California State Director Allison Cardona and Program Manager Nadia Oseguera reflect on what we accomplished together in 2023 and look ahead to challenges and opportunities 2024 will bring.

Over the past year, it’s been incredible to learn about the programs funded by California for All Animals grants. All across the state, capacity-expanding spay/neuter, veterinary care, supplies, transportation, training, and community engagement programs are keeping pets and people together in their homes and communities. It has been inspiring to hear how animal shelters are engaging community members in inclusive ways, understanding that people love their pets and deserve to keep that bond.

2023 has also been exceptionally challenging for shelters and the communities they serve, and we know you are feeling that strain on a cellular level. Agencies and organizations serving people and pets nationwide are struggling with compounding crises, and California is no exception. Structural challenges like lack of access to pet-inclusive housing, veterinary care, and the veterinary professional shortage, to name a few, are creating the need for innovation, flexibility, and collaboration to address issues and create change. Organizations like the Humane Society of Sonoma County, Berkeley Humane, and Stanislaus Animal Services are partnering with CAMP LA to provide subsidized training for veterinarians to perform high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter surgeries. Just today, Cal for All shelters and partner organizations surpassed 22,000 grant-powered spay/neuter surgeries!

California for All Animals’ Allison Cardona joined Megan Gram, Animal Balance Director of the Pacific Region, and Fresno Animal Center team members Andrew, Sarah, Maya, and Bede, on the first day of the Fresno Animal Center + Animal Balance Spay/Neuter Clinic.

We’ll need partnerships like these to weather 2024 together. Economic hardship and housing insecurity will continue to strain pet owners’ ability to care for their pets. We see animal shelters making the shift to providing resources, support, and connection to services so pet owners are empowered and supported to care for their pets. Collaboration and integration between animal shelters and human services is going to be a game changer in 2024.

Stay tuned for more grant impact news—and more grants—in the new year.