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Reach underserved communities

Underserved communities are those that lack affordable, accessible pet care. Such communities typically have high poverty rates and low spay/neuter rates. Find out how the Pets for Life model has incorporated strategic door-to-door outreach in these communities that have largely gone untouched by animal service providers and how you can incorporate community outreach into your work to create substainable change.

Most recent Tools and Resources > Reach underserved communities

  • Magazine Article

    All in the family

    By working with nonprofits that oversee low-income housing facilities for the elderly and disabled, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) is able to bring pet care to people who have trouble accessing stationary clinics. Here, Baby gets a checkup while her owner, Wilma, looks on.

    Human and animal welfare organizations take a holistic approach to helping pets and people

    The woman desperately needed to get out of her house and away from her abuser. But she couldn’t stand the thought of leaving her dogs with someone who might hurt them. She’d had her three big dogs since they were puppies, and they’d gotten her through some really tough times. In tears, she called the Animal Rescue League (ARL) of Iowa and asked how to surrender them.

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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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  • 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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  • Magazine Article

    Marketing joy

    Find instructions on how to build a collapsible kissing booth at

    Nonprofit offers creative campaign ideas and free marketing materials for shelters and rescues

    You likely already know the value of adoption promotions that get your community involved and inspired, but if your creative juices are running dry or you lack design skills, Picture Me @ Home is here to help.

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