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Reach Underserved Communities

In the U.S., an estimated 23 million pets live in poverty with their people. Regardless of socio-economic challenges, people care deeply for their animals, but don't always have access to services or struggle to cover the cost. Through innovative programs like Pets For Life we’re meeting people where they are, reaching out proactively to close the gap in animal services and keep animals happy in loving homes. Discover how your organization can provide information and resources to people and pets in the underserved areas of your community.

Spotlight > Reach Underserved Communities

Bad neighborhoods

Carrie Allan, senior editorial director for The HSUS, examines the reality and the mythology surrounding “Scary Neighborhoods” in this country and the responsibility of animal welfare groups.

Pet lovers, heads up: In my years reporting about animal welfare in the U.S., it’s come to my attention that there are some very scary places pocketed away inside our country.

You know the places I’m talking about. You probably have one nearby. You grew up hearing about it, from your parents, the news, the movies: the East Side, the South Side, north of Broad, Vermont Avenue, Sunnyside, Bed Stuy, Boyle Heights, Liberty City, East St. Louis, West Baltimore, Camden, East Oakland, the Cass Corridor.

Where’s your nearest “scary place”? How often have you been there?

Read Bad neighborhoods

Most recent >

  • Magazine Article

    Helping hands across the island

    More than two dozen organizations are working together to provide free spay/neuter services and vaccinations to thousands of pets in Puerto Rico.

    In a huge collaborative effort, an HSUS-led coalition brings veterinary services to the pets of Puerto Rico

    The pet owners of Puerto Rico have welcomed Spayathon™ with open arms, arriving early and waiting for hours to get their animals sterilized and vaccinated. The unprecedented initiative, spearheaded by the Humane Society of the United States, has serviced thousands of pets and produced nearly as many heartwarming stories.

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  • Magazine Article

    With all due respect

    Lucy returns from her spay appointment, which Charm City Companions facilitated.

    Community outreach programs advise less judging, more listening

    Pet owners in underserved communities have been let down before and are understandably suspicious of organizations offering help. To earn their trust when you do community outreach, you’ll need to listen respectfully, avoid snap judgments and follow through on your (realistic) promises.

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  • Blog Post

    A new approach to community connections

    The Wisconsin Humane Society uses positive experiences in the shelter as a springboard for trust in the community

    I want to tell you about a family that we at the Wisconsin Humane Society met in 2014. On the surface, the family might have seemed like unlikely partners, but our experience with this family reminded us that the people we serve are not barriers to us achieving our mission, but are in fact an integral part of it.

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