There’s big news from Friends of the Cleveland Kennel (FOCK), the nonprofit group founded in 2003, to help care for and adopt out homeless animals who ended up in the Cleveland Kennel, and which in 2016 started on offshoot program, Neighborhood Pets, to provide services and supplies to low-income pet owners so they wouldn’t have to surrender their four-legged friends to a shelter or rescue.
As of this week, Friends of the Cleveland Kennel will become Neighborhood Pets to expand its services in that area. A new nonprofit Friends of CITY DOGS Cleveland has been formed to take over its old work with the kennel.
Changes were already afoot last year when Friends of the Cleveland Kennel announced that the 15th edition of its beloved benefit Art Fur Animals would be the last, with a new concept pending. That concept will debut in 2021.
“The ultimate goal of [Neighborhood Pets] is to keep pets in their homes, healthy and happy,” says founder Becca Britton. “And, while our plans for this expansion started well before the recent COVID-19 crisis, this challenging time has underscored how important it is to support our growing client base and their pets. Never have we seen more of a need for our city’s residents to have the support of their pets, or for the need of access to basic services and support.”
The kennel created its CITY DOGS program a few years ago; many Clevelanders are undoubtedly familiar with its work taking adoptable dogs out to community events sporting little red jackets that say “Adopt Me.” While FOCK worked as a partner in the program, Britton says, “The number of volunteers in this program has grown exponentially over the last few years, as has the fundraising capacity of this group. We now believe that both programs are poised to take on expanded growth and impact as independent efforts. Therefore, a new nonprofit, Friends of CITY DOGS Cleveland will begin to fund supportive services for CACC, while FOCK evolves into Neighborhood Pets. We look forward to continuing our close collaboration with them, and exploring more ways to work together.”