Most people never step into a shelter. Most animals never step out. That stark reality is the impetus behind Community Partnership for Pets, Inc. (CPPI), a North Carolina-based organization that strives to reduce the number of cats and dogs that are euthanized in state’s shelters.
The non-profit group currently works with 11 of the state’s poorest counties, helping to establish and fund a variety of initiatives. Population control through spay and neuter programs are a focal point, but the non-profit also works to promote responsible pet ownership. As part of that commitment, CPPI teaches elementary students about proper pet care. In 2018 alone, CPPI brought its Pet Responsibility Class to 120 classrooms and 750 students.
Pitt County Animal Services is a key partner in this education effort, which aims to help children think about pets differently and build the next generation of animal advocates. The progressive animal shelter collaborates with CPPI on other programs too, including efforts to help low-income families provide for their four-legged friends. Through CPPI’s pet food pantry, families in financial crisis receive help with pet food and basic pet care, including spay/neuter surgeries.
“If you help people help their pets, it’s a win-win for everyone,” explains Michele Whaley, the director of the Pitt County shelter. “It takes the entire community to work together to provide care for these animals, but when we do that, we’re showing kindness and compassion to both people and the animals they love.”