Champion Award - Kim George
Dakin’s Champion Award is given to a public servant who faithfully serves and makes life better for animals and people in western Massachusetts. Kim George is the perfect recipient of this recognition, given her dedication as founder and executive director of Kane’s Krusade.
Kim launched Kane’s Krusade in 2011. The organization focuses on pet family advocacy, providing solutions and resources to preserve the human-dog bond, and serves dogs of all breeds, especially pit bull terriers. “We work with pet families in their homes,” stated Kim. “We bring services directly to them. The goal is to keep loved dogs with their forever families.”
Kane’s Krusade provides C.A.R.E. (Canine Assistance Resources & Empowerment) Kits, which include pet food, equipment, and services to special needs families in western Massachusetts who have no transportation or are homebound. Many of Kane’s clients are disabled, elderly, and facing housing instability. Kane’s volunteers bring the clients’ dogs to the veterinarian for a variety of services and monitor their progress.
“We also provide referrals for dog-inclusive housing,” said Kim. “We grow relationships with landlords, realtors, and property managers, and we have a specialist on our board of directors who is well-versed in tenant laws in Massachusetts and Connecticut.”
Kim’s organization bridges the gap between pet families and solutions. In addition to connecting people with resources, she and her team provide meaningful ways for people to pay it forward, as most people who receive help from Kane’s Krusade volunteer to help the next person in need.
The inspiration behind Kane’s Krusade was a pit bull Kim had many years ago. She experienced fear from people when she’d walk Kane, a big dog with a block head. “I wanted them to learn that pit bulls are great dogs. They’d approach him and he’d lean into their legs, which made them pet him and call him a ‘love bug.’ He was really special.”
Kim’s work is inspirational to so many, but she describes it as “humbling. This is how I give back to my community,” she said. “For lots of these people, the only thing they have in this world is their dog, who is intimately connected to their wellbeing; physically, emotionally, psychologically. Our work is essential. It’s me paying it forward.”