Having established himself as a 5-time Olympian & Silver Medalist for water polo, it goes without saying that Tony Azevedo is a remarkable athlete. He’s been called the best men's water polo player in U.S. history. But it’s what he’s doing out of the water that has earned him a reputation of being a remarkable man. In addition to being an incredible role model for aspiring athletes, Tony is also playing a critical role in changing the lives of hundreds of animals across Croatia. He’s doing it in a very unique way, one custom stuffed animal pooch at a time.

Tony and his wife Sara are big supporters of the Zarkovica Animal Shelter in Dubrovnik, Croatia, where Tony played on a water polo squad back in 2010. To date, Croatia is considered one of the poorest European countries and has long had a problem with abandoned, stray dogs and cats living on the streets. The non-profit shelter was built back in 2004, entirely by volunteers using their own materials. It is run by Sandra Sambrailo, who lives with the animals on top of the mountain.

Dubrovnik is known for having extremely harsh conditions year round. According to the Zarkovica Animal Shelter website, “We don’t have electricity or running water and the shelter is exposed to strong winds and thunderstorms. It is freezing cold in winter and scorching hot in the summer. Yet, the dogs are thriving because of the love and care of the Zarkovica family.”

Dubrovnik is known for having extremely harsh conditions year round. According to the Zarkovica Animal Shelter website, “We don’t have electricity or running water and the shelter is exposed to strong winds and thunderstorms. It is freezing cold in winter and scorching hot in the summer. Yet, the dogs are thriving because of the love and care of the Zarkovica family.”

Because of the generous donations, Sambrailo has received from people like the Azevedo family, all shelter dogs are able to be regularly vaccinated, microchipped and neutered or spayed. Sambrailo also participates in a trap-neuter-release program in an effort to control the ever-growing street cat population. The shelter also recently launched another program aimed at helping injured and sick native wildlife with the goal of rehabilitating and releasing them back into the wild. You can read more about her incredible efforts and the shelter here.

It all started with a dream, and a goal and the Stuffed Animal Pros team was able to bring these custom stuffed animals to life! Tony and Sara’s stuffed dog design has not just brought happiness to the consumers who have purchased them, it has also impacted the lives of many dogs and cats across Croatia in a huge way. Sara said they will definitely continue to work with the team at Stuffed Animal Pros in the future to produce more items to help the animals suffering in Croatia.

Does your brand or organization want to make a huge impact like the Azevedos have? If you are looking for a promotional product that has the potential to bring in money from sales while leaving a lasting impression and building incredible bonds with consumers and people across the world check out the team at Stuffed Animal Pros.

Author's Bio: 

Daniel Clark is a full-time blogger who is always passionate to explore new areas of writing. He believes that being unique is one of the best mantras of a successful writer. Nothing can stop him from uncovering the eccentric facts about everything!