spacer The official launch of logo took place in East Hampton, New York at Grey Gardens, the summer residence of Frances Hayward and AMIGO.

wayne pacelle and frances hayward
HSUS President Wayne Pacelle and Frances Hayward at the BEKiND Launch Party

The Launch Date, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, 2nd September, 2004 had been planned well in advance but, in a strange twist of fate, turned out to be two days after Hurricane Katrina had devastated New Orleans. Tragic images of stranded helpless animals pervaded the airwaves and internet to an audience of horrified viewers. What started as a celebration became instead a rally on behalf of the other victims of Katrina: the animals.

amigo and frances hayward
Tinkerbell Hilton shows off her BEKiND Cause Collar

The glamorous Hamptons party was attended by over two hundred guests from HSUS President Wayne Pacelle and other HSUS representatives, members of ARF (Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons) to Paris Hilton's family and dog, the famous 'Tinkerbell Hilton,' who all came to show their support for these hapless, helpless victims. The launch of BEKiND thus took on a whole new meaning, setting, in many ways, the course for its future work and linking it forever to New Orleans and the horrors of Katrina. The late afternoon event included an impassioned speech by Wayne Pacelle as everyone banded together in this time of terrible crisis and urgency.

Frances Hayward, HSUS President Wayne Pacelle, with AMIGO and Bill Grimmer, during the launch of the BEKiND Campaign in East Hampton, New York.

The HSUS/BEKiND 'cause collars' for dogs, originally intended to be launched as a tool for animal lovers' pets to themselves show their support for animal protection, suddenly became the nationwide symbol of support of HSUS' Katrina animal rescue efforts. Over one hundred thousand sold over the internet within five days, causing massive crashes on the HSUS website, as people across America, endeavored to frantically support the heroic HSUS work.

Thus it all began... and what was intended as a fun, end of summer launch party became instead a moment in history...