Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  Community Conversations - 2/13/23 - Building Solutions to End Homelessness for People and Animals

    Posted 02-09-2023 12:21 PM

    Updated 2/13/23 at 2:45pm - Recording now available to watch on-demand

    Please note: Not all views expressed on Community Conversations are endorsed by Maddie’s Fund.

    We hope to see you on Monday, February 13th, 2023 at 11am PT for our next Community Conversations call. 

    We will be joined by the founder of My Dog Is My Home, @Christine Kim. Her presentation will review homelessness and animal companionship broadly, problems that can be addressed by unified homeless services and animal welfare movements, and spaces and resources that can facilitate points of connection between the two fields.

    On a single night in January 2022, over half a million people were experiencing homelessness in the United States. While homelessness is the most extreme version of housing deprivation, housing insecurity is experienced even more broadly by millions of people across the country. Also ubiquitous is the human-animal bond and the inclusion of companion animals in the family system. Although there is no universal measure of how many people experience homelessness and housing insecurity with a companion animal, nor a universal measure for how many animals are surrendered to shelters due to housing insecurity and homelessness, intuition and experience from advocates and service providers alike tell us this is a common experience. Stakeholders across animal welfare and health and human services professions can accomplish more together. As a unified movement, we can build holistic solutions that end and prevent homelessness for both people and animals. 

    Register here for our Monday Community Conversations Calls:

    If you are unable to make it live on Monday, this thread will be updated with the recording and resources so you can watch and share whenever you'd like. After you watch the recording or attend the call, be sure to complete this February entry form to enter to win a grant:

    Please note there will not be a meeting on Monday, 2/20/23 in observance of President's Day. 


    Maddie's Pet Forum Admin
    Maddie's Fund

  • 2.  RE: Community Conversations - 2/13/23 - Building Solutions to End Homelessness for People and Animals

    Posted 02-13-2023 03:08 PM

    Thank you to the 263+ people who attended today's call! If you missed the live version, the recording is now available to watch on-demand. Below you'll find a full recap of the agenda, resources shared and highlights from the chat. A special thank you to our presenter @Christine Kim for sharing the incredible work that My Dog Is My Home is doing. We're taking next Monday off for President's Day so we'll see you again the following Monday, Feb. 27 at 11am PT. 


    • Welcome from Hosts
      • Bobby Mann, Chief Programs Officer, Humane Rescue Alliance
      • Ed Jamison, Chief Executive Officer, Operation Kindness
    • Question of the Day:  What's a significant achievement you or your organization have recently had? Or in the last year?
      • "Our 100,000th spay/neuter surgery in December! Vanderburgh Humane Society in Evansville, Indiana!" - Amanda Coburn
      • "We have started working with another organization to be able to provide dental surgeries to low income households every week" - Karin Baker
      • "Bringing Human/Social Service data into animal welfare!!!" - Vincent Medley
      • "We recently started trying to provide some free behavior assistance to folks in the community who are unhoused. We just did our first visit at a transitional housing location and it went AMAZING" - Laura Jean Skiles
      • "we have been working on organizing fosters and our meetings now have agenda's and keep more on schedule to respect their time." - Geri Golonka
      • "Our Safety Net Foster program to help seniors who need surgery, families in crisis or people needing to go into rehab. This way they can reunite with their animals and not have to surrender them. We are also making sure that all these animals are altered, microchipped and utd on their vaccines and we cover that cost through a grant!" - Katie Pauli
      • "Our shelter has started an owner retention class for people whose dogs / cats have been impounded." - Debbie Hawkins
      • "Kayla from AZ Humane Society. We are opening a new campus in July that will greatly expand the number of animals we can care for and save more lives." - Kayla Weber
      • "We began a pet loss support group - very happy to be able to provide that for our clients" - Laura Houston
      • "We have rebranded our admissions department to being a retention department instead and are focusing on keeping pets out of the shelter and in their homes." - Jordan LeVine
      • "Rescue Ridge in NJ has retained a part-time veterinarian and established a vet office for primary care and spay/neuter for our animals as well as providing low cost spay/neuter services for area rescues with whom we work." - Alice Guttler
      • "Just launched a Wait 48 and Straycare (Finder Foster) program for dogs! We already have our first participants! Yay for intake diversion!!!!" - Emily Scheerer
      • "Our outreach team expanded our Pet Food Bank from one to two locations on opposite sides of the island." - Steph Kendrick
      • "We have a large percentage of special needs cats which are often overlooked for adoption so we had a housing crisis. We created special needs housing by converting sheds into cool spaces. They are called Mouser Mansion, Alley-cat Flat, Catty Shack, and one other not named yet. We have 60 special needs cats right now." - Dawn Harris
      • "We partnered with GoodPup allowing us to expand our Behavior Assistance Funding. Last year we provide over 1,800 training sessions to newly adopted dogs, dogs in foster care and supported surrender prevention programs!" - Connie Kile
      • "The Vet of Record Initiative from Shelters United working to connect shelters who need a VOR with Vets who are willing to help support. Check it out at" - Julie Bank
      • "2 things: working on LOS and trying to get those numbers down and starting our community surveys to determine building new faculty has community support" - Debra Leckrone
      • "Sun Cities 4 Paws. We have grown our Surrender to Foster program and now can offer this to most callers who are looking to surrender their cat or a stray intake. Keeps cats out of the shelter and allows us to serve more cats in our community" - Ninette Sellar

    National Updates

    Presentation: Building Solutions to End Homelessness for People and Animals

    Highlights from the Chat

    • "We truly love stories like this, everyone deserves a second chance and the love of a fur baby" - Samantha Smith
    • "This is awesome.  We help keep homeless people's pets safe by providing day boarding so they can get a job or go to appts as necessary." - Maris Brown
    • "My Annie and Millie was a woman and her dog named Kim and Putney.  this story always resonates so much with me 💛" - Sheila Segurson
    • "I have been wondering if combining animal shelters with homeless shelter making place for people and their animals to safely sleep and maybe the homeless people could help with homeless shelter dog while staying there just a thought" - Cindy Wilde
    • "I am from Manchester NH and our city continues to evict our houseless neighbors over and over again. Leaving them and their animals out to freeze on the streets. I know people are unwilling to enter shelters when they cannot bring their animals or stay with their spouses. Every dog I've met on the streets here has been incredibly well cared for, which surprises so many people" - Spencer Fournier
    • "Inspired, there is a lot of good to be done!" - Emma Metz
    • "Makes me wonder if there is a program that works with the shelter for homeless families with pets." - Jasmine Padilla
    • "Humbled. There is such a misconception that people who are homeless and have animals do not care for them. Sometimes they are their only light in the world." - Katie Pauli
    • "Fantastic information here. Our rural no-kill shelter, Dog Lovers' League in Bruce, MS deals a lot with these types of issues. Thanks for speaking to real need for us." - Cynthia Howle
    • "We experience this so often.  We do not support abuse or neglect, but will do all that we can to give the assistance needed.  Our mission is that no pet should be surrendered due to the lack of resources on the part of their human.  It sometimes takes a bit of creativity, but so fulfilling!" - Maris Brown
    • "I wish more shelters were opened to allowing their pets." - Michelle Robinson
    • "We work with people dealing with chronic illness and the unhoused population every day here... it's hard work, but the unhoused population are some of the most responsible pet owners we see in our program" - Katie McKay
    • "We have struggled to get our affordable housing and homelessness community to support these kinds of initiatives.  Any tips for getting others engaged in this work?" - Ali Mickelson
    • "Every situation needs to be evaluated on a individual basis.  Some folks are irresponsible, but others are doing their best and just need some support.  We often give poorer families that want a dog the  opportunity to foster.  They often can give time, love, and care while the rescue foots the bill." - Liz Kadin
    • "We've been very lucky in Vancouver, WA that many of the sheltering organizations have become more pet-friendly. The case managers work with us directly to help their clients and pets receive access to care/resources" - Laura Jean Skiles
    • "Always such a good way to start the week off! Thank you!" - Laura Zmud

    Charlotte Otero
    Community Strategist at Maddie's Fund

  • 3.  RE: Community Conversations - 2/13/23 - Building Solutions to End Homelessness for People and Animals

    Posted 02-14-2023 10:39 AM

    @MarisBrown - Your program is so needed! Shelter and housing aren't the only kinds of services that people experiencing homelessness with animals need support accessing. Someone having a reliable and trustworthy support to watch their furry family members while they work contributes to their economic empowerment and independence.

    @CindyWilde - Love this idea. There was some interesting work similar to what you're suggesting that was started by Glenn Greenwald in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Whatever you feel about his political views, his animal shelter concept is admirable.

    @Jasmine Padilla - Yes! My Dog Is My Home works with emergency shelter providers on a regular basis. Feel free to reach out if you know of a human shelter in your community that might be willing to take the next step!

    @LauraJean Logue - That is fantastic news! It sounds like your organization is doing wonderful work to make sure human social services know that you are a part of the case management referral network! Is there active outreach from your organizations to local health and human services orgs?

    Christine Kim
    My Dog Is My Home

  • 4.  RE: Community Conversations - 2/13/23 - Building Solutions to End Homelessness for People and Animals

    Posted 02-14-2023 01:19 PM

    Enjoyed today's call.  I always felt the animal companions whose person is homeless were so special, providing love and comfort under any conditions.  I admire their devotion to each other,   True and pure unconditional love.  Spirit and Allie's stories remind me of our powerful bond with our furry fiends truly is.  

    Allison Vogel
    Volunteer and Foster
    All Fur One Pet Rescue

  • 5.  RE: Community Conversations - 2/13/23 - Building Solutions to End Homelessness for People and Animals

    Posted 02-14-2023 04:56 PM

    Thanks, @Allison Vogel. It truly is a special bond - one that should be honored and recognized as helping people cope with the trauma of homelessness. You can watch more of My Dog Is My Home's short films here:

    Christine Kim
    My Dog Is My Home