The Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland, a local coalition of animal welfare organizations, received a $1 million grant earlier this week for their unique collaboration. The grant was given by well-known animal welfare foundation, Maddie’s Fund.
The Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland, also known as ASAP, was founded six years ago with the goal of eliminating euthanasia of healthy, adoptable, and treatable animals in our local shelters. ASAP’s shelter partners including the Humane Society for SW Washington, Multnomah County Animal Services, Bonnie Hays Small Animal Shelter, Cat Adoption Team, the Oregon Humane Society and Clackamas County Dog Services. That is an impressive four counties and almost 2 million people served. Since 2006, the coalition has increased our community’s animal save rate to over 85%. ASAP’s largest program is Spay & Save, which offers $10 spay/neuter for cats, when their people qualify financially and geographically.
As a former volunteer for the Spay & Save phone line, I can attest to the impact that this program makes on the lives of cat-lovers. Client stories range from heart-warming to heart-wrenching. Specific clients stick out in your memory, like the client who told me they rescued their kitten off the side of the road, after it flew from a truck in front of them on the freeway. Or the elderly gentleman who recently lost his wife and whose cat was now his closest companion.
Though spay/neuter may not seem like an immediate necessity for a pet’s quality of life, having access to this procedure improves quality of life for individual animals, their people, and their overall community. This grant from Maddie’s Fund is well-deserved and I cannot wait to see how it translates into more life-saving efforts in our community.