Transparency is important to us. We want you to know where your dollars go when you support our work, and we want you to feel good about it! So let us tell you about how our Shelter Intervention Program (SIP) took on more cases in 2016 than ever before. In 2015 we helped 1272 families, but last year we assisted 1467! Comparing statistics year by year, we noticed that there was an increase in the number of people unable to pay for medical care and other services for their pets, including pet food and supplies. Despite news about a rise in employment and the growing economy, the South Los Angeles pet owners we met and dealt with were largely unemployed, under-employed, receiving government assistance, or experiencing homelessness. Many pet owners came to see us at the South LA Animal Shelter or visited us during Pet Resource Center office hours, depending on where they were living that week or month.
Because we were able to spend less on spay and neuter surgeries, we were able to allocate that money to people who had pets with other needs. Thanks to the ASPCA spay and neuter clinic which opened at the South LA Shelter in 2014, we’ve been enabled to use our funds for other medical issues, of which there are no programs for. In 2014 we paid for 1110 spay/neuter surgeries; in 2015 we covered 300 spay/neuter surgeries; and in 2016, we paid for only 248 surgeries. Of those 248 surgeries, many pets required bloodwork for being a senior pet, had seizures to contend with, or needed a tangential medical procedure such as dental work, making it cost effective to perform both the spay/ neuter while attending to the other issue. Of course we still support spay and neuter, but our focus has moved further out into the community through offering three mobile clinics which happen the first Sunday of the month in Compton, the second Sunday of the month in South LA, and the 3rd Sunday of the month at our newest location in Lynwood. That means three out of four weeks of every month are reserved for spay/neuter mobile clinics, and we fill those clinics by mailing out vouchers to cat and dog owners in the areas every day. This draws people out of their homes, into the community, and engaging with us. We’re excited to report that we see firsthand how encouraging proper care and a personal investment in their pets is changing perspectives and lives!
So as you can see, SIP does a lot. And we’ll continue to do more! We’re honing down, responding to greatest needs, and meeting people where they’re at. Our mission for 2017 is to increase the number of cats we help, which has always been a smaller percentage than dogs. We don’t meet as many cat owners, but we’re hoping that will change this year. We’re also increasing the number of home visits we do, sending our handyman to fix fences and gates, as well as build dog runs to keep more dogs safe in their yards. By working with animal control officers to keep more pets in their first home, which we hope is their forever home, and by working together with the shelter system, we’ve been able to effect more lives in a positive way.
Please continue to support us and be a part of our mission this year! We can’t do it without you, and we’re grateful for each one of the 1467 lives you’ve allowed us to help in 2016.