While exact numbers are uncertain, the ASPCA estimates there are tens of millions of stray dogs and cats living in the United States. Pet overpopulation leads not only to the premature deaths of strays due to predators and vehicles, but also increases in human rabies cases and disrupted wild animal environments. Sadly, each year shelters are forced to euthanize thousands of cats and dogs that cannot find homes.
Fortunately, there are organizations across the country dedicated to Bob Barker’s “pet” cause. One of them is the Friends of Cats and Dogs Foundation (FCDF), an all-volunteer nonprofit organization in the Birmingham, AL, area that has spayed and neutered over 25,000 cats and dogs since 1991. Today, they continue to provide the public with a low-cost spay and neuter certificate program, as well as a foster care system that offers adoption assistance for needy pets.
When the three board members and six volunteers at FCDF needed branded apparel for special events, including adoption days and fundraisers, they turned to Kamie Compton, owner of On Top Embroidery & Design in nearby Homewood, AL. Compton knew Peggy Cropp, a member of the FCDF board of directors, in high school and recently reconnected with her on Facebook. Both discovered that they share a deep love for and devotion to animals. “FCDF buys the blank apparel and I donate the embroidery,” says Compton. “It’s my way of pitching in to such an amazing cause. I do small orders at a time for volunteers, and we’re currently discussing adding more promotional items.”
For their primary branded apparel piece, Compton and the team at FCDF agreed that performance polyester was the way to go, since many of their events take place outside. They settled on the Ladies’ Sport-Tek Side Blocked Sport-Wick Polo (LST655) from SanMar (asi/84863) in purple and white, made of moisture-wicking micro piqué, and decided to add the embroidered logo to the left chest. “From the start, we were looking for something with short sleeves and wicking properties,” says Compton. “They needed something that would keep them comfortable in this Alabama heat!” – Sara Lavenduski