Eagles Senior Vice President Pamela Browner-Crawley talks about the TAWK initiative.
The Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 12 launched its Treating Animals With Kindness initiative, which aims to reduce animal abuse, promote responsible adoption, encourage spaying and neutering, and end dog fighting through public education and awareness.
The NFL team received lots of media attention since it signed quarterback Michael Vick in August. Vick was released from prison in May after being convicted on federal dog-fighting charges in 2007.
“I really just want to thank the groups that have worked with us to create this program,” Eagles President Joe Banner said at a news conference. Though they disagreed with Vick's signing, he said, they "reacted to it in a very constructive way and with us are committed to trying to use this to make a positive difference.”
As part of the initiative, the Eagles committed $500,000 to a grant program supporting animal welfare organizations.
Three programs were chosen to receive a matching grant of $50,000:
- Mobile Veterinary Clinic–Berks County Humane Society, to support a mobile veterinary clinic serving neighborhoods in Reading, Chester and parts of Philadelphia.
- Low-Cost Spay and Neuter Facility–Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, to support the construction of a low-cost spay and neuter facility in Philadelphia.
- End Dogfighting Program–The Humane Society of the United States, to tackle dog fighting in Philadelphia.
The Eagles also announced:
- The Eagles TAWK series, which will bring animal professionals to elementary and middle schools to educate students about responsible pet care and the abilities of working and service animals.
- A public service campaign, which will involve Eagles players and educate the public about critical animal welfare issues.
- The website, which will include information and updates about the program as well as facts about animal welfare.
The Eagles also will develop and execute media strategies to promote TAWK and related causes. Promotional outlets including Eagles Television Network-produced shows such as "The Donovan McNabb Show," "The Andy Reid Show" and the "Eagles Kids Club Show."
In addition, the Eagles will support animal welfare organizations in their fundraising and awareness programs by committing team personnel and resources.