When we started this project 2 years ago, we had an idea where rescues could be housed under the same roof, a co-working space. This would allow us to reduce overhead costs, enabling them to ready, hold, and adopt their dogs and cats from a shared facility. Foster homes are getting increasingly difficult to find and then, called it an animal overflow and support center. Since then, we have expanded on this project and renamed it.
Welcome to PATCHES:
PATCHES stands for Protecting Animals Through Community Housing, Education & Support. Let’s first discuss the first five letters of PATCHES.
This portion is the same as the original concept. This will allow participating rescues to short term house their animals at an affordable cost, ready them for adoption, and conduct adoptions from this facility. It also contains the amenities that rescues need, including a Veterinary practice on-site and a nursery for puppies, kittens and expectant mothers. Also, this facility will have a conference room to conduct training and meetings, a quarantine area, sick room, and a laundry room. A new addition to this portion is the ability to have the Facility Staff of trained Adoption Counselors to adopt out rescue animals using rescues standards for adoption, if the rescues ask us to do adoptions. Our adoption hours will be from 9 A.M. to 9 P.M. For an additional cost, we would offer the ability to care of their animals using facility personnel instead of the rescues’ volunteers. Participating rescues can enter the facility 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to care for their animals. This facility is the rescues’ adoption center. PATCHES’ responsibility will be to avoid pathogen transfer and ensure cleanliness to ensure it’s an environment where the public would like to come.
Maricopa County has rethought their position about transferring all business to the West shelter and has decided to open a shelter on the East side of the valley. They are repurposing a building on county land by Mesa Drive and Baseline Road. The only problem with doing this is they are not expanding the number of animals the current East Valley shelter now houses and does not address an expanding East Valley. There will be a need for intake of surrendered animals going forward since the current facilities are continually over capacity with just stray animals. PATCHES will answer this need by the public contacting the facility, giving us information about their need and about the animal, then the facility will broadcast this out to the rescues to see if they will take in the animal.
Also, all participating rescues will be on a governing committee, which would review practices and standards on a continuing basis. Each participating rescue will have the ability to cast one vote. We wish to make PATCHES an innovative incubator, making it a model for other communities as well.
Now, let’s talk about the ‘ES’ in PATCHES. The ‘E’ stands for Education. This is both Education to the public and to the rescues participating. Education to the public involves a series of PSAs through radio and television informing the public of the problems facing the community with solutions that they can use. Education to the participating rescues involve a wide range of topics that help them build their rescue and become more successful.
It’s time to discuss about the ‘S’, which stands for Support in PATCHES. The Support portion again falls to the Support of the rescues and the public. Support to the rescue can be sharing resources that we obtain with each other, finding temporary foster homes and volunteers for their organizations, using Social Media outreach programs.
The Support to the community involves three programs. The first program is the Senior to Senior program, or “Retiring Together” where we can match the senior animals to senior citizens at no cost to the senior citizens. This involves supplying them with food, medicine and necessary vet care for the older animals using public donations.
The second program is the Companion Animal Assistance Project, or CAPP, where the facility will help with medicine, Vet Care, and pet food so people can keep a companion animal in their home instead of surrendering it to a shelter.
Our last program is called FAIR and stands for Feeding Animals in Rescue. This is to help the many people who are buying food at retail to feed the homeless animals in their neighborhoods at little to no cost.
In addition, we will be doing social collaboration. We intend to use Veteran’s groups for animal therapy, displaced youth that needs guidance, mentally under-developed, and senior citizens from assisted care homes.
I am also pleased to announce we are involved with an ASU program and are using a mentor. Moreover, we have teamed up with Animals and Humans in Disaster, Empty Bowl Pet Food Pantry.
As we continue to develop this facility, we want to reach out to the rescue community for their assistance in making PATCHES a facility that the community would be proud of.