Genevieve Frederick

We are a nonprofit member/volunteer organization. Our members collect pet
food and deliver it to food banks and/or soups kitchens which have agreed to
distribute the food to the homeless and impoverished.  Interested people can
go to to see if a collection site is in their
Headquartered in Carson City, Nevada, we coordinate and support our members
by providing marketing materials and a collection site kit that includes a
public relations program and help them find a distributing organization.  We
promote the organization for our collection sites to the national media.
We accept cash donations that help us provide grants to veterinarians and
other nonprofits that supply medicines and medical care to the pets of

Hard statistics of the number of pets of the homeless are not part of the
annual count that HUD requires of organizations requesting grant money to
help the homeless.  I was able to correspond with Michael Stoops, Acting
Executive Director of the National Coalition for the Homeless and he
estimated that between 5%-10% of homeless people have dogs and/or cats.
Monte Fast, Past Executive Director of FISH (Friends In Service Helping)
said the percentage is more like 25%.  I believe these numbers are different
across the country due to a number of very different reasons.  Weather,
economy, unemployment, and the cost of living play into the factor.  The
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development suggests there are about
750,000 homeless people in the nation on any given night, and over forty
four percent were unsheltered that's 330,000.  Most people who do experience
homelessness are homeless for a short period of time, and usually need help
finding housing and/or a rent subsidy.  Some find housing right away or move
in with friends or family.  For some, they remain chronically homeless and
their pets are the only thing in the world that give them comfort, loyalty
and unconditional love.

Statistics show that over 60% of households have at least one pet.
Unfortunately, for those who have to move with pets, it becomes more
difficult to find housing or shelter that accept pets.  These people are
forced to choose between their pet and a roof over their head.  

The trend is growing due to the economy, lack of jobs, high prices,
foreclosures, high school drop outs, addiction to alcohol and drugs,
returning veterans, run away teens and the number of mentally ill who were
turned out of state run mental hospitals.   Also, with the number of
families who are living pay check to pay check, one missed rent payment and
they are forced to move.  We are also seeing a large number of people
becoming homeless due to large medical bills.  Many have no family to turn
to.  A number of states have high rates of homelessness; they include
Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island,
Washington and Washington, DC. 

It all started in 2005, I published a book Happy Tails- Hilariously Helpful
Hints for Dog Owners.  Dr. Gary Ailes was a co-author.  While working with
Gary Ailes and his partner, Woody Allen, doing some public relations for the
book, they asked me to do some additional public relations projects for
their hospital.  Having worked with them for a few months, I realized that
veterinarians are not taught to promote and market their hospitals/clinics
in medical school.  In fact, most doctors only put an ad in the yellow pages
and hope that word of mouth will get them new clients.  So I thought that if
I could think of a program that could involve veterinary hospitals around
the country to publicize their business while helping pets I could write,
then publish and then sell a program to that targeted market and other pet
related businesses.

I had visited New York City because the book was up for an award and saw a
homeless man on the sidewalk begging and laying along his side was a
pathetic dog.  When I returned home I started researching the homeless with
pets.  And I asked myself why would those folks who can barely feed
themselves have a pet?  The answer became obvious; their pets are
nonjudgmental, providing comfort and an emotional bond of loyalty.  In some
cases, they provide the homeless with protection and keep them warm.  The
tragic part is that the pets of the homeless do not choose their owners.
The numbers are mind boggling.  I regress . . . Then I started to talk to
people about the idea of Feeding Pets of the Homeless.  Everyone seemed
supportive and thought it was a wonderful idea.  

After a year of researching and editing I launched the program at the end of
2007 using Dr. Gary Ailes and Dr. Woody Allen as the first practice to start
collecting pet food for the homeless and disadvantaged in my town.  I used
the press release samples that are in the program and the local press and a
local TV station picked it up immediately.  Dr. Ailes and Dr. Allen were
excited and pleased.  They had a 55 gallon trash can filled that first day
and have received thousands of pounds of pet food since. I sent out a
pre-publication press release to the vet trade magazines and again an editor
from Veterinary Practice News picked up the release and wrote a wonderful
article with photos from the website and quotes from Dr. Ailes and Monte
Fast (from the local food bank) that was published a few weeks later.  The
organization quickly evolved into a nonprofit with a wonderful board of
directors that includes Dr. Ailes.  

Every day we are contacted either by people wanting to help, businesses that
want to become a collection site, homeless and poor that are seeking
assistance so they are not forced to give up their companion pets.  And many
school children have contacted us also to ask how they can help.  So we
developed a simple reading program "Read for Scruffy", the students get
neighbors and family to give them dollars for each book they read.  If it is
a class project we send a certificate of appreciation to place in the
classroom.  The money comes to us and we give it to veterinarians that go to
where the homeless congregate to give vaccines and minor medical care.  

Genevieve Frederick
Founder/Executive Director
Feeding Pets of the Homeless
2255 Waterford Place
Carson City, NV 89703
(775) 841-7463



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