|It’s been a great first year at Pets for Patriots! Read my year-end letter to our friends, supporters and partners…
In November we officially launched in Colorado, where we were honored to march in the Colorado Springs Veterans’ Day Parade. Even our senior volunteers Naomi and Charles, the latter a WWII veteran and YouTube star, were part of the processional. In 2011 we plan to touch down in other parts of the country; stay tuned for where we’ll show up next!
A growing shelter network
We currently have member animal shelters, rescues, SPCAs and humane societies in nine states, with more in the application process. We continue to seek out not-for-profit private and municipal shelters that demonstrate strong commitments to animal welfare, education, population control and adoption. We’re proud to have some no-kill shelters in our network and applaud those that, even if they aren’t no-kill, are dedicated to rehabilitating and rehoming adult and other at-risk pets.
More veterinary practices say, ‘AAHA!’
Our network includes veterinary practices, clinics and hospitals in eight states; each commits to an ongoing, minimum 10% discount to veterans who adopt through our program. Many of these practices are accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association, known as AAHA, in recognition of their adherence to the highest standards in veterinary care. In 2011 we’ll be working more closely with AAHA to connect with more such practices. Breaking news: an AAHA practice in California just joined our cause, which means we now have veterinary partners in nine states!
Changing lives, one adoption at a time
To appreciate the power of our mission, read stories from some of the veterans who have adopted through our program. Like Bobby, an Army veteran who was at an all-time low when she found Red, a dog that sat unwanted in a shelter for nearly two months. Or Bob, a Navy veteran who adopted a beautiful cat named Diamond that’s helping his wife overcome her depression. And Foy, a disabled Navy veteran who now looks forward to coming home from work because General Sam is there to greet him.
Every week I speak to veterans in our program who have adopted or are in the process of adoption. After they bring a once homeless pet into their lives, many of our veterans call to stay in touch to share their progress and joy. These calls are the best part of my day.
We’re grateful to have fabulous sponsors, large and small, who believe in what we do. In 2011, we’ll continue to seek out partnerships that benefit those we serve and those we save. Top on our list: scoring a major pet retailer. Contact us if you have an ‘in!’
- Annin Flag Makers, the nation’s oldest and largest made in the USA flag company
- Karsh|Hagan, ongoing pro bono marketing support to help us put our best foot forward
- Fox + Gazelle, providing pro bono design, including our much-beloved logo
- Freekibble and Halo Purely for Pets, which together have donated more than 20,660 meals and treats to some of our member shelters as well as a Colorado pet food bank
- MyDogsCool, which donated military-grade, made in the USA dog leashes to veterans marching with us in Colorado Springs
- Community Pet Hospital, which provided plenty of swag and support to help us gain awareness in the Denver community
- AAHA, whose ongoing contributions and expertise will help us form stronger relationships with veterinary members and prospects
- Surfpet, where we are a founding charity in their Shop for a Cause program
The company we keep
We couldn’t be more proud of the partners and supporters who are aligned with our cause. Like Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet, which fosters pets for military personnel deployed in harm’s way. Or Mutt Masters Canine Academy, which organized all of our marchers (two- and four-legged) for the Colorado Springs Parade, and that will provide educational information on dog training, selection and rehoming – just for us. And we are proud to continue our work with the Army AW2 Wounded Warrior Program as part of their Community Support Network for injured soldiers and their families. Hooah!
Strengthening our Board
To an already exceptional Board of Directors we added two outstanding veterinary professionals. Dr. Jessica Vogelsang is a practicing veterinarian in San Diego and author of an award-winning pet blog, and Jim Nash is hospital administrator and co-owner of AAHA-accredited Community Pet Hospital in Denver. Both bring valuable perspectives to our operations on the business and practice of animal care.
Lending a hand
Many people from across the country have expressed their interest to volunteer with us. We’re working on a volunteer program and expect to launch it early in 2011, at which time we’ll re-engage all those wonderful folks who are inspired by our cause.
MORE TO COME, WITH YOUR HELP!
As a startup charity, we think we’ve made great strides towards fulfilling our mission. But we have a long way to go and we can’t get there without your help. It takes more than passion to grow and support our shelter and veterinary networks, implement military and veteran outreach campaigns, travel to events around the country, nurture sponsor and partner relationships, and ensure that we have the proper infrastructure, technology and day-to-day resources to operate.
If you believe in what we do, please give what you can today. Your contribution is tax-deductible by law, but you must make your donation by December 31 for the 2010 tax year. I hope we can count on you to answer the call of our nation’s veterans and at-risk pets.
Beth ZimmermanFounder + Executive Director