First Multi-Agency Service Fair for Companion Animals of the Homeless in Toledo

Community-driven event to provide insight into needs

Toledo, OH – January 17, 2017 – Inspired by the Toledo B lade’s story of a homeless woman named Diann and her dog

Cow, local and national groups have come together to organize a service fair for companion animals of the homeless. Event

host, My Dog is My Home (MDIMH) hopes the fair will initiate the development of co-sheltering infrastructure within the city's

homeless service system. The service fair will be used as an opportunity to assess how many homeless families like Diann

and Cow are in community, what needs they have, and what services are currently utilized.

The fair will take place on Saturday, February 18th, 2017 from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm at Cherry Street Mission Ministries’ Life

Revitalization Center. A range of free services will be available, including a pet pantry replete with dog and cat food, toys,

and treats; basic veterinary care (provided by Humane Ohio); and dog training. Local partners include the Toledo Area

Humane Society, faculty from University of Toledo’s College of Health and Human Services, Humane Ohio, Toledo’s PET

Bull Project, and Cherry Street Mission Ministries. Significant support has also come from the Toledo-Lucas County

Homelessness Board (TLCHB), which will be informing preparation for the service fair through the results of their annual

point-in-time (PIT) count of the unsheltered homeless population at the end of January.

Through a discussion with MDIMH and its local partnering organizations, TLCHB has added a question about pet ownership

to their survey this year. Because of TLCHB’s pioneering inclusion of homeless animal guardians in the PIT count survey,

Toledo is breaking new ground by recognizing that individuals and families with animals may face unique challenges to

accessing services and moving out of homelessness. “Understanding the scope of the problem opens new doors for creating

policies and services that target this special population. We are hoping to add depth to that understanding through the

information we collect at the service fair,” explains Christine Kim, Director of MDIMH.

MDIMH is currently seeking donations for its generosity campaign to raise funds for vaccines, flea and tick treatment, and

spay/neuter vouchers. Members of the public interested in learning more about the event, including volunteering, are invited

to contact christine@mydogismyhome.org. To stay up to date on MDIMH’s initiatives, the organization can be followed on

Facebook and Twitter @MyDogIsMyHome.

About My Dog Is My Home, Inc.

My Dog is My Home is a national organization dedicated to increasing shelter and housing access for homeless people and animals who find a home in

each other despite having little else. By utilizing a capacity-building approach, it strengthens the ability of local organizations and social service entities to

meet the needs of this sub-population of the homeless through research, consultation, and training. For more information visit mydogismyhome.org .

About Humane Ohio

Humane Ohio operates a non-profit, low-cost spay/neuter clinic and pet food bank that fixed 15,576 animals in 2016 and gave pet food to 730 families.

The spay/neuter clinic serves Ohio and Michigan and can offer low-cost spay/neuter prices because donations and grants help cover the costs. Humane

Ohio believes that all animals should receive the highest quality veterinary care possible even if the services are at a reduced cost. All spay/neuter

surgeries are performed by licensed veterinarians (DVMs) and every patient receives pain medication.

About Toledo Area Humane Society

The Toledo Area Humane Society’s mission is lead the community in efforts focused on relieving the suffering of, preventing cruelty to, and providing for

the humane treatment of animals. They have been serving Lucas County and the Greater Toledo area for over 130 years. Each year they care for more

than 4,000 animals that are brought to the shelter through their cruelty department, owner surrenders, or transferred from other agencies. They have a

full time veterinary staff that does the majority of all their veterinary care including in house surgeries, an education department that offers a variety of

children’s programs, a cruelty department that serves all of Lucas County, and a ReTail thrift store that provides additional funds to the shelter. The

Toledo Area Humane Society is a private non-profit organization that receives no government funding. The Toledo Area Humane Society is always

excited and willing to partner with other organizations, both locally and beyond, to serve and save as many animals as possible!

About Toledo’s PET Bull Project

Toledo's PET Bull Project began as a group of Pit Bull owners, dog lovers and dog trainers who pulled together after seeing the effects of what is being

done to our PETS, pit bulls in particular, by irresponsible owners. Our goal is to Prevent animal cruelty including dog fighting, Educate dog owners on the

importance of spay and neuter, and offer FREE Trainings to help owners become good citizens and advocates for their dogs whatever their breed.

About Cherry Street Mission Ministries

Founded in 1947, Cherry Street Mission Ministries provides food, clothing, shelter, transitional and permanent housing, and the transforming message of

Jesus Christ to the poor and homeless in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. Today, through its Biblically based programs, and a variety of other

services among them case management, vocational training, and GED courses, substance abuse and mental health. Cherry Street provides an

environment that can empower people to break the bonds of homelessness and poverty.