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Making Re-homing Dogs Their Business

Just ask Jean Mahoney, who started Pets In Need with a group of like-minded friends about 50 years ago. Their goal was to save the lives of animals in shelters near their home in Redwood City by getting any lost pets back to their homes when they had strayed, and placing abandoned critters with new and loving families for a second chance when appropriate. Pets In Need has helped save more than 25,000 animals—25,000 good reasons for Shelter Zone to catch up with the organization this month to report on how Pets In Need continues to grow and expand its mission. Thanks to Alexandra Baggs, the development and marketing manager of the no-kill shelter, for submitting the Pets in Need story.

Someone else who makes the difficult task of re-homing dogs seem ever so simple is Christine del Ponte of The Tiny Pitbull, an innovative rescue group in Sonoma County. Thanks largely to a dog named Tilly who needed to be a household’s only dog, del Ponte put proper housing, handling, customer service, and promotion—big emphasis on promotion—together to better place dogs like Tilly with foster and forever families. Brigid Wasson of The Path Ahead Animal Shelter Consulting talks to del Ponte about how she got started, figured out the power of individual dog promotion, and developed cooperative relationships with partnering shelter and rescue organizations to help dogs in need of homes appear in their most advantageous states.

Del Ponte has encouraging words for those who may want to follow her lead on the always tough but deeply rewarding job of matching pets with new owners. The nugget sort of boils down to never underestimating the power of one: Start doing what you can today. You never know what will change your life.