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Pets for Life

The Pets for Life (PFL) program reaches out to underserved communities to offer free pet care resources, services and information. PFL incorporates strategic door-to-door outreach, builds a consistent community presence and uses an extensive follow-up process to build relationships and trust within a segment of the pet-owning population that has largely gone untouched by animal service providers. PFL employs a three-pronged methodology to address the systemic challenges people and pets living in poverty face: 

  • Direct Care - Delivers pet services and information 
  • Mentorship and Training - Guides and supports local organizations in implementing community outreach programs 
  • Policy and Enforcement Reform - Influences organizations to be focused more on pet owner support and less on punishment

Most recent Tools and Resources > Pets for Life

  • Blog Post

    Reaching outside the shelter walls

    Implementing Pets for Life means taking free medical care, services and information to people and their pets in areas of our community where access to resources are limited due to the systemic challenges of poverty

    While some pets are at shelters for reasons beyond anyone’s control, many have loving homes and their surrender is preventable.

    When I signed the contract as executive director of Peaceful Animal Adoption Shelter (PAAS) in Vinita, Oklahoma, my goal was to save thousands of dogs and cats through local adoptions.

    We had a brand new, beautiful facility, and within the first 60 days, we realized we had more than 50 dogs and 50 cats in the shelter and an owner-surrender waiting list of more than 150 dogs and 175 cats.

    The number of adoptions? Four.

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  • Magazine Article

    Walking a mile in the other veterinarian’s shoes

    Public health veterinarian Tamerin Scott, right, a frequent volunteer at the Amanda Foundation’s quarterly Wags for Wellness in Watts clinics in Los Angeles, delivers a pooch into waiting arms.

    Shelter vets and private practitioners can save lives through collaboration

    Ideally, all veterinarians would work in harmony to ensure animals in their communities receive the medical attention they need. Unfortunately, relationships between shelter veterinarians and private practitioners are often marked by misunderstanding or mistrust. The persistent, misguided stereotypes—private vets are greedy, shelter vets provide inferior care—can make cooperation difficult. In Southern California, the veterinary community is trying to improve communication between the two camps—with the goal of greater understanding and partnerships to benefit animals.

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  • Blog Post

    Return-to-owner

    How will you re-evaluate your shelter’s RTO policy to tell a different story?

    I was about 8 years old as I stood with my dad and his friend and toddler-age son. We were watching the Chicago Blackhawks warm up, the players flipping hockey pucks up into the stands. We must have gotten caught up in the excitement, because when my dad’s friend looked down, his son was nowhere to be found.

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