Pet Assistance Network
Our Mission: Pet Assistance Network is dedicated to keeping pets in their loving homes, thereby reducing the number of homeless pets being surrendered to local Metro Nashville-Davidson County shelters and rescue groups. Concurrently, our work will free up space for these agencies to rescue and adopt out other pets which would have otherwise been killed due to shelter overcrowding. Additionally, by helping individuals keep their pets, less will be abandoned to roam as strays or to form feral colonies for survival, which will improve community health and safety.
A Proven Need: More than 10,000 Metro Nashville-Davidson County pets were displaced in 2017. Metro Animal Care and Control (MACC) reported that 2,053 pets were surrendered to their shelter by their owners. They took in another 3,733 stray/at large pets last year with only 1,207 of these being returned to their owners. This resulted in a total of 4,579 homeless pets passing through MACC. Nashville Humane Association states on their website that they re-home more than 4,020 pets each year for a total of AT LEAST 8,600 animals passing through these two shelters alone. Add to this figure, all of the countless pets being rehomed by their owners via Craigslist and social media, as well as the dozens of other animal rescue agencies in our community. We conservatively estimate at least 10,000 displaced pets in Nashville each year.
One of the most common reasons cited by surrendering pet owners is that they can no longer afford to properly care for them. By offering a helping hand to these pet owners, we feel that we will be able to assist them in getting over their financial hump, and keeping pets in a loving home.
There is currently only one small and extremely limited community pet food bank program in Davidson County. While they are meeting some need, Nashville Humane Association’s Darcy Lashinsky Memorial Food Bank does not adequately meet the needs of our community for some of the following reasons:
· They only provide assistance to those families already receiving government assistance.
· They only distribute food 2 times per month for only a 2 hour window per distribution.
· They only distribute 3-5lb bags of food per family per month, which only provides a few days’ worth of food.
Pet Assistance Network intends to have a less restrictive qualification requirement which will enable families in transitional periods to get through rough patches with their entire family being properly cared for. We also plan to distribute per pet…this will enable us to provide enough pet food and supplies to keep each pet we help fed and cared for over a longer period of time, requiring less frequent distributions to the same families. This will also make it easier for families with limited (or no) means of transportation to have access to our program. And, for most people, asking for help is difficult, and these less restrictive qualifications will alleviate the stress associated with frequent distributions, while also allowing us to conserve time and volunteer resources to service more people over a larger area of Davidson County. Swallowing ones pride can be difficult enough, so we wish to be conscientious of how this can affect people who struggle to ask for help. We want everyone to feel comfortable utilizing our program without feeling that they are being judged.
Initial distributions will obviously be limited to how much funding we can raise through public non-tax-deductible donations, until we can secure IRS 501c3 tax-exempt status. Once we have our tax-exempt status from the IRS, we plan to reach out to corporations and pet food manufacturing companies for more sizable donations of funds and food. We will also be able to pursue more effective fundraising strategies.
Once we are at a fully operational status, we estimate that we will be able to help hundreds of families each month, which will drastically and noticeably reduce the number of pets being surrendered to local shelters and rescue groups.
Our Community Pet Food Pantry will be the flagship program of our mission. Once we have this program established and running smoothly, we can begin expanding our operation to include additional programs to meet the varying needs of struggling pet owners. In the meantime, when the need arises, we will reach out to our network of fellow animal welfare organizations who are already providing services for vet care assistance, low-cost or free spay/neuter surgeries, housing assistance, short-term fostering, re-homing, etc.
We'll be adjusting our fundraising goal as we work through each phase of setting up our charitable organization and the pet food pantry. Due to the IRS' indeterminate waiting period for 501c3 charitable organization tax-exemption approval, we cannot guarantee that we will have this determination from the IRS before the end of 2018. Therefore, we must disclose that your donations may not be eligible for tax deductions at the end of this year. We do, however, guarantee that this is a 100% volunteer-run effort and 100% of the funds raised (less PayPal and bank fees) will go directly toward our mission as stated above.
If you would like to donate directly to us via PayPal using the "Friends and Family" feature, you can send your donation to our PayPal address: [email protected]
Or, you can mail checks to:
Pet Assistance Network
PO Box 92313
Nashville, TN 37209
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our supporters for the love of animals and their loving human companions you display with your selfless donations and moral support. God bless you all and thank you from the bottom of our hearts.