Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter, a nonprofit shelter in Dearborn, Mich., has won our Hotel for Dogs contest. In partnership with Bark, Paramount Pictures will host a free private screening at a local movie theater for the shelter and its choice of employees, volunteers and supporters.
“I am absolutely thrilled and very proud to have won,” says Elaine Greene, executive director of Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter. “Our volunteers and supporters are the best around and they truly care about the shelter. I know many of our volunteers spend their free time at the shelter or Friends activities. This is such a wonderful way to honor their dedication. And what a great way to meet new friends and tell our story: Anytime we have a chance to promote the adoptable animals of the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter, we are there.”
The shelter is located in Dearborn, west of Detroit, the hometown of Henry Ford. Formerly city-run with no adoption screening and cats and dogs sold for $5 each, the shelter has been stewarded by the private, nonprofit Friends since 1996. In little more than a decade, the shelter has instituted programs to find homes for 100 percent of adoptable animals and to vaccinate, spay/neuter and microchip every one. The shelter participates in dozens of community outreach programs every year including adoptions fairs, low-cost spay/neuter and a Recylc-a-Bullz program to help bully breed dogs.
The Hotel for Dogs screening comes during a tough time. “Shelter work can certainly be challenging on its own, but with the additional demands of an ailing economy, it can turn into more of a juggling act,” Greene says. “While the numbers of the homeless and strays have increased, the willingness of folks to adopt a new family member (cat or dog) has dwindled. And, as we rely on the generosity of our donors to support our work, we realize that they have felt the impact on their pocketbook, which has affected ours. At the same time, because the Friends are good stewards of our donated dollars and we will continue to provide good care and service to the animals, our supporters stay loyal to the cause.”
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The priority of the shelter is finding forever-homes for “100 percent of our adoptable animals,” but the Friends also strive to provide the best temporary shelter using new and updated sheltering protocols, such as, community cat housing. The Friends are also in the middle of a capital campaign to build a new shelter that will better meet the needs of the animals and the community.
The Dearborn Animal Shelter received eight nominations, out of 143, from supporters such as MaryAnn, who wrote in her nomination: “They took in my Charlie dog when he was underfed and underloved. They made sure he got the best forever-home possible (with me)! They are the best. They also are specialists in rescuing pit bulls, a breed often thrown away as mean and vicious.” Catherine wrote: “My life has changed since I’ve volunteered there. I have adopted three beautiful animals … one poodle, Lebowski, and two cats, Marigold and Sylvia.”
Many worthy shelters, rescues and animal welfare organizations—78 in all—were entered into the contest by adoptive families, staff members and volunteers. Read the heart-felt nominations, and go direct to the source to learn more about each of these worthy organizations (listed below) and find out how you can help.
Adams County SPCA, Gettysburg, Penn.
Angels for Animals, Canfield, Ohio
Animal Ark, Hastings, Minn.
Animal Friends Rescue Project, Pacific Grove, Calif.
Animal Haven, New York, N.Y.
Animal Humane Society, St. Paul, Minn.
Animal Rescue Coalition (ARC), Sarasota, Fla.
Animal Rescue Foundation, Mobile, Ala.
Animal Rescue Inc., New Freedom, Penn.
Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa
Animal Rescue of Carroll, Carroll, Iowa
Animals in Distress, Coopersburg, Penn.
ARNI Foundation, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Beltrami Humane Society, Bemidji, Minn.
Benicia-Vallejo Humane Society, Vallejo, Calif.
Buck’s Peace Min-Pin Rescue, Md.
Buffalo Humane, Buffalo, N.Y.
Catawba County Animal Care and Control, Newton, N.C.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control, Charlotte, N.C.
Circle Tail Assistance Dogs, Pleasant Plain, Ohio
Coastal German Shepherd Rescue, Irvine, Calif.
Coastal Maine Great Dane Rescue, Topsham, Maine
Coastal Pet Rescue, Savannah, Ga.
Colorado Animal Rescue Shelter, Glenwood Springs, Colo.
Community Animal Rescue & Adoption, Jackson, Miss.
Dearborn Animal Shelter, Dearborn, Mich.
Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue, Reinholds, Penn.
Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Free to Live Animal Sanctuary, Edmond, Okla.
Furry Friends Rescue, Fremont, Calif.
Ginger’s Pet Rescue, Seattle, Washington
Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies, Golden, Colo.
Greyhound Pets of America, Florida, Southeast Coast Chapter
HART for Animals, Oakland, Md.
Hawaii Dog Foundation, Oahu, Hawaii
Hearing Dog Program, San Francisco, Calif.
Homeward Bound Pet Shelter, Decatur, Ill.
Hornell Animal Shelter, Hornell, N.Y.
Humane Society for Hamilton County, Noblesville, Ind.
Humane Society of Greater Akron, Peninsula, Ohio
Humane Society of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, Penn.
Humane Society of Missouri, St. Louis, Mo.
Humane Society of Pulaski County, Little Rock, Ark.
Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan, Benton Harbor, Mich.
Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley, Knoxville, Tenn.
Idyllwild Animal Rescue Friends, San Jacinto, Calif.
JLT Rescues, Easton, Penn.
Las Vegas Valley Humane Society, Las Vegas, Nev.
Little Victories Animal Rescue Group, Barboursville, W. Va.
MacKenzie's Animal Sanctuary, Lake Odessa, Mich.
McPAWS, McCall, Idaho
Meals Fur Pets, Woodstock, Ga.
Michigan Humane Society, Detroit, Mich.
Montgomery Humane Society, Montgomery, Ala.
NorCal Aussie Rescue, Sacramento, Calif.
Norfolk Animal Care Center, Norfolk, Va.
Northwest Animal Companions, Boise, Idaho
Northwoods Humane Society, Wyoming, Minn.
PAWS Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
PAWS, Anna, Ill.
Russell Refuge, Rhinebeck, N.Y.
Pets in Distress, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Planned Pethood, Inc., Northwest Ohio/SE Michigan, Toledo, Ohio
Project POOCH (Positive Opportunities, Obvious Change with Hounds), Lake Oswego, Ore.
Rainbow Animal Rescue, Inc., Norfolk, Va.
Rice County Humane Society, Faribault, Minn.
Richmond SPCA, Richmond, Va.
Rocket Dog Rescue, San Francisco, Calif.
Santa Barbara Humane Society, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Save the Animals Foundation, Cincinnati, Ohio
Second Chance Dobe Rescue, Clinton, Mich.
Sheltered Paws Dog Rescue, Cincinnati, Ohio
Shelter Helpers on Wheels, Lake Hiawatha, N.J.
Small Dog Rescue and Humane Society, Atlanta, Ga.
SNIPPP (Spay Neuter Intermountain Pets & Pet Placement), Burney, Calif.
SPCA of Wake County, Raleigh and Garner, N.C.
The Animal Welfare Society, Kennebunk, Maine
Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL), Washington, D.C.