Six out of ten U.S. households include at least one pet, and one in six Americans lives in poverty. If you do the math, that means there are numerous pets living in poverty as well – pets that, just like their owners, don’t have ready access to important services and supplies. To meet the challenges that poverty creates for pets, we have to adjust our approach to animal welfare to reflect the world as it is. To help animals living in poverty, we have to bring services and information to their front doors and connect with people in a positive way.

In the communities where we work, Beyond Fences provides not only fences but other important services such as spay/neuter, vaccinations, leashes/collars, crates, and flea/tick medication. But to make a difference, you don’t have to provide all of the things that we do – because anything you can provide will be more than currently exists, and a little kindness, care and understanding will make a huge and lasting difference. So, in addition to supporting Beyond Fences, consider starting a group that provides one or more of services that Beyond Fences provides to pets in poverty, or volunteer for and support community outreach efforts and community-based groups in your area.

If you are interested in starting your own organization or similar program, start with the resources below or contact Amanda Arrington at

The Humane Society of the United States is spreading the philosophy of non-judgemental support for pet owners in underserved communities through its Pets for Life program.

Download the Pets for Life Toolkit for free and get started in your community today.

Beyond Fences • PO Box 3259 • Durham, NC 27715