Sprays for Strays: Nonprofit helps stray dogs through sunless tans
By Summer Aguirre
Veronique Munro aims to end dog homelessness one spray tan at a time.
Munro — the founder and CEO of the sunless tanning company Infinity Sun — combined her business and passion for dogs and created her charity organization, Sprays for Strays. Having recently relocated to Scottsdale from Los Angeles, the nonprofit fundraises through the sunless tanning industry to benefit dog rescue programs.
“There are dog rescues all over the United States that are actually in the trenches,” Munro says. “They’re going into the pounds and shelters, and the one thing they’re lacking is funding to pull the dogs, to pay for vaccines, to pay for spays and neuters.
“Oftentimes, the dogs end up on the street or in these places because they have behavioral issues, like they bark a lot or maybe they had medical issues and their owners couldn’t pay, so they just end up dumping their dogs. It’s awful, so I thought, well, why not start Sprays for Strays?”
Munro’s journey began with her bearded collie, Snoopy, whom she adopted while working as a business and technology consultant for Fortune 500 companies in Belgium in the 1990s. Upon moving to Los Angeles in 2000, she researched different industries to invest her time in that would allow a lifestyle better suited for a dog owner.
She discovered sunless tanning, which had then recently emerged, and founded Infinity Sun in 2005. Snoopy served as her “co-pilot” as her company grew.
“I keep joking, I say ‘dog’ is ‘God’ backward for a reason,” she says. “I really think that we think we’re saving them, but they’re really saving us — I’m convinced of it.
“Snoopy was a reason for me to quit my very high-powered, highly lucrative consulting job to start up a business on my own, which basically made my life what it is today and moved (a big part of) an entire industry,” Munro says. “So, I wanted to start a nonprofit as a way to honor Snoopy and what he brought me and the industry.”
Today, Infinity Sun is known for its airbrush tanning systems, sunless tanning solutions, luxury self-tanners and A-list celebrity clientele, which includes Giuliana Rancic, Kaley Cuoco, Jessica Alba and Britney Spears.
Munro launched her charity organization six years ago, calling it Snoopy’s Angels Two Dog Rescue after her dog, who died in 2011.
She wanted to leverage her nationwide relationships with Infinity Sun customers, starting the organization as an opportunity for spray tan artists to be able to involve themselves in charitable giving.
“A lot of them are really into dog rescue, but they just don’t know how to get involved,” she says. “So, they can do fundraisers — it’s a membership-based organization where they can join us and we help promote their businesses while they help us raise money to give to the rescues, who go and pull the dogs that need financial help to help them save more dogs.”
Although Sprays for Strays is a small organization, Munro says it has assisted many rescues across the country retrieve dogs from pounds and shelters, fund their vaccines, and home them.
A notable part of Sprays for Strays is maintaining partnerships with ethical groups, so she is selective when choosing her rescue partners.
“We are about responsible rescue, and we really like to ensure that we do our part to raise the (standard),” Munro says. “There are a lot of nefarious people out there in the rescue world, so we really set out the rescues that are ethical in the way that they handle things from start to end.”
The funds that Sprays for Strays generates goes directly toward paying for the dogs’ medical bills and other specific needs, not just the rescue organizations as a whole.
To obtain more support and expand the nonprofit’s reach, Munro is prioritizing getting her new charity’s name out to the public.
She is organizing a local event and hopes to host fundraisers for Sprays for Strays, which she hasn’t done since the pandemic.
“Getting a stronger network in place is part of the support that we need, and then more partnerships with the pounds and rescues to make pulling dogs easier, because sometimes there’s a lot of red tape to go through,” Munro says.
Having established partnerships and a secure membership base will also help the charity host fundraisers to benefit rescues, as well as strengthen its foster network and provide safe places for dogs to convalesce.
“In many cases, a lot of them are traumatized,” Munro says. “They need love to heal them, and that might mean being with a foster for a period of time to feel loved and to readjust.”
Munro encourages anyone who feels called to dog rescue and aligns with the Sprays for Strays mission and initiatives to get involved with the organization — whether they are in the beauty industry or not.
“If they’re a spray tan artist, I’d love for them to join Sprays for Strays,” she says. “If they are dog rescues, they can come to us, let us know they exist, and learn a little bit more about them and how we can partner together to help save more dogs here. I’d really love to end the homelessness of these dogs.”
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