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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

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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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  • Blog Post

    From Virginia Beach to Vieques

    The VBSPCA was partnered with Vieques Humane Society as part of the Sister Shelter Project, thanks in large part to Maddie's Fund.

    The Sister Shelter Project pairs overwhelmed Puerto Rican shelters with thriving stateside shelters for mentorship and support.

    In an effort to assist overwhelmed animal shelters of Puerto Rico, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Maddie’s Fund established the Sister Shelter Project, pairing Puerto Rican shelters with thriving shelters in the mainland United States. You can imagine how honored we were when the Virginia Beach SPCA (VBSPCA), a long-time HSUS Emergency Placement Partner, was selected to be part of this incredible project.

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