We have an exciting announcement! Maddie’s Fund®, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals, has awarded Gateway Pet Guardians an Innovation Grant for $5,000 to be used to save more lives through our Extreme Weather Action Plan.

Over the years, Gateway Pet Guardians has grown to be a driving catalyst for change in an underserved community – providing resources for community members to keep their pets despite many obstacles, including transportation and cost.

In addition to these obstacles, pet owners also face challenges with nature. The area experiences extreme temperature changes. In winter, the temperature drops below 0 degrees; and in the summer, temperatures climb above 100 degrees. These extremes, combined with unpredictable precipitation and poor run-off systems, also lead to flooding and standing water. Many families struggle because they do not have access to heating or air conditioning in their own homes. The Gateway Pet Guardians Extreme Weather Action Plan was developed to help families combat this extreme weather, providing the resources and tools necessary to keep pets safe.

The plan consists of four parts, each outlined below.

  1. Newspaper Ads
    To prepare for extreme weather, we plan to put ads in the local newspaper outlining steps families can take to keep pets safe. We will also make residents aware of the free resources we provide to help during cold and hot spells, including doghouses and straw, crates, blankets, etc. We plan to budget $400 to newspaper advertisements.
  2. Mass Text Warnings
    We collect contact information from every family that receives services. We plan to invest in a platform that will allow us to send texts in bulk to phone numbers with texting plans.
  3. Extreme Weather Flyers
    We have identified target locations to distribute flyers in advance of extreme weather. We’ve built relationships with receptionists, secretaries, clerks, etc. that are eager to spread the word about our services. To prepare for hot or cold temps, we will distribute 1,000 flyers at these target locations.
  4. Crates and Supplies
    In both hot and cold temps, we distribute crates to families that need them to bring their pets indoors. A crate is the key to many issues families with pets face–potty training, destruction, food aggression, etc. Our goal is to provide a crate to families with pets in hopes that they will continue to use them beyond the extreme temps, empowering families to bring their pets inside.

Our hope is that by providing the support and supplies families need to bring their pets inside, we can help support their transition to living permanently indoors. Our goal is to prevent the surrender of pets to local shelters by providing a temporary solution during these cases of extreme weather.

Maddie’s Fund®is a family foundation created in 1994 by Workday® co-founder Dave Duffield and his wife, Cheryl, who have endowed the Foundation with more than $300 million. Since then, the Foundation has awarded more than $225.7 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, shelter management leadership, shelter medicine education, and foster care across the U.S. The Duffields named Maddie’s Fund after their Miniature Schnauzer Maddie, who always made them laugh and gave them much joy. Maddie was with Dave and Cheryl for ten years and continues to inspire them today.

Maddie’s Fund is the fulfillment of a promise to an inspirational dog, investing its resources to create a no-kill nation where every dog and cat is guaranteed a healthy home or habitat. #ThanksToMaddie.