There’s nothing like a furry companion to make you smile and soften your heart, and a visit to Lost Our Home Pet Rescue will leave you all full of warm fuzzies. That’s because this particular shelter is different; if you’ve visited traditional shelters you may come away feeling sorry for the animals because they frequently look sad and forlorn. At LOH, the animals aren’t in traditional kennels but mini home-style enclosures designed to promote a more comfortable and stress-free environment. The dogs and cats seem more happy and playful, some wandering freely about the shelter, with lots of wagging tails and contented purring. To maintain this pleasant environment, Lost Our Home carefully limits the number of pets in their care at any one time. They are a no-kill shelter and all pets must pass an evaluation to be adoptable so they don’t spend their lives in the shelter and have a good chance of moving on to a forever home.
What makes LOH entirely different is they consider the bigger picture on why a family must give up their pet, if it’s only temporary or permanent, and how they can offer any additional supports needed for a positive outcome.
“LOH is different from most rescues in that we provide compassionate services to both pets and pet parents in crisis,” explained Jodi Polanski, Founder and Executive Director of Lost Our Home Pet Rescue. “Whereas most rescues have one program which they do very well, the intake and then adoption of pets, we have six programs, many of them for the purpose of keeping pets and their families together. We are also distinct in that we have a partnership with the Sojourner Center for domestic violence in which we manage a pet companion shelter on their campus.”
Among the programs offered by LOH are the Pet-Friendly Rental program where Realtors® help pet owners find a place for rent that welcomes pets; a Temporary Care program for pet owners forced to temporarily live in a situation where they can’t bring their pet; boarding for low-income owners; the pet rescue/adoption program; a pet food bank; and a robust volunteer program.
Polanski says they have helped over 20,000 pets in the eight years they’ve been in operation.
“This includes adopting 3,700 pets into new loving homes, providing over 56,000 days of care through our Temporary Care Program which resulted in reuniting over 650 pets with their families, and feeding more than 16,000 pets through our Pet-Food Bank,” she said.
The pet food bank offers pet food and supplies to financially struggling owners so there is a greater chance of keeping their pets as opposed to being forced to surrender them. Volunteers will even deliver the food and supplies for those who do not have transportation.
The pet food bank, and the entire operations at LOH, depend 100% on donations. Polaski emphasized that without donations, they would be unable to provide food to needy pet parents, rescue pets or any of the other resources they offer to keep families and pets together.
“Donations pay for medical care, shelter, daily care and food and supplies for the pets we help,” she said. “We need all kinds of donations from money to supplies like food, litter, potty pads, cleaning supplies and more.”
Their biggest fundraiser of the year is coming up Sunday, December 11th at the Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia. Anyone is welcome to attend. Reservations for the 6th Annual Holiday Champagne Brunch & Auction are being accepted no later than Wednesday, December 7th. All of the proceeds from the brunch and silent auction will benefit Lost Our Home. And of course, dogs and kittens will be available for adoption.
The organization also depends on volunteers. Unlike many shelters, LOH allows children to volunteer alongside grownups and socialize with the animals.
“We have a very small staff so volunteers are vital to the organization,” said Polanski. “Our volunteers provide all the enrichment for the pets, making their time at the shelter better and getting them ready for adoption. They also clean and sanitize pet areas, do adoptions at our PetSmart locations, admin work and much more. Our volunteers truly make a difference for the pets we help.”
LOH is proud to partner with a variety of other local nonprofits to offer comprehensive services, as well as corporate team-building volunteer opportunities and job training skills for the disabled.
“We are proud that we use the shelter to it’s fullest capacity to help our community,” said Polanski. “All these community programs are really win/win for people and pets.”
For more information about Lost Our Home, visit their website or call (602) 445-PETS (7387).