"A lot of the people that we sponsor ... have already lost so much that the one thing they try to hang on to is their dog," Manning said. "A lot of them have lost their jobs. They've lost their homes. Some have even lost their significant other or their loved ones. And the dog, to them, is some sort of normal or a tie to a happier time. And they don't want to have to make that devastating decision."
Oftentimes, families who turn to Manning's group are facing life-and-death scenarios related to their dogs. Manning says 75% of the grants her group has awarded have paid for emergency treatment that spared the dogs from being euthanized.
"We're just completely surprised that they were just able to help us out with the full (sponsorship) amount," Polcari said of the assistance her family received. "It was just such a blessing, and we'll be forever grateful that Charlie gets this second chance."
For Manning, who also has a full-time job at a market research firm, being able to provide those second chances is a tribute to Ladybug's memory.
"Every picture you see of a dog we've helped, every story that we tell, it's a happy ending. This dog is with its family and never had to go into a shelter," Manning said, beaming. "It's living happily ever after at home. And that's why we're called the Fairy DogParents, because much like (in) Cinderella, we're in the background. The dog doesn't even know we exist, and we're just making sure it gets to the ball."
Want to get involved? Check out the Fairy DogParents website at www.fairydogparents.org and see how to help.