If there has been at least one positive outcome of enduring these last 10 weeks of COVID-19 quarantine, it has been the increased number of pet adoptions and rescues at animal shelters all across the country.
Johnny “Chops” Richardson — singer-songwriter, and bassist for Texas’ own hard-touring Randy Rogers Band — is one of the most passionate advocates for his beloved canine friends in the modern music industry. And while off the road due to the pandemic, Richardson has been using his time to help Austin’s much-in-need shelter dogs via The Orange Dot Crew.
Now, doubling down on the momentum Johnny and his wife Andy Overton (themselves are proud pup parents to two rescued Basset Hounds, Reggie and Emmylou), have channeled their philanthropic efforts in the form of a newly penned song called “Hope Is Contagious Too,” inspired by stories the couple has heard about families surrendering their beloved pets on account of the economic downturn.
“My wife and I rescued our first dog together in 2012 after losing two very important people in our lives,” Richardson tells American Songwriter about the context of this sweet-natured new song. “Rescuing pets has taught us many things, but the most rewarding is hope. A lot of people have witnessed and/or experienced a tremendous amount of loss during these devastating times.
“We wrote this song wanting to remind people that there is always hope. Shelter pets, especially those that are confused by their environment and future, also need our help. Pets can be the companion that can get you through the toughest times so we want to donate 50% of our proceeds from ‘Hope Is Contagious Too’ merchandise to the Orange Dot Crew to help those dogs looking for a chance with a forever home.”
Please check out the music video for “Hope Is Contagious Too,” which features vintage 8mm footage from the couple’s family films, below.
Proceeds raised from the song and accompanying merchandise (including a timely “Hope Is Contagious Too” facemask) will be donated to The Orange Dot Crew, a local Austin canine rescue group that rescues “naughty” shelter dogs (whose files are labeled with an orange dot) from the Austin Animal Center and trains them to adjust to life outside the shelter in foster homes, in preparation for adoption.