Creating Healthy and Happy Lives for Animals and Pet Families through SDGivE

Creating Healthy and Happy Lives for Animals and Pet Families through SDGivE

Editor's Note: It's that time of year again, which means our signature holiday program, SDGivE, is back and better than ever. Through SDGivE, employee volunteers dedicate their time and talent to spread kindness and cheer to those in need.

This holiday season, employees have put together more than 50 volunteer service projects ranging from holiday meal distributions for unsheltered individuals to essential items and holiday gift drives for women, children, and refugees. Including time and talent, we are donating more than $130,000 to support our employees and the causes in which they care.

At our company, the season of giving extends beyond helping people in need. Many of our employees are passionate about the health, wellness, and humane treatment of animals, so it was only fitting that this year's SDGivE campaign featured six volunteer projects supporting animals and pet families.

An estimated 10-20 percent of unsheltered and individuals living in their vehicles have pets and caring for them in the chilly winter can be difficult. That's why our employees teamed up with Thrive Animal Rescue to purchase backpacks for unsheltered individuals in San Diego and their beloved family members - their pets. Backpacks were filled with new blankets, food, supplies, toiletries and socks to provide a little warmth and comfort this season.

In addition, thrive Animal Rescue frequently partners with Alpha Project, a human services organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness, to deliver supplies to individuals and families in San Diego.

Employees Dedicate Time and Talent throughout the Year

While the SDGivE campaign happens every holiday season, many of our employees are dedicated to animal-serving causes throughout the year. Take Christina Rathbun, AFN project manager and Krista Van Tassel, communications manager. These women have been involved with Frosted Faces Foundation for many years, regularly volunteering to support the adoption application process and on-site to help care for the dogs.

Frosted Faces Foundation is an animal rescue based in Ramona, focused on helping senior dogs (AKA frosted faces) find medical care and families in their golden years. Unfortunately, our local animal shelter system is often overwhelmed with animals -- some strays and others surrendered by owners who no longer wish to care for them.


So while many people choose to adopt their new best friend, seniors (defined as dogs eight years or older) are frequently overlooked and the first to be euthanized due to concern about medical costs for curable and treatable conditions. Frosted Faces Foundation helps change the perception of senior animals, providing them a beautiful space to enjoy as they await their family and supporting adopters with medical expenses and consultations, as well as the community through grants to cover senior medical care.

Rathbun and Van Tassel used SDGivE as an opportunity to gain further support for their favorite charity and introduce some of their colleagues to the cause. Earlier this month, volunteers took a hike with six senior dogs, helping them get great exercise, along with lots of treats and love. The SDGivE grant in support of this work will help Frosted Faces build a vet clinic at their facility in Ramona, which will help keep all the Frosties (and their families) healthy and well.

"Walking these sweet senior dogs is such a heart-warming and fun experience," said Rathbun. "I love the different personalities of each Frosted Face and the joy many of the dogs express trotting down the road. And I am proud to work for a company that supports my passion – dog rescue! Thank you, SDG&E."

Like her two colleagues, Samantha Pate, our director of strategic planning, is an animal lover that dedicates time and talent throughout the year to care for San Diego's animal population. As a board member at Rancho Coastal Humane Society, Samantha strongly supports their mission to save lives of abandoned companion animals, promote adoption into loving homes and offer education programs and support services that inspire and strengthen the human-animal bond. For her SDGivE project, Samantha invited team members to join her at Rancho Coastal's headquarters in Encinitas, where volunteers supported various landscaping and gardening efforts in the dog park. The Rancho Coastal Humane Society relies on more than 700 volunteers to deliver programs and services to animals and foster families.

This month, employees are teaming up with The Animal Pad, Rescued Dog, and The Animal Foundation. Animals are so crucial to our humanity, and these organizations are helping to enrich the lives of people and pets by providing life-long commitments to pet families and other animals.

Season of Giving

Through SDGivE, more than 300 of our employees will be out in the community, serving the causes that matter most to them. Check out our NewsCenter each week to see what they have been up to in our ongoing series.