Karma Rescue received a $20,000 People and Pets Together Grant which will primarily be used to support Project Coco, an outreach program that offers support to dog owners who are in need. Photo Courtesy of Karma Rescue

Karma Rescue receives $20,000 grant to keep pets and families together

By Kamala Kirk

Animal Farm Foundation recently announced a $20,000 People and Pets Together Grant to Karma Rescue, a Santa Monica-based organization that provides education and advocacy to support pet retention. Animal Farm Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending breed restrictions and discrimination and moving communities forward.

The grant will primarily be used to support Project Coco, Karma Rescue’s outreach program that offers support to dog owners in need. Volunteers for the program bring food, help reinforce fences, build shelters and educate owners who need help in hard times. The project also helps pay for veterinary expenses – with the goal of keeping dogs out of shelters and in their homes.

“We found that we might rescue five dogs from the shelter, but the next week there would be seven more,” said Rande Levine, president of Karma Rescue. “And while there were a number of organizations in our area working on adoption, there was less focus on keeping dogs in their homes. It became clear that we needed to transition our energy and resources to pet retention. Due to the pandemic, there is even more of a need now for this kind of service. This grant from Animal Farm Foundation will help us meet that need, and cope with the exponentially higher costs of veterinary care and other rising expenses.”

Levine launched Karma Rescue in 2003 after years of volunteering at shelters. The organization initially focused on rescuing dogs referred to as “pit bulls” from shelters and finding them adoptive homes.

“Karma Rescue shares our philosophy that you have to address the underlying racism and classism in communities if you want to keep people and pets together,” said Stacey Coleman, executive director of Animal Farm Foundation. “We are proud to support their approach to this work, which encompasses everything from covering vet bills to hands-on help, as well as education.”

Animal Farm Foundation’s People and Pets Together Grant provides funds for services and policies that incorporate co-occurring animal and human support with the aim of reducing barriers to pet-retention. Those interested in applying for a grant should visit animalfarmfoundation.org/grants for more information.

“Most people truly love their pets and are in serious desperation when they bring them to a shelter,” Levine said. “They believe that the shelter will help their animal find a new home but, sadly, that is not always possible. We must do everything in our power to keep pets with their people and stop them from getting to the shelter door.”

Animal Farm Foundation
Karma Rescue