Cleveland is filled with purpose-driven nonprofit organizations and passionate changemakers. We find that inspiring, and we're happy to bring to you our monthly Do-Gooder Series, aimed at connecting you to the causes that make our hearts skip a beat. Support them by purchasing craft cocktails and beer at The Flea Bar, or by donating directly via their own websites. Often times, they'll even have a presence at our events, so don't be shy — let them know you're happy they're here doing good.
Becca Britton is the Founder and Executive Director of Friends of the Cleveland Kennel. Founded in 2003, Friends of the Cleveland Kennel is a 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to provide the necessary medical and general care to the dogs and cats in need at Cleveland Animal Care & Control, while working to reduce intake numbers and save lives by providing affordable resources and education to Cleveland residents via the Neighborhood Pets Program.
Cleveland Flea: Who are the Friends of The Cleveland Kennel?
Becca Britton: Our Organization Funds emergency vet care expenses for dogs & cats, spay/neuter surgeries for adoptable dogs, animal care supplies (including but not limited to Flea treatment, heartworm preventative, etc., enrichment tools & treats, indoor and outdoor dog runs, Kuranda Beds, City Dogs Volunteer & Adoption program supplies, Adoption Ambassador/Foster Program, Plankton Fund (heartworm treatment), and the Neighborhood Pets Outreach & Resource Center Program.
CF: What would you like people to know about the Friends of The Cleveland Kennel that they might not?
BB: Our organization not only saves and improves the lives that end up at Cleveland Animal Control, but we are also actively working towards reducing the intake numbers at Animal Control with our new program Neighborhood Pets Outreach/Resource Center. This program’s goal is to keep pets healthy and happy in their homes, by providing low income pet owners access to affordable care for their pets. Animal Control takes in over 75 dogs a week. That’s just too many. So many dogs end up at Cleveland Animal Control needlessly, our goal is to work to reduce the numbers that end up there to begin with.
CF: So, why do you think this is important to the Cleveland community?
BB: Our organization not only funds to save and improve approximately 3,500 dogs lives a year at Animal Control, but we also provide low cost resources to Cleveland pet owners. We support a high profile pit bull adoption program called City Dogs that is literally changing the culture of how the public typically sees pit bull dogs. We are also working directly in a high need neighborhood daily to help those in need, with non judgement and affordable resources. We are truly making a difference for pets and their owners in Cleveland!
CF: Why do you love your job?
BB: I love my job because every single day I am helping people and animals in need. I know I am making a huge difference in their lives, and it literally fills my heart every day.
CF: Can you share a moment at the Friends of The Cleveland Kennel that really had an impact on you?
BB: There are so many moments over the years that have impacted me, it’s very hard to just share one! When I first started volunteering at the Cleveland Kennel, in 2001, I saw a dog laying in the bottom kennel looking at me. I saw he had an injured leg, and I asked what would happen to him. The staff at the time told me he was going to be euthanized because his leg was injured. That was the moment I decided to create Friends of the Cleveland Kennel. I could not accept animals being euthanized simply because there was not funding for vet care. Many years have passed, and things are not nearly as bleak anymore (don’t worry!). That was the day that changed my life, and why I am still working in animal welfare to this day.
CF: Are you doing anything awesome some time soon that we should know about?
BB: Saturday October 7 from 1-4 pm, we are having our 1 year Anniversary Celebration of opening Neighborhood Pets Outreach/Resource Center! We will be having food, refreshments, DJ, games, and prizes. This will take place at Neighborhood Pets located in Slavic Village at 3711 E.65 Street, Cleveland 44105.
Wednesday September 6 from 11:30-2 pm: 121 Fitness Center on the Case Western Campus is having a book signing with photographer Greg Murray. All of the proceeds will benefit Neighborhood Pets Program.
On Saturday, September 16 @ 1 pm there is a City Dogs New Volunteer Information Session at the Jefferson Library Branch in Tremont. This is your chance to volunteer if you've been looking for opportunities!