What is the Maddie's® Pet Rescue Project?



Erie County to Receive Award Over Five Years to Save All Healthy and Treatable Cats and Dogs; Project Partners Consist of Animal Welfare Groups, Spay/Neuter Clinic

Maddie’s Fund® The Pet Rescue Foundation has announced that it will award a $501,550 grant beginning October 1, 2009 to support the first year of a multi-year community project targeted at guaranteeing a home for every healthy and treatable dog and cat abandoned in Erie County, NY.  An additional $177,600 will be dedicated to the sterilization of feral cats, and of cats owned by income-qualified residents.

As goals are achieved, Maddie’s Fund® will provide approximately $5 million over the course of five years to help Erie County project partners continue fulfilling these objectives for the cats and dogs of the community.

Maddie’s® Pet Rescue Project Partners include the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter; HEART Inc.; Second Chance Sheltering Network, Inc.; Ten Lives Club; and lead agency, the SPCA Serving Erie County. In April of 2010, Black Dog, Second Chance was added to the list of partners. Maddie’s® Spay/Neuter Project Partners include OperationPETS, the Spay/Neuter Clinic of Western New York Inc., and at the present time (2009) ten local veterinary clinics: Akron Animal Hospital, All Creatures Animal Hospital, Aurora Park Animal Clinic, Boston Valley Animal Hospital, Cheektowaga Veterinary Hospital, City Creatures Animal Hospital, East Aurora Veterinary Hospital, Ellicott Small Animal Hospital, Lancaster Small Animal Hospital, and Transit Valley Animal Hospital.

Over the course of the first year, project goals include increasing the number of dogs and cats adopted from participating organizations, maintaining a total of zero healthy dogs and cats euthanized by participating organizations, and decreasing the number of treatable dogs and cats euthanized in Erie County. Sterilization assistance will be provided to income-qualified pet owners and to feral cats.

Erie County, NY is just the ninth county in the country to receive this collaborative community grant.

“Traditionally, the five-year goal of Maddie’s® Pet Rescue Project is that no healthy dog or cat in a community is euthanized,” says SPCA Executive Director Barbara Carr.  “Thanks to partner agencies and our community members, we predict that Erie County is less than one year away from reaching that goal. Our project partners have pledged that the customary ten-year goal of the project, that of euthanizing no healthy NOR TREATABLE dog or cat, will be reached in five years. There is no doubt that, with our caring community acting as the eighth project partner, this goal will be reached, earning our community this generous grant.”

For several years, the phrase "no-kill" has been circulated amongst animal welfare groups.

"I don't know what individuals consider 'no-kill,' since there are many definitions of the phrase, and this is why our SPCA never positions itself as or calls itself no-kill," says SPCA Director of Public Relations Gina Browning. "Some shelters call themselves no-kill because they do not euthanize 'adoptable' animals, only what they deem 'unadoptable.' Some call themselves no-kill because they do not euthanize 'unadoptable but treatable' animals. Some call themselves no-kill and will turn away suffering animals, actually increasing that animal's suffering and stress, not to mention the heartache of the individual with that animal, so the organization can maintain a no-kill reputation despite whether their actions are humane.  These are just some of many definitions of the phrase no-kill, and why we try to distance ourselves from that phrase. Throughout the nation there are too many definitions of the phrase no-kill to make sweeping generalizations. Instead, each organization must be regarded individually. And what our SPCA Serving Erie County is doing is saving lives and improving the qualities of life for others, plain and simple."

Carr adds, “The Maddie’s® Pet Rescue Project community grant is revolutionary. It is a testimony to the tremendous work our community and our project partners have already completed, and will advance…a testimony to just how much this community loves its animals. Thanks to these caring individuals, as of 2016, we at the SPCA maintain an adoption guarantee status for healthy and treatable dogs and cats. ”

Keep watching YourSPCA.org for continuing news regarding The Maddie’s® Pet Rescue Project.

About Maddie's Fund

The Maddie's Fund® mission is to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals.

MaddieMaddie's Fund is a family foundation founded in 1994 by Workday co-founder Dave Duffield and his wife, Cheryl, who have endowed the Foundation with more than $300 million. Since then, they have awarded more than $172 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, shelter medicine education, and pet adoptions across the U.S. The Duffields named Maddie's Fund after their Miniature Schnauzer, Maddie, who always made them laugh and comforted them during stressful business times when Dave was launching a startup software company. Maddie was with Dave and Cheryl from 1987-1997 and continues to inspire them today.

Maddie’s Fund is the fulfillment of a promise to an inspirational dog and the creation of a goal towards achieving a no-kill nation where all healthy and treatable shelter dogs and cats are guaranteed a loving home. #ThanksToMaddie.


what is Maddie's fund®?


The Maddie’s Fund® mission is to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals.

Maddie’s Fund® the Pet Rescue Foundation is a family foundation established in 1999 to help fund the creation of a no-kill nation where all healthy and treatable shelter dogs and cats are guaranteed a loving home. Since its inception, Maddie's Fund has awarded animal welfare organizations and universities more than $96.1 million to save animal lives.

PeopleSoft and Workday Founder, Dave Duffield and his wife, Cheryl, created Maddie’s Fund. The foundation makes good on a promise the Duffields made to their beloved Miniature Schnauzer, Maddie, to give back to her kind in dollars that which Maddie gave to them in companionship and love.  Maddie passed away in 1997, but thanks to this one little dog, abandoned shelter animals have new opportunities to find loving homes in which they, too, may share in the joy and love that Dave and Cheryl enjoyed with Maddie.

Maddie’s Fund supports collaborative efforts in which entire cities and counties pool their talents and resources to build a safety net of care for the community’s dogs and cats. The foundation awards millions of dollars through multi-year grants to animal welfare coalitions to end the killing of healthy and treatable shelter dogs and cats community-wide. Funded projects must produce an immediate and measurable increase in adoptions and reduction in shelter deaths to demonstrate progress towards the goal. Starter Grants for gathering shelter statistics and writing business and strategic plans are available as precursors to community collaborative grants.

The foundation offers grants to colleges of veterinary medicine to establish shelter medicine programs so that the specialized knowledge and skills of these institutions’ faculty and students can be incorporated into the effort to save all healthy and treatable shelter pets nationwide.

Special grants are awarded to selected leaders who have demonstrated the ability to create change and to save lives; to programs that promise new lifesaving methods and opportunities; to organizations and communities that are leading the way in achieving lifesaving goals through marketing and other means; and to adoption guarantee shelters for new medical equipment.

Grantmaking efforts focus on organizations that honor the foundation’s core values of honesty, integrity and mutual respect.


(Adoptions, Admissions, etc.)

- 2014 SPCA Serving
Erie County

- 2013 Erie County