I've learned about many wonderful rescue organizations and animal welfare groups since I started writing for Best Friends, so I decided to share a few of them for my R post.
I'm starting right here in my home town of Cincinnati, with the Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry. This is an amazing, all-volunteer organization that provides pet food to needy families in our area. With the economy the way it is, it's no secret that more and more people are relying on food pantries and social service organizations to help them get through these tough times. When people have already lost so much, I think being able to keep their cherished pet in the midst of so much uncertainty must be an extraordinary comfort. I really admire the folks behind the Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry, and I would encourage anyone in the area to check them out, and support them if possible.
Another great local organization is the United Coalition for Animals, or UCAN. I visited the UCAN clinic last month during their Pets In Need veterinary clinic, and saw first-hand how much they help low income pet parents by providing basic veterinary care to those in financial need. UCAN's primary mission is to keep the pet population down by offering low cost spay and neuter surgeries, and they are now celebrating their 32,000th surgery since their opening in 2007. It's impossible to imagine how many feline and canine lives have been saved, and how many pets have been kept in homes and out of shelters, since this fabulous clinic first opened their doors.
Moving across the country now to Nevada, and the Shelter Pet Rescue Network. Another all-volunteer organization, SPRN focuses on rescuing animals in danger of euthanasia at county shelters, and caring for them in foster homes until they can be adopted by new families. SPRN focuses on "bullie breeds," and is dedicated to helping improve the reputation of pit bull dogs, but they will rescue and care for any companion animals. When I talked with them, they had just taken in a litter of kittens, and the kittens had made themselves right at home among the much bigger pit bulls. One need only look at SPRN's "Happy Tails" for the past few years to see what a difference they have made for so many Nevada animals.
Finally coming back East, and my favorite of the organizations I have written about, Tabby's Place in Ringoes, New Jersey. Tabby's Place is a cat sanctuary, and a place like no other I have encountered. They specialize in cats who are considered "unadoptable," such as those with physical problems or other special needs, those who are older, or simply those who don't have the best personality in the world. All of them have a home at Tabby's Place, and all are cared for by people who love them just as they are. If you'd like to read more about the feline occupants of Tabby's Place, click here for an article I wrote about some of the kitties who captured a special place in my heart.
These are just four of the organizations that I've had the good fortune to discover, and I look forward to learning about many more like them. It's amazing to me to see how many grass roots groups are operating all over the country, doing their best to help animals who are unable to help themselves. In a world that can often be harsh, it's a gift to see so much kindness, and to meet so many who are willing to lend a helping hand to both people and animals in need.