Humane Indiana: REDI Training Grant Report
How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?
Thanks to the Petfinder Foundation, Humane Indiana's staff and board were able to participate in the Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion training specifically geared toward animal wellbeing agencies. As a result, HI founded a REDI committee to begin to evaluate the policies and practices that we want to change to make our adoption process even more inclusive, and help more pets.
We began with our foster program, and immediately made changes to our language, assumptions, training protocol, onboarding practices, and other internal procedures, building on what we learned in the REDI training.
Putting into practice the knowledge learned from REDI, HI was able to increase the number of families fostering pets by 25%. We were able to involve families from communities where the animals were found, which tend to be predominantly BIPOC, because we removed barriers to participate. We were even able to use software to better involve people whose preferred language is not English. This, in turn, allowed us to accept additional transports of puppies on the euthanasia list from other shelters that have low resources but high numbers.
This is especially significant because we had received other grants to publicize the foster program, and invested a significant amount of money in marketing, but had not seen an increase in the number of foster families, even after a year. Changing ourselves first led to an immediate result that helps us have even more of a lifesaving impact.
How many pets did this grant help?
Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.
Someone found a neonatal kitten in the middle of the road in Hammond, Indiana, and called Humane Indiana to bring it in. The kitten, whom we named Cheddar Bay Biscuit, was only two weeks old — far too young to be placed in shelter.
Just before this, a 16-year-old girl had reached out to Humane Indiana to commit to becoming a neonatal kitten foster. In the past, due to her age, she may not have been onboarded as a foster so quickly, and there would have been multiple appointments she might not have been able to make.
Because HI changed its procedures, this young leader became a wonderful foster for Cheddar Bay Biscuit and inspired her entire family to help. They brought the kitten in for his checkups and provided dedicated care that helped him grow.
The family loved and spoiled him for weeks and got him ready to find a family of his own. Cheddar Bay Biscuit got the start he needed in life, and once he was old enough for adoption, he quickly found a loving family! Below are pictures of him as he grew.