With a mission to promote the safety and well-being of neglected, abused, and abandoned horses, Hope for Horses fosters and cares for horses as well as provides specialized training for law-enforcement and animal-control officers. As one of the oldest equine-welfare organizations in the state, Hope for Horses recognized the need for better resources for officers and developed the state’s first equine-cruelty-investigations-training course. Volunteers feed, groom, and care for the horses as they await foster care or adoption.
FurKidz 911 rescues dogs who are in danger of being euthanized due to injuries or overcrowding at local shelters. The organization’s staff of volunteers rescues the dogs from shelters, fosters and rehabilitates them in their own homes, and transports them to veterinary appointments and adoption events. When the dogs have fully healed, they can meet with potential families until they find a loving permanent home.
As one of the largest no-kill shelters in Washington, Homeward Pet Adoption Center helps find permanent, loving homes for more than 1,400 cats and dogs each year. Forty percent of its animals are owner surrendered, and sixty percent are rescues from shelters that euthanize. A range of rescue, shelter, and adoption programs help the small staff and more than 350 volunteers in their mission to give homeless and abandoned companion animals a second chance. Additionally, Homeward Pet’s onsite veterinary-care team spays or neuters all the animals that enter the shelter, along with providing a general health assessment, a microchip, and any necessary treatments or vaccinations.
Homeward Pet also extends help to animals in the community with owners in need of financial assistance. In 2012, Homeward Pet’s low-cost clinic spayed or neutered more than 500 pets, and its pet-food bank collected and distributed more than 40,000 pounds of pet food to local families struggling to feed their animals. It also offers year-round discount microchipping and free microchipping three times a year, to ensure the safety of pets in the community.
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Heroes for the Homeless's all-volunteer staff provides individuals experiencing homelessness in the Seattle Metropolitan area with emergency services and survival supplies. They do so without expectation or cost, and regardless of age, race, and physical or mental capabilities. All they require is that clients be willing to accept assistance. Each month, the outreach team travels by car and by foot to supply emergency services for up to 650 individuals and their pets—with each volunteer serving a minimum of six months in order to build rapport with clients. Since its founding in 2006, the organization has served more than 51,000 sandwiches/meals and distributed more than 11,000 pairs of socks—the most requested item from clients due to limited access to laundry services.
Spay and neuter surgeries change the lives of free-roaming cats. For females, it means a lower risk of infections and pregnancy complications; for males, less fighting and fewer health problems. When the Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project started in 1997, the mission was to spay and neuter as many free-roaming cats as possible, helping reduce overpopulation and the need for euthanasia deaths in community shelters.
Today, the organization has expanded its work to include all cats, including those with homes. When a cat arrives for surgery, it also receives a basic health exam, rabies vaccination, and, for free-roaming cats, an ear tip to identify it as spayed or neutered. Since its inception, the Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project has performed the surgery on more than 82,000 cats. The organization collaborates with other like-minded groups and individuals striving to care for animals in a safe, humane environment.
Esperanza International organizes international service experiences to integrate young people into foreign cultures and promote a sense of global citizenship. On service trips, participants enact urban-development projects, building sustainable housing in Tijuana and setting up solar panels in Oaxaca alongside local residents. They build the homes with support from local families and the Mexican government. Each house exists in a community setting of at least 10 families. The families and participants work together to create homes incorporating the Haener-block system, which involves building walls from concrete blocks using mostly volunteer, unskilled labor. In the evenings, participants interact with their temporary neighbors to dispel stereotypes and build a network of understanding through excursions to sporting events, orphanages, and clinics.