The Chihuahua Project
With funding from PetSmart Charities, totaling $200,000, Humane Society Silicon Valley partnered with San Jose Animal Care Center (SJACC) to offer free spay/neuter services for Chihuahua and Chihuahua mixes to owners living in the 95111, 95112, 95116, 95122, and 95127 zip codes. The grant, originally issued in 2011, helped Humane Society Silicon Valley and SJACC alter a total of 3,177 dogs over the course of the two year program. This caused a significant 12.5% drop in the number of surrendered Chihuahua and Chihuahua mixes in the target area since 2011.
“The Chihuahua Project” was originally funded by the PetSmart Charities grant and once completed, the Berg Family was so inspired by the results, they generously issued a $250,000 matching gift challenge to build future capacity for spay/neuter. Humane Society Silicon Valley seeks current funding, however, to continue the program for the next two years in the targeted zip codes, to sustain the positive trajectory.
The PetSmart Charities grant has also been important to thousands of humans living in those target zip codes. Humane Society Silicon Valley learned from one client that when diagnosed with a physically debilitating disease years ago, she had been given a Chihuahua puppy to keep her company. Through “The Chihuahua Project” outreach, the owner learned the risks of not spaying and neutering, such as increased risk of cancer, but the cost of her own health issues had made it difficult to make ends meet. Her dog, now older and unaltered, really needed to be spayed. The dog was too important to her emotional well-being to risk developing typical reproductive health issues typical in females that are not spayed. Thanks to the “Chi Project,” she was able to spay her Chihuahua at no cost.
“We are so thankful to PetSmart Charities and the Berg Family for their future investment,” says Stephanie Ladeira, Humane Society Silicon Valley Development Vice President. “The Chi Project has far exceeded our expectations in results over the past two years, and we are very excited there is an added bonus of built-in advocacy in the community. We had several spay/neuter clients in the past two years who were referred by friends and relatives residing outside of the targeted zip codes. The community has really gotten behind this program.”
“We couldn’t be more thrilled that our grant funding, Humane Society Silicon Valley and SJACC were able to generate such significant results,” says Steve Pawlowski of PetSmart Charities. “The mission of our spay/neuter grants is to reduce the need to euthanize healthy, adoptable dogs and cats in your community with funding for sterilization surgeries. That mission is perfectly aligned with Humane Society Silicon Valley’s mission and we look forward to continuing to support them in the future.”
To have your gift for the spay/neuter challenged matched, please make your gift online at www.hssv.org and note: spay/neuter matching challenge.