Shelter Sleepover brings funds, awareness, and new homes for Downey animals
Downey Shelter is currently the highest intake shelter in LA County, with kennels and cages overflowing with dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens hoping for a chance at life. To address the overwhelming need, Bark Avenue Foundation has been working in the communities served by Downey Shelter since 2013 to provide free spay/neuter, medical services, and resources to pet owners helping to keep pets and litters out of the shelter. However, it was clear from the 2,000 person waiting list for its free/low cost mobile spay neuter clinics, that more funding was urgently needed to continue offering the desperately needed free services to these communities, and so the Sleepover at the Shelter was born.
Bark Avenue Foundation and its partner, Shelter Me, worked with LA County Animal Services and Downey Animal Care Center to deliver Sleepover at the Shelter, an innovative event intended to raise funds and awareness for spay/neuter, and also find homes for the many animals waiting in the Downey shelter. This 24-hour event brought together volunteers and animal lovers who “camped” at the shelter in open-air kennels with adoptable dogs, highlighting the animals as well as the shelter as a positive place to help animals. For 24 hours, teams of people rallied together to love and promote both the shelter and the animals housed there.
Municipal shelters need help to change the public perception, and Sleepover at the Shelter was a positive event, that intended to do just that. Social media was engaged as a main channel to talk about all of the great things happening at the shelter. Additionally, Shelter Me allows individuals to create profiles of animals available for adoption on ShelterMe.com and promote them via social media. Add to this, the support of both local and far-flung rescue organizations and we knew something magical was happening.
The success of this event would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors including Centinela Feed and Supplies, Kriser’s Pet Supply, Pet Food Express, Pizza Rev, as well as several others. Media coverage included ABC7, Univision, NBC, Power 106 radio along with several publications. Rescue organizations Marley’s Mutts of Kern County, Hope For Paws of LA Country, Social Tees of New York City along with many others from the public helped to spread the word. West Coast Grooming Academy offered free grooming to get pets cleaned up and looking their best when would-be adopters visited.
In the end, Sleepover at the Shelter raised more than $30,000 for free spay/neuter and reached thousands of individuals with the important message of pet adoption and sterilization. Additionally, more than 100 pets were adopted from Downey that weekend.
However, there are still a few wonderful pets that are looking for their forever homes! Please consider adopting (or networking) some of these great animals:
- Fenway, Pit Mix
- Opie, Great Dane Mix
- Peewa, Chihuahua
- Oso, German Shepherd
- Sadie, Chihuahua Mix
- *Pebbles (bonded pair), Yorkshire Terrier
- *Rascal (bonded pair), Chihuahua Mix
- Herman, German Shepherd Mix
- Chiquis, Boxer Mix
- Angel, German Shepherd Mix
- Mel, Chihuahua Mix
- Louise, Shih Tzu
- Oddie, Labrador Retriever Mix
- Butters, Chihuahua Mix
- Lobita, Chihuahua
- Princess, German Shepherd
- Clara, American Staffordshire Terrier
Many thanks to our event partners:
Shelter Me is a national TV series that celebrates shelter pets by telling uplifting stories. We believe that change comes from inspiration, not desperation. Shelter Me is a campaign to entertain, educate and activate people. ShelterMe.com enables anyone to create and share profiles of shelter pets to help get them adopted. Additionally, Shelter Me partners with other animal service organizations to promote and fund programs that help shelter pets including spay/neuter and animal transports.
Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation
The Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation is an independent, charitable foundation that supports homeless, abandoned, and neglected animals sheltered by the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control. Through the leadership of a volunteer Board of Directors, money raised by the Foundation is used in many ways to enhance care and increase adoption of homeless animals.
Downey Animal Care Center
The Downey Animal Care Center is one of six operated by the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control. Downey serves a population of more than 840,000 people residing in the cities of Bell, Commerce, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Maywood, Monterey Park, Compton, Lynwood, Artesia, Hawaiian Gardens, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, Whittier, Alhambra and the surrounding unincorporated areas of the County of Los Angeles. More than 25,000 animals are housed at the Downey Animal Care Center each year.
ABC7 is proud to be the exclusive, English Media Sponsor of “Sleepover at the Shelter.” ABC7 prides itself on its 100% success rate of its “Pet of the Week” segments and is committed to helping homeless pets in the Los Angeles area find homes of their own. ABC7 is also committed to educating its viewers on the importance of spaying and neutering their pets, believing education is a key element in keeping more pets out of the shelters.