Advocates 4 Animals is a non-profit organization dedicated to ending animal abandonment and neglect in Greene County, Ohio. As part of our Charity Spotlight series, we sat down with representatives from the cause to discuss their innovative methods of helping pets:
C4C: Where does Advocates 4 Animals devote most of its resources?
A4A: Our biggest program is our low-cost spay and neuter program. The Spay-It-Forward program provides low-cost and occasionally free spay and neuter surgeries for pets in the community. Our goal for this program is to provide accessible and cost-effective sterilization surgeries for pets whose owners may not otherwise be able to afford it.
C4C: What's a program that you're aiming to build up for the future?
A4A: The program closest to our heart is our Rescue Program. When we initially began Advocates 4 Animals, we started with only this program. We rescue stray and abused animals and rehabilitate them and find them forever homes. It is extremely rewarding to see an animal through the entire transition from intake to adoption day. Once the animals enter our organization, they are fully vetted and then given the physical, social and emotionally rehabilitation they require. Once they are deemed healthy both physically and mentally, they are ready for adoption and the search begins for a forever home for each companion animal.
C4C: Are there any success stories you're particularly proud of?
A4A: One of our favorite rescue stories is a cat named Garth. Garth was living outdoors at an apartment complex where he was abused daily (including being shot at with BB guns). When we rescued him, we were told he needed to remain an outdoor cat at a sanctuary because he was too traumatized by humans and would never learn to trust again.
Eventually we were able to sit next to him and then began petting him with our shirt sleeves. In time and little by little, Garth began trusting us, so much that we were able to pet him with our hands. Once we were able to walk into the room and have him run and greet us, we knew it was time to introduce him to the rest of the clan (5 other rescue cats working on socialization at the time). We were worried that he would try to attack another cat so we introduced very slowly. We were delighted when he went up and rubbed the other cats. Garth never had a problem with other cats, it was people that he struggled to trust. The next move was deciding if Garth could be adopted or if he would remain a forever pet with Advocates 4 Animals.
We decided with his transformation, we would attempt to place him in a forever home. With a substantial write-up about his past and present behaviors, we searched for a permanent home for Garth. We eventually found his perfect home. We drove Garth to his new home and once we let him out of his carrier, he ran and jumped on the lap of his new guardian, instantly showering him with love and affection.
C4C: What are your goals for the rest of 2019 and beyond?
A4A: Our goals for 2019 are to expand our Spay-It-Forward program to provide more free spay and neuter surgeries to community residents. Our goal is to end animal shelter euthanasia as a means of population control within our county and we believe affordable and accessible spay and neuter programs are key.
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