We interviewed Pets In Need and asked them to share a bit about their organization, projects, mission, as well as ways we can help. We hope you enjoy getting to know this amazing charity!
PIN: Pets In Need began in 1965 as the "Lost Animal Registry" and initially focused on reuniting lost animals with their owners. In 1968, after incorporating as a 501c3 animal shelter under the name Pets In Need, the organization's services expanded to include rescues and adoptions, financial assistance for spay/neuter, and emergency veterinary care. Over the years, Pets In Need continued to grow and in 2010, we completely remodeled our existing building to include a more progressive design for the animals housed here, as well as a state-of-the-art medical suite and expanded exercise areas for our dogs.
We now adopt out an average of 800 animals a year, provide free spay/neuter surgeries to low income individuals, and have a blossoming humane education program. We hope to expand to a second location so that we can save the lives of even more animals.
Wakened: What is your mission or goal?
PIN: Our mission is to advance the no-kill movement, reduce pet homelessness, and find every dog and cat a loving home. We hope to help shelters throughout Northern California achieve no-kill status while continuing to be a resource for our local community with adoption, medical, and education services.
Wakened: Give a couple of examples of some projects Pets In Need is currently working on?
PIN: We are currently working on expanding our facility to include an upgraded medical suite. We will be converting our current admin area into a larger quarantine cat area and a kitten nursery. This will enable us to save more neo-natal kittens, which are some of the animals most vulnerable to euthanasia in the animal welfare community.
With the conversion of the admin area, we will be moving into another building across the street from our current facility. A large portion of the renovation to the office space will be dedicated to expanding our humane education program. We believe children are the animal advocates of the future, so we are doing our best to educate as many children as possible on proper pet care, the importance of spay and neuter, and the benefits of adoption. Our hope is to prevent the amount of animals surrendered to the shelter in the future, either from improper care or unwanted litters of puppies and kittens.
Wakened: what are some of the difficulties Pets In Need faces? Can it be overwhelming at times?
PIN: One of the main difficulties that Pets In Need faces is the lack of space to expand. We have the aspiration to save more lives, however physical space to house the animals has been one of our greatest setbacks in accomplishing some of the goals we would like to achieve.
To increase our impact on pet homelessness, we have come up with creative solutions to address the lack of space. We are in the process of renting office space across the street from our current location, which will enable us to relocate our administrative staff and build an upgraded medical suite.
We have also been working with the City of Palo Alto in the hopes of taking over the current Palo Alto Animal Shelter, and then renovating the building to increase the capacity. This would allow us to operate at two locations, taking our no-kill philosophy to the public shelter and saving more lives in the process.
While the lack of space can be a bit overwhelming at times, we look at this obstacle as an exciting opportunity to come up with out-of-the box solutions and as inspiration to grow in new communities.
Wakened: Can you give us some examples of the positive impact or strides forward that has been made for homeless pets?
PIN: One very positive stride forward that has been made is that many shelters throughout the nation are embracing the no-kill movement. We are seeing more partnerships between public shelters and private rescues that help lessen the burden municipal shelters face with massive influxes of animals.
Another very positive thing I have personally noticed is that organizations within the animal welfare community are very supportive of each other and always willing to share new ways to save more animals. This community is making progress by working together towards the common goal of ending pet homelessness, and more animals are finding forever homes from shelters now more than ever.
Wakened: What is Pets In Need's future outlook for animals and rescues and what still needs to be done?
PIN: Pets In Need's outlook for the future is very bright. We are doing our part to ensure progress within our local community and are optimistic about partnering with even more public shelters in the future to expand the no-kill movement.
I think an area that could still use progress is prevention measures. Many shelters have programs that focus on education, low cost spay/neuter, and financial assistance for low income individuals, which is wonderful. However, many people are unaware that these types of programs exist or live in areas where these programs are not yet in place. I think as a community we need to work on increasing public awareness surrounding these programs and also help in areas where these programs may not yet exist.
Wakened: What can we do as individuals to make a difference and help Homeless pets?
PIN: As individuals we can all make a difference. One of the most important things individuals can do is adopt from a shelter or turn to breed-specific rescues when looking to add a new pet to the family. We understand many people want a specific breed that often cannot be found in shelters, however there are alternatives that still help make an impact on homeless pets. For example, if someone is looking for a Golden Retriever, they can try looking up Golden Retriever rescues in their area. There are also websites like petfinder.com that allow users to filter by breed, only displaying animals available for adoption from shelters or rescues. These are great ways to find breeds less common in shelters before turning to a breeder.
Another way to help homeless pets is to donate time, resources, or money to an animal shelter or animal rescue group. Many organizations, like Pets In Need, do not receive funding from the government. The only way we are able to save the lives of vulnerable animals is by receiving donations from the public and utilizing our volunteer force to help us give the animals the attention they deserve while in our care. Becoming a volunteer or donor is a great way to make an impact if you are unable to adopt an animal for yourself.
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