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Therapy dog Lucas, a golden retriever, with Hope Animal-Assisted Crisis Response.

Maddie’s Fund, a national family foundation, has awarded Denver Animal Protection $50,000 for a new pilot program to help keep people and their pets together in homes.

The program incorporates Human Animal Support Services into animal care, recognizing pets and people as family-units and working to keep them together when pets get lost or when owners struggle to meet their pets’ needs.

The money from Maddie’s Fund will be used to microchip 500 cats for free, provide a foster safety-net program for Denver residents facing eviction and support educational efforts to prevent lost pets and return pets home.

“This grant will allow us to broaden the safety net for Denver residents and their pets,” said Alice Nightengale, DAP director. “Keeping pets with their families is incredibly important to us and we are thankful for the opportunity to expand our efforts."

Maddie’s Fund was established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals, in honor of the Duffields’ dog Maddie. The foundation has awarded nearly $250 million in grants since 1994.

The idea for Human Animal Support Services was popularized at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when record numbers of pets were housed in foster homes and the economic impact caused many owners to give up their pets.

If you or someone you know is experiencing temporary homelessness, contact [email protected]. More information on DAP’s displacement/eviction relief program can be found on its website.

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