Lawrence Humane Society’s Crisis Pet Retention Program Celebrates 6 Months of Serving Pets and People in Douglas County

The Lawrence Humane Society launched the Crisis Pet Retention program in October 2020 and has helped over 500 animals with veterinary care, housing support, pet supplies, and behavioral support.

For far too long, society has accepted and purported the narrative that pets are for wealthier households and considered “unnecessary luxuries” if someone has a lower income or is houseless. But at the Lawrence Humane Society, we know that financial circumstances alone are not reliable indicators of the capacity to love and care for a pet. The bonds people have with their pets are important and should be honored. Pets are a vital component of mental health and for a lot of folks, their pets are their only consistent source of love and connection. 

Over the last 6 months, the Lawrence Humane Society has made a monumental impact on the pets and pet owners in our community through the Crisis Pet Retention (CPR) program. The CPR program provides resources to pet owners experiencing crises relating to poverty, houselessness, job loss, or other systemic issues and inequities. This program allows the Lawrence Humane Society to proactively ensure that Douglas County residents – regardless of income, housing situations, or any other factor,  do not have to suffer the emotional trauma of surrendering a beloved pet. Over the years, data has shown that pet owners would choose to keep their pets if they were provided short-term help. We work hard to keep pets and people together by providing preventative resources and crisis assistance. 

Since its inception, the CPR program has made the following impact in Douglas County:

You can read some great stories of specific instances how we’ve helped people and their pets by clicking here and here

This program is an opportunity for Lawrence Humane to put into action and live the dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion that we have committed ourselves to as an organization. We have increased outreach to communities we previously had no extensive presence in. The CPR program has its own Spanish landing page on the LHS website (including a Spanish-language CPR application). We have developed new relationships and strengthened existing relationships with other social service agencies. And most importantly, we’ve raised awareness locally and nationally that when it comes to caring for one’s pets, being constricted by poverty, systemic injustices, and a volatile economy is not the same thing as abuse. Caring for pets means first and foremost caring for people. 
For several years, Lawrence Humane has worked to keep families together, but COVID-19 amplified the need for more immediate and comprehensive assistance. Initial funding for the CPR program was provided through a CARES Act grant from the Douglas County Commission and now relies on donations from our community to keep this transformative program sustainable. 
The ability to serve the pets and people in our community in such an impactful way is a privilege and the staff at Lawrence Humane is honored to provide these resources for the people in our community. We can’t do this impactful work without your help! The Crisis Pet Retention fund relies on donations from our community to keep this transformative program sustainable. If you are able, every dollar counts.

You can help us keep people and pets together by clicking the button below and making a donation. The graphic below shows what your donation can provide! 

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