Jessica Pakosz Kennedy and her family have always loved their adopted pets. With two rescue pups and two kids (Lilian age 13 and Julian age 12), one would say Jessica has enough “paws” to take care of. But, as an advocate for the rescue community, Jessica told her son they could get one more rescue baby.
Shortly thereafter, Jessica was invited to last summer’s Yappy Hour by animal rescue activist and Yappy Hour Emcee Luke Westerman. She had reached out to him to help her family find another fur-ever friend. Little did she know the event would not only introduce her to the newest member of their family, but it would open the door to a new family passion as well.
After walking around the event, Jessica stumbled upon a giant Pitbull named Bette who was up for adoption through Pittie Paws. “She got overlooked because she appeared tough but, in reality, she was the sweetest dog,” Jessica reminisced. “I left her for five minutes and turned to my friend and said ‘I need to go back and put in an adoption application right now’!”
After bringing Bette home, they renamed her Kaia… and their pack of two increased to three, with the dogs instantly taking over the household. Jessica and her kids had the idea of making everyday items, such as food and water bowls, look “rustic and chic” so they became as organic to the home as the dogs were.
Along with repurposing and refinishing just about everything she could get her hands on, Jessica always had a knack for making t-shirts. She started printing and wearing ‘RESCUE’ shirts and hats to promote the importance of the “Adopt don’t Shop” message around the community. People soon began asking if they could purchase the items and, from that point onward, the idea quickly took shape. She realized she could sell the apparel and the replicas of the items they already used in their home, and donate 50% of the proceeds to help other rescue pups get healthy and subsequently adopted through the I Have A Dream Rescue Organization.
From that moment of meeting Kaia at Yappy Hour last summer, Jessica’s life went from working in corporate America to pursuing her and her family’s philanthropic passion for helping rescue animals. RESCUEDrustics was born.
“We found we could take something discarded and repurpose or ‘rescue’ it, just like these dogs,” Jessica said. “Yappy Hour brings that awareness in a relaxed atmosphere, where you can meet [adoptable] dogs as well as people and organizations who are positive influences in the rescue community.”
Make sure to visit RESCUEDrustics at rescuedrustics.org and at this year’s Yappy Hour: Dog Days of Summer in the Gateway -University District, Sunday, September 3rd from 2-9PM. You’ll find Jessica’s creations for sale and learn more about her inspirational story. And don’t forget to congratulate her on the newest addition to the RESCUEDrustics family, their foster fail Max!