“Bring your pet inside during the winter months. It’s ridiculous to hear that people are leaving their pets outside,” said Brad Smulson, Operation Blankets of Love (OBOL) an animal welfare and relief organization in Granada Hills, CA. OBOL provides food, blankets, and pet supplies to some 60 organizations in Southern California. “I’ve seen pictures of animals left out in the cold. OBOL reminds you to keep them warm, kept them fed and love them,” he said. ASPCA has cold weather safety tips for your animals. We caught up with Brad Smulson on his stop at The Village, Westfield Shopping Center today (Feb. 06, 2016).
OBOL collects blankets and pet supplies all over SoCal and distributes them to shelters through California. The nonprofit 501(c) receives emergency calls 24/7 and a half dozen shelters will come by OBOL headquarters for blankets, food, and pet supplies. OBOL relies on financial donations and collection bins, which are placed in various pet stores and retail outlets. Smulson says he puts about 600 miles on their company van each week to pick up donations.
How rescuing her Dog inspired Eileen Smulson to create to create the animal relief organization operation blankets of love
“I never owned a pet until my husband, Brad Smulson, and I adopted Ginger,” explained Eileen Smulson, OBOL founder and CEO. “I could not picture Ginger lying frightened and sad on a cold hard cement floor, caged up in a shelter. I wanted to make sure every homeless pet had warmth and comfort by having a blanket to snuggle in while they were waiting to be adopted into a loving forever home. Ginger is my inspiration to launch Operation Blankets of Love,” she said.
Ginger, a terrier-poodle mix was about five months old when Smulson spotted her wandering on a scorching desert highway in Palmdale, CA, tired, scared, thirsty, hungry, and confused. The little mutt is now a certified pet therapy partner. The dog visits hospitals, assisted living homes, veteran hospitals, nursing homes, schools and community centers. OBOL Teaches thousands of children from pre-school to college level with a Humane Education Learning Program (HELP). Ginger helps youth and civic groups bring home the message to treat animals with loving care. She volunteers for Kids N Pets pet education programs and for R.E.A.D Dog (Read Education Assistance Dog), a one-on-one reading program for the kids in schools and libraries. Additionally, OBOL also teaches anti-animal cruelty in schools through LA Unified School District.
OBOL Brad Smulson and his wife Eileen are committed to making a positive change on behalf of homeless animals, one shelter at a time. Prior to OBOL’s formation, most animals in public shelters throughout Los Angeles had no bedding and slept on the cold, cement floors. Thanks to OBOL’s advocacy/policy work, all six LA City Shelters now supply comfort items to the animals in their care, 24/7. OBOL also raised public awareness about the plight of homeless animals by conducting four pet adoption events and attending 20 Pet Adoption/Expo events annually, where they stage information booths. The Smulsons, with the help of volunteers, pass out literature about how “Adoption is the Best Option” and the importance of spaying and neutering companion animals. They also engage hundreds of people per event, including teachers, Boy Scout and Girl Scout leaders and others, who sign up to conduct animal comfort and care item collections.
OBOL has been responsible for saving 1,500 homeless animals each month, more than 18,000 homeless animals a year and hundreds of thousands of cats and dogs over the last decade through their partnerships with shelters and animal rescue organizations such as Best Friends, Los Angeles, Wings of Rescue, Dogs without Borders and theWestside German Shepard Rescue to name a few.
Workplace Giving — pet lovers can make the difference to help stop the suffering of homeless animals says Operation Blankets of Love.
“There are workplace giving programs that allow employees to make regular donations to eligible charities through a special payroll system,” said Brad Smulson. “It can be the same contribution every month through your paycheck or just a one-time gift automatically deducted from your payroll check.” Donations are accepted online. Operation Blankets of Love (OBOL) comfort and aid homeless animals and increase their chances of being adopted. For more on how to volunteer, donate funds, blankets, food or supplies visit OperationBlankesofLove. Find them on Twitter @OBOLPAWs and on Facebook.