Last month, Silicon Valley Pet Project reached a remarkable milestone – 1,000 pets rescued and 1,000 pets saved! In honor of this pawsitive achievement, we interviewed co-founder and President Melissa Lisbon to get her perspective on the impact of rescuing animals and next big steps for SVPP.
Who has the distinction of being the 1,000th pet rescued and what was his/her circumstance?
Ena, our amazing little special needs kitten, was our 1,000 rescue. She came to SVPP’s attention after one of our dedicated volunteers was alerted to Ena’s unusual movement. After rescuing this kitten, it was determined that she has cerebellar hypoplasia, a condition that makes her motor skills different than other kittens.
|Ena: Adopted January 2019|
Fortunately, she is not in pain, and pets with this condition can live long, healthy and happy lives. We are happy to report that this special needs kitten was recently adopted to a loving family!
How quickly did you think SVPP would get to 1,000 pets rescued?
In the first year of operations in 2015, we set a goal of rescuing 100 animals, and we happily exceeded that goal. We couldn’t image at that time how quickly we would get to 1,000 pets! We are proud of this milestone because many of these pets required a lot of time and resources— medical and foster care— to heal.
What impact does rescuing animals have on the shelter and the community?
Here’s the bottom line: the impact of rescuing animals in our community helps the shelter minimize the number of pets that are euthanized. We are grateful for the efforts of the San Jose Animal Care Center and their staff and volunteers who help so many pets, and work with SVPP and other groups to rescue pets that cannot thrive at the shelter and need more resources to heal. We are proud to be part of the network of groups and shelters in Santa Clara County that have met the highest standard of life saving, a 90-plus percent save rate of pets.
What’s been the most inspirational about SVPP’s rescue work?
Seeing a pet who was ill or painfully shy gradually blossom in a loving home. That is truly one of the most inspiring and motivating aspects of our work. It is also inspiring to see people becoming engaged in this effort — to help animals and our cause by volunteering time and helping us in every aspect of our business.
What’s next for SVPP?
Our long-term goal has always been to create a Pet Community Center that is inviting, inspirational, and educational, and that celebrates our relationships with cats and dogs. We were thrilled to help bring The Dancing Cat to the community, and now we are excited to offer Silicon Valley's first dog community center, called Pup Plaza. Creating unique spaces where we can invite the public to celebrate pets while supporting homeless pets and continuing to save lives is our vision for the future.
Find information on fostering at svpetproject.org. View the celebration video here!
Karen Zamel is a communications volunteer, foster parent, and adopter with Silicon Valley Pet Project and San Jose Animal Advocates.