by Jillian O'Donohoe
Amanda and Ben Mendelson weren’t afraid to share the spotlight on their wedding day.
Not only did their rescue dogs Meeka and Freckles help walk them down the aisle when they tied the knot in October 2015, but they also donated $2,500 to City Dogs Rescue as a gift to their guests, rescuing 10 dogs as a result.
With their sponsorship, each of the dogs was named after a special place or thing from the time the couple spent dating. The group included Plum, Maple, Glenda, Jay, Wilson, Claire, Pierre, Ty, Aubrey and Roo. Each of the tables at their wedding reception highlighted the dogs to spread the word about CDR and let their guests know they were available to foster and adopt.
Amanda first learned about CDR in 2012 when a friend “liked” their page on Facebook. She had been interested in fostering and adopting a dog since the year prior, so she “liked” it too. A few months later, CDR posted photos of a dog named Meeka, and it was love at first sight. Amanda transported Meeka on the last leg of her journey from West Virginia, and fostered her for two weeks.
“Within a short time of having her, I came to terms with the fact that I knew I couldn’t live without her, so I made it official by becoming a foster failure. Adopting her was the best failure of my life!” Amanda said.
The following year, she and her now-husband adopted Freckles, one of the puppies from the “Halloween coonhound litter.” Since 2012, Amanda has volunteered with CDR by conducting home visits, supporting lost dog searches, handling dogs at adoption events and more.
Because CDR had become such an important part of their lives, Amanda and Ben wanted to share that with their family and friends on their wedding day.
“CDR brought us Meeka and Freckles, and by doing so, created an infinite amount of joy and enhanced sense of love and family in our lives,” Amanda said. “As active members in the CDR community, we know how hard CDR volunteers work to make a difference in the lives of the animals they rescue and the impact they've had throughout the community. On top of having a special meaning to us, we knew our donations would be used in a productive and thoughtful way.”
In addition to Amanda and Ben’s personal donation, the couple set up their gift registry to receive donations from their guests. This resulted in $500 more in donations that were put towards the rescue of CeCe and last minute funding for other dogs that needed immediate rescue.
“Our mission was simple: to educate our guests about the importance of rescue work, and how CDR accomplishes it with an innovative, compassionate approach,” Amanda said. “If people ended up donating, learning more about it, volunteering, or becoming involved in some other way with rescue work, that would be an added bonus. We're happy to report that since our wedding some of our guests have donated to CDR, as well as started volunteering for their local rescue groups.”
Amanda and Ben now look forward to their life together and continuing the work they do with CDR, a cause that will always be close to their hearts.
“CDR sheds a bright light on the impact a small group of people can have when they set out to accomplish an achievable goal,” Amanda said. “Not only does CDR have a tangible impact on saving lives, it demonstrates an important perspective, which is the power of what can happen when a community bands together to work towards a common mission.”
City Dogs Rescue & City Kitties volunteers.