Stories about our foundation’s charitable giving are some of the most popular
features on this blog. If you are a regular reader, you’ll have a pretty good
idea what kinds of rescue groups are chosen as recipients of our financial
assistance. Regardless of their structures or focus, whether they’re traditional
dog-and-cat shelters or breed-specific foster networks, you’ll know that every
one of these awardees is deserving of the help our foundation provides.
What you may not know is that, on every application for funding, applicants must
submit specific information … about their finances, daily operations, cleaning
protocols, how they would respond to hypothetical situations, and more. One
pertinent question posed is, ‘If your funding request is granted, what are your
plans for the money?’ When it comes to saving the lives of animals subjected to
homelessness, neglect and abuse, sometimes the most noble goals are also the
most universal … the provision of nourishment, shelter and a healing touch.
These are definitely cases where the immediate needs of the few are weighted
more heavily than tomorrow’s needs of the many.
However, in the fight to curb pet overpopulation, the victims are literally
millions of dogs and cats who are euthanized in this country every year. To work
toward reducing these numbers, to make a lasting difference, we need to think of
game changers … ideas that will not just address individual instances of
immediate fallout (like physical abuse and abandonment), but that will make
these problems less likely to occur in the first place. Fortunately, this
month’s featured award winner not only has the courage of its convictions, but
it has diligently pursued an excellent and practical plan to make a long-term
While not a conventional rescue group, the Northland Animal Welfare Society
(NAWS) is a non-profit organization committed to saving lives. NAWS isn’t a
shelter, but they are an invaluable resource and service provider for low-income
pet parents. Furthermore, they are dedicated to educating Missouri citizens
about the humane treatment of animals and the plight of homeless animals. Their
hope is to eventually construct a care and adoption campus to provide safe haven
for companion animals in need.
First and foremost, NAWS is a pragmatic service provider. Since opening in 2007,
they’ve worked to meet the common needs of pet parents, many of whom wouldn’t be
able to afford pet-care services at full-priced veterinary hospitals. In
addition to alteration surgeries and vaccinations, NAWS also offers
micro-chipping and nail trimming services for dogs and cats. In their meeting
spaces, they hold volunteer meetings, education seminars and animal training.
While they do not operate an adoption program, they do assist in communicating
adoption needs between local animal groups and individual fosterers. One day,
they hope to formalize these ad hoc efforts to facilitate the adoption of
homeless animals on a much grander scale.
Last year marked a turning point in the development of the organization with the
opening of their Spay/Neuter Clinic in February. Before the end of 2012, they
had already exceeded 1,000 low-cost spay/neuter and vaccination procedures in
service to their community. With the assistance of their crack staff of
volunteers, who logged more than 4,000 hours of work, NAWS is making a
significant difference in the day-to-day lives of hard-working Americans.
Operating costs for their organization are mostly covered thanks to the support
of individual donors, corporate contributions, fundraising events and the fees
collected for their services.
In the not-so-distant future, NAWS hopes to create ‘a 21st century animal care
and adoption campus’. As a physical embodiment of their goals, it would unite
the rescuing community while simultaneously fulfilling multiple practical needs.
The facility they envision would not only provide sanctuary for homeless
animals, but also serve as a dog park, education center, fully operational
veterinary medical service facility, a memorial park and much more.
In their most recent newsletter, NAWS announced to their supporters that our
foundation’s grant allowed them to purchase a specialized, heated, hydraulic
surgery table. The heated table will help keep the animal patients comfortably
warm during surgery. Additionally, the new table will allow them to accommodate
dogs who weigh more than 80 pounds, a restriction of their other table. In the
past, they’ve had to turn away pet parents as their canines exceeded this
arbitrary weight limit. As you can imagine, a surgery center with only one table
drastically limits the number of procedures. It was apparent from the outset
that NAWS could achieve so much more with an additional and no-weight-restricted
table – effectively doubling the number of procedures. While our gift did not
cover the total cost of the surgical table, another unnamed donor provided the
remainder of the expense. And now, NAWS is already gathering funds to cover the
costs of the next items on their wish list: a heart monitor and two more
We’d like to convey our heartfelt thanks to all of our readers and customers
who, through their personal donations and continued business, made this grant
possible. Each one of you has directly helped NAWS to continue its vital work
towards making the world a better place for companion animals by curbing pet
Remember, every time you order from Life’s Abundance, a portion of the profits
goes directly to our foundation. If you, or someone you know, works with an
animal rescue organization that you think is worthy of recognition and some
additional financial support, please encourage them to submit a grant
application. We hope to provide funding to many more groups this year,
sponsoring more dreams and making additional life-saving stories possible.
Check back next month for another dose of good news from our charitable