Over 600 Pets & Their Families Served at Michelson Found Animals’ Third Pet Wellness Day
Better Neighbor Project Continues to Support Underserved Communities During COVID-19
In partnership with local organizations, elected officials, animal welfare partners, celebrities, volunteers, and more, the Better Neighbor Project proudly hosted its third Pet Wellness Day on Saturday, October 17. This event is part of Michelson Found Animals Foundation’s (MFA) Better Neighbor Project, an initiative to support underserved communities and their pets. MFA believes that everyone in our community, regardless of socioeconomic status, deserves the right to have the joy of pets.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of communities experiencing housing and food insecurity has drastically increased. With two of every three families owning a pet and considering a pet an important part of their family, pet food insecurity has become a growing challenge. After seeing the positive reception of similar pet pantry events in other Los Angeles communities like Koreatown and Boyle Heights, the goal was to identify other underserved communities across Los Angeles that would benefit the most.
That’s why on this occasion, MFA partners with Anthony Rendon, speaker of the California State Assembly, the Southeast Rio Vista YMCA, and The Cesar Millan Foundation to directly support the community of Maywood, California. While being known as a diverse community with award-winning cuisine, Maywood also is a community in need. Community members and their pets were lined up around the block a full hour before the event started, further demonstrating the struggles they all share.
“Folks in this community have a lot of needs, there’s a tremendous lack of resources.” said Rendon. “We have done a lot of amazing work together with Michelson Found Animals. All you have to do is look around the event today to see what the organization means to me and our community. You see the sense of community today and we need that today more than ever.”
Together we provided over 600 pets and their families in need with wellness, hygiene, services, and pet food at our third Pet Wellness Day.
Community members received treatment and services thanks to our wonderful partners Home Dog LA, Bark Avenue Foundation, Little Lion Foundation, Spay-4-LA, and The Pawlor. Together, they offered microchipping, vaccinations, wellness assessments, flea treatments, ear cleaning, teeth brushing, hair trimming, fur brushing, pet food pantry, surrender prevention services, and other resources. Any one of these complimentary services can mean all the difference to a pet or family in need.
Arlen, a member of the Maywood community expressed her gratitude, “Thank you for bringing this event to our community. We sometimes have to choose what we are going to buy, and our dogs are going to suffer if they get sick. So it helps to have these services available to the community.” She also explains how receiving these complimentary services affects more than just their pets, saying, “If I keep Nova (her dog) healthy, it keeps my kids healthy.” This is a sentiment that is also proven by science. Research shows that there are many benefits to the human-animal bond, including reducing anxiety and stress, increasing physical activity, and promoting healthier habits in families.
MFA prides itself in providing support to community members like Arlen, Maywood, and similar communities in need around Los Angeles. As our founder, Dr. Gary K. Michelson says, “It’s important that we care for our neighbors. If the people around you are not okay, [then] you are not okay. You see everyone here today cares for their pets. Pets are family members. People love their animals.”
Since launching the Better Neighbor Project pet wellness events in May, Michelson Found Animals has helped 7,500 pets and their families. For more information on upcoming community events and to find resources near you, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or go to betterneighborla.org for updates.