Giving Animals a Second Chance at Happiness
In Cincinnati, Ohio dogs and cats have a voice and a powerful force in Shannon DeBra. After volunteering at a Kentucky animal shelter in which many animals were euthanized because they couldn find suitable homes, Shannon discovered she had found her mission in life. She became a very active volunteer at the shelter, and as a result, the number of adoptions increased dramatically.
Taking her experience at the shelter as a microcosm for similar situations at other local rescue centers, Shannon next looked to address the problem of space and housing for homeless animals while they waited to be adopted. Her solution? Shannon created her own nonprofit rescue shelter called Recycled Doggies.
Shannon immediately discovered another issues to be addressed: the fact that most animals become homeless because their families can no longer afford to take care of them. Again, Shannon, undetered, simply created a solution. Her second nonprofit, the Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry, offers temporary food assistance to pet owners, with the goal of them keeping their pets as opposed to turning them loose or taking them to shelters. Currently the pet food pantry is assisting 140 families with keeping their pets.
In addition to taking care of the dogs in her rescue shelter and launching the pet food pantry, Shannon still spends countless hours helping dogs and cats at various other shelters by getting the word out about their urgent need for rescue.
Shannon is working tirelessly to make the lives of shelter animals better one animal at a time, and people within the commuity are taking notice. They are now engaged in the issue and are talking about how poverty and the economic downturn impact pets and pet owners. People are donating money, food and cat litter. The outpouring of support and the overwhelmingly positive community and media response has been heartwarming for Shannon to experience.
Shannon’s longer-term goal is to open a special veterinary clinic in the Cincinnati area whose focus will be to assist people whose pet has been diagnosed with a costly illness or injury with treatment in order to prevent the pet from being euthanized or surrendered to a shelter.