Pets in need are finding love and care thanks to the efforts of this year’s Director’s Choice Award recipient ‐ Pet Search. This annual award includes a $10,000 unrestricted grant from the Acorn Fund.
Pet Search is an all‐volunteer animal rescue and placement service for homeless and unwanted domestic animals in Washington County. Its philosophy is that family pets should be in family environments, so animals are placed in foster homes until they are adopted.
Pet Search CEO/Animal Placement Coordinator Sherry Knight said, “On behalf of Pet Search, its volunteers, and the tens of thousands of homeless animals Pet Search has rescued, I graciously accept this generous award. . .The grant will be applied towards the purchase of a new van, which will be used virtually seven days a week to transport animals to and from vet appointments, pick up feral cats, as well as transport supplies for our adopt‐a‐thons and fundraisers.”
Eligible charities must have an operating budget of less than $250,000, have been in existence for at least three years, and provide a program in one of six areas: arts and humanities, education, environment and animal welfare, health and fitness, human needs, or religion and faith‐based.
Applicants are judged on quality of programming, community impact as gauged by the number of people served, programs offered, or other measurable component, and sustained improvement in finances.
In recent years, Pet Search has added many new programs such as educational services for children regarding the care of animals, pet therapy programs for residents in senior and assisted living situations, a spay and neutering program, and a Rabies Plus Clinic, which alone draws more than 3,000 pet owners per year. To provide these additional services Pet Search essentially doubled its annual revenue in recent years from about $50,000 to $100,000 per year.