A Story of Expanding in the Face of Limitation
By Lauren Ford September 2019
The classic Hero’s Journey tells the tale of a hero who goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and then comes home changed or transformed. This is the story of the heroes who founded Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter, and how they made their way home.
Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter, or FAAS, was originally founded in 2009 by a small group of dedicated volunteers in order to raise funds for the medical care of the animals at what was the Alameda Animal Shelter of the time.
Then in 2011, to these animal heroes’ dismay, city budget cuts were forcing the shelter to close. Instead of accepting what appeared to be inevitable defeat, this tiny task force dug deep and expanded in the face of contraction. They mobilized fellow animal lovers, resources and energies to launch a “Save Our Shelter” campaign, and devoted months to continuous discussions and negotiations with city officials.
Finally at the start of 2012, thanks to their willingness to grow in the face of obstacles and because of the power of their vision, FAAS took over management of the Alameda shelter.
Today FAAS is comprised of 13 full and part-time employees and more than 150 volunteers who provide daily loving care to more than 60 animals at the shelter. FAAS envisions a world where our community fully celebrates the human-animal bond, where there are no more homeless pets, and where our fellow beings treat each other with compassion and respect.