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The Alliance Magazine Winter 2017

LETTER FROM THE

LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT AND CEO Dear Friends, Editor: Pam Townsend Cruelty/Neglect Reports: 202-723-5730, press 1 Cruelty reports accepted 24 hours a day. Animal-Related Emergencies: 202-576-6664, press 1 Main Number: 202-723-5730 Adoptions (New York Ave.): 202-727-5494 Adoptions (Oglethorpe): Ext. 503 Behavior and Training: Ext. 236 Development: Ext. 315 Finance: Ext. 326 Media Inquiries: Ext. 267 Special Events: Ext 323 HOURS AND LOCATIONS 71 Oglethorpe Street, NW Washington, DC 20011 Adoption Hours: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. daily Closed for adoptions on Mondays. 1201 New York Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20002 Adoption Hours: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. daily Closed for adoptions on Mondays. Stray animals are accepted 24 hours a day at New York Ave. BOARD OF DIRECTORS Roger Marmet...................Chair Jay Timmons......................First Vice President Lisa LaFontaine................President and CEO Amy Meadows..................Second Vice President Gwyn Whittaker..............Secretary Hon. Mary Schapiro......Treasurer Theresa Fariello...............Vice President William Herman..............Vice President Gregory Riegle.................Vice President Nina Benton Steven Bralove Priscilla Clapp Pamela DeLoach-Jupiter Jackie Dobranski, DVM Louie Dweck Colleen Girouard Anissa Grossman Leslie Harris William Harrop Joseph Howe Kenton Keith Erika Kelton Betsy Marmet Matthew Parker, MD Laird Patterson Susan Ridge Robert Rosenfeld Erica Scherzer Hon. Carol Schwartz Lauren Talarico DVM, DACVIM Andrew Weinstein Charles Weir Jean Whiddon Drew Willison Jeff Wilson Lois Godfrey Wye When the Washington Humane Society and the Washington Animal Rescue League decided to join forces, we knew great things would happen. Given the history and accomplishments of each organization, how could they not? As the past year has proved, our optimism was more than justified. Although we have been a single entity since February 2016, we just celebrated an anniversary of sorts on October 24 – our first 12 months as the Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA). Our mission reflects the best of each of our legacy organizations; we are focused on saving lives, creating families, strengthening our community, and setting a new standard for animal welfare. Since we announced our new name and brand, we have achieved many memorable “firsts.” HRA developed and launched the HOPE (Help Out, Partner, and Engage) Program, which helps animals by supporting the people who love them. Through this program, we offer free spay/neuter surgeries, vaccinations, basic veterinary care, and a variety of free pet supplies to residents in traditionally underserved areas of the District. For many pet parents, the program provides a critical lifeline that helps them keep their animals happy, healthy, and at home. And we’re poised to extend the reach of this effort thanks to the generosity of long-time HRA volunteer and supporter Carol Melamed, who is matching every gift to the HOPE Program dollar for dollar up to $100,000. In January, HRA introduced our Blue Collar Cats program, which was featured in the fall issue of Alliance. This community-based rehoming initiative puts cats unsuited to home life to work doing what they do best in return for food, shelter, and basic care. So far, 52 cats have found successful “employment.” Also, we created the District’s first kitten nursery, which you’ll read about in this issue. Located at our New York Avenue Adoption Center, this effort allows us to better care for the youngest and most vulnerable felines who find their way to us by tapping the skills of volunteer foster parents with experience in bottle feeding. These dedicated volunteers supplement the round-the-clock care given by staff. Also in these pages are the stories of two very different dogs. One was the oldest (18 years!) to ever to pass through our doors and into a loving home. Another became our first to be accepted for search and rescue training. Although he ultimately proved unsuited for that work, he was adopted by a great family. Most recently, we experienced a “first” of which I am very proud – but it is also incredibly bittersweet. On October 3, the DC Council passed the Standard Care for Animals Amendment Act. This legislation establishes strong definitions for adequate care for animals, including requirements involving food, space, shelter, and water. For the first time in the District’s history, it also empowers our dedicated Animal Control officers by providing them with citation writing authorities and additional tools to ensure that the animals of our city are protected. The bitter part of this landmark legislation was the heartbreaking death of HRA’s Vice President of Field Services, Ray Noll, who played a pivotal role in crafting this legislation. He died just a few days before the amendment became law. For months, Ray worked tirelessly to ensure that the bill would effectively address the issues of both care and enforcement. The passage of “Ray’s Law” is a testament to his dedication to animals, commitment to serving the community, and his huge heart. The law is a fitting legacy to a man who lived his life as a true champion of animals. He will forever be a part of HRA, and he is sorely missed. We are very proud of what the Humane Rescue Alliance has accomplished in its first official year as an organization. But as all of us in animal rescue and welfare know, it’s never enough. So as we look ahead to 2018, we will recommit ourselves, in Ray’s honor, to learning more, sharing more, and helping more. We look forward to the continued journey and we invite you to join us on it. 2 ALLIANCE

Nurturing the Most Vulnerable Kitten Nursery Increases Survival of Newborns By Pamela Townsend, Media Coordinator It may not have baby blue walls, lacy pink curtains, or a nursery rhyme night light, but a new infant care center offers the essential nurturing all newborns need. And it’s just for neonatal kittens…and the occasional canine bottle baby. The Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA) established the DC region’s first shelter “kitten nursery” in May 2017 to meet the special needs of neonatal orphan kittens. It’s the brainchild of HRA foster program manager Jennah Billeter, who came up with the idea after a sudden and large influx of nursing felines and their kittens, as well as other rescued neonatal or orphaned kittens, arrived over the course of just a few short days from a hoarding case at HRA a little over a year ago. “Many of the moms were in bad shape so we ended up having 40-plus bottle babies,” Billeter recalls. “Staff just weren’t able to keep up with caring for all of the kittens while we searched for fosters and transfer placement, so I invited volunteer foster parents who knew how to bottle feed to come in for regular feeding shifts. It worked so well that it inspired me to establish a formal program for our orphaned neonatal babies.” Billeter created a plan for the nursery with volunteer Abby Meltzer, who since 2015 has fostered more than 100 animals, mostly litters of kittens and nursing moms. Collaborating with Billeter, Meltzer was responsible for setting up the nursery, which currently consists of designated cage space in the treatment room at the New York Avenue Adoption Center, although Billeter hopes that someday there will be a more “official” location. ALLIANCE 3

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