Each year, the ASPCA awards financial support to U.S.-based nonprofit animal welfare organizations through grants, sponsorships, technical assistance and training. The ASPCA Grantee Highlight Series is a collection of stories that celebrates and showcases the impact that these organizations are having on the lives of animals across the country.
The Greyhound Adoption Center (GAC) in El Cajon, California has been rescuing and rehabilitating retired racing hounds for nearly 30 years. With a staff consisting almost entirely of devoted volunteers who work tirelessly to find loving and permanent homes for these hounds, GAC has long relied heavily on their personal modes of transportation to conduct emergency rescues and bring the hounds to adoption awareness events in various cities throughout the state of California.
In June of last year, the ASPCA awarded an animal relocation grant to GAC, giving them the opportunity to purchase a large van that has provided the staff of GAC with a level of flexibility that is helping to change the way that they work.
“The new van enables GAC to respond to more emergency rescue situations in an efficient way. And we are now expanding our adoption program to areas that we could not otherwise serve,” says Darren Rigg, Founder and President of the Greyhound Adoption Center, which, since its founding, has rescued and found homes for over 6,000 rescued Greyhounds across the country.
One of GAC’s major rescues this year involved transporting dogs from Arizona in 100-degree temperatures. In addition to the safety and relief that a functioning air conditioner brought to the hounds, the new van was spacious enough to accommodate the individual crates of each dog. Separating the animals who didn’t know each other provided a safe and stress-free ride for both the hounds and the rescue crew.
In addition to facilitating safe and efficient rescues, the wrapped van gives a visual nod to the ASPCA support and serves as a mobile billboard designed to encourage community discussion and increase awareness around Greyhounds and Greyhound adoption. “Since the van is fully equipped for a show and tell, we don’t spend extra time setting up a booth with tables, chairs, awnings, etc. And when we are ready to pack up, it takes about 15 minutes to get the dogs back in the van and our supplies packed away,” says Rigg.
“The ASPCA support portrayed on the van wrap is a feather in our cap. By prominently displaying the ASPCA logo on our new rescue van, we have more credibility in the public’s eyes. The prestige of being associated with such a highly regarded organization like the ASPCA is an honor for GAC, and definitely accounts for more retired racing Greyhounds finding their forever homes,” says Rigg.
To learn more about the great work of the Greyhound Adoption Center, visit their website at www.houndsavers.org.
We are excited to announce that the ASPCA is granting nearly $1 million to Los Angeles Animal Services and the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care & Control to facilitate life-saving adoptions of homeless pets in LA.
A portion of the funds will waive cat adoption fees for qualified adopters. This includes cats over four months of age in Los Angeles’ six city animal shelters, as well as all cats and kittens in the six county animal shelters.
The grant will also cover “make-ready” fees typically incurred by qualified rescue groups when they retrieve cats, kittens, pit bull type dogs and Chihuahuas from city and county shelters. These animals are most at-risk in the Los Angeles area, and this funding will improve their chances of finding safe and loving homes.
“Despite the best efforts of city and county shelters and rescue groups, the situation for cats in Los Angeles remains dire—over half of the cats who enter city and county shelters never come out,” said ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker. “ASPCA research has shown that waiving cat adoption fees drives new and responsible prospective owners to shelters, dramatically impacting the lives of thousands of shelter cats whose futures are endangered.”
The funding, which will provide $520,000 to the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care & Control and $400,000 to the City of Los Angeles Animal Services, will go into effect immediately. While fees will be waived, all adoption policies and procedures remain in effect, including existing criteria for potential adopters.
We have exciting news: we are pleased to announce that the ASPCA has acquired Asheville, North Carolina-based Humane Alliance (HA), the nation’s leading training and education organization focusing on high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter—one of the most effective tools the animal welfare community has to combat homelessness and the needless euthanasia of dogs and cats.
HA operates the foremost national spay/neuter clinic training program as well as a unique national veterinary training and education program that teaches best practices to hundreds of veterinary students and private veterinarians every year. HA also operates a local spay/neuter clinic program in counties surrounding Asheville, where the organization plays an important role in local animal population control.
Humane Alliance, now a program of the ASPCA, will expand capacity for vet students and veterinarians and the number of spay/neuter clinics and practitioners trained nationwide. This will make it possible for veterinarians, shelters, and rescue operations to reach millions more at-risk animals with these critical services, dramatically reducing the number of homeless pets entering shelters across the country.
“From our animal sheltering work to field rescues to legislative advocacy, spay/neuter is an essential component of the ASPCA’s animal welfare efforts,” says ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker. “We have long admired and supported Humane Alliance’s innovations in spay/neuter practice and training, and are excited to combine forces to end animal homelessness and suffering around the country.”
Earlier this year, the ASPCA announced its plan to build a permanent ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in nearby Weaverville, North Carolina, following the success of its pilot program in New Jersey. The $9 million, 35,000-square-foot facility will be custom-fitted with individual kennels, outdoor pens and indoor treatment areas. There, experienced behaviorists and trainers will use specialized protocols to help dogs with behavioral challenges become suitable for adoption. The center is scheduled to open in 2017.
We look forward to the many positive changes these new initiatives will bring for millions of at-risk animals nationwide.
We are excited to announce that 145 shelter dogs, cats and kittens took flight on Thursday during a large-scale animal transport, and will now be available for adoption at partner shelters in Oregon and Washington state. The ASPCA teamed up with the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control, along with Wings of Rescue, to transport these animals from LA County shelters by plane in the hopes of giving them a second chance to find loving homes.
Since the ASPCA’s 2014 announcement of our $25 million, multi-year commitment to saving animals in Los Angeles, we have had the privilege of teaming up with many of LA’s most committed animal advocates to make a positive impact for thousands of cats and dogs in the area. One way in which we’re making a difference is by empowering community members to assist homeless pets in their own neighborhoods. Recently, two LA families did just that.
With guidance from the ASPCA’s Safety Net program, a collaboration with the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Control and the Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation, the Fernandez family welcomed three neonate kittens into their home earlier this summer. After one month of care, the tiny felines were strong enough to be placed in loving homes. The Fernandez family helped to find willing adopters for the kittens, and stayed in contact with them following the adoption process to make sure the kittens continued to thrive.
A Good Samaritan named Christina found two abandoned kittens in her neighborhood, who she named Vanilla and Cinnamon. Christina brought the kittens to the ASPCA, where we provided her with vouchers for spay/neuter procedures, cat food and a crate to get her started. Christina plans to care for Vanilla and Cinnamon until they are old enough to be spayed/neutered and find loving forever homes.
“We are in the midst of kitten season, the time of year when the number of kittens entering shelters in Los Angeles and across the country skyrockets,” says Bernice Osorto, Safety Net manager for the ASPCA. “Fostering kittens during this busy season can help free up space in crowded shelters and save lives.”
We are thankful to the Fernandez family, as well as Christina, for working toward positive change for animals in their communities.
The Fernandez family, pictured here, also adopted two dogs named Tbone and Nini.