Open Arms Challenge Grand Prize winner, Companion Animal Alliance (CAA), is no stranger to progressive policies. The open-intake shelter in Baton Rouge, LA, prides itself on being a welcoming and understanding place. It frequently waives return-to-owner fees in order to keep pets with their people, provide free pet food for those who need it and waive adoption fees in order to keep barriers to adoption low.
During the month of the Open Arms Challenge in April 2023, CAA aimed to focus on improving messaging, marketing and communications to its community. After all, what good is being helpful and inclusive if no one knows about the services you offer? On social media, the focus became letting its followers know that CAA was more than just a place you go to adopt a pet. During this time, two free community pet food giveaways were held in two completely different parts of the city. Each had different needs related to pets and care.
Emily Lemoine, Director of Grants and Communication shared, “Our Pets for Life division, who works to provide free care to people with pets in underserved areas (five zip codes in our parish), ramped up proactive outreach during this challenge period. Two of our staff members of the Pets for Life team went out in the communities with little to no access to pet care and offer free spay/neuter, food, medical care, preventatives, fencing, shelter, and much more.”
Read about more successful changes CAA made during the Challenge on Maddie’s® Pet Forum, post your thoughts and questions for the organization and learn more about the 2024 Open Arms Challenge. If you’d like to hear even more from CAA, check out the recent Community Conversation, “Reimagining Fundraising: Ethics, Empathy, and Equity.”