WASHINGTON—This month, the Humane Society of the United States’ Pets for Life program reached a major milestone, providing its 1,000,000th service to animals. The recipient was a poodle mix named Freeda, who was helped through the program’s partner Better Together Alliance in Ponderay, Idaho.
Pets for Life works to increase accessibility to resources through community programs that provide services like veterinary care, spay/neuter, grooming, behavioral training, pet supplies and more at no cost to people and their pets in underserved communities. To date, over 250,000 pets have received support, including critical services and supplies. Many of the families have received multiple services through the program.
The mission of the Pets for Life program is to increase equity in access to care for all people and pets and making companion animal welfare more inclusive, just and fair. Freeda’s service was a much-appreciated bath and grooming. She and her human mom Janis have been a Better Together Alliance client for a year and a half.
Amanda Arrington, senior director of Pets for Life, said: “It is incredibly important that our program honors the love people have for their pets and removes barriers to pet services that far too many people face. Thanks to over 50 partners across the country and our flagship markets in Los Angeles and Philadelphia, we ensure families have what they want and need for their pets. The work Better Together Animal Alliance is doing in their Idaho community is an example of support being provided in communities across the country. We are proud of and grateful to all who have helped us reach this millionth service milestone and of course we celebrate Freeda and Janis.”
A core program of the Humane Society of the United States, Pets for Life is guided by the philosophy that a deep connection with pets transcends boundaries of socioeconomics, race, ethnicity and geography, and that no one should be denied the opportunity to experience the benefits, joy and comfort that come from the human-animal bond. In underserved communities nationally, Pets for Life data shows that 70% of pets have never seen a veterinarian before. Not because people don’t love their pets but because systemic poverty and structural inequities create barriers to veterinary care and pet resources similar to the challenges many people experience in accessing healthy food, education, jobs, health care and housing.
The team that runs Better Together Animal Alliance’s Pets for Life program first met Janis in June 2021 when doing community outreach. At that time Janis had a senior chihuahua named Baby. …….