On Wednesday 24th November, Jen Atkin, the celebrity hairstylist, posted to her Instagram page letting her followers know that her beloved rescue pup Chewy had sadly passed away as the result of a coyote attack. However, she has been able to find the positive in the midst of such tragedy.
Atkin shared several photographs of Chewy, followed by the CCTV footage of her back yard which showed the terrible attack. Atkin provided a long caption on the post describing what had happened and the impact it has had on herself and her family. “Yesterday morning we lost our precious love Chewy to a coyote,” she wrote. “My baby is gone. Our hearts are forever broken.”
According to Atkin’s caption, she was not sure as to whether they should share the shocking images of the awful attack, however, she felt it necessary to emphasize how quickly something like this can happen. “We didn’t have any warnings, Atkin explained.
She has not heard any news of coyotes being spotted in the neighborhood, had never seen one in the area not found any dropping to indicate their presence. The attack also took place in broad daylight.
Atkin shared the terrible details of the attack, along with the video with the intention of helping other dog owners in need and protecting other pets from a similar fate by raising awareness. She also used her influence on the platform to send a message in hopes of helping dog shelters and to improving the rate of adoption, giving lost dogs a chance at a new forever home.
“All we ask is in the time it would take you to send condolences or flowers, please please go to our link in my bio and donate $1, $5 anything to @wagsandwalks in our Chew Chew’s name,” Atkins pleaded. She goes on to explain that this feels like the best possible thing for her family to do as a way of channeling their pain and heartbreak into something good. Something that has the potential to save hundreds, if not thousands, of dogs around the world.
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She also asked her followers to consider fostering dogs if possible or donate money that can help families to afford emergency surgery, at local animal hospitals.
Atkin’s heartfelt plea did not go unheard, as Ways and Walks received a tremendous outpour of support from all around. Wags and Walks is a Los Angeles -based animal rescue organization, and the same place Atkin initially adopted Chewy from. Wags and Walks have been happy to announce that the donations as a result of Atkin’s post have amounted to over $81,000 at the time of this article.
The rescue has explained that the money received under Chewy’s name will be going into the newly created “Chewy Fund”. This fund will be earmarked for the rescue of hundreds of dogs from the fate of high-kill dog shelters. The fund will also be used to provide the appropriate medical care for any dogs rescued from these shelters in order to make them healthy enough to be rehomed or fostered.
Atkin posted a heartfelt response to the incredible generosity of her followers in a follow-up post on Monday 29th November, as donation numbers continue to climb.
“We are so humbled to feel the outpouring of love from not only our immediate family and friends (who held Chewy so dear — we literally have a group chat called Puppy Parent Support Group) but we also received thousands of DMs + texts, from every person we’ve ever met, strangers who loved watching Chewy, and people with similar stories of loss,” Atkin wrote.
She goes on to say that she now understands that Chewy’s death was not in vain and that the sweet pup had a purpose.
“She barked the loudest, ran the fastest, and has in her passing raised close to 80k (!!) to help the medical needs of other fur babies,” Atkin added to the post a little later.
Wags and Walks hope to hit their goal of $10,000 for the Chewy Fund in order to make as much impact as possible with the money given to them. And thanks to the efforts of Jen Atkin, and the kindness of strangers, the charity grows ever closer to meeting that goal.