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Feeding Pets of the Homeless: A Transformative and Inspiring Tail

Genevieve Frederick

In 2008, a small idea sparked a remarkable initiative that has touched the lives of countless individuals and their pets. Feeding Pets of the Homeless, a national organization based in Carson City, Nevada, has been tirelessly working to feed and provide emergency veterinary care to the pets of people experiencing homelessness. As they approach their 15th anniversary, Genevieve Frederick, the founder of Feeding Pets of the Homeless, reflects on the organization's inspiring journey, the impact they have made, and the invaluable community partnerships developed along the way.

The Heart of the Mission

Genevieve's motivation to start Feeding Pets of the Homeless emerged during a visit to New York City when she saw a homeless man with his dog. The sight moved her to take action. “I saw a need and I knew that I could do something.” Understanding the complex reasons behind homelessness and the deep bond between individuals and their pets, Genevieve committed herself to make a difference.

For over fifteen years, Feeding Pets of the Homeless has been serving as a lifeline for those experiencing homelessness. Genevieve explains, “I know what we do is important. I hear testimonials from people that we’ve helped and what it means to them that we were able to treat their pet. It gives them hope. All of a sudden, they’re not invisible.”

Comprehensive Support for Homeless Pet Owners

Feeding Pets of the Homeless operates five essential programs designed to meet the unique needs of homeless pet owners. The first program – that started it all – focuses on collecting pet food donations from community members and distributing them to food banks, encampments, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters that allow pets. The agency also sponsors free nationwide Wellness Clinics which provide basic exams, vaccinations, and sometimes spays or neuters pets. Genevieve proudly notes that, “Since 2008, our clinics have seen over 17,000 pets. Some of these pets are seen year after year.” The nonprofit organization has also funded emergency treatment for over 9,300 pets at hospitals. “Just in veterinary care alone, over the years, we have spent more than $3.7 million. That money has gone directly to hospitals across the country.” Other programs offered by the agency include pet crates for homeless shelters and specialized services for veterans.

Impressive Impact and Increasing Demand

The dedication and compassion of Feeding Pets of the Homeless are reflected in their significant achievements. In the past year alone, they helped 1,380 pets to receive treatment, a remarkable 52% increase compared to the previous year. Genevieve attributes this growth to a combination of more people experiencing homelessness and increased awareness of their organization through partnerships with social workers, veteran’s associations, and other nonprofits. By collaborating with various entities, Feeding Pets of the Homeless ensures that their services reach those who need them the most.

Ensuring a Legacy of Love and Care for Furry Friends 

Feeding Pets of the Homeless relies on private foundations, donor-advised funds, and public donations to fund their operations. Community foundations across the country have played an important role in supporting their work, facilitating contributions from donor-advised funds, and fostering connections with potential donors.

Genevieve also explains that the nonprofit receives 15% of their funding from bequests - a gift of personal property or assets left by a person through their estate plan. These bequests over the years have allowed Genevieve to establish and grow the Feeding Pets of the Homeless Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation of Northern Nevada. The permanent fund generates investment income and provides long-term stability and ongoing operational support for the organization. Last year, the income was used to hire an additional case manager to help meet the increase in demand.

The fund was an important goal for Genevieve, “This is my legacy and I want to make sure it will continue on way after I’m gone.” The endowment fund, coupled with the ownership of their building, ensures that Feeding Pets of the Homeless can continue their vital work, even in the face of adversity.

Celebrating the Power of Partnerships

The Community Foundation of Northern Nevada, now celebrating its 25th anniversary, is proud to partner with local leaders like Genevieve. She has proven that in the right hands, an “aha” moment can evolve into a transformative force. Feeding Pets of the Homeless stands as a testament to the bond between people and their animal companions and to the power of community support and collaboration.

If your nonprofit is interested in learning how it can also benefit from the various philanthropic services offered by the Community Foundation of Northern Nevada, contact Lyndsey Crossley at 775-333-5499 ext. 12 or at