NEW YORK, Nov. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced it has granted more than $250,000 to nearly 100 animal welfare organizations in 40 states across the country to help them launch local Adoption Ambassadors programs.
The Adoption Ambassadors program, originally developed at the Louisiana SPCA, empowers those who foster animals to become adoption counselors on behalf of their local shelters. Once they complete program orientations at participating shelters, Ambassadors take home adoptable dogs or cats and pledge to help those animals find safe and loving homes through word of mouth, social media posts and emails to friends and family, or by hitting the streets with their foster pets. Ambassadors can even process adoptions themselves, returning adoption application/surveys and any applicable fees to the shelter.
"The Adoption Ambassadors program leverages peoples' personal connection with their communities to put more vulnerable animals into safe and loving homes," said ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker. "When foster volunteers are encouraged and empowered to promote their animals and complete the process of adoption themselves, it dramatically increases the animals' chances for successful placement."
"The program enables participating shelters to increase their capacity, reduce overcrowding in their facilities, and reach a new market of potential adopters who otherwise may never have come through their doors," said B.J. Rogers, vice president of prolearning for the ASPCA. "Our research has shown that adopters who obtained their pets from Adoption Ambassadors were less likely to have adopted from shelters in the past. Finding innovative ways to reach these untapped audiences is critical."
The grant funding will enable the participating shelters to purchase tools and supplies they'll need to run a successful program, including food, litter and other supplies for their fosters; marketing expenses to promote the program; and supplies to increase exposure, like 'Adopt Me' vests and leashes, t-shirts and more.
The ASPCA has provided grant funding to the following participating organizations to develop and launch their own Adoption Ambassadors programs:
- Aggieland Humane Society in Bryan/College Station, Texas
- Ahimsa Haven, Inc. in Templeton, Mass.
- All Breed Rescue in Williston, Vt.
- Anderson Humane Society in Lawrenceburg, Ky.
- Animal Allies Humane Society in Duluth, Minn.
- Animal Care Center of NYC (ACC) in New York, N.Y.
- Animal Care Trust / McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga, Tenn.
- Animal Compassion Team of California in Fresno, Calif.
- Animal Rescue League of Boston in Boston, Mass.
- Animal Rescue League of Western PA in Pittsburgh, Pa.
- Animal Shelter Volunteers of Texas in Montgomery, Texas
- Arizona Animal Welfare League of Phoenix, Ariz.
- Ark-Valley Humane Society of Buena Vista, Colo.
- Atlanta Humane Society & SPCA of Atlanta, Ga.
- Boone Area Humane Society of Boone, Iowa
- Brazoria County SPCA in Lake Jackson, Texas
- Butte County Humane Society of Chico, Calif.
- Capital Area Humane Society of Lansing, Mich.
- Central Missouri Humane Society of Columbia, Mo.
- City of Cleveland Kennel in Cleveland, Ohio
- City of Moreno Valley Animal Services in Moreno Valley, Calif.
- City of Stockton Animal Services in Stockton, Calif.
- Coastal Humane Society in Brunswick, Maine
- Columbia Humane Society in St. Helens, Ore.
- Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society in Springfield, Mass.
- Danbury Animal Welfare Society in Bethel, Ct.
- Delaware Humane Association in Wilmington, Del.
- Denver Animal Shelter in Denver, Colo.
- Fluvanna SPCA in Troy, Va.
- Foothills Animal Rescue, Inc. in Scottsdale, Ariz.
- Fox Valley Humane Association in Appleton, Wis.
- Franklin County Animal Shelter in Farmington, Maine
- Franklin County Humane Society in Rocky Mount, Va.
- Friends of the Animal Shelter in Ashland, Ore.
- Friends of Ventura County Animal Services in Camarillo, Calif.
- Greater Birmingham Humane Society in Birmingham, Ala.
- Greeneville-Greene County Humane Society in Greeneville, Tenn.
- Greenville County Animal Care Services in Greenville, S.C.
- Halifax Humane Society in Daytona Beach, Fla.
- Hawaii Island Humane Society in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
- Houston Humane Society in Houston, Texas
- Humane Society of Douglas County in South Range, Wis.
- Humane Society of Park County in Livingston, Mt.
- Humane Society of Sarasota County in Sarasota, Fla.
- Humane Society of Schuyler County in Montour Falls, N.Y.
- Humane Society of South Mississippi in Gulfport, Miss.
- Humane Society of St. Lucie County in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
- Humane Society of Washington County in Hagerstown, Md.
- Humane Society of West Michigan in Grand Rapids, Mich.
- Humane Society of Silicon Valley in Milpitas, Calif.
- Jacksonville Humane Society in Jacksonville, Fla.
- Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association in Charleston, W.V.
- Kansas City Pet Project in Kansas City, Mo.
- KittyKind in New York, N.Y.
- Lawrence Humane Society in Lawrence, Kan.
- Lee County Domestic Animal Services in Ft. Myers, Fla.
- Lenawee County Humane Society in Adrian, Mich.
- Liberty Humane Society in Jersey City, N.J.
- Lowell Humane Society in Lowell, Mass.
- Maricopa County Animal Care and Control in Phoenix, Ariz.
- Miami-Dade Animal Services in Miami, Fla.
- Montgomery Humane Society in Montgomery, Ala.
- Mustang Animal Control in Mustang, Okla.
- Northwoods Humane Society in Wyoming, Minn.
- Operation Kindness of Garland in Carrollton, Texas
- PAWS Animal Adoption Center in Rockport, Maine
- Panhandle Animal Welfare Society, Inc. in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
- PAWS the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society in Philadelphia, Pa.
- Pearl River County SPCA in Picayune, Miss.
- Peoria County Animal Protection Services in Peoria, Ill.
- Pet Allies in Show Low, Ariz.
- Rescue Ranch in Yreka, Calif.
- SPCA in Lakeland, Fla.
- Safe Harbor Equine and Livestock Sanctuary in Cottontown, Tenn.
- San Diego Humane Society and SPCA in San Diego, Calif.
- Scotland County Humane Society in Laurinburg, N.C.
- SCRAPS Hope Foundation in Spokane, Wash.
- Smoky Mountain Animal Care Foundation in Maryville, Tenn.
- Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Dorchester in Summerville, S.C.
- Society for the Improvement of Conditions for Stray Animals in Kettering, Ohio
- South Ogden Animal Services in South Ogden, Utah
- Southern Pines Animal Shelter in Hattiesburg, Miss.
- SPCA Suncoast in New Port Richey, Fla.
- St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in Madison, N.J.
- St. Tammany Humane Society in Covington, La.
- Texas Humane Heroes in Leander, Texas
- The Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago, Ill.
- Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation in Walnut Creek, Calif.
- Union County Animal Protection Society in El Dorado, Ark.
- Valley Humane Society in Pleasanton, Calif.
- Wildhorse Ranch Rescue in Gilbert, Ariz.
- Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter in Georgetown, Texas
- Yavapai Humane Society in Prescott, Ariz.
- Young-Williams Animal Center of East Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn.
The ASPCA estimates that of the approximately 7.6 million pets who enter animal shelters each year, approximately 2.7 million are euthanized. Programs like Adoption Ambassadors are an effective way to raise awareness about pet adoption and shine a spotlight on the millions of wonderful animals in shelters across the country who are in need of loving homes.
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation's leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA's mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.