Oakley’s Oath was founded after Julie and Maury Kessler’s family lost one of their beloved dogs, Oakley, to an accidental drowning in 2021. The Kessler family was having work done on their roof, and the contractor had placed a lightweight, clear plastic tarp over the pool, and when Oakley went into the backyard, he fell through the plastic and drowned. Unfortunately, the Kessler family was unable to save Oakley in time.
While the Kessler family cannot bring their dog back, Julie has made it her mission to take their experience and turn it into a safety initiative for other homeowners with pets and small children. “We aim to educate homeowners and businesses about keeping pets safe when repairs are being done at home,” Julie said. “We’re basically trying to inform people to be cautious and communicate with the contractors in your home.”
Small children and pets are the most susceptible to preventable accidents when work is taking place in the home. Contractors, sometimes unknowingly, disrupt the normal routine of the house, and introduce new elements that may distract or grab the attention of a pet or child. Although homeowners typically ask basic questions of their contractors, like when the project would be done and how much it would cost, there should be more details on the safety of the family.
It is Julie’s goal to spread the mission of Oakley’s Oath, and have homeowners and contractors everywhere be more aware of the changes and risks that are brought to a home when work is being done, especially with small children and pets in the home.
Oakley’s Oath strives to protect children and pets from avoidable accidents by providing contractors and homeowners with common sense guidelines that keep everyone safe.
Julie Kessler, an Arizona native and a University of Arizona alum, is a passionate mother to two daughters, and an advocate for child and animal safety and welfare. Julie and her family have always been dog lovers, having three Shitzhus of their own, Oakley, Spex and Panda. However, it wasn’t until after Oakley’s unfortunate and preventable passing that Julie turned her passion into philanthropy.
Although Julie isn’t able to bring back her beloved dog, she has turned her loss into activism, by founding Oakley’s Oath. This nonprofit aims to protect children and pets from avoidable accidents by providing contractors and homeowners with common sense guidelines that help keep everyone safe.
Julie Kessler is working on an autobiography with a chapter that will highlight the journey of Oakley's Oath and it's mission.