Pets for Life: An In-Depth Community Understanding
This report describes HSUS’s Pets for Life program, which provides animal care support services to companion animal guardians in under-served communities. The program emphasizes ongoing, in-depth contact, and building genuine relationships with clients and credibility in the community, to improve animal health and increase spay/neuter rates in areas with minimal veterinary access and very low alter rates. Barriers, solutions, and auxiliary benefits are discussed.[Abstract excerpted from original source.]
“The Pets for Life (PFL) program of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) reaches out to people and pets in under-served communities to extend free animal care resources, services, and information. By addressing the critical lack of accessible, affordable pet care and general wellness information in specific communities, PFL helps animals by empowering the people who care for them. The PFL model incorporates strategic door-to-door outreach, builds a consistent community presence, and uses an extensive follow-up process.
The HSUS currently operates direct care PFL programs in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles. In Fall 2012, the PFL/PetSmart Charities® Mentorship Grant was created to teach 10 local animal welfare organizations how to implement the PFL approach in their communities and to add PFL style community outreach to their overall organizational work. Grant recipients applied and adhered to the PFL philosophy in order to elevate pet wellness and achieve spay/neuter surgeries within an under-served audience — an audience typically unaware of spay/neuter benefits or unable to afford the surgery. In addition to data from these 14 markets, this report includes data, when available, from all markets that have worked with The HSUS since 2010 to incorporate direct community outreach into their approaches.
The PFL philosophy encourages a focus on humans along with their companion pets. Through this approach, organizations can build strong relationships and trust within a segment of the pet-owning population that has largely gone untouched by animal service providers. Furthermore, by offering resources and information with respect and understanding, the human-animal bond is elevated, quality of life is improved, and ultimately, community suffering and overpopulation is reduced. Bridging this gap is necessary, both to reach people and pets most often in need, and to create long-term, sustainable change.”
Related Link (2012 Report):
Pets for Life – A New Community Understanding (2012) The link below will begin an automatic download of a PDF of this report.