We’re excited to share the news with you that effective January 1, 2021, Allen County SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and H.O.P.E. for Animals (Humane Organization for the Prevention of Euthanasia) will merge as a single, nonprofit entity. The new joint entity will use the IRC 501(c)(3) charitable exemption and corporate structure of the SPCA.
The board of directors will be made up of board members from both Allen County SPCA and H.O.P.E. for Animals, and its executive director will be Jessica Henry, currently the executive director of Allen County SPCA. H.O.P.E. for Animals executive director, Allison Miller, will serve in an advisory role throughout the merger process.
“We found a significant overlap in our missions and our audiences, yet very little overlap in our programs and services,” said Kathryn Roudebush, board chair, Allen County SPCA. “Together, with our efforts and operations truly integrated, we feel we can be an even more positive force for animal welfare in northeastern Indiana.”
Allen County SPCA, founded in 1956, has served more than 60,000 animals and their owners. In the last decade, Allen County SPCA’s capacity grew and adoption rates quintupled. Additional services to underprivileged pet owners were added in 2015, and now the Allen County SPCA provides myriad comprehensive social service initiatives and emergency assistance programs for pets and their people.
Founded in 2008, H.O.P.E. for Animals has spayed or neutered more than 100,000 animals in northeastern Indiana, resulting in a reduction of cat and dog euthanasia by more than 70%. Originally structured as an animal rescue organization, the organization refocused its mission to serve solely as a spay/neuter/wellness clinic in 2010, and 2020 marks the ten-year anniversary of the region’s only low-cost clinic for cats and dogs.
H.O.P.E. for Animals’ board chair, Melissa McKown, said, “Not only do our organizations have a long history of collaboration, but as we analyzed our strategic plans, we found great alignment there, too. Our capacity to do good work together is enormous. This really is a case of one plus one equaling three.”
Allen County SPCA is located at 4914 Hanna Street, on the southeast side of downtown Fort Wayne. H.O.P.E. for Animals is located at 1333 Maycrest Drive, on Fort Wayne’s near east side. The new organization will continue to work out of both locations.
Amy-Jo Site, Director of Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control said, “We at Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control are beyond elated for the merger between H.O.P.E. For Animals and the Allen County SPCA. Both agencies have been pivotal In decreasing the unnecessary euthanasia of animals in our community. Whether it’s through providing basic wellness, spay/neuter services, pet retention assistance, or by taking adoptable animals from our shelter, both entities have made our coalition a success. Combining their resources will allow for further advancement of animal welfare. Our community is truly blessed to have such dedicated agencies provide the multitude of services available to the animals. We are looking forward to continuing our coalition efforts with the merged agencies.”
Allen County SPCA is the community’s only no-kill shelter. Its services include a comprehensive adoption program, education and outreach programs, pet retention and pet surrender programs, and community and working cat programs.
H.O.P.E. for Animals’ services include spay and neuter surgery, a wellness clinic and the community cat program. The latter is operated in collaboration with Allen County SPCA and Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control.
The merger process was funded by a $35,000 Capacity Building Grant from Foellinger Foundation. “At Foellinger Foundation, we invest in excellence,” said Cheryl Taylor, president of the Foundation. “We were pleased to support the staff and board leaders of these organizations as they committed to the rigorous and sometimes difficult task of analyzing operational and emotional factors to evaluate and map their most effective path forward.”
We think of our two organizations as a “bonded pair.” We’ve grown to serve this community together—it’s our home. We look forward to continuing our services, and commit to growing to make an even more positive impact. Our capacity to do good work together is enormous.
Frequently Asked Questions
With a tremendous amount of overlap in our missions, values and strategic plans, and very little overlap in our programs and services, we’ve determined that we’ll be able to have an even more positive impact on pets and their owners by joining forces operationally and becoming a single organization. With a transition in leadership at H.O.P.E. for Animals, strong financial standing and bold plans for the future for each organization, the timing is right to become one now.
Through a Foellinger Foundation Capacity Building Grant, we engaged True North NPO to lead a rigorous and thorough analysis of strategic restructuring. The Working Team for this engagement included staff and board members from both Allen County SPCA and H.O.P.E. for Animals. Guiding principles were established, and the Working Team dove deep on governance and administrative structures, financials, legal and structuring issues and strategic planning documents before issuing their recommendation.
Each of the organizations has approved a plan of merger, which will result in the organizations coming together into a combined governance structure within the next several weeks. The plan of merger will culminate in the legal merger of H.O.P.E into Allen County SPCA effective January 1, 2021 after employees, vendors and donor relationships have been effectively transitioned from H.O.P.E. to Allen County SPCA. Jessica Henry will be executive director of the merged organization, and its board of directors will be made up of current board members of Allen County SPCA and H.O.P.E. for Animals.
Nothing. The new organization will continue to offer all of the services and programs offered by Allen County SPCA and H.O.P.E. for Animals. In fact, the strategic plans of each organization already point to expanded services in the future, and by becoming one organization, we intend to get there sooner than we could apart.
We sincerely believe that we are stronger together, and that by becoming a single organization, we will be able to even better serve pets and pet owners in our region. We will continue to be the organization(s) you love, and will grow and evolve to offer even more robust and comprehensive services and programs. Operating without any financial support from the government, we look forward to the continued support of pet lovers in our community. You’re our people, and we’re yours.
#GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. You can donate to the Allen County SPCA online or support us through our Amazon Wishlist.
Or items may be sent to the shelter directly or dropped off at the shelter, 4914 S. Hanna Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46806.
The Allen County SPCA is proud to announce our Canine Behavior & Enrichment Specialist, Jeff Brachmann, has officially received his credentials as a CPDT – a Certified Professional Dog Trainer! This is an enormous accomplishment for Jeff as well as our organization. Please join us in congratulating Jeff!
Executive director, Allen County SPCA
1 What’s the status of animals currently in the shelter? How are they being cared for?
The shelter is currently empty! By the close of business on Saturday, April 4, we had just five dogs in the building, four adoptable and one compassion foster dog who belongs to a local person who is currently too ill with pneumonia to care for him. We also had eight cats. The following day, the four adoptable dogs and all of the cats were placed in foster homes, and the remaining dog was transported to Law’s Country Kennel, because they’re currently helping us with overflow.
2 What does the shelter need from its supporters now? Donations? Foster homes?
Right now our focus is on returning to our community the kindness that so many have shown us over the years. So any donations in the way of pet supplies are being repackaged and distributed daily during our pet food bank hours – twice daily, Sunday through Friday, 9 a.m.–10 a.m. and 4 p.m.–5 p.m., and Saturdays from 9–10 a.m. Of course, like any nonprofit, our funding is finite, so if people do have the means to support us financially, we are accepting monetary donations through our website, humanefw.org, and via U.S. mail. We still have staff in the building every day taking care of the business aspects of our programs.
3 You’ve made an offer to help through the shelter’s Pet Promises program. What services are available?
In addition to our daily pet food bank, we have fosters and kennels at the ready to assist with care for people directly impacted by COVID-19. We also know that people may find themselves in housing transition in the weeks ahead. For those folks who need temporary care for their animals until they find suitable housing for themselves and their pets, we will offer foster care. Finally, we have always offered compassion fostering for the pets of victims of domestic violence. Especially now, when tensions are running higher than usual and families are under duress, we will offer safe harbor for the cats and dogs of people fleeing domestic violence.
The process for these programs is simple. For the pet food banks, we require nothing more than a need for pet food. No ID, for example. For the compassion foster programs, we have simple forms that can be completed via email or even over the phone, if necessary. We can transport the animals back to the shelter where they’ll receive any necessary services and then be placed into the appropriate foster setting. We are monitoring our voicemails at (260) 744-0454.
4 What are you expecting in the weeks ahead? Do you expect to see more pet surrenders?
We are practically begging people not to surrender or dump their animals right now. Shelter space is at a premium so that we can help those pets who need us the very most. We anticipate an increased need for pet food and supplies, and we are bracing ourselves – as Allen County approaches its peak of COVID-19 – for many, many pets to require temporary housing. Recent studies indicating that domestic animals may now test positive for this strain of coronavirus won’t help matters. Those pets should be kept in the homes of COVID patients as much as possible, but separate from the patient, just as is recommended with human family members. But, in the event that a patient lives alone and there are no other friends or family to help, we want to be there to provide compassionate care for those animals.
5 We’re learning much about emergency preparedness. What should pet owners do to prepare for a crisis?
First, today, while people are healthy, we recommend they reach out to friends and family who would be willing to care for their pet for at least two weeks. Make sure to have their contact information readily available and prominently posted in the home in case of an emergency.
Next, put together an emergency “go kit” for the pet that includes copies of their vet records, a crate, food for at least two weeks, and any medications and other supplies the pet might need. If one normally boards their pet when they travel, reach out to the boarding facility to see if they have space to house the pet should they need them, and then be sure to arrange transportation of the pet to the boarding facility.
Pet supply stores are still considered essential, so people can stock up on pet items to ensure they have everything they need for the weeks and months ahead.
And, if they can’t currently afford those supplies, see us. We can help!