Candy Udell Advocates for East End Pups
by candy udell
Candy Udell and Lisa McCarthy at the ARF second annual Thrift Shop Designer Showhouse
Every day I am privileged to be surrounded by precious jewels and loving family as president of London Jewelers. But just as precious to my heart is my devotion and passion for animal rescue. For many years, I have contributed to animal welfare agencies and rescues and have had the pleasure of working with inspirational people such as Jack Hanna of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and the Wilds, a private safari park and conservation center; Jill Rappaport, advocate for animals; and humane handbag designer and animal advocate Cornelia Guest, amongst others.
I first learned about the plight of unwanted dogs in the Deep South shortly after Hurricane Katrina when I sent a donation to Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Later I signed a petition against BP because I was growing increasingly concerned about the impact of natural disasters on homeless animals. I elected to focus on Alabama because of natural disasters occurring there and the severe lack of adequate services and resources available to help animals in need. Horrified by the stories, I knew that I had to take action. In 2011, I worked to help set up Rescue Paw Foundation as a nonprofit to assist animals both locally and nationally.
Rescue Paw’s mission is to help build and support model humane no-kill shelters providing spay and neuter services and to rescue animals on a monthly basis. The main fundraising vehicle for Rescue Paw Foundation is the Cause for Paws jewelry collection that I designed with the London Jewelers team.
Through my work with the Rescue Paw Foundation, I am contacted on a daily basis to help animals on many levels. While I support many shelters and rescue organizations in need, a favorite of mine is the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF) in Wainscott. Since its founding, ARF has rescued close to 19,000 animals and placed them into loving homes. I have always admired the work they do, and now we have partnered together to help save at-risk dogs at high kill shelters in the South by transporting them to ARF, where they will hopefully be adopted. I was truly touched when ARF asked me to be this year’s honoree at their annual fundraising gala, the Beach Ball, “Jewels of Summer” in August.
The most gratifying aspect of my rescue work is that I know I am contributing to saving precious lives and serving as their voice when needed. I have the opportunity to organize, network, and cultivate these important relationships with people who share this same passion.
photography by ADRIEL REBOH/PatrickMcMullan.com (truck, udell); Lauren Connell (martini)