And it started with a single abandoned dog he found, posting a photo of the dog to his Instagram account, hoping the dog would find a home.
“So the next morning I went on the air to share that I had found a home for the dog, and the next thing you know I had all these people reaching out to me saying, ‘I found this stray dog,’ or ‘I’m moving and can’t take my dog,’ before you know it, I had all of these dogs,” he told People.com. “I would post pictures of them up on my Instagram and I would find homes for them right away. It just started evolving from that. It was never a burden. It was always fun and passionate and organic and real.” Van Es' dog rescue foundation has been very successful being run solely by him and his family but he is hoping one day to have it be self-sustaining, though he has received support from celebrities such as Enrique Iglesias, Selena Gomez and Zedd.
#Repost @alicia_coates_ ・・・ Celebrating saving lives this morning with @aawlspca & @johnjayvanes ❤️ . ??| Walk to Save Lives | had hundreds of amazing people and their furbabies raising money for Arizona's first no-kill shelter ?? @aawlspca. A facility that will literally blow your mind; a clean, happy & healthy place for animals to stay until they go to their Furever homes ? More footage and slobber to come ? . I also made sure to stay nicely hydrated with my @gallongear sleeve ? #lovepup #aawl #walktosavelives #animalsaremyfavorite #adoptdontshop #furbabies #fureverhomes #az #tempetownlake #nokillshelter ? @adrian_athletics
“I have all these people that want to volunteer but I don’t have the money to fund anything yet,” he says. “It would be great to get to the point where, I’d like to have a building and have a staff. I’d like to have a ‘no kill’ policy. I want to save as many dogs as I can. I would like there to be a #LovePup chapter in every city. I just need the proper funding. I think it can happen!” In the meantime, #LOVEPUP continues to hum along, finding help and hopes for dogs. “We’ll take any dog,” Van Es said. “Every dog deserves to find love.”