Cathy & Alex Mendez
Cathy and Alex Mendez have always loved animals. When they adopted their first puppy from a shelter, they knew from that moment on they would always dedicate a part of their lives to helping unwanted animals.
After attending a Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) event at a neighbor’s home, Cathy and Alex were inspired by the shelter’s mission to “Paint a Better Future” for homeless animals. Humane Society Silicon Valley accomplishes this through five core initiatives that are supported through donations from the community:
1. Preventing unwanted births
2. Treating and rehabilitating animals
3. Finding homes for animals
4. Helping people to keep their pets
5. Educating youth and community members
Cathy and Alex choose to support HSSV’s mission by providing funding for the “Compassion in Action” program. This program engages teens that come to HSSV and receive training on socializing shelter animals. The goal is to make shelter animals more adoptable while fostering animal compassion in the community. Students participate in critical community service projects to help the animals at HSSV, learn trending animal welfare topics and share what they’ve learned with friends and family on the last day of the program. 40% of the participating students are underserved youth who benefit greatly from the lessons learned while working with animals.
“We felt investing dollars in our youth would help paint a better future for the sheltered animals and help create a more empathetic generation of animal lovers. It felt like a double win,” says Cathy.
“What we love most about HSSV,” Cathy shares, “is their positive attitude and ‘can-do’ spirit regarding finding forever homes for the animals arriving at their campus. One of the HSSV blog stories that had a huge impact on us was the story about ‘Eddie The Terrible.’ They photographed this feisty little dog, listed his many terrible habits and endeared him to a broad audience. This little dog ended up in a forever home because someone was willing to take a risk, knowing he came with a bag of tricks. Full disclosure, and the knowledge that someone out there would see beyond Eddie’s list of shortcomings, was a brilliant and bold action. These are the lengths that the staff at HSSV will go to, to find homes for the animals.”
Cathy and Alex Mendez with two of their beloved pugs Nina (left) and Quincy (right).
Bear (center) was adopted from HSSV. Here he shares happy smiles on his adoption day with his new siblings and their Dad.