With over 144k Instagram followers and a horde of loyal radio listeners, Johhjay Van Es is using his public reach to help hundreds of dogs in need.
The radio host from the popular KISS FM show, Johnjay and Rich Morning Show, has turned a simple idea into a big, passionate project.
With help from his wife, Blake, and three sons, Van Es has dedicated his home; his free time, and his passion to finding new homes for stray and abandoned dogs.
In 2015, Van Es started #LovePup, a dog rescue foundation based in Phoenix, AZ that uses the power of social media to help as many pets as possible. To date, the organization has found loving families for over 500 dogs.
According to Van Es, it all started with a single Chihuahua. Someone contacted his wife about a small dog found abandoned in an alley.
He posted a photo to his Instagram account hoping someone would come forward and adopt the pet. Within a few seconds, people began messaging him. And by the next morning, the dog had a family of his own.
The radio star talked about the newly homed Chihuahua on his show and was met with an immediate display of support. Among the well-wishers, there were people who needed his help.
They came to him hoping he would find homes for other stray and unwanted dogs. What started as one dog turned into a few, and eventually, he started taking in hundreds.
Van Es continued posting pictures of needy dogs on Instagram, and each time, multiple people came forward ready to adopt.
He screens potential adopters by visiting their Facebook pages and ensures every animal goes to a home where it will be well loved and taken care of.
According to Van Es, “Every dog deserves to find love;” and the animal rescuer takes in dogs of all backgrounds, breeds, ages, and sizes. If they need medical attention, he gives it to them.
And if they need time to heal and prepare for their new life, the Van Es family keeps them in their home. At one point, they housed 14 rescued dogs. The family of five, plus the five dogs they keep as their own; serve as fosters to help every dog that comes to their door.
#LovePup is a family affair, and the Van Es children take an active role in caring for the dogs. They have thousands of supporters; and their hope is to one day expand the operation.
They want a building to house more dogs and a staff of dog-loving volunteers in every major city. But above all, they wants as many dogs as possible to experience the comfort and love of being part of a forever family.