Who knew this Southern liquor company had a greater purpose?

By Jorie Nicole McDonald

When someone mentions Tito's Handmade Vodka, folks may think of their favorite summertime cocktail or a long lost college memory, but we doubt you associate the company with rescuing animals in need. That's all about to change. The Southern liquor brand actually runs a program called Vodka For Dog People that helps pet charities fulfill their missions – from spaying and neutering to helping abandoned dogs find loving homes. "Tito jokes all the time that we're a philanthropy company that happens to also sell vodka," Nicole Portwood, VP of Brand Marketing at Tito's, said. "It's a vehicle for us to make the world a better place."

When Tito started the distillery, his dog DogJo was right by his side. DogJo's food attracted a revolving door of stray pups, fondly called "distillery dogs." As Tito's grew, the dogs stayed. They immediately knew they had to find a way to care for the pets. From animals on bottle tags to Whisker Wednesdays on Instagram, Tito's Handmade Vodka does whatever they can to raise awareness for homeless pets. "Vodka for Dog People is a partnership with over 800 nonprofits a year in the US and outside, and that we help them enhance their events, campaigns and missions to get more done through what we have to offer," said Beth Bellanti, Program Manager for the brand.

Right now, there are more pets that need good homes than homes available for them to go to; Tito's is working to change that. The company believes that money should never be a factor holding someone back from adopting a forever friend. "It's a program that's really near and dear to all of our hearts because love is a universal thing," Nicole said. "So if we can take down that barrier of cost and bring that love into someone's home, then that's definitely something we want to be a part of."