About Us

 

Who We Are


Operation Blankets of Love (OBOL) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit animal welfare and emergency relief agency dedicated to end animal homelessness.  OBOL is unique and like the Red Cross to the animal rescue world—we rescue the rescuers!

Every month OBOL donates nutritious food, treats, blankets, towels, pet beds, leashes, collars, harnesses, toys, pet clothes and other critical supplies to more than 1,000 homeless animals in shelters, rescue groups, pets of the homeless and wildlife sanctuaries.
Since 2008 OBOL has provided aid and comfort pet items to over 650 animal rescue groups and 36 animal shelters. Each year the number of rescues that depend upon us continues to expand. 
OBOL services do not simply help animals in need – We also impact people who care about animals.       We help 100’s and 100’s homeless people, veterans and low income seniors keep their pets safe and healthy, and bring humane education programs to more than 2,500 school children each year.

Our Mission

OBOL’s mission is to improve the well-being of homeless animals and increase their chances for survival and adoption–with the ultimate aim of eliminating animal homelessness.

How We Help

We fulfill our mission by:

  • Providing donated comfort and care items to shelters, rescue groups, pets of the homeless, pets of low-income seniors, pets of veterans, animal transports, fosters and wildlife sanctuaries.
  • Advocating for animal welfare through service-oriented humane education and public awareness anti-cruelty campaigns.
  • Raising awareness of the growing population of homeless animals being euthanized in overcrowded shelter systems and promoting adoption as the best option.

OBOL Volunteers play with a tiny puppy that needs a home at a Pet Fair.

My Brief History

by Eileen Smulson, Founder & Executive Director

eileen-ginger

“I could not picture Ginger sitting on the hard cement floor in the shelter. She was my inspiration to start Operation Blankets of Love!!!!”

Operation Blankets of Love (OBOL) was created in January 2008. I was a former school teacher and a founder of a singing telegram balloon delivery business at 25 in New Jersey and a fundraiser in the non-profit world for twenty years in Los Angeles. Some of the charities I worked as an executive were the American Cancer Society, Anti-Defamation League, the largest human rights agency in the country and Magen David Adom, Israel’s emergency and disaster relief/rescue services. During my years of non-profit work, I raised millions of dollars for many non-profits causes helping people and won national awards.

I like to think outside of the box and use my entrepreneurial attitude and passion for animal welfare issues to now help the animals that have no voice.

It all started on a cold rainy day in January 2008 when I saw puppies shivering at an animal shelter near my home. Disturbed to think of my first pet, Ginger, a four month terrier mix that I adopted in 2003 lying on a cold, hard cement floor I expressed my concern to the head of the shelters. The following day I met the shelter manager. She explained that there is no budget to purchase much-needed blankets and towels. I offered to help and in just a few weeks I collected over 800 blankets and towels. When I learned about the animal rescue groups that needed not only blankets and towels but for other comfort/care items (e.g., leashes/collars, carriers, crates), I established 20 drop-off locations and collected over 3,000 more items in several months. Operation Blankets of Love (OBOL) was born.

Shelter

Emergency items brought to a shelter when their washer broke down.

Buoyed by the success, I dedicated myself full time to the cause. This passion and compassion motivated me to later form Operation Blankets of Love as a nonprofit in March 2009. Since that time, with the help and dedication of my husband Brad and volunteers, OBOL has gained incredible momentum, meeting the comfort and care needs of tens of thousands of homeless animals in Greater Los Angeles, 9 California counties, as well as out-of-state and internationally. To date OBOL has established 70+ drop-off sites and has collected over 5 million animal comfort and care supplies to date, valued at over $7 million.

We have grown leaps and bounds and have an extensive Humane Education Learning Program (HELP) and an anti-cruelty campaign “We Dream of Justice, Too” and put on pet adoption events.

I have been featured in local and national television and cable shows, radio shows, magazines and newspapers Media Link and received numerous awards of recognition Awards Link.

Life After 50: Compassionate Creature Comforts

“Inspired by one little dog, Eileen Smulson founded Operation Blankets of Love, offering hope to thousands of stray, sick, neglected, abused and homeless animals” — by David Laurel

Eileen never had a pet before in her life. Find out why she started Operation Blankets of Love. See more at: COMPASSIONATE CREATURE COMFORTS – LifeAfter50.com

Ginger’s Story, Mascot and Public Relations Director- by Ginger

booth1I was about five months old, wandering a scorching desert highway in Palmdale, California. I was so tired, scared, thirsty, hungry, and confused. I didn’t know how I ended up in the middle of nowhere. Thank goodness someone found me because I had no tags or microchip. I was placed in a pleasant animal rescue group run by a wonderful lady.

October 11, 2003 is a day I will never forget. I was taken to Northridge, California with fifteen other homeless pets so the rescue lady could find a forever loving home for us.

I was the only one that did not yelp, bark, or cry. I was so timid and scared. I sat quietly in a pet cage waiting to be discovered. All of a sudden I was put into the arms of a man who petted and hugged me. Gee, this was the first time I was ever petted in my life and it felt so good. Then a woman bent over and did the same thing. Well, I was one lucky dog that day. They became my Mom and Pop and I became part of their family. My forever Mom never had a furry child before and had to go to doggie training school so we could learn the ropes together. I love and enjoy being their Public Relations Director and Mascot and spreading our mission to help get homeless animals adopted!! Since then these are my accomplishments:

Ginger’s Accomplishments

  • Public Relations Director and OBOL Mascot everyday of the year
  • Teaching thousands of children from pre- school to college level OBOL’S Humane Education Learning Program (HELP) including youth and civic groups
  • Recipient of the American Red Cross Community Service Award
  • Volunteer for READ Dog (Read Education Assistance Dog) Program: One-on-one reading with the kids in schools and libraries
  • Graduate of 6 dog training classes: Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, Tricks, Fun and Games and Dancing with the Dogs, plus Outdoor Agility
  • Certified pet therapy partner: Visiting hospitals, assisted living homes, veteran hospitals, nursing homes, schools and community centers
  • Big Socialite…I just LOVE people!

OBOL’s Affiliations

  • 37 Shelters in Southern California
  • 655  Animal Rescue Groups- dogs,cats, wildlife, rabbit, reptile(seniors and disabled animals)
  • Southern California Veterinary Medical Association
  • Churches and 10 local organizations depend on us for pet supplies when they help the homeless people that live with their pets.
  • Veterans Administrations (Homeless Project): Los Angeles City,  San Fernando Valley, Long Beach & Ventura
  • American Red Cross
  • Schools (preschool to college)
  • The Healthy Pets Healthy Families Coalition (Los Angeles County)
  • We partner with the following politicians who promote animal welfare: Councilman Paul Koretz, Councilman Bob Blumenfield, Senator Ted Lieu, Councilman Mitch Englander, Congressman Tony Cardenas, Assemblymen Mike Gatto, Assemblymen Marc Steinorth, Congressman Brad Sherman, Assemblyman Cameron M. Smyth, Assemblyman Matthew Dababnea

Memberships

  • Animal Legal Defense Fund
  • Emergency Network of Los Angeles (ENLA)
  • Sepulveda Basin Dog Park

Learn more about our programs.

Our goal is to provide the best possible care for each animal and ultimately place them into new and loving homes. Operation Blankets of Love has become an important part of our success in reaching our goal. Our animals are more comfortable and feel better; this of course makes them more adoptable. No longer do our geriatric animals have to lie on cold concrete….Our puppies and kittens have blankets and bedding to snuggle and lay in and our sick and injured animals have soft, comfortable blankets and towels to help soothe them to speedy recovery.”

~ MCandace McGrew, Program Manager Volunteer
Riverside County Dept. of Animal Services

Please note that all photos featured on this website were taken by OBOL.

Leave a Reply