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Blog the Change for Animals: Support organizations who help people and animals

Blog the Change April 15th is Blog the Change for Animals Day. It’s a day when bloggers unite to bring attention back to an animal cause they care deeply about. It’s also a day in which you, our friends and readers, can also do something small to make the difference in the life of an animal.

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in a Blog the Change event, but even with the distance of time (6 months), I knew fairly quickly what I wanted to blog about today… organizations that helps pets and their people.

It’s been something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Pamela from Something Wagging This way Comes first brought it to my attention with her Blog the Change post “Want to Protect Animals? Care About People. “ In it she talked about the connection between animal welfare issued and people in need. It’s probably something we don’t often think about, but as she pointed out, animals don’t thrive where people don’t. We are dependent on one another in so many ways.  By focusing on only one we neglect the other, and in the end, both fail. She encouraged us to find the “ways helping animals also helps people.” 

This mindset has started to change how I look at animal welfare issues. Yes, I can rail at the injustice done to animals. I can complain, bitch and moan about the fact that so many people surrender their pets at kill shelters when the going gets rough, but the reality is that is ALL I am doing. Nothing more. I am not making a difference in changing the reality. In effect, I am whining.

More and more I am taking a look at how I can contribute to making a difference that helps both the animal and their person. Sometimes it’s helping a pet get into rescue instead of being sold on Craigslist (much to the relief of the owner), sometimes it’s bringing attention to an organization that treats both the person and their human (like Downtown Dog Rescue) and sometimes it’s contributing money to the group that is making a difference and needs funds to continue doing so.

Solving the pet overpopulation problem and animal welfare issues cannot be fought on any one single front. It must include a more holistic approach. One only has to hear about battered women shelters starting to accept the battered woman AND her pet to know that they are connected. Hurricane Katrina changed how states and the federal government handle emergency evacuations. Pets are a part of the process now.

People and their animals are uniquely connected. Treat the human and you treat the pet. Elderly Man in Wheelchair

So today I would like to encourage you to support those organizations that make a difference in your communities. Care about animals? Great! Look for groups who make a difference in helping animals, but also help the people who own them. I guarantee you there is probably one in almost every community. They are out there, doing the hand work. Go find them. Support them. Volunteer for them. Share their work with your friends and family.

Don’t have any organizations in your area that fit the bill? Then consider starting one in your own community.

Need some ideas? Here are just a few organizations that make a difference in their own communities. I hope they will serve as inspiration for all of us.


Downtown Dog Rescue – This is a great organization located in Los Angeles County, California. They focus on rescuing dogs, but they do so in a way that looks at the problem holistically. They provide services for low-income pet owners and help in ways that allows them to keep their pets.

“…volunteers will fix a fence to secure a yard, foot a vet bill, teach a family to housebreak their dog. They offer low-cost spaying and neutering, and hold training classes for dogs and owners in a nearby vacant lot.” Program with tiny budget makes huge difference for pets, owners, Lost Angeles Times, dated May 11, 2013

The Pet Project –  This is a local Minnesota organization that, like Downtown Dog Rescue, focuses on keeping people and their pets together by providing pet food to food shelves and offering assistance with veterinary care whenever possible. They provide resources and information on housing, local food shelf locations and veterinary care. They would love to receive your donations (monetary and otherwise) so they can help more people  and pets in need. It’s all about keeping pets with their people whenever possible.

“It’s part of a fledgling movement nationally to make sure people don’t have to choose between keeping food in the kitchen or Fido in the living room.” Kibble with a cause fills Fido’s bowl, StarTribune, dated September 13, 2009.

Animal Care Network – Be The Change for Animals featured Pam Porteous and the Animal Care Network in the 4animals section back on April 30, 2012.  That article highlighted the work that Pam is doing in her community of Flint, Michigan. Focused on keeping owners and their pets together, Pam and ACN have ensured pets made it to spay/neuter clinics by picking them up and delivering them to the clinic and then back home.  They have conducted home checks on animals, done wellness checks, offered low-cost spay and neuter clinics and Pam her self  “educates families and distributes food, water, hundreds of doghouses, thousands of straw bales and other supplies.” She also offers neighborhood talks on how to care for pets. 

“Her neighborhood talks cover the importance of spays/neuters, vaccines, and the dangers of cold weather, hot weather, and chaining.” 4animals: Stories to Inspire, dated April 30, 2012

  1. April 15, 2014 at 7:45 AM

    Thanks for a great post! We supported the Lady who fed the street cats and while we helped her with the lawn or with buying groceries she could help the homeless cats.

  2. April 15, 2014 at 8:38 AM

    Excellent causes! Such a great way to keep those reluctant surrenders out of the rescue system while helping the owners provide care.

  3. April 15, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    This is a wonderful post, and so true. We have a Visiting Nurse/Hospice group in our area that has a “Pet Peace of Mind” program that helps people keep and care for their pets when they are in hospice care, and also helps them to plan for their pets after they are gone. They have a fundraising Walkathon that my sister and I have joined for a couple of years now.

  4. April 16, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    Oh, I so agree about “treating the human and the pet”. The shelter where I volunteer has a companion program for Meals on Wheels. They found out a lot of seniors were sharing the meals with their pets, and therefore not getting all the food they needed themselves, so they started a program to deliver pet food to those same folks. I LOVE that shelters will now accept pets too. Great post!

  5. April 16, 2014 at 11:51 PM

    I totally agree, you can’t fully help a person in need if you ignore their pet, who may very well be their most important family member! For some folks their pet might be their only remaining relative and the thing that gets them going each day. Our county animal shelter, where I volunteer, provides free or low cost spay/neuter and vaccinations to those in need. They visit communities where the need is greatest, offering these services. When we have excess pet food donations, we partner with a local food bank to distribute it to pet owners in need.

  6. April 21, 2014 at 11:49 PM

    The needs and the welfare of pets and their humans are intertwined – help one, you’ll probably be helping the other as well. Too often, as you mention, animal welfare advocates (and perhaps most guilty, those of us in rescue) find it too easy to point a finger at people, ignoring those opportunities that we could help both. We need to spread your message far and wide, it is crucial if we ever want to really make a difference in the lives of pets.

    Thank you for blogging (and being) the change for animals,

    • Mel
      April 23, 2014 at 6:48 AM

      Thanks Kim. I hope that more and more we will have this focus as a society.

  7. April 24, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    sorry i missed the 15th of apr, passover holiday. hope it was successful.

  8. April 25, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    Ten Hut for the lady. Thanks for sharing. This kinda people are still on this earth, is the reason it’s still livable.

  9. May 6, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    Great post, Mel. I love reading about groups that are making a difference, and especially those that are helping people as well. Protecting the human-animal bond raises us all up.

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