thing – people love animals, people love dogs, and to read about some of these dogs and what they’ve done is simply extraordinary.”
There are seven categories – Guide and Hearing Dogs, Law Enforcement Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Service Dogs, Shelter Dogs and Therapy Dogs – and one of these category winners will be named the American Humane 2020 Hero Dog.
“Philanthropy” basically means caring for the welfare of others, often through monetary giving, and Shafiroff has put this into practice in her own life as well, with several rescue dogs of her own.
“In my household right now we have six human adults and five rescue dogs,” Shafiroff said. “Two Chihuahuas, a pit bull and two mixed breeds, They are well behaved little angels, so appreciative. They really light up the household and make us very happy.”
While it’s a good thing that pet adoptions are up as the pandemic continues, as Shafiroff notes, “it’s very important that anyone considers carefully the responsibilities that come with pet ownership before they begin the adoption process.”
These basic responsibilities include the needs and temperaments of other humans and pets in the household already, the financial ability to take care of their food and veterinary needs, and fulfill the emotional and physical needs of the dog through proper exercise.
Again, the 2020 Hero Dog Awards are at 8 p.m. ET on the Hallmark Channel on Monday, October 19, where Jean Shafiroff and other celebrities will be showcased along with many good dogs.