Navigate Up
Menu + Public Affairs
Home > News Releases

Santa Clara County Commends MADDIE’s Fund and Local Animal Shelters for Million Dollar Grant Award

MADDIE’s Foundation Lifesaving Awards Acknowledges Coalition’s Outstanding Results in Saving Animals
County Board of Supervisors Commends Maddie’s Fund and Local Animal Shelters for Million Dollar Grant AwardSANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.
– Today, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors commended and recognized the six founding members of WeCARE (Community Alliance to Reduce Euthanasia) Coalition and Duffield Family Foundation’s Lifesaving Awards, dba Maddie’s Fund® for their dedication to the health and welfare of animals throughout the County.
The Maddie’s Fund granted a Lifesaving Award of $1,040,000 to the WeCARE Alliance to recognize the Santa Clara County community as a leader in saving animal lives and to acknowledge the outstanding contributions made by all members of the WeCARE Alliance. All alliance members successfully placed 100% of the healthy animals entering the shelters for the past two years, and no healthy shelter dogs and cats were euthanized in Santa Clara County shelters.  The Coalition implemented an adoption guarantee for all healthy and treatable shelter pets in Santa Clara County and continues to work to sustain that guarantee in the future.
“Adopt Me”“The County commends MADDIE’s Fund for its leadership in support of the humane treatment of animals,” said President George Shirakawa, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors. “Their grant funding has made a great difference and helped the WeCARE Coalition to achieve these outstanding results.”
WeCARE began with Humane Society Silicon Valley and the City of San Jose Animal Care and Services collaborating to rescue animals at risk for euthanasia due to medical and behavioral issues, or overcrowding.  The existing six founding members are County of Santa Clara Animal Care & Control, San Jose Animal Care & Control, Humane Society Silicon Valley, Town Cats Rescue, Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority and Palo Alto Animal Services. 
Supervisor Liz Kniss with Palo Alto Animal Services“Maddie’s Fund is proud and thrilled to give a gift of $1 million  to the WeCARE alliance in recognition of their outstanding accomplishments in saving all of Santa Clara County’s healthy shelter pets for the past two years,” said Maddie’s Fund President, Rich Avanzino.
“I’m most proud of the fact that the County’s Animal Care & Control placed 100 percent of the healthy animals in our care, including horses,” said Supervisor Mike Wasserman, Chair of Housing, Land Use, Environment and Transportation Committee, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors.
To qualify for the Lifesaving Awards, Coalitions must have achieved and sustained an adoption guarantee for healthy shelter dogs and cats for at least two years and demonstrate the ability to maintain that status in the future. Coalition members agree to publicly report their individual and community-wide annual statistics.

The Lifesaving Award grant was distributed to the Coalition members as follows:

  • ​County of Santa Clara Animal Care & Control
  • ​San Jose Animal Care & Control
  • ​Humane Society Silicon valley
  • ​Town Cats Rescue
  • ​Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority
  • ​Palo Alto Animal Services
Supervisor Ken Yeager pets a dog that is available for adoption at the event“We are very grateful to Maddie’s Fund for the generous support and recognition that this prestigious award provides,” said Beth Ward, COO, Humane Society Silicon Valley. “These resources will help WeCARE continue its successes to save all healthy animals.  It will also give us the flexibility to implement new programs to rehabilitate animals with medical and behavioral conditions so that they too can be adopted by a loving family.”
Upon receiving the grant, the first step WeCARE is taking to use the resources is to launch a new website to make it fast and easy for pet owners to be reunited with lost pets.  At, WeCARE alliance members maintain up-to-the minute listings of lost and found pets.  Users can easily search by type of pet or city to peruse a listing of photos to find their lost animal. 
Maddie’s Fund President Rich Avanzino gives brief remarksAbout Maddie's Fund
Maddie's Fund®, a national pet rescue foundation based in Alameda, is a family foundation which is funded by the founder of Workday and PeopleSoft, Dave Duffield and his wife, Cheryl. Maddie's Fund is helping to create a no-kill nation where all healthy and treatable shelter dogs and cats are guaranteed a loving home. To achieve this goal, Maddie's Fund is investing its resources in building community collaborations where animal welfare organizations come together to develop successful models of lifesaving; in veterinary colleges to help shelter medicine become part of the veterinary curriculum; and in the implementation of a national strategy to promote accountability and transparency in animal shelter operations. Maddie's Fund is named after the family's beloved Miniature Schnauzer who passed away in 1997. To learn more about Maddie’s Fund, please visit


Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Shirley Zackor, Office of Public Affairs (408) 299-5119; Albert Escobar, Santa Clara County Animal Care and Control (408) 465-2921; Jennifer Simonsen, Humane Society Silicon Valley and WeCARE Alliance (415) 706-1530                 
Posted: September 25, 2012