Saving Sunny: Helping Pets and their People

May 12, 2014  

saving sunny

Saving Sunny was founded in early 2010 in order to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home animal victims of criminal abuse, neglect, and those in danger of euthanasia. We’re a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that began as a foster-rescue organization predominantly made up of pit bull terrier dogs and the like. For several years we continued to develop amazing foster homes and adopt out pit bull terriers into all sects of Louisville, Kentucky, while providing assistance to our local shelter with the rehabilitation of dogs coming from terribly unfortunate situations. Pretty soon, our sidewalks were blanketed with amazing pit bull terriers living in wonderful homes, yet our shelter was still full of PBT’s, and, well, dogs in general! The flow of dogs going into the municipal shelter was still huge despite our efforts to change the minds of the public about our favorite blockheads.

saving sunny 2Over the past year, our organization has gone through an amazing evolution thanks to our immersion into the low-income communities of our city and a fantastic partnership with Best Friends Animal Society. We discovered what a monumental difference we can make when we start focusing on how to help PEOPLE keep pets in their homes, rather than plugging the hole of a sinking ship at the other end. Why not help stop the flow of animals INTO the shelter so that they never end up there in the first place? Why not help people who are struggling by providing them the basic resources that they need, allowing them to keep their beloved companions in their homes? There are many basic resources that, when unattainable, prevent people from being able to properly care for their pets, and in turn, loving pet owners end up relinquishing their pets to the shelter. These resources include, but aren’t limited to food, proper vet care and licensing required by the city, leashes/collars, behavior support, transportation, and spay/neuter.

Our Community Dog Resource Center, opening later this month, will provide all of these resources to pet owners, and more. Providing these individuals with the support they need is often times the first step to breaking a socioeconomic barrier and beginning a dialogue that develops community partnerships, trust, and leadership. Everyone wants to live in a safer community, and a compassionate community, at that. We believe that our CDRC will be a stepping stone to breaking that barrier for people and their pets in the West End of Louisville.

saving sunny 3We have discovered that you simply cannot help pets without helping their people first. Education and advocacy in our community for pit bull terriers, and dogs in general, starts with their owners. If we leave the judgment behind and work to advocate for people who do love their animals, but are simply struggling, we can have a huge impact on the number of dogs going into the shelter. We hope to see a drastic change in the statistics regarding owner-surrendered animals from Portland, a community of West Louisville, thanks to our Community Dog Resource Center (CDRC) within the next three years. We also hope to inspire community leaders in Portland to take a specific interest in this program and recruit folks to get involved, so that we can spread our program to other low-income communities in and around Louisville. All of this could not be possible without our grant from Best Friends Animal Society, and more specifically the Pit Bull Terrier Initiative.

More information regarding the Community Dog Resource Center can be found on our website and make sure you follow our Facebook page for daily updates. Our grand opening will by on May 17th so stay tuned!


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