The internet’s favorite pug is launching the Doug the Pug Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at individually helping sick children and their families.
Officially launched on Giving Tuesday by Doug the Pug‘s humans, Leslie Mosier, 28, and husband Rob Chianelli, 33, the Doug the Pug Foundation “will work to bring joy and needed support outside of treatment to children and their families battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.”
Doug, who is hugely popular among children and anyone in need of a good smile, is a legit internet superstar, with over 18 million followers across platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. With a merch store stocked with pug-related goodies and an array of celebrity collabs and endorsements, Doug the Pug has gone from cute viral Instagram pup dressed in topical outfits to one of the most successful animal brands on the internet.
Now, with the Doug the Pug Foundation, Mosier and Chianelli, who are based in Nashville, Tennessee, aim to continue the charitable work they’ve done in the past in partnership with organizations like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Seacrest Studios.
The foundation will be used to “help sustain joys of childhood and alleviate financial burdens outside of treatment.” Additionally, the foundation aims to help children and their families pay for therapy dogs for those in need.
“From the very first time we set foot into the children’s hospital with Doug, I knew this was what his calling was,” Mosier says in the foundation’s launch video. “He went up to the kid in the room who needed it the most and made them smile. And they’re experiences I’ll keep for the rest of my life.”
The launch video also comes with a bunch of endorsements from celebrities including Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank, the Irwin family, JVN from Queer Eye, Emily Hampshire from Schitt’s Creek, and more.
While COVID-19 restrictions have limited Doug’s interactions with fans, Mosier, who formerly worked as a publicist in the music industry, says she sees huge potential for benefit events, such as live concerts in Nashville, dinners, dog parades, and of course, in-hospital visits.
Along with the new website, now accepting donations, and a merch store that gives 100 percent of proceeds to the nonprofit, Doug is also launching a new Instagram page where you can follow along with the foundation’s good work.
As Mosier said in the launch video, “It’s been a crazy year, and this is a wonderful way to end the year.”