ASPCA Grant Program Helps “Underdogs” Nationwide, with Help from Local Subaru Retailers

November 10, 2022

Photo courtesy of Lake Humane Society in Mentor, Ohio.

We have teamed up once again with Subaru of America, Inc. to help animals in need across the country, with a focus on supporting shelter dogs with special needs—lovingly called the “Underdogs.” 

The 2022 grant program distributed $731,231 to 185 animal welfare organizations across 45 states and Washington, D.C. The grant funding supported a variety of pet events (virtual or in-person, as permitted) in partnership with local Subaru retailers. In addition to adoptions, many of these events provided critical services for animals in need, including microchipping, vaccinations, spay/neuter surgeries and more.

Family photo before taking their new puppy, Patch, home from an adoption event co-hosted by Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center and DCH Subaru of Riverside in Riverside, California.

“The alliance between the ASPCA and Subaru always makes October a fun month for our shelter,” said Dori Peck, Executive Director of SpokAnimal in Spokane, Washington. “We're thankful that Subaru of Spokane invites us to participate. Their support creates opportunities for us to give pets more exposure and help them find homes.”

Helping Animals Find Homes Nationwide

Pet events took place throughout the month of October in honor of Subaru Loves Pets Month and collectively impacted thousands of animals in need, like Kara, a hound who Paws4ever rescued with her puppies from roaming around a rural part of North Carolina. Once her puppies were weaned, they were taken to a foster home and Paws4ever began behavior rehabilitation with Kara at their shelter in Mebane, North Carolina to help her overcome her intense fears from under-socialization. 

The Paws4ever adoption center staff and trainers worked with Kara to teach her how to walk on a leash, become more comfortable being approached and petted and to take treats from their hands. They noticed that she felt more comfortable around other mild-mannered dogs than people and scheduled playgroups for her with other dogs. 

Fortunately, during Paws4ever’s adoption event in partnership with Henrick Subaru Southpoint, a patient family with another dog chose to welcome Kara into their home, where she will have a calm doggie playmate to help her gain even more confidence!

Kara with her new family. Although she may still look a little scared, the fact that she’s standing next to her adopters and not running away is a huge stride for this sweet pup!

Another “Underdog” named Blue found a loving home last month after spending over a year at Butte Humane Society (BHS) in Chico, California, thanks to the organization’s collaboration with Courtesy Subaru of Chico. 

When Blue arrived at BHS in August 2021, she tested positive for heartworm, which requires a structured treatment regimen and restricted activity. She was limited to on-leash walks only and as much rest as possible. After six months of treatment and ongoing care, Blue patiently waited for the right family to see how much love she has to give.

Blue leaving Butte Humane Society in Chico, California with her new family – and her favorite Subaru dog toy!

“After 449 days in the shelter, thanks to Subaru’s support, Blue was adopted (heartworm free!) on October 26,” said Gianna Anselmo, Director of Development at BHS. “The staff and volunteers of BHS are beyond ecstatic for her! Her family says she’s doing really well at home and is strong and healthy as ever.”

Kara and Blue are two examples of “happy tails” adoption stories that exemplify how the grant funding provided by the ASPCA and Subaru of America helps make a difference for animals in need. Partnering with local Subaru retailers introduces adoptable animals to a wider audience than they might experience otherwise—including Subaru employees! 

Jason is an employee at Yark Subaru in Toledo, Ohio and was fortunate enough to meet Sophie, a hound/pit bull mix puppy, at the retailer’s adoption event in partnership with Planned Pethood, Inc. Sophie had been in the care of Planned Pethood for six months and now has a loving home to call her own!

Sophie taking a nap at Planned Pethood’s adoption event at Yark Subaru in Toledo, Ohio (left), and Jason and Sophie at home (right).

A family who attended an adoption event co-hosted by Lake Humane Society and Ken Ganley Subaru Wickliffe in Wickliffe, Ohio shared their exciting and unexpected experience: “We were volunteering at the Subaru event helping with kitten adoptions and had no intention of adopting an animal ourselves, until we walked by Willow. Her sweet and calm personality and stunning eyelashes had us completely in love from the start. Willow has fit right in with our family. We already love Willow so much and are so happy that she picked us to be her family.”

This adorable pup named Willow adopted her family at an event co-hosted by Lake Humane Society and Ken Ganley Subaru Wickliffe.

Animal Care Society used the grant funding received through this program to prepare animals for adoption through spay/neuter, microchipping, vaccinations, etc., allowing the organization to offer a month-long special of 50% adoption fees to approved adopters in partnership with Bachman Subaru in Louisville, Kentucky. 

One family visited Animal Care Society’s shelter looking to adopt a cat. After spending some time in the facility, they fell in love with three different cats and couldn’t decide how to choose! However, when they learned about the 50% adoption special made possible by the ASPCA and Subaru, they decided to welcome all three cats into their family! 

“Our partnership with the ASPCA, Subaru, and Bachman Subaru has enabled us to be able to place more animals in home than ever imagined! This partnership allowed for us to reduce our adoption fees and remove barriers to pet ownership,” said Megan Gonterman, Executive Director of Animal Care Society. “We are incredibly thankful for our collaboration, and because of it, 56 animals are now sleeping on comfy couches!”

This family has so much love to give! They adopted three cats thanks to the collaboration between Animal Care Society & Bachman Subaru in Louisville, Kentucky.

Providing Care for the Community

Essential services for pet health and wellness were also funded by this lifesaving grant program. 

“The support and collaboration offered through the ASPCA and Cook Subaru to provide free veterinary care for community pets fills a major gap for pet owners in rural communities, especially given the current economic situation,” said Elaine Hicks, Executive Director of Routt County Humane Society in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, who hosted a free pet wellness clinic for community pet owners. The clinic included vaccinations, micro-chipping and testing for heartworms, FeLV and FIV, and impacted a total of 50 animals.

Friends for Life Animal Rescue hosted a free microchip-a-thon in partnership with Subaru Superstore of Chandler in Chandler, Arizona, which provided free microchips and vaccinations to a total of 114 pets in their community. One of the pet parents in attendance expressed her gratitude for this opportunity as it allowed her to obtain these services for her pet that she wouldn’t have been able to otherwise as a senior on a fixed income. 

The Humane Society of Catawba County paired up with Jim Armstrong Subaru to provide no-cost heartworm testing to a total of 160 owned pets in their community of Hickory, North Carolina.

“It was absolutely wonderful talking to dog owners who had their dogs tested for heartworms at no cost,” said Erin Hooks, Director of Development for the Humane Society of Catawba County. “A lovely woman I spoke with had three large dogs with her and said she could never have afforded testing at the vet. Fortunately, all her dogs were heartworm negative, and she now has them on heartworm prevention, thanks to the ASPCA and Subaru!”

Bella is one of the three large dogs mentioned above who received a heartworm test, heartworm preventative, and a nail trim during the Humane Society of Catawba County’s collaboration with Jim Armstrong Subaru in Hickory, North Carolina.

Continuing to Share the Love 

This grant program was made possible as a result of the ASPCA’s participation in the Subaru Share the Love® Event. We look forward to participating again in the upcoming 2022 Subaru Share the Love Event beginning on November 17, so we can continue to find even more loving homes and provide critical services for animals in need across the country.

“These events are so valuable to the animals in our care centers, as they allow many of our overlooked animals to receive the extra attention they need to find homes,” said Bradley Kim, Contracts and Grants Manager for the Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) in Los Angeles, California. “What makes these events so special is the collaboration between DACC, the ASPCA and our local Subaru retailers and the shared mission of placing more animals into loving homes. DACC is so thankful for this funding and for the invaluable support the ASPCA has provided DACC over the many years.”

Scroll down for a few more success stories that were made possible by this lifesaving program: 

Asheville Humane Society hosted an adoption event in partnership with Prestige Subaru in Asheville, North Carolina, which found homes for a total of 82 animals, including a pup named Florence (left) and a kitten named Duke Weaselton.

This mother and son were thrilled to adopt this cat named Toasted Marshmallow from Fox Valley Humane Association in Appleton, Wisconsin, with support from Gustman Subaru.

A total of 48 animals were positively impacted by the collaboration between Humane Fort Wayne and Bob Rhorman Subaru of Fort Wayne in Indiana, including these two cuties!