Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust Awards $150,000 Grant to Bridge the Gap for Pet Owners in Crisis
The Arizona Humane Society in partnership with the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, announced the addition of Jenna Diaz, a Resource Navigator (social worker), to AHS’ Pet Resource Center in an effort to further elevate its surrender intervention efforts to include sustainable, long-term solutions for pet owners in crisis.
AHS’ Pet Resource Center was launched in 2014 and was one of the first models in the nation to address animal surrender intervention efforts in a proactive and comprehensive way in order to keep pets in homes with their owners. In the last six years, the PRC has grown to include 10 bi-lingual, trained specialists responsible for managing over 60,000 inbound calls and live chat messages, 30,000 outbound calls and surrender intervention applications via AHS’ website.
Breakdown of AHS’ Pet Resource Center calls (60% related to owner surrender)
- 16,200 low-cost vet care
- 7,200 low-cost, pet-friendly housing
- 7,200 general financial support (pet rent/deposits, fencing, utility bill relief)
- 5,400 free pet food/supplies
“We learned early on that we can’t care for pets if we don’t care for those on the other end of the leash as well… the people,” said Dr. Steven Hansen, AHS’ President and CEO. “This vital funding from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust has enabled us to create a sustainable link through our Resource Navigator and Real Time Solutions Fund so that we can continue to bridge the gap between pet owners in need and the human services resources available to them when in crisis situations.”
“The human and animal bond is comforting and life-affirming. In times of crisis, it can be essential for one’s emotional and mental well-being. The Trust has supported the Pet Resource Center since 2015 because it helps keep people and their animal companions together. With Jenna joining the team, the Resource Center can now go deeper, helping pet owners find additional resources to stabilize their personal well-being,” said Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust Trustee Lisa Shover Kackley.
AHS’ Resource Navigator is one-of-its-kind as it elevates standard surrender intervention models by establishing relationships with key health and human services professionals to build a toolkit of support resources for pet owners in need, resources far surpassing the occasional bag of free pet food. AHS’ Resource Navigator joins a team already responsible for providing 69,000 resources to pet owners each year, which has resulted in nearly 6,000 pets remaining with their owners, a 41 percent increase over last year. Additionally, the Resource Navigator will also work closely with AHS’ Admissions and Field Rescue teams to provide crisis support and training to AHS’ teams assisting on the front lines during crisis situations such as homelessness, financial hardships and domestic violence.
Meet Jenna Diaz, AHS’ Resource Navigator
Jenna Diaz, an Arizona native, received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Social Work degrees from Arizona State University. In May 2011, Jenna began working for the Arizona Department of Child Safety, formally Child Protective Services, where she served in many roles including field work investigations and case management prior to becoming a Supervisor of Case Managers. Most recently, Jenna worked with Service Providers who help the families involved with the Department of Child Safety to ensure that the families receive quality services.