No-Kill Leaders Among "45 People Who Changed the Dog World"

Maddie's Fund founders Dave & Cheryl Duffield and president Rich Avanzino honored for their efforts to save all nation's healthy and treatable pets

Feb 06, 2015, 09:47 ET from Maddie's Fund

PLEASANTON, Calif., Feb. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- From veterinarians and trainers to authors, venture philanthropists and scientists, they are the people who have made the lives of dogs better and happier.

In its March 2015 45th Anniversary Collectors' Issue, Dog Fancy Magazine named 45 people they say changed the dog world, and Maddie's Fund® founders Dave and Cheryl Duffield and president Rich Avanzino were on the list for their efforts to make the U.S. a no-kill nation.

"We congratulate every single person on this list and are incredibly honored to be in such compassionate and talented company," said Avanzino. "Every one of these individuals has shown their dedication to making sure our canine family members are cherished, happy and loved."

Maddie's Fund's mission is to save the lives of every healthy and treatable dog and cat in the U.S. by the end of 2015, a goal that might sound daunting until you actually break down the numbers.

"Seventeen million people have indicated they are planning to acquire a pet this year but have not yet decided from where. Currently, there are 2.4 million cats and dogs who lose their lives each year because they don't have a home," said Rich. "All we have to do to become a no-kill nation this year is to adopt just 10 additional pets per month in every city."

"Reaching that goal is not only possible, it's inevitable," Avanzino said. "The only question is when – and the answer is this year if we all pull together and make it happen."

Maddie's Fund was founded in 1994 by Dave Duffield and his wife, Cheryl, who have endowed the Foundation with more than $300 million. Since then, they have awarded more than $153 million in grants towards increased community lifesaving, shelter medicine education and pet adoptions across the U.S.

The organization also recently launched its own pet fostering and adoption program to test and create model programs to help all shelter and rescue organizations make it easier and less expensive to save companion animal lives.

The Duffields named Maddie's Fund after their Miniature Schnauzer, Maddie, who always made them laugh or comforted them during stressful times when Dave was launching a startup software company. Maddie, who passed away in 1997 was the first of 10 dogs plus 7 adopted children who've joined Dave and Cheryl's family over the years.

"Maddie was a dear friend to Cheryl and me, and I promised her that if I ever made any money in my career, we'd give it back to companion animal causes in her honor," said Duffield. "We're very proud of the work Maddie's Fund has done on behalf of Maddie, and we're thankful to have had the opportunity to keep our promise to her."

Contact: Sharon Fletcher
Phone: 925-310-5458

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SOURCE Maddie's Fund