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Helping Vermont’s Companion Animals in Need

VHF is dedicated to the prevention of animal suffering and the enhancement of the human-animal bond.

Vermont has one of the largest per capita rates of pet ownership in the country, with over 70% of Vermonters owning one or more pet. In the past year, VHF has donated thousands of pounds of pet food with the goal of keeping pets with their families. While the pandemic’s most dire conditions have thankfully subsided, there is still significant need for pet food and basic supplies. VHF animal shelters have also expanded efforts to help pet owners struggling to provide adequate care for their companion animals. These initiatives aimed at under-resourced clients provide parasite preventatives, affordable pet wellness care, and low-cost spay/neuter services. Finally, Vermont has a poorly resourced system for investigating complaints of animal cruelty. A recent law, supported by VHF, would take a first step towards improving this system by requiring training for those who investigate complaints of cruelty. VHF is eager to ensure this training is widely accessible.

This grant would support three critical initiatives benefiting animals in Vermont: immediate delivery of food and supplies to pets, expansion of affordable wellness services to more pet households, and the creation of a uniform training program for investigators of animal cruelty. The grant would allow VHF to continue offering free pet food via pantries at local animal shelters and donations to community food banks. It would allow hundreds of additional families to obtain affordable wellness services for their pets, furthering the goal of keeping pets with their families and preventing avoidable surrenders. And the grant would allow VHF to underwrite the cost of attendance at animal cruelty training classes, ensuring the largest number of people are properly trained to identify and stop animal abuse. As a statewide network of animal welfare organizations, VHF is well-positioned to understand the needs of Vermont and allocate funding to help the most animals possible.

Through this grant, VHF would be well-positioned to provide statewide support for multiple services (food assistance, low-cost wellness programs, and animal cruelty investigations training) that are incredibly important for Vermont’s pets and their caregivers. We would be able to continue to provide immediate food assistance to pets, expand access to new health care services with a proven record of keeping pets in homes, and invest in animal cruelty enforcement trainings that save animals from mistreatment. For a small state like Vermont, this money would be transformative, prompting structural improvements in the services available to pets and bringing a much-needed consistency to the enforcement of animal cruelty laws. This funding will help Vermont chart a profoundly improved course for animal welfare, and VHF is eager to ensure all of the grant money is focused on achieving this objective.