When I met Kari Whitman at a pet products show, she was on her cell phone giving guidance to a friend who was trying
to rescue a dog. She briefly put down her phone and said, “I want to talk to you, but there is this dog that needs help.”
I totally understood. After her exchange with her friend, she told me that the dog was going to a no kill rescue.
It seems that Kari does this a lot. She is the Founder of Ace of Hearts Dog Rescue and Greener Pup eco-friendly dog beds. However, before creating Greener Pup, she worked—and still works—as an interior designer.
“When I was a little kid, I was always redesigning my bedroom and on vacation with my parents, I’d actually rearrange all the furniture in our hotel rooms,” she says. Her first job was creating a wine cellar for Emilio Estevez. One job led to another and her list of celebrity clients grew. When she started working on Jessica Alba’s new home, Jessica was pregnant at the time. She asked Kari to create environmentally-friendly designs.
“Jessica has several dogs, including some Ace of Hearts’ rescues, and I was creating a doggie sanctuary for them,” explains Kari. “I couldn’t find any dog beds that were both stylish and eco-friendly, so I just decided to create my own. This led to the creation of Greener Pup.”
All Proceeds Help the Animals
“I was running my non-profit Ace of Hearts for over 10 years and we’re always struggling to get the funding we need to save more dogs. So having Greener Pup profits benefit Ace of Hearts was a no-brainer. It’s a win-win situation.”
Greener Pup beds are made from recycled plastic. So, every single bed saves 70 to120 plastic bottles from being dumped into landfills. The filler looks like cotton candy and it’s so soft. And since it’s made from plastic, it won’t attract bugs; it’s hypo-allergenic and durable. Plus, it really holds its shape.
Kari selects all of the fabrics. Many come from overstock or discontinued designer fabrics, “so we’re saving all of that material from being discarded,” she adds. “The covers are removable and machine washable.”
Beds for Cats Too
Lots of Kari’s customers were sending her photos of their cats snuggling up on Greener Pup beds. So Greener Kitty was created. Greener Pup beds start at $47.99 and Greener Kitty beds at $49.99. “And you can feel great about your purchase knowing that 100 percent of profits will help save the lives of abused, injured and abandoned animals,” she says.
Ace of Hearts got started after Kari rescued an American Bulldog named Ace. “When he died” she says, “I missed him so much and was so full of grief and frustration, that I felt I had to do something useful, something positive. So I decided to start my own rescue that specialized in “bully breeds, and went through the process of establishing my non-profit Ace of Hearts in Ace’s honor.”
She Always Loved Animals
Kari grew up in Colorado. The first animal she rescued was a cow, and her first job was working as a vet tech. “I also volunteered with different rescue organizations and trained with Cesar Millan, which was an invaluable experience,” she says.
“I’m always trying to raise awareness about shelter dogs,” she continues. “Over 500 dogs are euthanized daily in Los Angeles alone! I don’t think people realize how many puppies, purebreds and amazing dogs are just waiting to be rescued from death row. These aren’t dogs with behavioral problems; these are dogs that have been let down by humans and just need a loving home.”
Kari lives with Madison and Lucy—two rescues. Madison is a Pit mix and Lucy is a Pointer mix.
~Michele C. Hollow, Pet News and Views