Jeff Humphrey

Keeping Pets and Their People Together

Jeff Humphrey, Media Manager, 509.625.6308

Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 2:41 p.m.

Being a responsible pet owner is not easy. It’s even tougher to care for your dog or cat when you are homeless.

That’s why the City of Spokane applied for a $20,000 grant from the Mars Petcare’s Better Cities for Pets program.

“Well, this was an awesome opportunity that I learned more about at a U.S. Conference of Mayors event last year. And then, found out about the opportunity to receive grants, for special projects. So we applied and chose that project to be our TRAC shelter,” explained Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward.

The City of Spokane then awarded the grant to Spokanimal, a non-profit animal shelter, to help fund the Keeping Pets with their People program.

“We’ve been providing services here for about six months, at TRAC for the animals. So, the furry friends that actually reside here with their people. We provide vaccines, we provide microchip services. Free spay and neuter,” detailed Dori Peck, Executive Director of SpokAnimal.

Once a week, a Spokanimal vet tech and other animal advocates visit the Trent Resource and Assistance Center and provide wellness checks and supplies like leashes, muzzles and harnesses.

“The vet care we’re able to provide keeps the animals healthy which in turn means they’re happy and they’re able to stay with their people. Which is ultimately the goal, of course,” added Peck.

So far, the SpokAnimal staff have treated 73 animals residing at the TRAC shelter including, a dog named “Scout”.

“Well, so far, I’ve gotten Scout chipped, I’ve gotten all his shots updated, rabies, a tag for his rabies. I’ve got credentials going for me. I’ve got everything I need to have him legal to be in an apartment and move forward with what I need to do,” said TRAC guest Brett Larson.

“Well for a lot of our homeless individuals, the pet is not a just companion, it’s their security. It’s the one thing that loves them back, more than anything. And so, we want to keep that relationship going. That becomes their support system, as well, as they are seeking services, so they can start their journey out of homelessness,” emphasized Woodward.

SpokAnimal’s Guardian Angel program provides free pet boarding to people going through rehab or job training.

Spokane is just one of seven cities to be awarded funding through Mars Petcare’s Better Cities for Pets program.

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