Each month, Thurston Community Media (TCMedia)’s Mission Nonprofit connects with local organizations and agencies that are making positive impacts in our communities. This month, Mission Nonprofit host Robert Kam sat down with Cella Hyde, outreach development and coordinator for Concern for Animals.
Since 1980, Concern for Animals has been fulfilling their mission “To assist those struggling financially with pets in need of food, medical care, and spay/neuter procedures, and to promote the welfare of all animals.” They support pet owners in Thurston, Mason and Lewis counties with their welfare programs.
Services include low-cost spay and neuter vouchers, emergency medical care (not including routine office visits, vaccines or rabies/feline leukemia testing), and a pet food bank. They help with ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs as well as dogs and cats. Cella says anyone who is low-income, a senior receiving state benefits or full-time student can apply for aid with them.
“The easiest way to see if you qualify and to get the vouchers sent to your vet is you just give us a call,” Cella explains. “One of our volunteers or staff member will return your call if you leave a message…and then we work with you. If you qualify, we send the voucher directly to your vet and they apply it towards your bill.”
While most of their grants are not for any type of routine care, they do have senior grants that offer money for anything senior pet owners need help with, including grooming.
The pet food bank, usually open on Tuesdays every week, is currently by appointment only due to COVID-19. “If you are in the low-income bracket or have lost wages due to COVID,” Cella explains, “you can call us, set up an appointment and we’ll supply you with food for your cat, dog, we have supplies for birds, lizards, and small animals like ferrets and guinea pigs.” They have treats, as well as supplies like leashes, harnesses, and more. “We try to give everything a pet might need, including the enrichment things like toys and treats,” she adds.
Concern for Animals accepts donations to help feel these needs for their food bank. Any food in its original package, even if it’s been opened, they will take. Donations of supplies like those listed above, are welcomed as well. Call before you make your donation. They have a contactless donation system currently.
Looking for a kitty? They have a unique adoption program where they take feral cats and kittens off the streets, time them and get them used to life inside a home and then adopt them out. “We do about 65 adoptions a year of feral kittens,” says Cella. The adult cats get spayed and neutered and are then released again to help lower the reproduction rate in the cat colonies.
A lot of their services are funded through grants that Concern for Animals applies for constantly. They regularly look for new grants to help expand the services they can offer. They also accept private donations.
This year’s Toast for Tails, their main fundraiser, is going virtual! You can sign up to attend and bid, as well as donate auction items. The event is happening November 14, with the silent auction bidding taking place November 9-14. “With more people than ever needing assistance, everything helps,” Cella says.
Another way you can help is by volunteer. They need volunteers for a range of positions from helping with the kittens to answering phone calls. You can contact them to find out more about volunteer opportunities by calling 360-515-0820 or emailing Gina at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, watch the full video and visit the Concern for Animals website.
You can watch Mission Nonprofit on channel 77 on Sundays at 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m., Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. You can also watch on TCMedia.org, Video On-Demand or our Roku channel. To learn more about what TCMedia does, visit the Thuston Community Media YouTube channel or the TC Media website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.