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Homeless dogs recipients of holiday event

Whole Foods Market Heart of the Holidays raises donations, adoptions for The Brittany Foundation

Posted: December 26, 2009 8:01 p.m.
Updated: December 27, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Eddie Ortiz of Canyon Country gets acquainted with Loren, one of 10 Brittany Foundation dogs awaiting adoption at Heart of the Holidays at Whole Foods on Dec. 19. The Ortiz family placed an adoption application for the pit bull mix that day.

The ninety homeless residents of The Brittany Foundation, a no-kill dog rescue in Agua Dulce, were the first four-legged recipients of Whole Foods Market Valencia’s Sixth Annual Heart of the Holidays donation drive held on Saturday, Dec. 19.

“We’ve wanted to host an animal-friendly organization for some time, knowing how many dog and animal lovers we have in the Santa Clarita Valley, so it was a natural choice to honor such a selfless group of volunteers and the dogs that inspire their great affection,” said Tina Landrum, marketing manager at Whole Foods Market Valencia.

Designed to help local non-profit organizations stock up on staple items, Heart of The Holidays encouraged shoppers to purchase canned dog food, chicken broth, bottled water, and more provided on a wish list for the foundation.  They responded by filling up four shopping carts during the three-hour event.

“Compassion is a breed all its own and as soon as you see a furry friend in need, no matter what the state of the economy might be in, people open their hearts and ask what they can do to help,” said Jennie Chester, marketing assistant at the market.

Shoppers also came over to meet ten dogs available for adoption, including several Chihuahuas, Daisy, a senior Labrador retriever, and Loren, a four-year old pit bull. Loren and Kristee, a small terrier mix, both had pending adoption applications by the event’s end.

“That was the best part of the day,” said Heather Mohr of Newhall, a long-time foundation volunteer who handled Carmen, a blind Lhasa Apso, at the event. “We volunteers also got wonderful feedback from the community, including some interest in dogs that don’t normally get a lot of exposure, such as Daisy and Carmen.”

Continuing in the festive spirit, the event also hosted a Toys for Tots drive with the Marines, who collected more than $350 worth of toys for local children in need, while several vendors sampled their products for the holiday crowds.

One vendor, Margo’s Bark Root Beer, a Los Angeles-based soda company founded last year by Tim and Jessica Youd, donates 100 percent of its profits to help shelter dogs and the organizations who rescue them, including The Brittany Foundation.

“Margo’s Bark has a compassionate business model that’s the sentiment our Heart of the Holidays event was founded on,” Landrum said. “The holiday spirit was really evident everywhere today. Even our product vendors were laughing and enjoying the day.”

Foundation volunteer Marsha Myers of Valencia was among those having a good time. “For three plus hours I was surrounded by happy smiling people and dogs. Now who wouldn’t want to sign up for that?,” she said.

For more information on The Brittany Foundation, visit, email or call (661) 713-5240.


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