Civic Group
Animal Shelter Relief

Relieving overcrowded animal shelters.

Years active: 12

Their story: In 2008, Amy Strickland and two of her former coworkers from the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter started Animal Shelter Relief rescue to help relieve overcrowding at the shelter. At the time, it was the only animal rescue group in the area focusing on cats and special needs animals. The all-volunteer non-profit organization is one of the few rescues that can take in pre-wean kittens. All animals are placed in temporary foster homes until permanent homes can be found. More than 3,000 animals have been rescued since the organization was founded.

Fundraising focus: Animal Shelter Relief typically would rack up a good percentage of its donations — both money and pet supplies — during its weekly Adoption Fairs in Soquel. Now that these Saturday events have been on hold because of COVID, the nonprofit group needs financial help more than ever to continue its mission of relieving the burden on government-run animal shelters and rescuing cats and dogs that might otherwise be euthanized. More foster families are needed as well to care for the roughly 250 animals a year that Animal Shelter Relief takes in as these cats and dogs await potential adoption. Foster families typically pay for pet food, but some could use help purchasing pricey Kitten Milk Replacer formula, which donations can help buy.

Amy Strickland

“ASR continues to grow every year. In the first year, we set a realistic goal to rescue just 50 animals. We rescued 150!”