We were so glad to see this article on Dogster.com. Every time our work is put out into the world, in front of new people, we garner more support. And more support inevitably means more animals get saved, more families get served. This is what matters to us.
Financial struggles should not be a reason that people have to leave beloved pets behind at the shelter. In many of the underprivileged communities in which we work, affordable vet care is scarce to absent. For many of the families we help, resources are not available, or if they are, the very people they’re made to assist don’t know about them. But how much money one has in their bank account does not correlate with the type of pet guardian they are, or how much love they have to give.
Therefore, we sit in the lobby of the South LA Shelter, week after week. We want people to know that it is safe to hope, that somebody else does understand and care, and that there are options. Whether it’s paying for spay/neuter or medical care, helping fix a backyard fence to keep a dog contained, contributing to fees to reclaim an impounded cat, offering free dog training classes, and more, our SIP program exists to provide an alternative to shelter relinquishment.
When we raise funds, it’s so that we can turn around to the people who need a hand and say, “Here. Let us help you pay for that.” It’s amazing how more often than not, those we serve do not take our assistance as a handout. They chip in whatever they can, too, and invest in their pet however they’re able. When we work long hours, weekends, and evenings, it’s so we can say, “Yes, we have the time to listen.” It’s incredible how many people simply need somebody to listen. And when we don’t give up and watch another pet leave the shelter doors, tail wagging, heading back home, we know our efforts are not in vain. It never gets old or commonplace to help a pet avoid the shelter, or to help keep a family whole.
Most of the people we work with are neither careless nor inconvenienced by their animals. Coming into the shelter is a last resort, it is the place they enter with tears in their eyes and a heavy heart because they’ve come to say goodbye. Being able to offer another way and to support them has proven to be not only rewarding for our organization, but most importantly, it’s proven to be quite necessary.
We hope our program and more programs like it create a domino effect of change, shift perspectives, and inspire action. We hope many more articles like this one bring the real issues to light, and encourage support where there was once judgement, faith where there was once fear, and life where there was once euthanasia. In our experience, most people are good. So are their pets. It’s our pleasure to help them.