By Maddie Johnson
It’s hard to say if it’s the holiday spirit or the love of animals that caused an anonymous donor to donate $1 million dollars to the Lost Our Home Pet Rescue to purchase the facility they currently occupy in Tempe, but this act of kindness is making waves for the rescue.
LOH Pet Rescue helps pets and their families that may be struggling with home foreclosure, domestic violence cases or any other circumstance that may cause a family to not be able to care for their pets.
“What sets apart our foundation is that we help people and pets both,” executive director and founder Jodi Polanski said.
The family that made the million-dollar donation saw the importance of LOH and was a great match for the foundation, but requested to stay anonymous to the public, according to Polanski.
“They love what we do,” Polanski said, “and they know owning our own space and having that stability was the most important step to do all those big plans we have going forward.”
On top of the million-dollar donation, LOH received a $250,000 donation from the Rachael Ray Foundation which they will use to ignite the LOH’s Home At Last campaign to make improvements to the facility and add a medical room for its pet residents.
Polanski said owning the space they occupied was the most important step to moving forward.
The shelter leased the facility in Tempe in 2013 as a temporary housing unit for rescued pets and was not able to make the necessary improvements for a fully functioning pet shelter in a leased space.
“When we got the building four years ago we put the minimal in just to get by as a shelter, you don’t want to put a lot of expensive renovations in a building you don’t own,” Polanski said.
The additional $250,000 will go towards important renovations such as properly ventilated
medical treatment rooms for cats and dogs.
The rescue also plans to add renovated space and improved living facilities to brighten the quality of life for its cats and dogs, and to increase the capacity to bring more furry friends to the shelter.
“It’s going to look like its own little pet neighborhood,” Polanski said.
LOH’s next step is to continue expanding partnerships with programs such as domestic violence shelters to help improve the lives of people and their pets that may be suffering through hard times.
Though these large donations help the rescue immensely in kick starting their campaign, Polanski stresses the importance of small donations. LOH is now offering commemorative bricks and other recognition opportunities for any donations given by businesses or individuals.
“Any donation any size adds up, our support of this shelter from day one has been those $20 donations,” Polanski said. “It’s more about the community coming together and giving little bits and pieces of what they can give and this makes the big plans come together.”
Information: 480-602-445-7387 or lostourhome.org.