Pegasus Foundation works with partners to address animal welfare issues on the Navajo Nation
By Anne Ostberg, Pegasus Foundation Communications Director
Since it was founded in 1997, the Pegasus Foundation
has been working with various organizations to
address animal welfare issues on the Navajo Nation. The largest Native
American nation in the United States, the Navajo Nation encompasses 26,000
square miles in the southwestern United States and is home to 210,000 Navajo
people and an estimated 160,000 stray dogs and cats. Because of the
extremely depressed economy on the Nation (the per capita income is less
than $6,000 a year), the majority of dogs and cats are underfed and receive
little or no veterinary care. In addition, stray animals roaming the roads
and communities are a public health and safety concern.
Over the years, Pegasus has worked with various partners, including the Navajo Nation Veterinary & Livestock Program,
SNAP, Plateauland, Arizona Humane Society, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and others, to
implement an evolving strategy for stray animal care on the Nation. The
Foundation currently works with a team of service providers that provide
mobile veterinary clinics throughout the Nation. Last year, more than 1500
dogs and cats were spayed or neutered.
The Pegasus Foundation also facilitates communications among service
providers. In 2001, the Foundation began funding a coordinator position to
assist the Navajo Nation Veterinary and Livestock Program director in
spay-neuter community outreach and re-establishment of a puppy adoption
program. SNAP serves as both fiscal agent and advisor for this position. In
addition, monthly conference calls with all of the providers have led to
increased coordination of spay-neuter clinic schedules. SNAP now maintains a
clinic schedule for all providers on its website.
The mobile Spay/Neuter providers' dedication and commitment to quality services matches the Pegasus
Foundation's strategy of engaged philanthropy, which is echoed by New Profit
Inc.: "Our theory is that if foundations and individual
philanthropists allocated funds based on performance instead of need, they
would create an environment that would, in turn, produce higher performing
The Pegasus Foundation sees its role as extending well beyond grantmaking.
The Foundation serves as a catalyst to help non-profit organizations achieve
their potential through forming partnerships, building capacity, leveraging
resources, and educating the public. Furthermore, Pegasus encourages its
partners to include all communities and all peoples in developing
collaborative partnerships that will lead to lasting change. This strategy
has proven to be effective in the Foundation's partnerships on the
Contact Anne Ostberg, for more information.
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