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California Animal Welfare Funders Collaborative awards nearly $300,000 in grants to animal shelters across the state

27 California organizations will receive funding to improve dog and cat lifesaving in their communities

Los Angeles, CA – California Animal Welfare Funders Collaborative (CAWFC) recently awarded nearly $300,000 in grants to 27 organizations to make the largest possible impact for homeless pets across the state.

“Last year was an untraditional year in our state’s animal shelters. By taking our COVID-19 operating learnings and applying them to our ‘new normal’, we’re seeing services improving for both the people and pets in our communities across California. CAWFC is honored to provide funding to help make those operational pivots a new reality,” said Kaylee Hawkins. Pacific Region Director for Best Friends Animal Society.


Kaylee Hawkins, Best Friends Animal Society Regional Director
Kaylee Hawkins, Image courtesy of Best Friends Animal Society


CAWFC, a unique model of funders pulling their dollars together, includes the Annenberg Foundation with support from Wallis Annenberg PetSpace, Best Friends Animal Society, Maddie’s Fund®, and Michelson Found Animals Foundation.

This collaboration has provided a tremendous opportunity for the funding organizations to come together and collectively make a larger impact than we would individually,” said Shelly Thompson, Maddie’s Fund Director of Operations. “Maddie’s Fund is proud to support animal shelters and rescue organizations who are making a difference for animals and the people who love them in California”.


Shelley Thompson, Maddie's Fund
Shelley Thompson, Maddie’s Fund


Like it did in 2020, the first CAWFC granting year, the group focused on organizations in California who demonstrated a desire to preserve the human-animal bond through either launching or improving upon services or programs to help keep pets and people together or improving lifesaving outcomes for dogs and cats in our state’s animal shelters. The funding cycle will start in July 2021 and end in June 2022.

“It is exciting to build on the momentum of CAWFC’s inaugural year,” said Courtney Stone, Animal Care Manager at Annenberg PetSpace. “As shelters and rescues across the state continue to face unique challenges due to COVID-19, we are proud to collaborate with our fellow funders to increase our impact and support these organizations who are committed to helping both animals and pet parents in need.”


Courtney Stone, Annenberg PetSpace Animal Care Manager
Courtney Stone, Annenberg Petspace


Close to $56,000 in grants were given to Southern California organizations. This included:

  • $20,000 for spay/neuter to County of San Diego Department of Animal Services
  • $10,000 for community cat programming to Westminster Animal Control
  • $10,000 to Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control for pet deposits for housing
  • $3,761 to Los Angeles Animal Services for microchips, collars, and tags
  • $5,000 to Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center for kitten foster program supplies
  • $5,000 for animal enrichment and training to Burbank Animal Shelter
  • $1,500 to City of Perris Animal Control Development Services Department for microchips

More than $123,000 in grants were given to organizations in the Central/San Joaquin Valleys, which is a high priority region for increased lifesaving. Grants include:

  • $5,000 to Kern County Animal Services for owner reclaim fee assistance
  • $6,500 to McFarland Animal Shelter for microchips, spay/neuter, and owner reclaim assistance.
  • $5,000 to Kings County Animal Services for microchips
  • $15,000 to Animal Compassion Team in Fresno for shelter behavior programs for shy dogs
  • $40,000 to Fresno Humane Animal Services for peer-to-peer programs
  • $19,240 to Madera County Animal services for technology programming, microchips, and outreach supplies.
  • $7,500 to Stanislaus Animal Services for microchips
  • $25,000 to City of Tracy Animal Services for dog transfer and community cat programs

Grants totaled more than $48,000 for the Central Coast/Bay Area, including:

  • $6,292 to Monterey County Animal Services for animal control officer supplies
  • $10,000 to San Mateo County Animal Control and Licensing for vet services for targeted pet owners
  • $10,000 to Pets in Need in Redwood City for vet services for targeted pet owners
  • $6,800 to County of Santa Clara Animal Services for identification supplies
  • $4,990 to Valley Humane Society in Pleasanton for staff training

Close to $65,000 in grants were awarded to Northern California organizations, including:

  • $15,000 to City of Sacramento Front Street Animal Shelter for community kitten to-go kits and owner assistance supplies.
  • $3,000 to FieldHaven Feline Center in Lincoln for microchips and scanners
  • $5,000 to Town of Truckee Animal Services for microchips
  • $5,417 to Tehama Animal Services for identification tags and microchips
  • $10,000 to City of Chico Animal Shelter for behavior support for at-risk dogs
  • $25,000 to Siskiyou Humane Society for vet services for targeted pet owners


Brett Yates, CEO Michelson Found Animals
Brett Yates, CEO Michelson Found Animals


“Collaboration among some of the largest funders in the country has led to development of some incredible lifesaving programs and innovative ways to move the industry forward,” said Brett Yates, CEO of Michelson Found Animals Foundation. “As a collective we are able to fund more conceptual programs that challenge the status quo so we can change the trajectory of life saving throughout the country.”

About Annenberg Foundation and Wallis Annenberg PetSpace

The Annenberg Foundation is a family foundation focused on addressing the critical issues of our time through innovation, community, compassion, and communications for more than 30 years. Since 1989, it has funded programs in education and youth development; civic and community life; equity and social justice; health and human services; animal services and the environment; and arts, culture, and humanities. To learn more about the Annenberg Foundation and its various initiatives, click here.

Wallis Annenberg PetSpace is a unique community space featuring an interactive place for pet adoptions, an education center, and an academic leadership institute. The mission of Annenberg PetSpace is to strengthen and promote the human-animal bond. Learn more at

 About Best Friends Animal Society

Moose and Becca at Best Friend's Animal Society
Moose and Becca: photo courtesy of

Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to around 347,000. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs all across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 3,300 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit

About Maddie’s Fund

Maddies Fund CAWFC

Maddie’s Fund® is a family foundation established in 1994 by Dave and Cheryl Duffield and is the fulfillment of a promise to their inspirational dog, Maddie. She provided them much joy from 1987 – 1997 and continues to inspire them today.

The Foundation has awarded nearly $250 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, pioneering shelter medicine education and establishing foster care as a standard across the U.S.

Maddie’s Fund proudly offers the industry a national voice, important funding opportunities for bold ideas, learning resources and access to collaborate and share innovative solutions. The Foundation invests its resources in a commitment to keeping pets and people together, creating a safety net of care for animals in need and operating within a culture of inclusiveness and humility. #ThanksToMaddie

 About Michelson Found Animals Foundation

Michelson Found Animals Foundation is a leading animal welfare nonprofit that believes people and pets are better together. Generously funded by Dr. Gary Michelson and Alya Michelson, Found Animals operates a range of social enterprises, impact investments, strategic partnerships, and thought leadership initiatives that share a common goal: to champion pets at every point they intersect with our society. Found Animals has helped more than 5 million pets since it was founded in 2005.