Carson-based nonprofit aids pets of homeless
It was a very good year for Feeding Pets of the Homeless, the founder and president of the Carson City-based nonprofit said in assessing 2012 progress.“This is a banner year for us,” said Genevieve Frederick, adding that the organization, also known as Pets of the Homeless, should do even better in 2013.“I’m sure of it,” she said in predicting additional growth as more people finding out about the group and its nationwide network to help dogs, cats or other pets of the homeless.Frederick, who founded the organization from her home in 2006 and grew it into a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in two years, said from her downtown office on South Division Street that new grants became a big plus in 2012 — especially grants that arrived without being requested.“I’m always looking for new grant opportunities,” she said. “This is the first year that we’ve received grant money that they’ve sent to us without our making an inquiry or application.” In part, Frederick attributed her banner 2012 to late-2011 publicity. She said an article in the October 2011 AARP Bulletin, which also went online digitally on AARP’s site in late September that year, helped things mushroom soon after. In 2012, she said, the organization obtained an estimated $450,000. That included $61,000 in grant money; more than $75,000 in donations from individuals; gifts of goods in kind, mostly pet food, valued at $294,000; another $5,000 in general services; and $9,000 attributed to professional fees, mostly from veterinarians.Since the organization went to nonprofit status officially in 2008, she said, it has spent more than $118,000 for veterinarian care and treated more than 7,600 pets across the nation.More than 440 voluntary collection sites have helped to distribute 176 tons of pet food, much of it going to dogs, she said, “but you’d be surprised at how many (homeless people) have cats.” The organization has 3,600 newsletter subscribers, is adding collection sites routinely and supplies extensive information on its multiple-page website at petsforthehomeless.com. She said the nonprofit strives to keep operational costs low and since 2008 has made certain almost 85 percent of money goes for programs.Frederick, who got started after seeing a homeless person with a pet while in New York City in 2006, found via research back then that perhaps 10 percent or more of the homeless have pets. One estimate she heard put the figure as high as 25 percent, she said, but added, “Who can tell?” Frederick said the organization on Jan. 22 will pair with veterinarian Dr. Michael Ford of Galena Veterinary Hospital and offer services, as well as do outreach, at the fifth annual Northern Nevada Project Homeless Connect at the Reno Events Center. “We’ll be at a tent outside the center,” she said, adding the organization plans similar activities in Carson City in the spring if the same kind of event is held in the state capital.