As 2015 comes to a close, we want to reflect back on all that you’ve helped us do – our donors, supporters, volunteers, adopters, friends, partners, and fans. For starters, our Shelter Intervention Program (SIP) continued to keep pets out of the shelter this year on a much larger scale. We offered free spay/ neuter surgeries, vaccinations, and dog training. We gave away monthly food, fixed broken gates, repaired fences, supplied dog houses, and paid license or redemption fees so pets could go home. We heard from families who were assisted through SIP, and they were proud to report on how they helped others in their community after experiencing our support. This domino effect of kindness is the type of lasting change that ripples. We’re thrilled to share that since April of 2013, we’ve been able to save 5,000 pets from entering the South Los Angeles Animal Shelter.
Over the past 20 years we’ve witnessed the impact of extreme poverty in Los Angeles. Our goal is always to do more. We provided free services, held spay/neuter clinics, and walked the streets of underserved communities so that we could actually talk to people and listen to them. We thought about what we heard. What resources do they need? How can we deliver? Those are the questions DDR has been and will continue to be based on. Those are the questions that fuel our ongoing programs for those who need it most.
Since 1996, we’ve provided free spay/neuter surgeries for thousands of dogs, and up until recently, we were the only nonprofit offering these services in Compton. Just us and our little project, which grew and grew. Now cut to today, and this summer we began partnering with the Southern California Veterinarian Medical Association, whose members volunteer with us in one of the poorest communities in LA. Together we’ve offered vaccinations and microchipping for hundreds of animals, but it’s been more than just about providing free services. It’s giving people who love their pets the chance at the veterinary care they want, but simply can’t afford. And in South LA, where the incidence of preventable infectious diseases such as Parvo and Distemper are high, this translated into saving lives. The best part is, the community is spreading the word for us — our spay/neuter appointments are now booked overwhelmingly by referral. We’re helping the neighbors, cousins, and friends of dog owners who we saw last month or last year. And although the year is about to end, we are holding two more clinics before the ball drops on the 31st. Plus, DDR’s partnership with SCVMA proved the value of working directly in the community. They will now be working with additional nonprofits, expanding free services in more areas of need.