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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal-Related, Animals

Mission: Our mission is to provide pet food, supplies, vaccinations and spay/neuter services for the pets of the homeless and underserved within our community. We provide this support in a judgement free environment for individuals and families in who are committed to the health and wellness of their pets and desire to keep them. In doing so, we believe we are: 1. Keeping the homeless united with what in most cases is the only living thing that provides with them with companionship, protection and unconditional love. 2. Reducing the amount of healthy pets surrendered to shelters because of financial burden and ultimately 3. Saving healthy pets from unnecessary euthanasia by keeping them with their families. We will always welcome all people, no matter what their station in life may be or what personal challenges they face. We believe in the love and companionship that these pets bring to their underserved and homeless owners.

Target demographics: the homeless and underserved with pets in Louisville, KY.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Last year we helped over 1,000 individuals, an average of 60 per week and an average of 130 pets per week. We distribute approximately 500 lbs of pet food per week.

Geographic areas served: Louisville, KY

Programs: Our Waggle Wednesday program. Every Wednesday we take donated food and supplies to the Yellow Lot at Waterfront Park and there our volunteers rebag the food into travel size bags and distribute it to the homeless/underserved with pets. We have volunteer veterinarians that donate the time and resources to provide free rabies vaccinations and wellness checks. We also do free licensing and pass out free spay/neuter certificates every week.

Community Stories

54 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Kristine25

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When I moved from my last home the adults agreed to take care of my sweet girl, Henrietta, along with their two dogs -- her mother and full brother, since I could not take her with me. She was almost two. That was November 2015.

As events crystalized this last year with neighbors complaining about dogs barking, and attitudes escalated to a high alert uproar, people in the home not having the means to care for three dogs with energy or time, stress levels, work loads, including conflict over details like where a dog should sleep and dogs jumping electric lines. Without consistent play and exercise, or ongoing training and nurturing for a fairly high energy girl, I knew I had to make every effort find a home for my sweet dog Henrietta. Her situation had become an issue of proper nurturing and healthy care. It was past time for me to find a forever home if I could not be her Mom and provide a safe and nurturing space next to me. Where I am will not allow me to have a dog. No options. If I did not have COPD, were truly homeless and living at a campsite with others, not this between lease chaos, she would be with me.

My Dog Eats First walked this path with me last Sunday afternoon through the entire process of re-socializing my girl, vetting her skills, getting her shots, check-up, and chipped, and pedi-pawed, along with horrific process of finding a new forever family. All at a miraculous down to the last minute day. Every person working there had Henrietta's best interests at heart when I told them I needed help rehoming her. These folks are here to keep families together not split them apart, yet they stood with me when they understood Henrietta's needs could not be filled in any other way except through rehoming. Betheny, the director of MDEF, white knuckled the entire afternoon sending out messages and pleas for a good hearted person to step up. Meanwhile everyone else from the greeters at the information and registration desk to the veterinarians and assistants in the portable clinic did their best to comfort and reassure both us, Henrietta and I.

Henrietta's hero arrived in the form of a lanky two legged meat smoking food vender with a gentlemanly southern demeanor. As an artist I see the potential for a lively illustrated book. Stephen Bowles is a true champ and animal loving guy. Besides, what dog would not appreciate a sidekick that grills and proudly says, "Sit in the front seat with me."

I witnessed compassionate love towards everyone that walked in and out the doors, four and two legs alike, in the only way St. Francis of Assisi would have approved. Unconditional.

Colleen74

Donor

Rating: 5

A most compassionate group of people dedicated to helping others. Love their energy, hearts and purpose of helping those that need help taking care of their animals for whatever reason.Thank you for your hard work, loving others as God, giving those a helping hand in taking care of their pets.

William97

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Love this charity. Very low overhead, in the community it serves. Accessibility for the homeless. They use the funds for the charity not for salaries and overhead. Great Charity. Well managed.

Christine169

Client Served

Rating: 5

Helped us and our pets and our feral neighborhood animals that we take care of through a rough time because of an life changing accident. Thank you

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My Dog Eats First is an amazing organization that helps the homeless population take care of their pet/companions. This group helps them with food, vaccinations, vet care, & actually and so , so much more. They not only take care of the needs of the pets, they take care of the souls of the people they serve.

1 Patti53

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Love what this group does. So needed in our community. What heart this group has.

Previous Stories
2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Love what this non profit does. What better than helping the homeless and underserved keep their companion pets. So needed in our area.

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1 Megan117

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I believe in the importance of this organization. My son has autism and a variety of mental health issues. Our dog is is only friend and dearest companion. Four legged friends provide a level of comfort and love that is priceless. It's imperative that right isn't taken away from people due to situations beyond their control. My daughter and I volunteer regularly and she is learning important life lessons. At 10 years old she is learning that our place in this big world is not to judge , but to serve however we can.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

my dog eats first is a blessing to the homeless comunity of louisville kentucky with all the food an help for our sweetest friends, (our pets) thankyou for helping me with isabelles shots & tags, we wish this nonprofit organization the blessings of love an wealth so you may allways be there for our best friends, (our pets) love you bethany an all the voliteers of my dog eats first, miss ya, cowboy~n~isabelle, @cowboys~cafe, smoketown, usa. have you huged your pitt~bull today..

3 Natalie70

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My Dog Eats First has changed the lives of not only the homeless but the under served in our community. Pets enrich the lives of their owners, bringing more meaning and love. To have an organization like MDEF brings hope and compassion for pets and their owners!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If My Dog Eats First didn't support the under-served pets and pet owners in our community, I don't know who else would. This is a non-profit I can get behind.