Numbers and dollars can provide a big picture to the impact an organization makes, but the people and pets Bark Avenue Foundation serves are never just numbers to us–we know them by their names.
This year, your donations allowed us to provide life-saving services to Margaret and Baby Cat, Melissa and Oreo, Joe and Precious, Jack and Jiggs, Theresa and Wishbone, and Vincent and Leia, and many more people and their pets experiencing homelessness. Through your support, we taught Bob, Sally and Enrique in Humane Education, and Sarah even convinced her parents to spay their dog while Bobby shared with the class how he caught a loose dog. Without you, we couldn’t have answered the numerous calls from community members desperately seeking assistance for the animals they love. Because of you, when Nick told us someone had abandoned their unaltered dog with him, we were able to get the dog neutered so he could stay with Nick and his pack. When Beverly called for help getting the abandoned cats in her neighborhood fixed, we set her up with appointments at the clinic.
This fall, we embarked on a multi-day Trap, Neuter and Return/Release (TNR) mission after receiving a call about an injured stray cat. Helping one cat led to the discovery of an entire feral & stray cat community on the property of a business that was closing shop. The campaign continues but more than thirty cats have been fixed and returned. The few who were too young, ill, or injured to be fixed and returned like Molly (a.k.a. Moby) and Patrick were taken in by our wonderful fosters who provided the care they needed until they were adoption ready. Today they are living life off the streets in loving homes.
We have so many stories like these–so many lives that we were able to touch all because of you. While those are only a few of the many people and pets you helped through your generosity, support, and volunteerism, here’s an overview of just how big of an impact you’ve made:
The more than 24 Spay & Neuter Clinics we held in underserved communities this year resulting in almost 1000 pets being spayed or neutered. That means that we prevented potentially over 6 million pets from being born–or eventually ending up–on the streets. Many would end up in shelters, some too unsocialized to be adopted out, others too sick, and all of them taking up space, causing more pets to be euthanized.
Many of the people who come to these clinics want to spay or neuter their pet, but simply do not have the means to afford the expensive surgery. More often though, the people asking for spay & neuter assistance are actually helping others: the woman who takes in the cat who was abandoned when her neighbor moved; the man who takes in a dog after his friend’s father passes away; the diligent neighbor who sees the pregnant stray cat in the neighborhood and wants to be sure the kittens and their momma all get fixed to prevent future homeless feline families. All these people share our mission: to keep pets out of the shelters and in loving homes.
We would never be able to help them and make such an enormous impact altering the future without our partners and funders, and your generous donations and support.
On the Humane Education front, not only did we continue educating those in LA’s BEST afterschool program, but we got to take a field trip and leave school grounds! As one of the organizations invited to do demonstrations at the California Science Center’s Dogs! A Science Tail exhibition, we presented Lisa Potiker’s shelter pet activity. Over the course of four days between September and January, our Humane Educators did three presentations a day, teaching children about compassion and responsible pet guardianship. Not only did the children participate, but their parents, family members and friends got to listen in and help them make toys for homeless pets. We are grateful to have been able to reach so many children, parents, and families with our passion for compassion!
Thanks to PetSmart Charities $27,360 grant and partnering with LA Family Housing last year, the Unsheltered Pets and People program was transformed from case by case crisis-management to a full-fledged onsite monthly Pet Wellness Clinic with referrals made by homeless service agencies, case managers and outreach workers. Through this program, we reached over 200 people and over 250 pets in need, helping 30-50 people and their pets each month. Providing food, crates, blankets, and veterinary care, we gave those in need peace of mind that their loved ones were taken care of. While that peace of mind is priceless, the veterinary care and supplies do cost money. Unfortunately, unless we receive another grant or dedicated monthly donations, the monthly Pet Wellness Clinics will no longer be held in 2020.
The end of a decade marked a significant transformation for Bark Avenue Foundation. Thanks to your support, we were able to reach out further into the community: in education, veterinary care, and services to those in need. We hope to be able to do the same in the 2020: to reach as many people and their pets as possible and keep them together safely, to educate, to serve, and to assist in order to prevent more pets from entering the shelter systems.
We are so grateful to all of you for your support. You make Bark Avenue Foundation what it is. We hope we will continue to earn your support, and you will share our mission with all you know. Together we can build a brighter, kinder world. We welcome all in joining us to #AlterTheFuture, one pet and one person at a time.