Thanks to a transformative grant from PetSmart Charities, Michigan Humane is partnering with community organizer Letty Azar to improve the lives of pets and people in Detroit’s Warrendale neighborhood. Since February of this year, Letty has been going into the community to build relationships and begin assessing residents’ needs. In her time in the community so far, Letty has begun a monthly pet food distribution as a temporary arm of our Judith Caplan Phillips Pet Pantry, in addition to conducting the door to door outreach in partnership with various community members including block club sponsors and the Detroit Fire Department.

All of this outreach being done is the first step in learning what the Warrendale community needs to be a healthy community of successful pet owners. To that end, Letty has been collecting survey responses, assessing both pet needs and human needs. Of approximately 500 survey responses so far, the most notable feedback is a lack of affordable veterinary care, and availability of affordable pet food and supplies.

There is also great interest in opportunities for classes on training dogs, building dog shelters and general access to affordable care or transportation service to Michigan Humane’s Detroit clinic.  We’ve learned that biggest demand for human health needs are hygiene supplies, diapers, and household cleaning assistance. Medical care for residents is provided at low or no cost at several clinics in the area and the community is well supported in that regard.

We plan to survey a total of 3000 residents before Letty wraps up this initial outreach stage. Once we finish information gathering, our next steps will be taking what we learn and developing it in order to pursue funding for partnerships that will allow us to provide the community the resources they need, and are asking for. We’re excited by the work Letty has been doing, and look forward to continuing to share her progress keeping families together in Warrendale!

Thanks to PetSmart Charities for providing the grant to support this program.

Photo Credit: Letty Azar, Michigan Humane

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