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When the Healthy Paws Foundation made its first donation of $250 to the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and a few other charities that help homeless pets in 2013, we could not have imagined what it would grow to become.
Today, we are celebrating the foundation reaching $1 million – a big number that has contributed to many small acts across the country to save homeless pets by providing funding for medicine, food, shelter, and operating costs at pet rescues and animal shelters. Cash grants have gone to 300 non-profit pet organizations since the foundation started in 2009.
Given that Healthy Paws was founded based on our compassion for animals, and our passion to assure a better life for all animals, this milestone is as weighty as any the company has celebrated.
Last year alone, the foundation distributed $377,525 in grants, up from just $11,250 in 2013, the first year money was distributed.
The Healthy Paws charitable arm has supported deserving groups that run the gamut and are all over the U.S. – some are breed-specific rescues, some specialize in pets that are scheduled for euthanasia and others focus on veterinary care or spay/neuter programs.
In just one recent example, PoundHounds ResQ in New York used a Healthy Paws foundation grant to save several senior pets that were slated for euthanasia in the city’s overwhelmed public shelter system.
“Thanks to Healthy Paws, we had the funds to vet these dogs and place them in homes that will care for them. As you can imagine, taking on seniors is a major undertaking and we feel these seniors need to be in a home and not a shelter,” said Donna, a representative of the shelter.
How is the money distributed?
A board of directors decides on a few big donations every year. These include shelters and organizations that help with overall animal welfare such as groups responding to natural disasters, pet pantries, the Human Animal Bond Research Institute and Pawsitive Alliance, a Washington state organization that coordinates adoption, spay/neuter, and pet retention programs. Healthy Paws employees participate in choosing which nonprofits receive funding throughout the year.
In 2017, we started a campaign called the Rescue Race to give the public a say in which shelters and rescue organizations receive grants. Nonprofits apply to be in the “race” and we ask our customers to vote on six organizations who are eligible for grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000.
Each organization shares a story of how one of their pets were adopted, along with their mission to save more homeless pets, and then people vote for their favorite. Organizations can share on social media, getting their fans and community to vote for them online. All the eligible charities who apply receive at least $1,000 for their efforts. Some of the most recent recipients are featured here.
Who is eligible to receive a grant?
All organizations must be registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit and be dedicated to the cause of helping homeless companion animals, whether it be housing them, providing food and life-saving vaccines, spay/neuter surgeries or medical treatments. Shelters must be no-kill and have a website or social media presence to be eligible for funding.
When distributing the grants, we aim for geographical diversity across the U.S.
Any qualified organization can be considered for the next Healthy Paws Rescue Race by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org with its website and a monitored email address.
Where does the money come from?
The foundation is funded in two ways:
- Through the Every Quote Gives Hope™ program, where the simple act of getting a free pet insurance quote from Healthy Paws results in a donation to the foundation.
- Through the Refer-A-Friend program, where for every completed referral, we donate $25 to the foundation.
Foundation donations by the year
*Featured image of Bella, a rescue dog with her puppies at Bulldog Haven, a Rescue Race grant recipient.