Michelson Found Animals believes that everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status, deserves the right to the joy of pets. And with COVID-19 impacting all of our lives, many in our community are looking for the comfort they bring and the supplies to care for them.
Better Neighbor Project is MFA’s initiative serving LA’s vulnerable communities. We recognize homelessness is a complex issue, so we enter this space through partnerships with specialized human service organizations that help us create additive, collaborative programs. Our partners include Handle With Care, HEART LA, Inner City Law Center, The Giving Spirit, Downtown Dog Rescue, Home Dog LA, The Rescue Train.
Last week, we stood with the City of Los Angeles as it opened emergency shelter locations throughout the city. Better Neighbor Project activated immediately and partnered with Best Friends LA to help make many of those locations supportive of pets as well.
We equipped locations with pet supplies including crates, dog and cat food, collars, and leashes to help keep pets with their owners. The supplies were provided through a joint effort between our MFA’s Los Angeles Adopt & Shop employees and various generous donors and volunteers.
Adopt & Shop Employee Nicole Attaie concisely summarized the importance of supporting our homeless community’s pets. “These pets and pet owners rely on each other for companionship, especially in times like these”, she says.
And it’s true! The human-animal bond is powerful. In fact, research from HABRI (Human Animal Bond Research Institute) has found that pets help alleviate stress, fight depression, improve our physical fitness, and facilitate healing and resiliency. Given the stress COVID-19 has imposed on our communities, we feel it especially important now to support people and pets staying together.