Animal Farm Foundation (AFF) announced a $20,000 People and Pets Together grant to Karma Rescue, which provides aid, education and advocacy to support pet retention. AFF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending breed restrictions and discrimination and moving communities forward.

The grant will primarily be used to support Karma Rescue’s Project Coco, an outreach program that offers support to dog owners who are in need. Volunteers for this program bring food, help reinforce fences, build shelters, and educate owners who need help in hard times. The Project also helps pay for veterinary expenses—with the goal of keeping dogs out of shelters and in their homes.

Rande Levine, president of Karma Rescue, launched the organization in 2003, after years of volunteering at shelters and a lifetime of loving animals. Based in Santa Monica, CA, the organization initially focused on rescuing dogs referred to as “pit bulls” from shelters and finding adoptive homes for them.

“We found that we might rescue five dogs from the shelter, but the next week there would be seven more. And while there were a number of organizations in our area working on adoption, there was less focus on keeping dogs in their homes,” said Levine. “It became clear that we needed to transition our energy and resources to pet retention. Due to the pandemic, there is even more of a need now for this kind of service. This grant from Animal Farm Foundation will help us meet that need, and cope with the exponentially higher costs of veterinary care and other rising expenses.”

According to Stacey Coleman, executive director of Animal Farm Foundation, “Karma Rescue shares our philosophy that you have to address the underlying racism and classism in communities if you want to keep people and pets together. We are proud to support their approach to this work, which encompasses everything from covering vet bills to hands-on help, as well as education.”

Rande Levine reflects, “Most people truly love their pets and are in serious desperation when they bring them to a shelter. They believe that the shelter will help their animal find a new home but, sadly, that is not always possible. We must do everything in our power to keep pets with their people and stop them from getting to the shelter door.”

Animal Farm Foundation (AFF) brings dogs and people together to end discrimination. As a 501(c)3, AFF creates positive change for dogs, people, and communities through our service dog program, PAWS prison program and by providing access to food and vets. Visit https://animalfarmfoundation.org/grants/ or https://www.karmarescue.org/ for more information.

Submitted by Judy Klym