Admiral’s Advocacy is a small charity with a big vision. Founded in early 2017 by a veteran rescue and shelter volunteer, the mission is a little different than your typical animal organization.
Since 2004 I have volunteered every ounce of my free time to rescue and my local animal shelter. I have fostered, mentored, led programs, counseled adopters, matched people with compatible pets, and learned everything I could (and continue to learn) about animal sheltering and adoption practices. During my years of service I began to see needs that haven’t had a lot of support, and my new calling is to meet those needs.
The sheltering climate has changed drastically in recent years, in the best way possible. Shelters are now working to find homes for every adoptable animal that comes through their doors! They work with in-house volunteers to support their staff and ensure that the social needs of their pets are met. They work with rescue partners to keep their numbers down so that they don’t have to euthanize for space. They are working together, transferring animals in and out in an effort to help surrounding areas with shallow adoption pools save as many lives as they can. It’s a beautiful thing to see, and a rewarding thing to participate in.
Saving so many animals, and keeping some for a longer than average time frame, brings with it some challenges that haven’t been met before. One of those is enrichment. Shelter pets need to keep their brains busy in order to be happy. Sitting in a cage or a kennel, waiting for an adopter to pick them, is hard, especially for more active animals. Enrichment items like puzzle toys, things to chew on, and soft blankets help to keep their spirits up so they show their best selves to the people who meet them. Enrichment often makes the difference between a short and a long shelter stay. Even if the stay is longer than average, enrichment keeps the animals in better spirits while they wait. It seems like a small thing, but it saves lives! Unfortunately, many shelters just don’t have the budget to spend beyond basic care. Admiral’s Advocacy has provided enrichment items to Loudoun County Animal Services and Prince George’s County Animal Shelter on multiple occasions, and we look forward to providing for more shelters in the future!
Another area that needs attention is support for harder to adopt pets. Whether those pets have some easily managed behavior issues, or they simply have physical obstacles like being a senior or having an easily treatable chronic illness, shelters and rescues need help with marketing those pets. Admiral’s Advocacy provides targeted social media sponsorships for some of those pets, and has paid the adoption fees for others in order to help them find homes!
The third area, but certainly not the least important, is support for struggling pet owners who are near the end of their rope. People who are trying to deal with behavior issues, find a place to live that will allow their pets, need affordable veterinary care for their animals, or need help finding a new home for their beloved furry family member need guidance, but they often don’t know where to turn to find it. Our goal is to help each struggling pet owner find the best resolution for them and their pet. We are a judgment free zone, and will always do our best to help pet owners keep their pets, or find new homes if that’s not possible.
Admiral’s Advocacy is new, and small, but we hope to grow and become a go-to resource for pet owners, shelters, and rescues. We hope to attract volunteers who see the value in being a support organization, who are willing to help find answers to current problems faced by those who are working so hard to save adoptable pets. We hope to find compassionate people to help us help struggling pet owners get on solid ground so their families can stay together.
The things we do to help may be small, but they are also great. That’s why we have adopted the tag line “Doing small, great things.” If you’d like to learn more about us, visit our website at www.admiralsadvocacy.org.
Kristie Wood, Founder and President