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By Jody on April 14, 2014

Prince Lorenzo & Belle
photo courtesy of Royal Pet Club
It starts with a pet who changes your life. For Prince Lorenzo Borghese,
of the royal Borghese family and The Bachelor fame, it started with Belle,
a black Lab pup gifted to him on his 21st birthday. The “it” I’m referring to
is an inspiring journey where he’d witness unspeakable abuses and be a
part of soul-stirring happy endings; a journey that would require him to roll
up his sleeves and get into the trenches to fight for something he believed
in. The battlegrounds were animal abuse, kill shelters and puppy mills.
The victories are each and every dog saved from death row, and each
battle won to end kill shelters and puppy mills for good. This is what
Prince Lorenzo has dedicated his life to doing. And, he’s making his
presence felt. His vehicle? Animal AID USA, an extraordinary not-for-
profit rights and rescue agency. And, it’s his Royal Treatment Pet
Products, a truly gorgeous line of organic herbal shampoos, conditioners
and spray mists for dogs, that is helping to pave the way.
Lorenzo and his team of animal angels are currently saving 120 dogs a
month, every month, through Animal AID USA. But, how did a privileged
prince, who could be donating money to others to do this work, come to
be a significant soldier in this battle? Here’s his story, the story of his pet
products and of the organization that makes it all worthwhile.
Where it began
Royal Treatment
Lorenzo grew up with lots of pets. In France, where he lived until he was
7, his family had guinea pigs and goldfish. When he moved to New
Jersey, that family grew to include dogs, cats, parrots, lovebirds, even a
newt! So, he was very comfortable around animals, but it took getting
Belle to connect him to a passion for animals that would drive his life.
Belle had skin problems. After a trip to the vet, where he was told he
bathed her too often, he started thinking, ‘Why should regular bathing be
detrimental to a dog?’ He began researching and discovered that most
shampoos on the market did more harm than good. The ingredients were
drying, that’s why vets were warning their clients not to bathe more than
once a month. That didn’t sit too well with Lorenzo, and he consulted his
mother and brother, who have a cosmetic line called Perlier. When your
family has been in the cosmetics business for over 50 years, you’ve got
connections. Lorenzo found people to help him formulate a special
shampoo and conditioner for Belle, based on what he had researched,
using the finest herbs from Italy and all organic ingredients. After trying it
out, he noticed that not only did her skin improve dramatically, but her
coat was shiny and soft. He knew he was on to something really good. So
he set out to create different herbal formulas and scents, that would
satisfy the varied needs of a dog’s skin and coat. He launched the Royal
Treatment Italian Pet Spa in 2003 on the television shopping channel
Today, Royal Treatment offers close to 100 pet-friendly products for dogs,
with delicious scents like Organic Fresh Current & Blackberry, Organic
Italian Pink Grapefruit and Mediterranean Sea Breeze. Coming soon will
be a natural tear stain removal wipe that is also a brightener, and a
natural flea & tick repellent. Lorenzo donates 5% of annual profits and
$2.00 for every new customer to Animal AID USA. I’d heard about Royal
Treatment from my daughter, who raved about the products she’d tried on
her dog. Lorenzo was kind enough to send us a bottle of the Honey
Oatmeal Shampoo and corresponding conditioner. This is the formulation
for dry, sensitive skin, which is an issue Sophie has, so I was interested
to see how it worked.
The first thing I noticed was how gorgeous the shampoo smelled, like
real honey and oatmeal, and how rich it was. When I looked at the
ingredients, organic honey and organic oatmeal are the first two. There’s
nothing in there that isn’t truly natural. I’ve used it twice now, and her coat
is shiny, her skin is soft and the dryness is going away. She’s itching
much less,too. I”m going to continue using them and will keep you posted
on how it’s going.
I want to share these beautiful products with you, so Prince Lorenzo has
generously offered Bark and Swagger readers a special promo code
for a 15% discount on Royal Treatmentproducts. Just enter the
code BARKANDSWAGGER during check out to receive your discount,
and please tell me how you like the products! And, because Lorenzo is
contributing $2.00 toAnimal AID USA for each new customer, you’ll be
doing a good deed in the process.

Click here for your discount!
Animal AID USA
With his focus on Belle and his growing business, Royal Pet Club (the
umbrella under which Royal Treatment falls), Lorenzo was now immersed
in the world of all things dog. His awareness of those who were suffering
was also growing, and he got involved with a number of animal advocacy
organizations, like the American Humane Association, for which he
became an ambassador in 2011, and Animal Care & Control of New
York City, in which he is co-founder of NYC4ACC, a group of young
professionals who organize fundraisers for this city shelter.
“When you walk into a shelter where the dogs are all about to be
euthanized and they’re looking at you, dying to get out, they’re barking,
wagging their tails and they’re helpless,” he describes. “Looking into their
eyes, I want to take home every one of them, but know I can’t. Then, all of
a sudden, I met Karen Talbot and everything changed.”
Karen was running an organization she’d started a few years earlier
called M.O.M.S. (Making Of Miracle Stories) Animal Rescue. Talbot wrote
to Lorenzo asking for help with her cause. At first, he thought she was
another person just asking for money, but as he read on, he
became intrigued by how hard she worked to save animals from kill
shelters. “I wanted to help Karen because I’ve never met anyone so
devoted to rescuing animals,” Lorenzo explains. “She’s not a wealthy
person and I think her husband, Dante, is in debt with five or six credit
cards by now. Yet, these guys manage to rescue about 100 dogs a month
on their own bank account.” To give you an even better idea of Karen’s
commitment to animals, instead of a wedding ring, Dante purchased
Karen a transportation vehicle. For vacations, they don’t fly off to a place
in the sun. Instead, they spend their time in cars, driving down to Georgia
to rescue animals. That was all Lorenzo needed to hear. For him, he’d
found his partner and, in January of 2012, Animal AID USA was born.
The agency is made up of a group of volunteer animal lovers who receive
no monetary compensation. Members drive more than 1,600 miles each
month in order to relocate animals from high-kill shelters to partnering
rescue organizations and forever homes. In addition to finding homes for
animals at risk, Animal Aid USA raises money to fund spay and neuter
programs in low income communities and raise awareness of the legal
cruelties happening daily in the U.S.. One of its key missions is to help
eradicate the gas chamber, and Lorenzo and Karen found their angel
“mascot” in a beagle mix named Grace. Grace was the only one of seven
dogs who survived the gas chamber at a Georgia facility one day. Her
plight led to the passing of Grace’s Law, which banned the use of the gas
chamber for euthanizing dogs in that state. Inspired by her story, Animal
AID USA thought it fitting to name its caravan of hope after her. Aptly
dubbed the “Amazing Grace Caravan,” it makes a monthly journey from
New Jersey to Georgia, where it picks up dogs destined for death and
delivers them to a new life. It also takes promotional treks down the east
coast, making stops along the way to educate people about the cruelty of
the gas chamber and to advocate for legislation to banish them. Other
causes Animal AID is proactively engaged in includes the cruel and
painful intracardiac injection without anasthesia (another means of
euthanasia), and abolishing puppy mills.

Grace & the Amazing Grace Caravan
photo courtesy of Animal AID USA
Last summer, Grace celebrated a momentous occasion. She got married!
In a formal doggy I do’s ceremony, Grace wed fellow gas chamber
survivor, Daniel, another beagle mix who has become a canine celebrity
advocating across the country to end gas chambers, with his dad, Joe
The Miracle Ranch

Animal AID co-founder,
Karen Talbot
photo courtesy of Animal AID USA
In 2012, Lorenzo and Karen purchased land in Long County, Georgia,
and dubbed the site theMiracle Ranch. It’s purpose would be as a safe
place to quarantine and vet dogs who were rescued, before their journey
up north. Adults and children worked side-by-side volunteering on the
ranch and things were going great. Unfortunately, a contingent of locals
were unhappy and let their discontent be known, leading to the recent
closing of Miracle Ranch. I asked Lorenzo what happened. “I think some
of the locals didn’t like the idea of northerners coming into their town and
saving their dogs,” he explained. “Also, a few neighbors complained
about the barking. They got a motion to kick us out, but before that ever
came to pass, a couple of locals got aggressive, to the point of shooting
guns. Karen and I decided, for the safety of the volunteers, including
children, and the dogs, that it was best to shut it down.” Sad, but when
one door closes, another often opens. As of a couple of months ago,
Lorenzo and Karen have found another location in Georgia, where the
locals are welcoming them with open arms. Until funds permit them to
launch a full scale facility, Ware County, Georgia’s Okefenokee Humane
Society will house and vet the dogs prior to their journey, and Animal
AID‘s equipment and resources will greatly supplement the work of Ware
County’s animal rescue efforts.
The Animal AID Club
It’s up to our children to take this message of compassion, kindness and
advocacy forward. Teaching them how to treat animals from a young age
is key. So, Animal Aid formed the Animal Aid Club, which is dedicated to
helping abandoned pets through the school system. With downloadable
lesson plans from the American Humane Association’s Humane
Education Resources for Professionals, an entertaining Readers theatre
play for students to perform, and access to an inspiring rescue
documentary called “Take Me Home,” Animal Aid Club gives kids all the
materials needed to start a club in their communities and share this
message with their friends and neighbors. “By providing children with the
education, awareness and resources, we are empowering them to make
change in their world for shelter animals,” emphasized Karen Talbot.
Once you read about Animal AID USA‘s accomplishments and, as
important, the volunteers who are its heart, I think you’ll agree it’s an
organization doing amazing work. Here’s a powerful video of all they do. It
truly does take a village:

Chloe’s Story
I asked Lorenzo is there was a rescue story that particularly resonated
with him. He told me about Chloe. Chloe is a pitbull mix who’s owner tried
to run her over. Nice, right? He was arrested and a court date was set.
Chloe was cooling her heels at the Liberty Animal Control in Georgia, a
kill shelter, where animals in these circumstances are kept until the fate of
the owner is decided. Her cage was so tiny, she could barely stand. And,
it was filthy with cockroaches. When Lorenzo opened the door, Chloe was
so terrified of humans, she just cowered in the corner. He had to do
something, so he asked what it would take to get Chloe released. He was
told that, if it wasn’t for the pending court date, she would’ve been
euthanized already. But the only way to get her released, was to have the
charges against this man dropped. Nothing is ever cut and dry simple.
Lorenzo thought it was better to get Chloe out of there to safety, than to
see this man prosecuted. He arranged to have the police come down, got
the charges dropped, and took Chloe up north. She was adopted
immediately. Today, Chloe is a happy, well-adjusted pup. “She’s
probably one of the most affectionate dogs I’ve ever met,” Lorenzo
shared. The power of love in transforming a dog who was terrified of
Are you up for a challenge?
I’m passionate about animals, and I think Bark and Swagger readers are,
too. Once I knew what Lorenzo and Karen were doing, I became a
monthly donor. I’m sure what I can afford each month isn’t going to move
mountains for them, but every bit helps and it really does all add up.
Because everyone involved with Animal AID are volunteers, there’s really
no overhead. All the money raised goes towards saving dogs. The
average cost to save a dog through Animal AID is roughly $50. Just $50
to save one pup’s life! Do you know what the average cost to save a life
through a large organization is? About $500. We have an amazing and
affordable opportunity.
So, here’s my challenge to you. Let’s save a dog! If we do this
together, we can make even more of a difference. For each of us that
donates $50 to the Save A Dog Challenge, you will undoubtedly feel
great about what you just did. An extra bonus, is Animal AID will post
your picture and give you a shout out on Facebook, and you’ll receive a
photo of the dog you saved, so you can put a face to your donation and
know this particular dog is on its way to a good life. You can also post the
pic, tweet about it, and generally tell the world you’ve become an Animal
AID sponsor and show the dog’s life you just saved. Pretty cool, right? If
$50 is a bit of a stretch, no worries. Donate what you can. $35.00
provides food, vaccines, worming and flea protection for one dog. Any
amount you can do will help. Click on the Animal AID banner just below to


In Summary
Prince Lorenzo Borghese, Karen Talbot and the team of amazing
volunteers who work with them are truly walking the walk of animal
rescue. The conscious and caring movement of animal lover volunteers
they have created is making a difference every day for innocent dogs
who, by no fault of their own, have found themselves in a kill shelter. If
you didn’t need a box of tissues watching the video above, I went through
enough for us both. When I see something like this, I feel like I want to
get on the Amazing Grace Caravan and do something. Until that day, I
can donate to the cause and help spread the word.

Animal AID’s team of volunteers
photo courtesy of Animal AID USA
Do you have a rescue story? I’d love to hear it in the Comments below.