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Meet the Lincoln Animal Ambassadors

By on June 27, 2017
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Almost 80 million households in the United States own a pet. Animals are clearly important to people. Why then do we allow millions of them to be killed annually in our shelters? Trying to save them all can feel overwhelming but we can still all do something. Fostering and/or adopting is a great start, but we also need to address the reasons that animals are being brought to shelters. Lincoln Animal Ambassadors (LAA) does this with its low-cost spay/neuter program, pet food bank, and public education efforts.

“Of course, no one group can do everything,” says Allison Hunter-Frederick, media chair of the group, “and so I also love that Lincoln Animal Ambassadors gives tribute to and works with other organizations that are helping animals. Together we can better the lives of animals forever.”

Recently, Pets in Omaha and the Lincoln Animal Ambassadors (LAA) worked together to talk about the causes of animal homelessness, how to involve the community, and on growing education and awareness for important animal issues. And as we know not everyone is familiar with LAA, here’s a get-to-know-you post that includes much of their story from their website and people. Enjoy!

Lincoln Animal Ambassadors is a local animal welfare group. Its mission and actions are like rescues and shelters, but lies somewhere in between. They don’t rescue dogs from puppy mills or high-kill shelters. They don’t rehabilitate emaciated pets. They don’t offer adorable puppies and kittens for adoption. What Lincoln Animal Ambassadors provides are essential services to the Lancaster County pet community as part of its mission to “address the root cause of animal homelessness.”

While LAA had impacted many in Lancaster County, Hunter-Frederick says, Lincoln Animal Ambassadors’ greatest impact has been in addressing the root cause of pet homelessness. “Millions of animals end up in shelters each year where they are often euthanized. One of the best ways to reduce pet overpopulation is to prevent the birth of unwanted animals in the first place,” she says. “Another way is to help struggling pet owners so that they can afford to keep their pets. We accomplish these goals through our pet food bank and spay neuter programs, and by sponsoring a low-cost vaccination clinic each month. By working with people one-on-one, we also educate people to be better pet guardians.”

One service offered by LAA is a low-cost spay/neuter program for those residing in Lancaster County who are unable to pay the full cost of altering their pet. Spaying and neutering is one of the best ways to curb pet overpopulation. And when one looks at the numbers, we clearly have an issue. To cite just two stats: 2.4 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year as a result of overpopulation. In addition, there are estimated 70 million homeless dogs and cats. By making spay/neuter more affordable, LAA makes these benefits more accessible. LAA has facilitated more than 2,600 spay/neuter procedures.

To have your name added to the low cost spay/neuter program wait list, complete the form at LAA’s website or leave a message at 402-817-1168. A LAA volunteer will return your call. The amount you’ll pay to have your pet spayed/neutered will depend on what you can afford. The difference is covered by donations, fundraisers, and grants.

Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Application

And here are some Spay/Neuter article seen on the LAA website:

SPAY/NEUTER ARTICLES

 

“Since Lincoln Animal Ambassadors was founded, we’ve grown to the point of distributing monthly approximately 3,000 lbs. of dry food, 1,500 cans of wet food, and 545 pounds of cat litter,” Hunter-Frederick says. “In 2016, we helped 403 families. That’s 403 families that have been able to stay together!” The pet food bank is for those residing in Lancaster County who are in need of temporary help in caring for their pets. This service helps provide relief to the emotional stress of owners who aren’t able to provide for their pets. It also reduces the number of pets that end up being taken to already overcrowded shelters. One study ranked cost as the fourth most common reason for pet relinquishment. In addition, numerous pet food bank sites cite this startling statistic: financial hardship accounts for approximately 25% of the pets that are surrendered to shelters.

LAA's new food bank

LAA’s new food bank

How can you take advantage of LAA’s pet food bank program? To have your name added to the pet food program, complete the form at LAA’s website or leave a message at 402-817-1168. You’ll need to agree to participate in LAA’s low-cost spay/neuter program if your pet(s) are unaltered, as well as showing proof of financial need. LAA’s Pet Food Pickup location is 4640 Bair Avenue. The food bank is supported solely by donations, fundraisers, and grants.

Pet Food Bank Application

Another service offered by LAA is a low-cost shot clinic. This service helps brings affordable pet care to families. Although offerings vary based on location, options for care might include vaccinations and heartworm and flea prevention. Vaccinations are essential for protecting pets from contagious diseases. Preventing heartworm and fleas is easier than treatment after the fact, and according to the American Heartworm Association “prevention is the only means of protecting cats from the effects of heartworm disease.”

How can you take advantage of LAA’s low-cost shot clinic? Clinic locations, hours, and offerings are listed at LAA’s website. No appointments are necessary. No exam fees are charged. Some of the clinics provide free health check for any pets that receive vaccinations and offer reduced costs for other services, such as allergy shots, ear cleaning, nail trimming, and expressing of anal glands.

Low-Cost Shot Clinics

 

The final service of LAA is education. LAA is committed to “creating positive change for local companion animals, and we firmly believe that change comes through education.” As such, LAA offers both presentations and educational materials on responsible pet ownership, basic behavior training, the importance and benefits of spay/neuter, and other topics. On a weekly basis, you can also find informative and human interest articles right here at LAA Pet Talk.

 

Thanks to Alison Hunter-Frederick of LAA for writing the majority of what’s seen above. If you are a Lancaster resident or are looking for other great pet advocacy programs to help, LAA is surely a noble endeavor worth your attention.

 

 

About Eric Forrest

Eric is a pet lover, bookworm and dad. He's had 5 family dogs, 4 cats, a cottontail rabbit he nursed back to health, and two ducks. Cats are his preference, but Eric loves all little critters.

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