Interview with Petties Winner: Be the Change 4 Animals

DogTime interviews Be the Change 4 Animals, winner of the 2011 Petties Award for Best Cause Blog. Congratulations, Be the Change!

What is BTC4Animals?

Be the Change for Animals ( highlights one cause per week, providing calls to action that ultimately help animals in need. These actions require no monetary donations and take mere moments to complete.

Action alerts typically involve signing a petition, liking a Facebook page, retweeting messages, or participating in a legislative letter-writing campaign. Each action offers protection for voiceless domesticated pets, farm animals and wildlife. It’s easy to participate. You can make a difference by receiving, acting upon and sharing our weekly alerts:

· Subscribe to posts (email or RSS) from

· Join our Facebook or Twitter (#BTC4A) communities

We understand that, with so many worthwhile animal causes to support, one can feel powerless. By banding together like-minded folks with a strong, collective voice, the goal of BtC4Animals is to ignite and accelerate the change individuals can make by doing so as a group at a pace that doesn’t overwhelm.

What compelled you to start this blog?

The flagship “Be the Change Challenge” stemmed from a BlogPaws pet bloggers conference session in Columbus, OH, March, 2010. More than 50 bloggers sounded calls to action on a single day in April and this BlogPaws experiment inspired a tangible feeling of solidarity among animal advocates. It traveled beyond the original attendees through social media channels to folks like founding member of BTC4Animals, Kim Clune.

Kim harvested the resulting actionable posts and listed them on her own blog,, but it became immediately apparent that the list belonged in a central, public place where people could share ways to make a difference for animals on a regular basis.

How did you find your partners?

Envisioning a community space, Kim shared her thoughts with Amy Burkert of From their first meeting, Kim and Amy felt an unmistakable energy and the determination to bring their ideas to fruition.

Within a month, the BTC4Animals Facebook and Twitter community was born and the website followed days later. The BTC4Animals Team now consists of 8 volunteer writers, cause scouts, and social community managers. Managed by Kim Clune, democratic input stems from the entire BTC4Animals family, including:

Kim Clune – This One Wild Life

Amy Burkert – Take Paws

Peggy Frezon – Peggy’s Pet Place

Kim Thomas – CindyLu’s Muse

Vicki Cook – Bunny’s Blog

Maggie Marton – Oh My Dog! blog

Shauna Stewart – Fido & Wino

Mary Haight – Dancing Dog Blog

What “rewards” have you seen as a result?

For Kim Clune, founding BTC4Animals with Amy has not only formed an outlet for her passionate animal advocacy – and she participates in every weekly cause – but it has nurtured a beautiful friendship that has manifested into 6 more with each new volunteer that serves this project. Managing BTC4Animals has also helped to hone many skills useful in promoting Village Volunteers, an international humanitarian aid organization for which she now works, helping rural village communities become self-sustainable in Africa and Asia.

For Amy Burkert, aside from valuable friendships formed, her commitment to BTC4Animals helped her discover her true writing voice when she passionately blogged about Tony the Tiger. And, as a result of participating in Blog the Change, she has been inspired to seek out – and go so far as to create – volunteer opportunities. With a full time traveling job, she is living by example, proving that, if she can find a way to create change in motion, anybody can.

What does winning a Petties Award mean to our team members?

Kim Thomas: “Receiving the Pettie is enormously fulfilling. It represents solid recognition for the work we do to bring animal welfare issues to light, as well as to gather a community of concerned people who take action to bring about much-needed change. I love how our members turn their compassion and dedication into positive changes on behalf of animals. They are truly heroes in my book! An award that is hosted by such a well-known, wildly popular pet owners’ media community such as Dogtime Media is truly an honor. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of our wonderful team and our awesome, award-winning community!”

Mary Haight: “I was thrilled when BTC4Animals won the Pettie Award for Best Cause-Related Blog! Why? Because it meant that win might translate to more traffic, maybe even some buzz. Imagine – more causes will be seen and get some of the help they desperately need! Everybody wins! Of course it is a point of personal satisfaction to be associated with the wonderful people who work behind the scenes to make this blog what it is.”

Peggy Frezon: “Only by uniting to bring attention to these important causes have we been able to earn this prestigious Petties award. I’m so honored be learning more about the organizations and people who give so much of themselves to help animals. There are so many deserving causes that we highlight. The greater the reach, the better the possibility of helping these animals.”

How did you decide which organization would receive the Petties donation money?

Best Friends Animal Society and BTC4animals have strongly aligned interests, casting a wide net of outreach for a wide variety of animals in need. Best Friends Animal Society helps to find homes for orphaned animals from New York to Los Angeles and, in Utah, they have a sanctuary where sick, injured, abused and unwanted animals go, from dogs and cats to horses, pigs, parrots, and wildlife. When Kim Clune offered the suggestion, Team BTC unanimously and immediately voted yes.

Check out all the Petties winners’ interviews…

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