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Reference Desk May 2012

Toolkit Promotes Animal Welfare in Underserved Areas

    Interactive resource designed for animal care organizations to implement outreach programs

    LAS VEGAS, Nevada, May 24, 2012—For several years, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has organized community outreach programs designed to help pets and people in underserved communities where veterinary and pet care services are unavailable or unaffordable. The HSUS now has a toolkit created to help other organizations implement similar programs.

    The HSUS debuted the Pets for Life Outreach Toolkit, which is funded by PetSmart Charities and is based on the lessons learned from work in communities in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and other locations, at the HSUS’ annual Animal Care Expo in Las Vegas.

    The toolkit is designed to guide animal care service providers and other social welfare advocates to develop and implement strategies to effectively deliver critical information and resources, such as vaccinations, spay/neuter, dog training, and many other services to areas where affordable and accessible general pet wellness care has not been made readily available.

    “Just as there are food deserts in some parts of the country, we have found there are animal care deserts, where residents don’t have access to veterinary and pet wellness services,” said Amanda Arrington, director for the HSUS’ Pets for Life program. “The Humane Society of the United States’ Pets for Life Outreach Toolkit will help to close this gap between desire for pet care and availability, and will provide innovative solutions for animal care organizations of all kinds to extend their services to people and pets who have the least access to pet care services and resources.”

    “PetSmart Charities is proud to sponsor this great resource for the animal welfare community,” said Susana Della Maddalena, executive director, PetSmart Charities, Inc. “By allowing animal welfare organizations to reach people and pets in underserved areas more successfully, this toolkit has the potential to transform communities.”

    The toolkit can be downloaded as a complete book and is intended be used in its entirety as a comprehensive tool. Organizations can also download individual chapters to focus on a specific section. The toolkit features both written and video components.

    The HSUS and PetSmart Charities are also announcing the Pets for Life Mentorship/Training program, which will provide direct, hands-on community outreach training to 10 markets across the country, starting in fall 2012. PetSmart Charities is funding the mentorship grants, and the HSUS will provide the training and mentorship.

    Pets for Life is an ongoing program of the HSUS that extends the reach of animal welfare services, resources and information to people and pets in underserved communities. For more information on Pets for Life, click here.

    The toolkit is available to download by visiting humanesociety.org/pfl-toolkit.

    Source: The Humane Society of the United States


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