When Cathy Kangas was growing up as a child in England, she saw a man kick a dog. “I remember being so outraged, my mother had to pull me away and stop me from creating a scene,” she said. Since that time, Cathy has turned her childhood outrage into a quest to help animals around the world. “They are defenseless. We as humans have a responsibility to treat them with respect. Someone has to speak for them,” she remarked.
Today, Cathy is the CEO and Founder of PRAI Beauty, a global luxury skincare company, sold on home shopping networks in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Italy and Australia. When she began her company in 1999, she knew that she wanted to channel some of the profits into a foundation that helped animals. So she created “Beauty with a Cause” whose mission is to provide funding to animal welfare organizations around the world.
PRAI Beauty is a very successful company so Cathy has been able to commit thousands of dollars to helping animals. In the UK, her top selling products including 24K Gold Caviar Wrinkle Repair Serum, Platinum Firm & Lift Cream and Ageless Throat Creme – to name a few favorites.
Women love the positive results they see in the skin in a very short time. It is also important to her customers that none of her products is tested on animals. “Our customers are very loyal as well as being supportive of the animal groups we fund around the world. It is not only gratifying to support animal welfare causes, it has turned out to make good business sense as well,” said Cathy.
In the UK, one of Cathy’s favorite charities is Nowzad Dogs. Years ago, Cathy read a book called “One Dog at a Time – Saving the Strays of Afghanistan” written by a Royal Marine named Pen Farthing. The book describes how Farthing helped build a shelter in Afghanistan to save stray dogs, many of whom were forced to participate in deadly dog fights.
He went on to help American and British soldiers bring home the dogs they befriended while on a tour of duty in Afghanistan through his charity, Nowzad Dogs. Cathy is on the board of Nowzad Dogs and has worked tirelessly to unite dogs with their soldiers. She partnered with American Airlines to airlift dozens of dogs out of Afghanistan back home to the States and the soldiers who cared for them on the battlefront.
Cathy is also an honorary member of the Board of Directors of SPANA, which is based in the UK and helps working animals around the world. “For a poor person, their donkey is essential to their livelihood, but often they don’t have the money to care for them and can’t afford veterinary care. SPANA funds a vital network of veterinary centers and mobile clinics providing free care for donkeys and other working animals. It is a wonderful organization working in the world’s poorest communities,” noted Cathy.
Her work for animals has won her accolades from The Humane Society of the United States, which recognized her vital contribution to ending the Canadian seal slaughter. Nigel Barker, the celebrity photographer for the popular TV show “America’s Next Top Model” presented her with this award. She convinced her friend, the Duchess of York, to help with Nowzad Dogs. Cathy was recently elected to Board of Directors of the Humane Society of the United States.
Beauty with a Cause continues to help all animals. Among Cathy’s many success stories are a shelter for stray dogs on the island of St. Martin; a sanctuary in south Florida for chimps that were used in Air Force experiments; Squirrelwood, a home for retired racehorses; and a dog sanctuary in Romania!
“I am fortunate that the success of PRAI Beauty has enabled me to support my passion for helping animals,” she said. “We are their guardians on earth and it is up to us to stamp out cruelty wherever it exists and to shine a spotlight on cruelty.”
Cathy lives in New Canaan, CT with her husband and five rescue dogs. For more information about PRAI Beauty and Beauty with a Cause visited www.praibeauty.com.
Mary Frances Duffy