What we do
We celebrate pet families.
Utilizing Pet Family Advocacy™, we provide innovative, compassionate solutions to preserve the human-animal bond.
We bridge the gap between pet families and solutions. We don’t just connect people with resources, we advocate for better outcomes – whether it’s finding pet-inclusive housing, securing vet care or providing meaningful ways for people to pay it forward.
Just as people and dogs are individuals, pet families come in every shape, size and color.
They are your elderly neighbor whose only companion is her dog. They are the person living with disabilities and her emotional support animal (ESA). Or a single mom struggling to provide for her kids with a sick dog.
They are the veteran whose dog is the reason for getting up in the morning and the family with a dog whose breed is deemed restricted by an insurance company or landlord. They are the homeless person living in a tent or sleeping in their car because they refuse to give up their dog to go to a shelter. And yes, they are every other family sharing their life with pets.
The common denominator in all pet families is the connection between people and their pets. Both are transformed, enriched and essential to each other’s wellbeing. And that’s why we call them pet families – because pets are essential to the wellbeing of the family unit.
What we believe
“Animals make us better so, in turn, we can make the world better.“
- Karen Dendy Smith, The Animal Communication Collective™
Pet Family Advocacy™
Nearly 85 million (67%) of American homes have pets. Nearly 34 million people live in poverty in the United States. There are an estimated 23 million pets living in those households.
The human-animal bond is universally embraced as an essential element of human wellness. We believe the joy a pet brings a family must be available to all who have love to give.
Whether living in poverty or not, many pet families struggle at times with finding pet-inclusive housing, accessing and affording vet care, spay/neuter services, training and other pet resources.
Kane’s Krusade created the Pet Family Advocacy™ model to address the common challenges pet families face. PFA is guided by seven founding principles:
This approach requires a critical shift to focus on addressing causes of surrender in addition to standard rescue and adoption practices. These causes include but are not limited to economic, behavioral and housing issues. Surrender becomes a last resort, not an automatic response.
Pet Family Advocacy™ is the audacious belief that we in animal welfare can actually learn to love people as much as their pets by finding and building common ground. We focus on pets as part of the family unit, not separate. We understand that if we want to help pets, we must help people. Caring about people goes hand in hand with caring about their pets.
We no longer wait for people to come to us. We go out and meet them – where they live, work and play. We actively listen to identify opportunities, challenges and needs. We are sincerely curious and open to learning. We understand we don’t always have the answers, but we are committed to exploring options to find the answers.
A non-judgmental attitude is essential to the Pet Family Advocacy™ philosophy. We are committed to checking in about personal judgments, assumptions and expectations as they affect our ability to keep an open mind and facilitate solutions.
We follow a harm reduction model – choosing to meet people where they are, not where we think they should be. We recognize that time and energy spent judging people has never helped improve an animal’s situation. Judgment builds barriers. Openness and dialogue tear them down.
We continuously look for ways to set people up for success. This means providing opportunities, not handouts. We empower people to be part of the solution by creating a new model of interaction.
This community model is based on building relationships, taking the time to get to know people, and inviting them to be a part of something bigger, with purpose. Opportunities to “pay it forward” are a major component of the Pet Family Advocacy™ approach. Families can choose from a number of involvement options. This strengthens feelings of worth, builds commitment and creates strong advocates at all levels.
Upholding personal responsibility and creating and maintaining boundaries are critical for healthy organizations, staff and volunteers. By providing assistance, we do not assume responsibility for the animal. Animal abuse and neglect are never tolerated and are always reported to the authorities.
We share information and resources so that people can make good choices for their pets. Ultimately, their choices are their own and healthy boundaries protect our sanity, health and energy reserves.
We know that we can help more animals by working together than working apart. Focusing on what we do best and leaving the rest to other organizations ensures sustainability. We understand that the most important focus of all is to last, to thrive. Creative solutions are a byproduct of collaboration and openness.
When we help a family with their dog, we are helping more than the dog. We are sending a powerful message. Your dog matters. YOU matter. Kindness matters.