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Funding monthly pop-up vet clinics and providing critical care for beloved cats and dogs of unhoused Oaklanders
For immediate release
Contact: Lisa Franzetta, Friends of Oakland Animal Services,
OAKLAND—The harsh winter weather and the dangers of COVID-19 are making the challenges of homelessness in Oakland even more dire—but thanks to a $60,000 grant to Friends of Oakland Animal Services from PetSmart Charities, a little relief is on the way this Sunday, January 17, for the pets of unhoused Oaklanders. Funded by this grant, a veterinary team from Oakland Animal Services will be treating pets at one of the City of Oakland’s temporary, low-barrier housing sites for people experiencing homelessness. Resident pets who may have never before been to a veterinarian will get free onsite treatments for straightforward conditions like skin allergies and ear infections; animals requiring more extensive care for issues like mass removals or amputations will be scheduled for treatment at OAS the upcoming week, all at no cost to their guardian.
What does access to care mean for Oakland’s pets living with guardians experiencing homelessness? At the team’s pilot pop-up event in late November 2020, Little Abner, a 10-month-old terrier mix, arrived with a fishhook in his mouth—an unfortunate souvenir of a walk taken near the marina with his owner the previous night. Abner’s owner heard through word of mouth about the free medical treatments being provided and brought him right over. Abner was taken to OAS so he could be sedated and the fishhook painlessly removed. He was reunited with his grateful guardian a few hours later.
“It’s estimated that 25% of unsheltered people are living with animals—and for many, the companionship of an animal may be the only family they have,” says Oakland Animal Services Director Ann Dunn. “This generous grant means that OAS will be able to help unhoused Oakland residents and their pets at locations that are accessible and designed for their support. We’re grateful that PetSmart Charities shares our commitment to equitable care that helps keep our city’s pets safe and healthy, with the people who love them.”
“The power of pets is transformative, and is magnified during difficult times,” said Kate Atema, senior manager, grants initiatives at PetSmart Charities. “We are proud to support Oakland Animal Services in keeping Oakland area pets and people together by reducing barriers to accessible veterinary care. This event will be a great benefit to both pets and pet parents in need.”
High-resolution photos available upon request.
Oakland Animal Services is Oakland’s only “open admissions” shelter, accepting all of Oakland’s homeless, injured, orphaned, unwanted, lost, abandoned and mistreated animals. With the assistance of dedicated volunteers and the support of nonprofit Friends of Oakland Animal Services, OAS saves the lives of thousands of animals every year.
About PetSmart Charities®
PetSmart Charities, Inc. is committed to finding lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps to find forever homes and families for more than 600,000 shelter pets each year. PetSmart Charities also provides grant funding to nonprofits aligned with its mission Each year millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting nearly $430 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart Inc., PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator, a third-party organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, for the past 17 years in a row – placing it among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization. To learn more visit www.petsmartcharities.org.
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