Animal Friends Alliance to have paw-sitive impact on community

Monty Daniel

With the emergence of a new decade, two local businesses have a plan to help animals and their owners in a new way.

The Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Animal House, specializing in helping cats and dogs, are officially pairing together in 2020 to form the Animal Friends Alliance. This merge means they will be able to combine their expertise so that local dog and cat owners can get the help they need easier and faster.

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Jordan Dunn has been the marketing administrator at Fort Collins Cat Rescue for a little over two years and has seen the progress toward Animal Friends Alliance. 

“We both were founded in 2006, and I think we both originally had the plan that eventually we wanted to be a shelter for both dogs and cats, and we wanted to continue to grow,” Dunn said. “So this is just a really natural evolution for both of us.” 

person with cat
Jordan Dunn, marketing administrator at Fort Collins Cat Rescue, soon to be Animal Friends Alliance, sits with their office cat who is up for adoption at the shelter. (Monty Daniel | The Collegian)

According to Dunn, the companies had already been participating in events and clinics together, forming a bond even before the merge was decided. 

Dunn said that even though the companies are combining, nothing will be lost. 

“As a result of the merge, everyone is still going to keep their jobs, and all of our programs are going to keep operating the way that they are,” Dunn said. “At least for the near future, for 2020, we are still going to be in the same place. We are keeping both of our facilities.”

In 2020, the location formerly known as Fort Collins Cat Rescue will become the Animal Friends Alliance Mulberry Campus, and Animal House will become the Taft Hill Campus. In the long-term, they would like to move cat adoption facilities to the Taft Hill Campus since they have more room to grow on the 5-acre lot Animal House is currently located at, according to Dunn. 

Jess Cytron is currently the foster and transfer coordinator at Animal House, but after being at the company for nearly six and a half years, Cytron has worn many hats. 

“I’m hopeful that it will be more clear to the community on where to get their resources for pet retention,” Cytron said. “I think a lot of folks would call either organization and ask for something, and we might have to direct them to one another, and now that we’re merging, we’re gonna have one unified alliance.”

Cytron hopes this merge will make the process of assisting pets and their owners more streamlined and help open up more opportunity for both organizations. 

“The beautiful thing about Animal Friends Alliance is that we tend to leave things as limitless as possible,” Cytron said. 

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Both Cytron and Dunn are excited about combining brain power in order to serve the community in more varied ways. According to Megan Streetman, director of philanthropy at Fort Collins Cat Rescue, they plan to create a mobile spay/neuter van, complete with a mobile surgical suite with oxygen and anesthesia abilities. 

Obviously Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Animal House both have great reputations in the community, but now we’re having to reintroduce ourselves to everyone.” -Jordan Dunn, marketing administrator, Fort Collins Cat Rescue

The main goal of this merge is to better serve the Fort Collins community, so they felt it was important the community had a say in what the new name would be. They sent out a survey to their supporters asking for name suggestions and picked from the best ones. 

“The one that people seemed to connect with most was Animal Friends Alliance,” Dunn said. 

Other name options included Paws Nation, Love Unlimited and Animal Alliance.

“Especially since communication with the community and buy-in from the community (are) such a huge part of what we’re doing, everything we do is responsive to the community,” Dunn said. “It depends on the community, so we wanted to make sure it was a name that resonated with people.”

Looking to the future, another goal of theirs is to create more healthy homes for local animals. According to Cytron, an increase of both dog and cat adoptions is a foreseeable and attainable goal. 

“I think that with the merge, we’re going to be able to help animals stay in homes better because we are going to have more resources for dog owners too,” Cytron said. 

With the new year approaching, Animal Friends Alliance will keep going with the goals of their organizations, focusing on animal placement, education and pet retention.

“Obviously Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Animal House both have great reputations in the community, but now we’re having to reintroduce ourselves to everyone,” Dunn said.

Monty Daniel can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @MontyDaniel_.