“The heart dog is born with great purpose, but he looks like any other.
He will find you, walk by you, and leave you better than you were…
The heart dog is one you needed more than he needed you.”
– Cristine Dahl, “My Heart Dog”
Dear friend of Animal Aid,
If we asked you to tell us about your heart cat or dog, what would you say? Would you describe their physical characteristics in vivid detail or delve straight to the core of their personality? Would you share the day you met, your life together, the moment you knew they were the one? Would you break out in a smile or in tears? Perhaps you’d simply look us in the eye and share something that goes beyond words.
Our work at Animal Aid began from this same ineffable relationship. In 1969, we set out to provide for the animals in need in our community, and what we were provided with in return was an identity and a purpose. We found ourselves in the hearts of our rescue animals and made it our lifework to serve their needs first.
Now, nearly 50 years later, that bond and the mission that emerged from it are stronger than ever. But we need your help to see us through the next 50 years and beyond.
This summer, we broke ground on our Shelter TransFURmation Remodel Capital Campaign, a two-year, $300,000 renovation project that will expand our rescue capacity by 25 percent. Phase 1 of the remodel—completed this November—saw our ground floor converted from basement storage space to a second operational level of the shelter, including the construction of two new cat intake rooms, a new meeting room, and the refurbishment of our emergency dog kennel, laundry nook, restroom, and animal care supply storage.
When we begin Phase 2 in 2018, we’ll add three new cat rooms to our upper floor and undertake major renovations to our current animal care, administrative, and exterior spaces, including an upgraded lobby, a pedestrian walkway, and a giant cat tree that will serve as the focal point of our main free-roam cat room.
But what does all of this mean for the animals we serve?
It means we’ll be able to rescue more animals with behavioral needs like Bixby and Eugene, who both came to Animal Aid extremely frightened of the world around them. Now, through the attention and care of our staff and volunteers, the benefit of a free-roam shelter environment, and the time necessary to build their confidence, both cats have made considerable strides, with Bixby’s forever mom describing him as “the sweetest cat I’ve ever known.”
It means we’ll be able to foster more senior dogs like Barney and Ruthie, for whom a larger shelter environment is particularly overwhelming. Today, both pups enjoy the tranquility of their foster homes, with our emergency dog kennel ready to serve as a home-away-from-foster-home should the need arise.
It means we’ll be able to shelter more cats with medical or dietary needs like Gloria and Diego, whose food allergies used to leave them feeling itchy and uncomfortable and who subsequently benefit from a room of their own to maintain their special diets. These days, both kitties enjoy their own cat suites and room service meals catered to their specific needs.
Our work is only made possible through your generosity, and every dollar counts, now more than ever:
- $10 will help pay for a giant cat tree and bench seating in our largest cat room, for greater enrichment and interaction.
- $50 will help pay for a walkway between parking lots, for enhanced safety.
- $100 will help pay for new windows throughout the shelter, for increased comfort and decreased utility costs.
- $500 will help pay for cat condos, to give animals new to the shelter a chance to adjust to their surroundings.
- $1000 will help pay for one of the 20 new or renovated animal care and administrative spaces throughout our facility, to expand our rescue capacity.
When you donate to our Shelter TransFURmation, you quite literally become a part of the fabric of our shelter, contributing to a loving refuge for countless animals now and in the future—animals who may be abandoned, abused, injured, or elderly; who may have special behavioral, medical, or dietary needs; who may simply need a safe place to rest their paws while they wait to find you.
On behalf of all of us at Animal Aid, thank you for supporting our shelter, our programs, and the animals that we passionately serve.