It was recently announced, that effective January 1, 2021, Allen County SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and H.O.P.E. for Animals (Humane Organization for the Prevention of Euthanasia) will merge as a single, nonprofit entity. The new joint entity will use the IRC 501(c)(3) charitable exemption and corporate structure of the SPCA.

The board of directors will be made up of board members from both Allen County SPCA and H.O.P.E. for Animals, and its executive director will be Jessica Henry, currently the executive director of Allen County SPCA. H.O.P.E. for Animals executive director, Allison Miller, will serve in an advisory role throughout the merger process.

“We found a significant overlap in our missions and our audiences, yet very little overlap in our programs and services,” said Kathryn Roudebush, board chair, Allen County SPCA. “Together, with our efforts and operations truly integrated, we feel we can be an even more positive force for animal welfare in northeastern Indiana.”

Allen County SPCA, founded in 1956, has served more than 60,000 animals and their owners. In the last decade, Allen County SPCA’s capacity grew and adoption rates quintupled. Additional services to underprivileged pet owners were added in 2015, and now the Allen County SPCA provides myriad comprehensive social service initiatives and emergency assistance programs for pets and their people.

Founded in 2008, H.O.P.E. for Animals has spayed or neutered more than 100,000 animals in northeastern Indiana, resulting in a reduction of cat and dog euthanasia by more than 70%. Originally structured as an animal rescue organization, the organization refocused its mission to serve solely as a spay/neuter/wellness clinic in 2010, and 2020 marks the ten-year anniversary of the region’s only low-cost clinic for cats and dogs.

H.O.P.E. for Animals’ board chair, Melissa McKown, said, “Not only do our organizations have a long history of collaboration, but as we analyzed our strategic plans, we found great alignment there, too. Our capacity to do good work together is enormous. This really is a case of one plus one equaling three.”

Allen County SPCA is located at 4914 Hanna Street, on the southeast side of downtown Fort Wayne. H.O.P.E. for Animals is located at 1333 Maycrest Drive, on Fort Wayne’s near east side. The new organization will continue to work out of both locations.

Allen County SPCA is the community’s only donor-funded, no-kill shelter. Its services include a comprehensive adoption program, education and outreach programs, pet retention and pet surrender programs, and community and working cat programs.

H.O.P.E. for Animals’ services include spay and neuter surgery, a wellness clinic and the community cat program. The latter is operated in collaboration with Allen County SPCA and Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control.

Jessica Henry said, “I think of our two organizations as a ‘bonded pair.’ We’ve grown to serve this community together—it’s our home. We look forward to continuing our services, and commit to growing to make an even more positive impact.”

The merger process was funded by a $35,000 Capacity Building Grant from Foellinger Foundation.

“At Foellinger Foundation, we invest in excellence,” said Cheryl Taylor, president of the Foundation. “We were pleased to support the staff and board leaders of these organizations as they committed to the rigorous and sometimes difficult task of analyzing operational and emotional factors to evaluate and map their most effective path forward.”

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