When Joni Vernars adopted a dog named Sasha because her owner couldn't handle the pup's separation anxiety, Vernars didn't expect to become as attached to Sasha as the dog did to her.

"It was the standard joke, but we really were inseparable," she wrote in a blog post.

SashaVernars trained Sasha (pictured right) to become a therapy dog so they could help those in need while also spending time together, and Sasha worked as a hospital therapy dog for nine years.

When Sasha passed away at the age of 12, Vernars wanted to honor the little dog's memory.

"We worked at the hospital for many years, so it only made sense that after Sasha died, that we continue to help animals in need as well as animals that help children and adults with special needs."

So Vernars co-founded SashaHelps to raise funds and awareness for charities that rescue animals and those that train assistance animals.

The website launched in October and now partners with these charities to raise money for specific campaigns through crowdfunding.

Donors can follow the progress of their selected campaigns and keep informed through emails and blog posts that show them how their donations are being used.

Participants looking for more involvement can join the SashaHelps Community, where they can meet members with similar interests and share ideas.

Although the website was inspired by a dog, SashaHelps works with a variety of animal charities, including ones that train therapy goats, horses, rabbits and rats.

To learn more about SashaHelps and its campaigns, visit the website or follow them on Facebook.

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Photo: SashaHelps.com