I’m going to say it plain and simple. This is the story of how a dog named William started a company.
I never thought I’d be able to combine my passions of art, skateboarding, and animals into a company. I saw skateboarding and longboarding as a tool to give to animals most in need in our shelters. Hendrick Boards, especially the “Boards 4 Barks” collection, has a true, personal and heartfelt inspiration.
His name is William — a 16-pound mutt poisoned when he was just a pup and not expected to live past his first year.
Three years ago, I had volunteered at local shelters in Southern California and saw a Chihuahua mix when he was being brought into the clinic at a shelter in Orange, California. William, as he is now called, along with 5 other puppies in the same litter, suffered from chemical poisoning. The owner fed chemical-laced food to the mother of the litter, which then poisoned the milk the puppies were ingesting. The previous owner was apparently conducting “experiments” — pretty twisted and sick if you ask me. All but two pups from the litter survived the poisoning. William was one of those fortunate two to live. Because of his poisoning and health problems at such a young age, William still battles infections and illness every step of his life.
Yet, William has been with me through every difficult step in my life.
He has been to two dorms and back, comforted me when both my grandparents passed away, was there for me when I had to drop out of college because I could not afford it, picked me up when so many put me down and ultimately gave me the passion to start my own company at 23 years old with $200 in my pocket and a passion for animals.
Thinking about what happened and explaining his story to you makes me feel sad and angry. In fact, writing this post was difficult. I ask myself often how someone can hurt, torture and kill innocent amazing creatures like dogs, cats and all the crazy pets we all love — these pets which are part of our families. Well, guess what? There are no answers to “Why” or “How” someone can commit these crimes, but there are solutions.
My solution is to take the anger I have and commit it to my cause for helping as many shelter animals, like William, as I possibly can. This is how a dog named William saved me and why I started Hendrick Boards as a vehicle to give back to animal shelters through our “Boards 4 Barks” collection. Every “Boards 4 Barks” skateboard and apparel purchase triggers a donation to local and national animal shelters and causes.
We all are against animal cruelty, but what are you willing to do about it? Some ways to get involved are:
- Look for local non-kill or nonprofit animal shelters and support them.
- Volunteer: one of the best ways to help is with simply volunteering your time to shelters. They could always use an extra walker or help with cleaning.
- Donate: Anything helps to support the shelters’ mission including money, food, bedding, etc.
- Adopt from shelters rather than pet stores. There are so many animals, like William, waiting for the love and support you can give them, and you will likely, as I have, get more in return.
These are just some simple ways to help rescue and shelter animals. How will you make a difference for shelter animals, your local shelters and animal causes?