Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity Receive Historic 6.5 Million Grant to Help BIPOC Communities and their Pets


If folks have access to preventative vet care, pet food, affordable behavior and training services, that will keep people and pets together and reduce strains on a centuries-old animal welfare system.”

— James Evans, Founder CARE

BALTIMORE, MD, UNITED STATES, July 14, 2023/ — Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity (CARE), the first national BIPOC led human and animal well-being nonprofit, is thrilled to be the recipient of a $6.5 Million grant from Maddie’s Fund®, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals. The grant will provide CARE with the funding to pilot a groundbreaking national program called Community Animal CARE, which will help support underserved people and their pets, overcrowded shelters, and chronically overwhelmed veterinarians.

The need for this program has never been more important. Pets of those with limited means are suffering the most in our current economic and societal climate due to their inability to get veterinary care. In fact, statistically there is currently only one veterinarian for every 2,200 dogs and cats in the United States. In the worst-case scenario, a growing number of pets face euthanasia simply because their owners can’t afford their care.

It also doesn’t help that animal welfare and protection fields lack diversity, and exhibit bias toward Black Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. “Due to inherent and systemic biases, animal control policies in the United States are over-enforced in low-income communities and communities of color, resulting in worsening health outcomes for the pets in these communities. These outcomes are exemplified by higher confiscation, relinquishment, and euthanasia rates, lower return to owner rates, and extended lengths of stay in animal shelters,” says Sloane Hawes, CARE’s Senior Director of Research. Hawes recently authored a study along with two other researchers about the need to align animal control issues with the human justice movement.

“The best way to achieve a no kill society in animal welfare is to ensure pets don’t end up in shelters. If folks have access to preventative vet care, pet food, affordable behavior and training services, that will keep people and pets together and reduce strains on a centuries-old animal welfare system. For too long we’ve been trying to solve problems inside of shelters, courtrooms, and vet offices with no input from the people affected,” said James Evans, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CARE.” Today we’re changing that. We’re giving communities the opportunity to be a part of the solution, Thanks to Maddie.”

This is one of the largest grants awarded by the Foundation. “Maddie’s Fund believes in the transformational power in CARE’s holistic human and animal well-being mission,” said Mary Ippoliti-Smith, Executive Leadership Team, Maddie’s Fund. CARE is amplifying the work already being done, and transporting it to marginalized communities who will recast it into something all their own. We are honored to support what is truly an evolution in our field in order to help keep pets and people together.”


Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity is a 501©3 nonprofit that addresses organizational and personal biases within animal welfare. The mission is to bring diverse voices to the industry while also advocating for a more inclusive path to pet adoption. CARE believes in using evidence-based tools, narratives, and insights to inspire organizations to be more inclusive and less biased. It is all an effort to save more companion animal lives.

Maddie’s Fund® is a national family foundation established in 1994 by Dave and Cheryl Duffield and is the fulfillment of a promise to their inspirational dog, Maddie. She provided them much joy for over ten years and continues to inspire them today. The Foundation has awarded over $265 million in grants toward increased community collaborations and live outcomes, pioneering shelter medicine education and establishing foster care as a standard across the U.S. Maddie’s Fund proudly offers the industry a national voice, important funding opportunities for bold ideas, learning resources and access to collaborate and share innovative solutions. The Foundation invests its resources in a commitment to keeping pets and people together, creating a safety net of care for animals in need and operating within a culture of inclusiveness and humility. #ThanksToMaddie

Mary Tan
Whisker Media
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