Monday, April 28, 2014

Keep'Em Home. A longtime mission with a new name.

We've recently christened our dog owner support mission the Keep'em Home Project in recognition of the efforts of families who struggle to keep their dogs in the face of personal crisis including financial and housing challenges. We've been assisting pit bull owners especially with resources for many years, but naming the project allows us to sharpen our focus and deepen our commitment to this important work. We hope you like it! 

Keep'em Home is a rallying cry to everyone who shares our belief that providing dog owners with relevant information and necessary resources is the cornerstone to building safe, humane, compassion-based communities. Thank you for joining us with your support and participation. 

The Families Behind the Project

Visit our webpage to read the personal stories behind these efforts. In many cases, just a little bit of support can make all the difference in helping a home maintain their bond with a beloved pet. LINK

The challenge of our times
In many metropolitan areas, the shortage of affordable rental housing has been forcing families to make excruciating decisions to relinquish their pets to animal shelters. Owners of mid to large sized dogs including pit bulls face a bigger uphill battle when it's time to move, and most animal shelters' intake statistics reflect the fall-out of their bad luck in the rental market. This is especially true in California .

Many shelters are enjoying improved adoption rates, but the flow of incoming dogs is still troubling. While the push to create 'no-kill communities' brings hope to smaller sized shelter dogs, pit bulls and their look-alikes will continue to be at risk until the affordable rental shortage is adequately addressed by urban planners, and low to middle income dog lovers (both renters and adopters) have viable housing options that allow them to commit to their pets for the longterm. A compelling lack of affordable dog training and veterinary resources is another key obstacle to keeping dogs at home for keeps. 

As animal welfare workers, our best hope for reducing owner surrender-related shelter deaths is to work within the limitations that contemporary realities have presented to us to prevent owner relinquishment wherever we can. 

The stats are in: A recent report from the California Housing Partnership Corporation explains just how bad the housing shortfall has been in CA: CHPC 2014 Report

Our Approach...  
To help dogs stay out of overcrowded animal shelters and in their homes, we provide these services, as resources allow: 

1. Free and affordable training classes to help people who are struggling with common and workable behavior challenges.

2. Free training and support for Good Samaritans who commit to housing and re-homing unclaimed stray dogs.

3. Information and coaching for SF bay area families searching for pit bull friendly housing.

4. Our mobile unit brings resources to under served neighborhoods, including free spay/neuter surgeries, vaccines, microchips, behavior counseling and training help.

Partner with us
Pit bulls and other blocky headed dogs are well loved in the SF bay area; our collective goal to help them find acceptance has been a success. They're here in full force, topping out as one of the three most popular breeds in CA. More Info

During these tough economic times, our newer challenge is to help dog owners succeed in keeping their pets as family members for life. We are reaching out to others who share our vision. If you are a DVM, RVT, dog trainer, foster home, landlord, social worker, potential donor, or, if you have other skills that would benefit the Keep'em Home focus, please join us. Let's take this work to a new level and make our community a better home for everyone regardless of their income level or the breed make-up of their dog(s). We welcome your feedback and questions:


SCD said...

I am working, by myself, really really hard at making a program like this on a much smaller scale in Santa Cruz.

We have a mandatory Spay/Neuter ordinance - And NO FREE Spay/Neuter! (They call $50 “low cost”), and the county is pushing for a mandatory microchip law - also NOT free! $25 - $10 at VIP Pet Care Clinics. (These are listed on my blog)

I also have your training links and videos on my blog and Facebook community page.

Anyway, my goal is to create a fund to be able to provide FREE spay/neuter/microchipping/vaccinations/food/supplies. I am working by myself, so have no idea how to start on the 501c3 process, or how to begin to ask for donations.

My Facebook page (Santa Cruz Bullies & Buddies) is already doing pretty well! I know you don’t have time to respond to me and help me get the project going, but I do mirror your advice, and share it, and highly respect you all. Maybe one day we can get you guys to come back to Watsonville/Santa Cruz for a free clinic again :) Thank you so much for this post!

Anonymous said...

If you don't already partner with, you're reminding me of it :)