Six animal shelters in Santa Clara County have received a $1 million grant from an Alameda-based national pet rescue foundation for their combined efforts in saving thousands of healthy pets that otherwise might have been euthanized.
Maddie's Fund, a nonprofit with a $300 million endowment established by PeopleSoft and Workday founder David Duffield and his wife Cheryl in memory of their miniature schnauzer that died in 1997, awarded the $1.04 million this summer to the WeCARE (Community Alliance to Reduce Euthanasia) Coalition.
Since 1999, Maddie's Fund has distributed $118 million to groups in the U.S. to help create a "no-kill nation" for shelter pets.
But the group of six founding member shelters held off on making news of its Lifesaving Award grant public until Tuesday, when it was announced by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors who commended the group "for their dedication to the health and welfare of animals throughout the county."
In a statement, Maddie's Fund President Rich Avanzino said the nonprofit is "proud and thrilled to give a gift" to the alliance in recognition of "their outstanding accomplishments in saving all of Santa Clara County's healthy shelter pets for the past two years."
To qualify for the Lifesaving Awards, winners must have achieved and sustained an adoption guarantee for healthy shelter dogs and cats for at least two years and be able to demonstrate the ability to maintain that status
According to Maddie's Fund, the six South Bay alliance shelters were able to find homes for about 16,000 of almost 28,000 animals that were either dropped off at shelters or picked up as strays in 2010.
In 2011, the six shelters took in about 27,500 animals and were able to save about 18,000, Fund officials reported.
"We knew if we were able to achieve the goal of saving as many healthy animals as possible in Santa Clara County, we would be eligible," said Beth Ward, COO of the Humane Society Silicon Valley.
Ward also attributed the award to aggressive marketing efforts by each of the six shelters in pet adoption programs "to make sure that homeless animals find their way into loving homes."
Ward said some of the grant's funds will go to create improved links on each shelter's website to help pet owners locate lost pets. Other moneys will go to create programs to save animals that could be treated for certain sicknesses that might otherwise place the animals in jeopardy of being euthanized.
WeCARE members include the County of Santa Clara Animal Care and Control; San Jose Animal Care and Control; Humane Society Silicon Valley; Town Cats Rescue; Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority and Palo Alto Animal Services.
Contact Tracy Seipel at 408 275-0140.
San Jose Animal Care and Control: $370,000
Humane Society Silicon Valley: $250,000
Town Cats Rescue: $235,000
County of Santa Clara Animal Care and Control: $115,000
Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority: $45,000
Palo Alto Animal Services: $25,000
Source: Santa Clara County