updated 06/07/2010 AT 4:45 PM ET
•originally published 06/08/2010 AT 7:45 AM ET
Growing up in Tahoe City, Calif., Olympic freestyle skier Shannon Bahrke remembers tending to a house filled with pets: dogs, cats, fish and birds. “Ten at any given time,” the 2010 Olympic bronze medalist tells PEOPLEPets.com. “Now we (fiancé Matt Happe) have three pets; his two dogs and my long-hair cat Jinxy.”
While Jinxy hails from a Salt Lake City shelter, Bahrke makes a point of mentioning her fiancé’s dogs are pure bred Vizlas. “I’m not happy with that,” admits Bahrke. “I’ve rescued animals all my life.”
But the couple, who run the Silver Bean Coffee Co., more than make up for the animal umbrage by teaming up with Best Friends Animal Society, an animal-care facility and no-kill sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, housing some 1,700 animals. It also happens to be Bahrke’s favorite charity. “I support humane societies; they mean a lot to me,” she says.
To that end, she has created a line of seven Best Friends coffee brands, each with with pictures of a different animal – squirrels, rabbits, pigs, horses, dogs, cats and exotic birds, and their amazing rescue stories. The Sandy Candy coffee blend, for example, is named after a dog that was found on the side of the road with a broken back and was nursed back to health by Best Friends.
Five dollars of every 1-lb. bag sold (retailing for $13.99 each) goes to Best Friends and their efforts to rehabilitate injured animals. Bahrke and Best Friends have created an exclusive link to the fundraising program.
“Having a coffee company is great,” says Bahrke, who has been roasting and distributing coffee through her Silver Bean label for two years. “But the cool thing is this is a way we can give back.”
See more pet companies that give back on PEOPLEPets.com:
Rescue Chocolate: Tasty for You, a Lifesaver for Dogs
Get the Look: Carrie Underwood’s ‘Adopt’ Tee