Guests at Starbucks stop at the patio party at Carling Ave. to meet some puppies who need homes. [Photo © Eden Suh]

On a recent Thursday morning, the patio of a Carling Avenue Starbucks was packed with some of Ottawa’s most adorable four-legged customers — the puppy kind.

Ottawa Dog Rescue teamed up with the coffee dispenser to raise money and awareness for dogs in their care needing a home. The hopeful adoptees, meanwhile, enjoyed the summer sun and sipping on their Puppuccinos (a cup full of whipped cream) while getting pets from passerbys.

The Starbucks outlet’s manager, Sol Fuentes, reached out to Ottawa Dog Rescue to host a fundraiser as a part of Starbucks’ Week of Kindness which aims to help raise money and awareness for local organizations.

Starbucks was able to provide a raffle basket with $150 worth of Starbucks items along with iced coffee with donations.

A jar is already filled with raffle tickets as people purchase two dollar tickets in hopes of winning the basket of goodies. [ Photo © Eden Suh]
Sol Fuentes, centre, and a Starbucks employee served coffee at the event. [Photo © Eden Suh]

Fuentes worked with Cassandra Poulin, the fundraising co-ordinator for Ottawa Dog rescue, to plan the event. It was originally slated for earlier in the year, but COVID-19 put the brakes on that.

With the recent re-opening of patios, Fuentes reached out.

“It was really last minute I called [Cassandra] up.  And it was like, we need to do something. We need to find these puppies some love.”

Cassandra Poulin holding little Morty the chihuahua, Ottawa Dog Rescue’s mascot. [Photo © Eden Suh]

The puppies did indeed receive lots of love on the patio at Starbucks. Visitors were excited and thrilled to be able to play with and pet small dogs.

Poulin said the event couldn’t have come at a better time, “We lost quite a bit of funding because of COVID-19,” she said. In April alone she estimates they lost up to $20,000.

“It unfortunately means that we can’t take as many dogs,” said Poulin. “We’d like to take as many dogs as we can but we might not be able to just because we don’t have the money.”

Rose, a three-legged Yorkshire Terrier, is nestled in a stranger’s lap as she gets some well deserved cuddles. [ Photo © Eden Suh]

If the success of this event is any indication, Ottawa Dog Rescue might be getting back on track. “We adjusted everything to what’s happening to the world. I think that’s what’s going to keep Ottawa Dog Rescue afloat. All our supporters, our fosters, our volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to do anything without them. Everyone’s been very supportive. “

Six month old Rose shattered her front leg. Unfortunately, she lost the leg but has slowly been getting used to standing on three. She happily hopped to passersby for cuddles. [ Photo © Eden Suh]
Attending events, like the patio party, is part of Morty’s job. He was first discovered at seven weeks old with a serious condition that caused seizures. He has been very happy ever since he was first discovered by his foster mom Amanda Layton-Malone. Layton-Malone, who at the time was being treated for breast cancer, says, “Morty gave me the strength to battle cancer and get through chemo as he was fighting to stay alive too.” [Photo © Eden Suh]
This happy pug, also named Morty, was so excited to meet people that he could barely sit still. Morty was adopted from Ottawa Dog Rescue by a loving family, but still wanted to visit his old friends. [Photo © Eden Suh]
Jack is a Yorkie mix who found himself at the shelter after his owner passed away. He was in rough shape when he was discovered but after grooming he showed off a handsome smile, which he flashed at the event. [Photo © Eden Suh]
A photo of Jack before his grooming. [ Photo © Amanda Layton-Malone]
Jack made a new friend at the patio event and he was very happy about it. The dogs that came with Ottawa Dog Rescue were excited to be surrounded by friendly strangers. [ Photo © Eden Suh]