The economic downturn has been devastating for residents of Detroit, and their pets. While residents have struggled to stay afloat — or fled the city altogether — animal control services have been drastically cut in the wake of the city’s declaration of bankruptcy in July 2013.
Thanks to our SNAP-X program, founded by animal advocate Fabiola Beracasa, a generous donation from Animal Planet’s R.O.A.R. campaign, and donors like you, we’re working to help these vulnerable pets.
With Detroit Animal Control no longer adopting out pets to the public, homeless pets are dependent on the private shelters and rescue groups that pull from the shelter. We’ve given sizable cash grants to two of them: All About Animals Rescue and Michigan Humane Society.
Mona on the day AAAR volunteers met her
All About Animals Rescue (AAAR) not only finds new homes for pets in need — it also operates the largest high-quality, high-volume, low-cost to no-cost spay/neuter and vet care operation in Michigan. AAAR has spayed or neutered more than 80,000 cats and dogs and provides free health screenings, low-cost vaccines and preventative care to more than 50,000 Detroit-area pets each year.
AAR’s volunteers also pound the pavement year-round, working with residents of some of Detroit’s lowest-income zip codes to help people keep their pets, bring chained pets into their homes and generally improve their pets’ quality of life.
The group’s founder and president, Amber Sitko, tells us about two of the dogs helped by our grant:
Mona (left) and Junior were grateful for food, water, real collars and basic veterinary care.
“At an outreach event, we met a homeless man living in a filthy camper shell on a vacant lot. It didn’t take long to realize that he had a mental illness and a drinking problem. He had found Mona and Junior wandering the streets and was afraid someone would use them as bait dogs, so he said he chained them up on his lot.
Mona greets an AAAR volunteer.
“Somewhere along the line, Junior was lucky enough to get a dog house. Mona had part of a wood box. Not having adequate shelter and being chained is bad enough, but he would forget to feed them and said he didn’t really have the money to get them food anyway. When he remembered, he said he’d share some of his food.
“Our first order of business was getting them watered/fed, real collars on them so chains weren’t rubbing against their necks, better shelter, and a vet call.
“It didn’t take long for Mona and Junior to find a rescue visit the highlight of their day.
“It took longer to get them to a place where they could run free and just be dogs. But they’re finally safe and happier than they’ve ever been before.”
Junior and Mona today (pictured at right with AAAR Detroit team leader Kristen Huston): safe, happy and healthy
UPDATE: Sitko tells us, “Mona was adopted by a great guy who owns a tattoo shop. She will be going to the shop with him as soon as she’s more confident around strangers.” Junior is safely in the care of another rescue group.
Stay tuned for more stories of Detroit pets helped by our SNAP-X grant and your support. Donate now to help more pets like Mona and Junior.