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East Bay SPCA: REDI Training Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The East Bay SPCA is located in one of the most diverse cities in the country – Oakland, California. Our mission is to remove barriers to accessing animal welfare-related services. While we actively strive to hire a staff that is representative of the community we serve, we recognize that our team could always benefit from additional training on diversity and inclusion.

Our organization invested in an entry-level training program around DEI last year that was mandated for all our team members. While a good start, we heard from a number of our staff that they were interested in learning more and in attending additional training that focused on how to apply the DEI concepts to our work in animal welfare.

The East Bay SPCA was awarded grant funding to begin offering Pets for Life programming in the zip codes directly surrounding our shelter campus. We are currently in the early stages of recruiting a program coordinator to begin this important work. Once the program is running, we expect to see additional engagement between our front-line staff and members of our local community – one that is very diverse and under-resourced.

We believe that the REDI training offered through Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity has helped to prepare our staff to serve and build relationships with this new clientele.

In summary, providing a high level of service to everyone in our community and removing barriers to resources is a top priority of the East Bay SPCA. We recognize the impact that REDI training had on staff and organizations and appreciate the opportunity to participate in this program.

How many pets did this grant help?


Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

The East Bay SPCA has many partners in the Bay Area. East Bay SPCA helps to provide additional services and works with clients in need who are referred to our programs by others. One of these partners is Paw Fund, who work in the field serving unhoused individuals.

Paw Fund was contacted for help by a gentleman who is currently in a homeless shelter that doesn’t allow animals and has no transport, so Paw Fund arranged transportation of his dog, Sugar Mama, to a community veterinary clinic for a spay surgery.

At that clinic, they found other medical issues that needed to be dealt with and the cost was going to be higher than expected. The clinic refused to spay Sugar Mama that day because of the other issues. Paw Fund kept the dog for the evening and contacted PETS of the Homeless to help secure funding for the dog, and then called Melissa at the East Bay SPCA.

Melissa oversees our Humane Advocacy program and was asked if this dog could qualify for our temporary boarding program, which allows animals to spend a longer time at the SPCA while receiving much-needed medical care.

Melissa consulted with our team and we were thrilled to take Sugar Mama in for our Hold for Home program, where she will stay safely in our shelter for three weeks and receive all the medical care she needs, including her spay.

This program takes the support of so many teams at the East Bay SPCA: our Humane Advocacy program, our veterinary clinic, and our Animal and Customer Care teams. To help our staff understand why and how to best serve our community, we applied for funding through the Petfinder Foundation to offer CARE’s REDI training program.

Many of our staff completed that program, increasing their empathy and skills for working within our diverse community. Sugar Mama is just one of countless animals who will benefit from the training our staff has completed.

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