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 difference.
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 stethoscopes.
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 overpopulation.
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 foundation!