Lab Tales launched to help raise funds, awareness for shelters
After Anne Soares and her husband rescued Chuck, a Labrador retriever now 10 years old, he quickly became part of the family. With a new children’s book out about his life, Soares hopes Chuck’s story will inspire other families to consider adoption, while supporting animal shelters.
“Kids are remarkable,” said Soares of Wareham. “They remember figures from their childhood like Clifford the Big Red Dog and Barney…We hope that Chuck will be one of those childhood characters and make kids say, ‘I want to go to a rescue.’”
The book, called “Chuck’s Journey Home,” is a first for Soares. She realized the book could benefit rescues after attending a talk by the founder of a Colorado-based shelter. The book is written for children ages 6 to 9 who are interested in learning about adopting a dog.
At the time, Soares had the idea for the book, but wasn’t sure how it would help shelters beyond raising money. As someone who follows many rescues on Facebook, Soares said the answer “was sitting in my newsfeed.”
“Every single one of the rescues I follow were posting pleas for help,” she said. “I realized I can use the book not only to raise money for rescues, as a children’s book it begins the education process for the next generation.”
“Chuck’s Journey Home” is the first in a series of "Lab Tales," which is the name of the organization she founded to support shelters.
A portion of book sales is donated to shelters that Soares supports on a rotating basis. When a book is sold online, the buyer is asked which shelter they want to benefit.
Area retailers are also being sought to sell the book, said Soares. Businesses that carry “Chuck’s Journey Home” will be able to pick a shelter to receive donations.
Lab Tales’ scope is national, and Soares has arrangements with rescues in California, Washington and Colorado. She said rescues are welcome to contact her for fundraising help.
“For me, there’s no limit,” she said. “No rescue is too small or too big."
Future plans include publishing more books that touch on other aspects of a rescued dog’s life, such as visits to the veterinarian. Eventually, Chuck-themed T-shirts and plush toys may be for sale as well.
Soares, who was a corporate auditor before moving into real estate, said writing the book was a departure for her, and left her with admiration for children’s authors.
“Finishing this was the antithesis of what I used to do,” she said. “Writing for kids is difficult.”
So far, she has raised almost $500 for shelters.
As for Chuck, the fame hasn’t gone to his head, said Soares.
“He’s still a big goofball and we just love him to pieces,” she said.
“Chuck’s Journey Home” is available for sale at the martial arts studio Soares co-owns with her husband, Lance Soares’ Family Martial Arts Center, located at 331 State Road, Suite D, North Dartmouth. Books purchased there support the Fairhaven Animal Shelter.
For more information on "Chuck's Journey Home," visit www.labtales.com.