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Help DDR Keep Families Together on #GivingTuesday

It’s been a good year for our Shelter Intervention Program, which continues to keep pets out of the shelter. People often ask us how we do it, how we empower pet owners with options other than surrendering their animal, and we tell them the truth: we try everything.

FirstHomeBy by offering free spay/neuter surgeries, vaccinations, and dog training; by giving away monthly food, fixing broken gates, repairing fences, supplying dog houses, and paying license or redemption fees at the shelter so a pet can go home. These are just some of the many things we do, and we’ve been able to save 5,000 pets from entering the South Los Angeles Animal Shelter since April 2013.

Our average case costs us $65 to prevent a pet from entering the South LA shelter. What a small price to pay to save an animal, and keep a family together. Can you help us do more?

With your donation to DDR, you’re supporting helping to make a pets first home, their forever home. If we can get 1,000 supporters like you, to donate at least $12, we will reach our goal to increase our monthly budget by $1000 throughout 2016.

$10 pays for a vaccine
$20 pays for a dog license
$50 pays for a medical exam and medication
$100 pays a spay/neuter surgery+vaccine+microchip
$200 pays for a pet deposit or a dog run
$500 pays for a medical crisis: parvo or broken bone



LA Times Covers Our Story.

There are so many complaints about the media these days. How they cover only the negative aspect of every issue, how their angles are always sensational. But every once in a while the media covers a story just like it is, and we’re so grateful the LA Times did that with this one.

At the Found Animal Foundation‘s recent “The Impact of Poverty on Pets and Families” forum, I was not only honored to speak about our work, but to have our Shelter Intervention Program brought to many more people’s attention. It was exciting to look out into the room and see how much this topic has risen to the forefront, and to believe in the movement that might grow as a result. At DDR, we know that how much money somebody makes should not determine whether or not they have enough love to give their pets. A depleted bank account does not mean an empty heart. Challenging times does not mean you don’t deserve a dog or cat. It was my pleasure to talk about our real findings through our years of working with underserved communities and the homeless, and to share about how often we see people who are struggling value their pets.

To me it was important to ask attendees for more support, but it was equally as important to call on animal rescuers and activists to have more compassion. It’s easy to make assumptions. It’s easy to pass judgement. It’s easy to make pet adoption an exclusive experience. What is hard is to extend a hand and say, “I see you. What’s going on? How can we help?” I’m proud to be part of a group that does so, and to watch as this issue takes center stage. The more we talk about it, the more awareness we cultivate, the more we let go of the illusion that financial status makes us different. Then the more we can work to keep pets in their first homes forever.

If a pet is happy and taken care of, and if we can support families when they need the help to do so, why shouldn’t that pet stay in his home? I have many more thoughts on this in my book, First Home, Forever Home. It was a great forum. I want to express deepest gratitude to Found Animals, LA Times, and everybody who was there, nodding their heads, listening with an open mind, and fighting to do better for animals.