Rescue Rewards Group of the Week - February 27, 2012
Street Petz Helps Pets of the Homeless
On a cold and bitter February day, Colorado Springs veterinarian Evelyn Fitzpatrick was out in the elements distributing pet food and giving vaccinations to the pets of homeless people. Dr. Fitzpatrick thought that on such a wintry day few people would show up, but there were more than two dozen people there seeking help.
The cause that she serves is called Street Petz, a national organization based out of Westminster, Colo. This nonprofit was founded by Yukiko “Dr. Youkey” Kuwahara in November 2009 to feed and vaccinate the pets of the homeless. Street Petz became a Hale Rescue Rewards partner in early February, and we wanted to let our customers know more about this unique organization.
According to the group’s website (http://www.streetpetz.org/), 10 percent of homeless people own pets. There is a profound need for these pets to have donations of food and vaccinations.
“We understand the bond between a person and their pets,” the website states. “This bond is so strong that many homeless pet owners refuse the safety of a shelter so that they can stay with their beloved pets. To ensure that no pet goes hungry and to reduce the infectious disease in the community, Street Petz has been created to help them. We are a non-profit charity dedicated to the health & well-being of petz in need.”
Volunteers collect and distribute food and pet supplies from local donation centers in Colorado, California and Ohio. Veterinarians and vet techs vaccinate pets for distemper, parvo and rabies. Both dogs and cats receive help.
The website lists these sad statistics from the National Coalition for the Homeless:
*3.3 million Americans are homeless
*730,000 (23% children) are in the HUD Homeless Support Service Network
*100,000 homeless veterans are in the VA Support Network
*889 acts of violence committed toward the homeless resulted in 144 deaths
*AARP reports that only 598,983 year-round beds are available for the homeless in America
“And these are counted homeless in the network. Think of how many that didn’t come forth because they feared losing their pets,” Street Petz points out.
Street Petz is always in need of the following donated items: dry dog and cat food, blankets and towels, dog beds, dog coats and sweaters, leashes and collars, pet treats and toys, poop scooper bags, gift cards, folding fabric water bowls and water.