To anyone who has ever owned a pet, you know that it is a part of the family. So of course, when your pet gets sick, you want to do everything you can to help them feel better, like you would with any loved one. So imagine learning that your dog has cancer. With this sentiment in mind, Sarah Lauch and Kelly, Co-Founders of Live Like Roo, joined together in their love for furry friends to create Live Like Roo. It’s a non-profit organization created in honor of Roosevelt, a dog who passed away from cancer that they both cherished. Their mission is to ensure that dogs and their families receive all the care they need, whether that means financial assistance for medical treatments or care packages to make however much time is left more enjoyable. In May, John Maloof donated over 200 dog beds on behalf of Live Like Roo, which were distributed to 12 different animal rescues in a U-Haul moving truck.
As Lauch made clear in her social media postings, their team spent 8 hours driving 212 miles in their U-Haul truck on May 28th, making sure that John Maloof’s dog bed donations were sent to shelters that were in need and well deserving of them. “I chose rescues and shelters that I trusted,” says Lauch. “A lot of rescues rely on foster homes. So, they do not have an actual shelter. The families that foster give up a lot to add a dog to their household and I wanted to make sure a lot of them went there.”
At the end of the day, Chicago Canine Rescue, Be Fido’s Friend, Dogaholicks Rescue, Lulu’s Locker Rescue, Darla Foundation, Small Paws Rescue, Wags 2 Wishes, Castaway Pet Rescue, Bow Wow Revolution, Fetching Tails Foundation and Second City Canine Rescue all had brand new dog beds to help make their pups a little bit more comfortable. Needless to say, having over 200 beds to distribute, the team at Live Like Roo needed a reliable vehicle with a lot of space. “We needed to fit a lot of beds into a space and drive them all over Chicagoland and we had used U-Haul before”, said Launch. “It was convenient and reliable with amazing customer service.”
Behind Live Like Roo
Live Like Roo is a 501c3 Foundation for dogs with cancer, made in honor of a dog Lauch and Kelly adopted, Roosevelt, or “Roo”. Lauch rescued Roo from Chicago Animal Care and Control in April of 2015. When she first met Roo she couldn’t help but feel she needed to take him in with his urinating issues and ground down teeth. Once they took him into the vet they found that Roo had bone cancer. They were originally hoping to get him healthy and find him a foster family, but they quickly agreed it would be better to let Roo live out the rest of his life with Kelly and to be as happy as possible. Roo passed on September 8th.
Roo inspired them, showing them that all sick dogs should be able to live just as happily as Roo had and be provided with whatever help they need. Additionally, they understood that having a sick pet can take a toll on the owners as well. Around November, Lauch and Kelly started doing care packages for the pups and their families. In February, they officially started the Live Like Roo Foundation. Before starting Life Like Roo, Lauch volunteered at Chicago Animal Care and Control where she helped to transfer dogs out of the kill shelter to rescue groups. This is how she met her Roo and became familiar with many of the local shelters that she continues to work with.
Their website makes it easy for those interested to donate or take advantage of donation efforts with 3 easy buttons: Apply for Assistance, Request a Care Package and Donate. “We are a 100 percent not for profit,” says Lauch. “Every cent goes to families and dogs and care packages. We have never not sent a care package to a family that requested one.” Through the donations Live Like Roo receives, they can help in financial aid for medical treatments of the dogs suffering from cancer, purchase blankets, treats, toys, collars, gift cards for food and even reserve U-Haul truck rentals to distribute care packages like the dog beds.
Live Like Roo also tries to make sure care packages arrive in around 24 hours so that they’ll be there in time. You can also purchase Live Like Roo memorabilia as your way to donate. On these pieces you can see the Live Like Roo soft serve ice cream cone in honor of Roo’s favorite treat.
As it says on their website, “We all shall… Live Like Roo forever. We will help other dogs and their families via our Live Like Roo Foundation to continue Roo’s legacy. #LiveLikeRoo.” We are proud to have been a small part of Live Like Roo’s much larger mission.
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What do you do in your community to give back? Share with us in the comments!