Recently, the American Humane Association awarded Kleinpeter Farms Dairy a perfect score for the care and handling of its 1200-cow herd in Montpelier, La. In the Humane Association's 130-year history, Kleinpeter remains the only farm to receive its highest rating four times in a row.
“Our cows, we think, are under the best care in the world,” says Jeff Kleinpeter, the dairy's president and CEO. “But how about the animals in our community? Today, we're announcing that we will have the largest financial effort ever to help conditions and facilities at the animal shelter. That brings us great pride.”
Last week, the dairy formally launched a partnership with Friends of the Animals (FOTA) to raise awareness and funds for the animals at the East Baton Rouge municipal shelter, which is currently run by Companion Animal Alliance (CAA).
At the heart of Kleinpeter's new campaign is Sweetie Pie, the dairy's mascot born with a white heart on her chestnut forehead. At midnight on July 3, the Guernsey girl gave birth to her first calf, a female. So, cousins Taylor Kleinpeter and Stanford Ponson, the fifth generation to be involved in the family business, came up with the concept of hosting a donation drive “shower” in Sweetie Pie's honor and contributing the gifts to animals in need.
“Sweetie Pie, just like all our cows, is very well treated at the Kleinpeter Dairy farm. It's Sweetie Pie's wish—and ours too, of course—that all cats and dogs are loved [and] cared for just as [she and] her calf [are],” explains Jeff Kleinpeter.
With a $100 donation, benefactors have an opportunity to name one of the 800 calves born annually at the Kleinpeter farm. A $50 gift will be honored with an inscribed brick placed at the entrance to the East Baton Rouge Parish animal shelter, and donors who contribute $25 will receive a special edition Kleinpeter Moo Crew t-shirt.
Sweetie Pie shower funds will be donated to FOTA, a non-profit that seeks to improve the lives of animals confined to the municipal shelter. “We are the people who work hands-on, day-to-day with the animals [at the shelter],” explains Paula Schoen, FOTA founder and president.
Since 2009, a growing corps of volunteers has arrived daily to exercise and engage animals awaiting reclamation by an owner, adoption, rescue or even euthanasia. In the course of promoting humane treatment, FOTA has enhanced the kennels with ceiling fans, elevated dog beds with fleece covers. In the last year, the group purchased a $20,000 t-building for use as a veterinary clinic and a second building to house healthy orphaned kittens and nursing mothers.
Also, by encouraging families to become weekend or holiday fosters and hosting offsite adoption events at the Arts Market and Orvis, the non-profit has placed 375 homeless animals with their forever families.
“Every year, 7,200 animals enter our shelter,” says CAA Executive Director Kim Sherlaw. “To push our community to be more compassionate to all animals is so important to saving more lives.
“We can't do that without the support of great corporate sponsors such as Kleinpeter and without the support of FOTA, who has been behind the shelter for a very long time.”
Besides initiating a promotional and fundraising campaign, the dairy will also co-sponsor a FOTA adoption day this Sunday, July 8 at Orvis in Perkins Rowe from noon until 4 p.m. For more information or to make donations, visit kleinpeterdairy.com or friendsoftheanimalsbr.org.
Click here to see some of Friends of the Animals' adorable dogs, puppies, kittens and cats.
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