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Introducing PWHS' Homeless Animals Support Network!

When you ask Lori Leary, PWHS's President, why the organization shifted from a shelter to a resource and solution-based support network in May of 2020, the answer is clear. The devastating effects of COVID are no secret to any industry, however, some key struggles in the animal welfare industry helped shape the new direction. "When we noticed fewer and fewer animals being turned into shelters, with waiting lists everywhere for adoptable pets, we knew it was time to shift our focus from housing animals to finding new and creative ways to help them. The animals who were being turned in were medically or behaviorally challenged, and more and more we saw owners making difficult decisions that they did not want to make after falling on tough times. We knew we could help in a bigger way, and that's how the Homeless Animal Support Network was born."

Our logo embodies the care, compassion, and human-animal connection that we strive to provide via grants dispersed to shelters and rescues in Virginia and beyond. The logo-mark draws inspiration from a comforting human hand--presented in a house shape--providing shelter to an animal in need. The paw--created with a heart--evokes mutual loyalty and connection to our animal community, and the hand/paw positioning elicits the solace of hand-holding.

The biggest needs we identified were:

  1. Animal shelters and rescues were being inundated with medically and behaviorally challenging animals as other populations dwindled.

  2. Owners were facing the decision to surrender based on unfortunate financial circumstances.

  3. Small rescues in outlying areas were not able to properly support their communities and pets.

  4. Pets being surrendered were (for the most part) not spayed or neutered.

How will the Homeless Animals Support Network (HASN) help?

P.W.H.S. Homeless Animals Support Network (HASN) partners with small underfunded and under-resourced shelters and animal rescue organizations in the state of Virginia to further the no-kill Virginia vision and save the state's most vulnerable animals. Realizing that not all communities have access to needed resources, HASN strives to bridge the gap by advocating for and offering financial assistance and resources for food, supplies, medical treatments, and more for homeless and adoptable pets living in Virginia.

Through our PAWS Fund, we previously provided emergency treatments and medical services saving the lives of nearly 150 animals who found themselves sick or injured in Prince William County shelters or rescues with no means for medical treatment. Our renewed efforts through HASN are projected to save the lives of many more animals throughout the state of Virginia in the future.

Our Fur-ever Together program with a goal of preserving the human-animal bond and keeping families together has shifted in focus to provide needed behavioral support to animals at risk of entering Virginia shelters, thereby preventing unnecessary surrenders and keeping people and their pets together. We have a diverse network of trainers and behaviorists that we work with and recommend to struggling pet owners, many offering consults for free or at a reduced cost. We also provide grants for behavioral assessment and training to our HASN partner organizations to prevent surrenders in their communities and ensure more successful and forever adoptions of those that become homeless.

Many trainers and behaviorists are offering virtual consults at much lower rates, which helps relieve stressed and overwhelmed pet owners. Click here to view our list of behaviorists and trainers in the state of Virginia, many of whom are offering virtual options.

HASN Core Values:

  • Be The Bridge - We connect community members in need of support with valuable resources, empowering them to keep their two- and four-legged family together.

  • Be the person your pets know you are: Pets don’t judge us; they simply love us unconditionally and think the world revolves around us. We strive to be worthy of that trust and love.

  • Speak up: We advocate for the needy animals of Virginia, speaking with honesty, authenticity, and transparency as a trusted community resource, always putting the animals first and foremost.

  • Do Whatever it Takes: Pets don’t belong in shelters; they belong in loving homes. We bridge the gap between homelessness and forever homes.

  • Connect and Collaborate: We establish shelter and rescue partnerships throughout the state and collaborate with underserved communities in pursuit of a No-Kill Virginia by 2025.

HASN Grants Awarded:

In May 2021, our first grant cycle awarded $20,350 to 5 HASN Affiliate Partners. The theme of this grant cycle was Preserving the Human/Animal Bond and Keeping Pets in Their Home and Out of Shelters. The result of those grants was 465 cats, 295 dogs, and 55 adopters receiving the assistance they needed to keep pets in the home, be it microchipping, spaying/neutering, supplies, training, temporary housing, medical treatments, kennels or fenced yards to release 6 dogs from life on chains.

In Nov 2021, our second grant cycle awarded $49,695 to 13 HASN Affiliate Partners. This grant was entitled the Brian Fiebig Caregiver Grant dedicated to the memory of a former Adopt Shop Caregiver and it concentrated on spay/neuter. The results of this grant are even more amazing, with 305 cats, 132 dogs, and 114 low-income pet owners receiving spay/neuter services at an average surgical cost of $83.

In June 2022 we will be awarding our third grant with a theme of What You Need, Baby You Got It! Because we know that not all rescues and communities' needs are the same, this grant is centered around the unique needs of each grant applicant and where the money will accomplish the greatest impact.

To learn more about HASN or to sign up to become a HASN partner, click here!

Shifting our focus was a very difficult decision, but one we are very proud of. We hope you agree and join us on this journey to save more animals in this great state and help accomplish No-Kill Virginia by 2025!

As you can see, through our Homeless Animals Support Network, we have been able to accomplish so much more than ever before. A donation to HASN truly increases the impact your gift makes on homeless animals!

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