NEW YORK, Dec. 13, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Camp Bow Wow, the nation's largest pet services company announces the winner of its "On Our Way Home Project," a philanthropic initiative through its non-profit organization, the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation, aimed at providing assistance to shelters in need across the country. The Western Pennsylvania Humane Society, located in Pittsburgh, PA, will be the recipient of the program's inaugural $50,000 grant.
Taking in more than 13,000 animals a year in both 2008 and 2009, the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society is an "open door shelter," turning away zero of the animals that are brought to the facility and has a 42% live release rate. The shelter has over 600 volunteers, 55 full-time employees, 13 part-time staff members and an adoption process foundation in place. This shelter was chosen as the recipient of the grant based on an internal franchisee-wide voting process and funded entirely from within the Camp Bow Wow franchise system, comprised of clients, franchise owners, vendors and corporate team members. As the shelter has an "open-door" system, it has been plagued with over-population of animals and lack of funding, due to donors typically allocating money and time to "no-kill" shelters.
At the local level, Camp Bow Wow franchises located in and around the Pittsburgh, PA area will be aiding in providing assistance to the Western PA Humane Society, by donating time, in-market resources and an on-site trainer from Camp Bow Wow's behavioral program, Bow Wow Behavior Buddies. That, along with the $50,000 grant will provide: retrofit remodeling, creation of socialization yards, operational and marketing assistance, volunteer and training, fundraising support and more.
"We are so excited to work with the team at Western PA Humane Society to implement socialization as well as to help find ways to re-model and improve the current building. Their commitment to increasing live release rates and enriching the lives of their animals is inspiring," said Megan Allen, Director of the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation. "Through this grant, we hope to prove the success of socialization to our donors and sponsors thus helping to encourage additional funds to continue to grow the program."
"The On Our Way Home Project grant program is living out a 10-year dream to leverage what we have learned through developing our Camp system into an initiative to ameliorate experiences of shelter dogs, increasing the chance of adoptability," said Heidi Ganahl, CEO and founder of Camp Bow Wow. "I cannot think of a better way to commemorate our 10-year anniversary this week than to give back to such a deserving group of dedicated animal welfare professionals who will make truly positive changes in their communities."
"Our hopes and dreams for our organization are to increase the live release rate of our dogs and cats and to provide all adoptable animals an enriching experience while awaiting their forever homes," said Lee Nesler, Executive Director of the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society. "The On Our Way Home Project will help our facility achieve these goals by providing spaces to enrich the lives of our animals, increasing the health and comfort of our dogs and cats and offering an aesthetic improvement of the shelter to make it more welcoming for visitors."
Shelters are high stress environments for animals and Camp Bow Wow understands the benefits of social interaction in shelters ("enrichment programs") and exercise, knowing that the resulting mental and physical enrichment of dogs can increase the likelihood of adoption. As a result, Camp Bow Wow plans to continue the On Our Way Home Project to provide operational assistance to one additional shelter per quarter in 2011 and will begin working with all applicants on the initial consulting plans in January 2011. Camp Bow Wow and the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation have raised all funds internally for the inaugural grant of the On Our Way Home Project are now seeking in-kind donations and sponsors to help fund the creation of socialization yards at the facilities of all 16 semi-finalists. Additionally, the 16 semi-finalists will also be working with the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation and volunteers in 2011 and are committed to incorporating socializations into their operations. The second runner-up finalist in the system-wide franchisee voting process was Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society in Bell Chase, LA.
For additional information about Camp Bow Wow, please visit: www.campbowwowusa.com.
For additional information about the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society, please visit: http://www.wpahumane.org, or call 412-321-4625. The Western Pennsylvania Humane Society is located at: 1101 Western Avenue, in Pittsburgh, PA.
To donate to the On Our Way Home Project, please visit: http://www.campbowwowusa.com/charity
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SOURCE Camp Bow Wow