Prince Lorenzo Borghese, best known as the great catch on ABC’s ninth season of The Bachelor, is the founder of the Royal Pet Club, an animal loving company that sells organic pet wellness products. Lorenzo is also the founder of Animal Aid USA, a charity that celebrated its one-year anniversary this month in Manhattan. The audience was made up of a legion of well-known volunteers and animal supporters including Georgina Bloomberg, the daughter of NYC’s Mayor Bloomberg; Eric Trump, son of billionaire Donald; actors Bernadette Peters and Stephen Baldwin; Miss USA Nana Meriwether; Amanda Hearst; and animal activist Beth Ostrosky (Howard Stern’s wife).
As always with animal fundraisers, I was a tad nervous about attending for fear of seeing graphic photos of abused animals, which always make me want to sob or faint. Imagine my glee when the slideshow turned out to be a joyful celebration of now healthy animals that have been saved by this non-profit.
Georgina Bloomberg told me, “Tonight is to raise awareness about Animal Aid and our mission to relocate abandoned animals from kill shelters into loving homes. Animal Aid USA has been instrumental in going to shelters in low income communities where there is a high population of homeless dogs, and rescuing these abandoned animals from being euthanized.”
Lorenzo Borghese said, “I want you to think about all those dogs dying each day in the United States. The stats are horrific and you feel like you can’t do anything about it. When you walk into a shelter where the dogs are all about to be euthanized and they’re looking at you, dying to get out, they’re barking, wagging their tails and they’re helpless. Looking into their eyes I want to take home every one of them but know I can’t. Then all of a sudden I met Karen Talbot and everything changed.”
Karen Talbot LaSasso wrote to Lorenzo about needing help with her cause. He thought it was just another person asking for money but as he read he became intrigued by how hard this woman works to save animals from kill shelters.
While talking about Karen, Lorenzo’s eyes lit up. He said, “She’s not a wealthy person and I think her husband, Dante, is in debt with five or six credit cards by now. Yet, these guys manage to rescue about 100 dogs a month on their own bank account.”
Instead of a wedding ring, Dante purchased Karen a transportation vehicle. For vacations they don’t fly to the Bahamas, instead they spend their time in cars driving down to Georgia to rescue animals.
Lorenzo teared up when he said, “I wanted to help Karen because I’ve never met anyone so devoted to rescuing animals.” He reminded the crowd that the celebratory event was also a fundraiser to help more animals. “I guarantee you,” said Lorenzo, “the money you donate to Animal Aid does not go to paychecks or pension plans. We are all volunteers and do it because we love to. That’s why we started Animal Aid. I’m very, very proud to be with you here tonight for our first anniversary. Within the past two weeks alone Animal Aid and its volunteers have saved the lives of 270 more dogs.”
Last month, the “New Year Caravan” went on its first road trip to rescue close to 200 dogs. Animal Aid USA volunteers make the trip every 30 days traveling 1,600 miles from New Jersey to Georgia to save shelter animals in poor neighborhoods. Animal Aid has also set up Miracle Ranch, a place to care for the pooches until they find forever homes.
Lorenzo, an Ambassador to the American Humane Association, has worked with North Shore Animal League, the ASPCA and Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C), a kill shelter. He said, “If you’re interested in what we’re doing over at the AC&C please email us. We’re going to try to take over the board so we can fix things.”
When I interviewed Lorenzo I learned that he donates $2 to Animal Aid USA every time a new customer buys from the Royal Pet Club. In addition, he donates five percent of the company’s annual profits. One big way to help is to switch over to buying your pet products through RPC. And, if you are interested in helping Lorenzo, Karen, Georgina and their team rescue adorable doggies please email Animal Aid. It will be an invaluable deposit into your lifelong karma bank.