Every year thousands of pet owners face a difficult decision imposed by life transitions, lack of resources and challenging pets behaviors. Too often pet owners will decide that the only solution is to give up or surrender their pet to an animal shelter. However thanks to the Michelson Found Animals Surrender Prevention Program, pet owners are provided with resources, information and support that enable owner’s to keep their pets.
The Michelson Found Animals is an independently funded nonprofit organization that uses big ideas to tackle the homeless pet epidemic and reduce euthanasia in shelters. One of these ideas is the Surrender Prevention Program. This program is a joint partnership between Downtown Dog Rescue who manages the program with funding provided by Found Animals. The Surrender Prevention Program offers families the opportunity to speak with a counselor who can provide solutions to the challenges driving pet owners to consider surrendering their pet. The Surrender Prevention Program operates from the Chesterfield Square Shelter and focuses exclusively on serving pet owners in South Los Angeles within the Chesterfield Service Area.
The program has outperformed its lifesaving goal by 655%. Initially, the program set a modest goal of preventing 400 animals from entering the Chesterfield Square Shelter. Since the programs inception in April 2013, it has intercepted 2,622 pets that were at risk of being surrendered to the shelter. The program averages 219 interventions per month, 50 per week and 7 per day. Aimee Gilbreath, the Executive Director of Found Animals said, “The success of the program demonstrates that many pet owners who are considering surrendering their pet often just need a helping hand”.
Data collected during the first year found that the most common problems facing pet owners in South Los Angeles is cost of pet ownership (18%), housing issues (11.4%), humane euthanasia for senior pets (6.8%), behavioral issues (6.1%) and mange (1%). Pet owners who receive access to basic information, support and planning through the Surrender Prevention Program were more likely to keep their pets.
To celebrate the program’s anniversary, Found Animals and Downtown Dog Rescue hosted a celebration of the Surrender Prevention Program’s one-year anniversary at the Chesterfield Square Shelter in South Los Angeles. Guest brought donations of either wet or dry dog food to donate to Downtown Dog Rescue.
About Michelson Found Animals
Found Animals is an independently funded nonprofit that works to achieve one goal: find the big ideas that help reduce the number of pets euthanized in shelters each year. Led by business and medical professionals, we develop innovative solutions that address the underlying causes of shelter euthanasia. Programs address pet adoption, low-cost spay neuter services, pet microchipping and registration, and sterilization research. By offering a wealth of educational resources to pet owners and animal care professionals, Found Animals advances the health and safety of animals everywhere. Support for Found Animals and its initiatives come from the generous contributions of Dr. Gary Michelson and Alya Michelson. Follow our progress online at www.FoundAnimals.org, or via social media at Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
For more information on the Michelson Prize & Grants
For more information on Found Animals Registry
For more information on Found Animals Adopt & Shop
About Downtown Dog Rescue
Downtown Dog Rescue is an all-volunteer animal charity that rescues and adopts dogs and assists underserved communities, focusing on South East Los Angeles, Watts and Compton. We offer free services such as spay/neuter; vaccines and basic medical care for dog owners who want to keep their dogs out of a shelter. For more information, please visit www.downtowndogrescue.org