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Pet Product Marketplace CUDDLY Celebrates Animals And Animal Lovers, While Giving Back To Rescues

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Below is our recent interview with Natalise Kalea, COO of CUDDLY:

Natalise Kalea

Q: What is CUDDLY?

A: CUDDLY is a pet product marketplace and community for animal lovers, whose collective mission is to improve and bring joy to animals.

Q: How did CUDDLY get its start?

A: One might be able to say that the seed for CUDDLY was planted by a little girl, McKenzi. She was diagnosed with cancer at a young age and was granted a wish from the Make-a-Wish Foundation to be a princess for a day at Disneyland. That gift made a huge impact on her. When she started to go into remission, she asked her dad for a puppy; he, then, brought her to a local shelter. When they arrived at the shelter, she looked at the dire need of all the animals there and asked her dad if there was a Make-a-Wish for dogs, to which he replied no. A few years later, she and her dad started a little company to help rescue animals.

Since then, CUDDLY has gone through a series of amazing changes that have enabled us to now work with over 1,200 rescues and garner an animal loving community of over 200,000 people. As a for-good company, we have raised over $3.5M for animals around the world and have big plans to continue our work in the coming years.

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Q: How does CUDDLY work?

A: Essentially, there are two main components of our ecosystem:

1) Pet parents can create CUDDLY gift lists to pamper their pets. We have everything from food and treats to exclusive, boutique, handmade items. Pet owners can add items, purchase products, and share with friends and family, knowing that 5% of all purchases go back to the rescue of their choice

2) Rescues can create wishlists and campaigns, asking for donations and much needed products for each animal in their care. Animal lovers from around the world can purchase products or donate funds to support the animal of their choice.

Q: Why would someone choose to shop on CUDDLY over Amazon or big box pet retailers.

A: That’s a great question. For discerning pet parents, we carry products that Amazon and other big box pet retailers simply don’t have. Many of our items are provided by local makers from around the world; some are even handmade. In this way, we feel like we’re supporting small business owners in the pet space, too, by giving them an additional avenue to distribute their products. Second, we offer a 5% give back to the rescue of your choice. Other systems like Amazon Smile give 0.5% back. We give 10x more!

Q: What differentiates CUDDLY from other fundraising sites?

A: CUDDLY is specific to animals. Our mission is centered around the well-being of animals, whether your own or rescue animals who are less fortunate. Other fundraising sites are generally broader. Also, we take 0% of any donations that come through, so that rescues can get the most support for the animals in their care.

Q: What’s your favorite success story from CUDDLY?

A: One of my favorite success stories from CUDDLY is Wally.

Wally was beaten by his previous owner with a metal pry bar, only to be left alone in a pool of blood overnight. Luckily, Wally was rescued by Barbara, the founder of Pound Pullers in Missouri. She rushed him to the vet immediately thinking that the most humane act would be to put him down peacefully. But something amazing happened. Barbara says:

When I was less than halfway there, I looked in my mirror and Wally was sitting up in my back seat looking at me. I was in total shock, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I can remember looking back at him, giving him my arm to lay his head on. Then I told him, “Ok boy, you want to live. We will help you live.”

Knowing that the surgery would cost a lot of money, Barbara started a campaign on CUDDLY. She also started Wally a gift registry for items that would help him recover, like healthy food, a cozy blanket, and a warm bed. On CUDDLY, Wally was able to raise almost $3,000 (120% of his goal), as well as receive gifts that have helped him recover to full health and happiness.

We’re excited to see Wally’s progress and so grateful that we have been a part of his journey. Here is the picture we got of him when the rescue picked him up and one now, after his operation.

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If people who are reading this would like to help animals just like Wally, I’d like to direct them to Or, if there are pet parents out there who love to pamper their pets and do good at the same time, I’d like to encourage them to start a CUDDLY list and purchase items. 5% of all purchases go to the rescue of their choice!

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