Amount: £2,000 Beneficiary: 50 pets with veterinary appointments Purpose: Supporting pet owners in underserved communities Charity Partner: Humane Society International - Pets For Life
Meet the families whose lives have been transformed by the Pets For Life program, they simply do not know what they would do if it wasn't for an incredible team of people that provide essential pet resources and welfare for their much loved animals.
‘PETS FOR LIFE’ PHILOSOPHY DRIVEN BY SOCIAL JUSTICE
“Pets for Life is transforming the lives of dogs and cats by honoring the love people have for their pets, closing the service gap that exists for people and pets in underserved areas and bringing awareness in a new way to larger systemic inequities and injustices. Poverty and structural inequality create obstacles to affordable veterinary and pet wellness services similar to the challenges and barriers to accessing healthy food, education, jobs, health care and housing. With tens of millions of pets living with families in poverty—at least triple the number of dogs and cats entering shelters—the extreme lack of access to pet resources is a national crisis overlooked by most”
HOW ‘PETS FOR LIFE’ WORKS
The Humane Society International ‘Pets for Life’ program has been in action since 2011 operating in the US and Canada, addressing the critical lack of accessible and affordable pet care in underserved communities.
For each community where Pets For Life operates, the first step is to conduct an in-depth community assessment that identifies the Pets For Life focus area – where the largest concentration of poverty and least access to pet resources exist. In most communities, 40-50% of the people in the Pets For Life focus area live at or below the poverty line.
An estimated 23 million pets live in poverty in the US, the program operates in 40 markets and has provided over 400,000 essential services to ultimately support pet owners and transform the lives of pets in poverty. Across the country the race/ethnicity breakdown of people served is 40% Black, 35% Latin, 19% White, 4% Native American, 1% Asian, 1% Other.
Pets For Life extends compassion and respect to all audiences of pet owners and promoting the understanding that a lack of financial means does not equate to lack of love for a pet. The program covers a variety of services at no cost to the pet owner including spay/neutering, vaccinations, operations, collars/leads, litter trays, and adoptions between clients and local shelters. This gives pet owners the opportunity to experience the benefits and joy from owning a healthy and happy pet.
MEET BETTY AND BELLA
Meet this cutie, Bella, and her wonderful owner Betty! Betty is from the US and has owned Bella since she was a puppy, Bella is now six years old. As you can imagine, owning a dog for that many years, they become your best friend. Betty was concerned about an ear infection that Bella had developed. Betty had tried some home remedies but the ear infection was not shifting. Betty doesn’t drive and is on a limited income. Especially during the global pandemic, financially everything becomes a lot harder. Untreated this infection could have caused Bellas eardrum to burst so Betty got in touch with Pets For Life who confirmed they would be able to help them. It was such a relief for Betty that the Pets For Life team could also transport Bella to and from the Vets. Of course Betty had to give Bella a little pep talk to calm her nerves before waving her off. Thankfully it was just an ear infection that needed to be treated, so Bella is now happy at home and her infection is clear. Many pet owners find themselves in situations just like Betty’s, where they just wanted to do right by their pet . With the assistance of the program, pet owners feel at ease knowing they can give their pet the essential treatment and welfare they need.
A LONG TERM APPROACH
Pets For Life offices are based in LA and Philadelphia which serve as a base for a training ground, plus a presence in 40 mentorship markets, they are able to work closely with city residents, shelters and animal welfare organisations to implement best practices along with training, mentoring and guidance. With the consistent community presence, door to door outreach service and follow up process, Pets For Life ultimate goal is to see this revolutionary support approach applied in every state and neighbouring communities.
HOW THE ZIPPER FOUNDATION IS HELPING THE CAUSE
Underserved communities are often overlooked, Humane Society International’s ‘Pets For Life’ program shows that they are driven by genuine care, love and concern for the animals and families in need of help. It’s more than a lifeline for pets in poverty, it’s a progressive, positive force for change in the way society views, and values, the welfare of companion pets in America. We are proud to say that we are donating £2,000 to this incredible cause to help people and animals just like Betty and Bella. We can truly say that our passion and drive to help animals and families in need matches the Pets For Life Program. Working with like-minded people at HSI means we can really connect and do good in the world, exactly as Zipper would have wanted us to. Thank you Humane Society International!