OC Animal Allies has been serving the Orange County community and helping animals since 1987. Originally founded as the Orange County SPCA, they rebranded their organization earlier this year as Orange County Animal Allies. There was so much confusion blurring their association as a small local nonprofit with the large ASPCA, that they chose to move forward.
Their biggest message is that they are not related to nor funded by the government or any SPCA, as they are all independent of each other. They are a program based organization that offers a number of programs focused on providing education, veterinary assistance and funding, and resource referral.
Instead of operating a shelter, they work at the root of the problems that lead animals to the shelter. Neglect, unwanted litters, and the inability to afford and care for animals. Because they do not operate a shelter, our modest overhead allows us to use nearly 80% of every dollar donated to directly help an animal and provide services for members of the community.
Some of the programs they have include:
ARF Financial Assistance Program - Our ARF (Animal Relief Fund) financial assistance program provides help and discounts to low-income pet owners in Orange County for spaying/neutering or emergency veterinary care.
PAWS - Therapy Dogs Program - Our PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support) Therapy Dogs program is volunteer-supported and consists of handlers and their dogs who visit Orange County residents in need.
PAWS - AirPAWS Program - Our AirPAWS program deploys experienced PAWS Therapy Dog teams to make the often-stressful process of traveling much more enjoyable for passengers.
PAWS - Kindness Kids Program - Our Kindness Kids program uses PAWS Therapy Dogs to teach students the basic principles of kindness and respect toward all living creatures.
PAWS - Canine Literacy Program - Our PAWS Canine Literacy program is dedicated to reducing the anxiety often felt by young readers by providing the security only a therapy dog can provide.
PAWS - Special Events Program - Whether scheduling a high-intensity planning session or just looking for a break in the day-to-day grind, the OC Animal Allies' PAWS Therapy Dogs can help.
No Empty Bowls Program - Our No Empty Bowls program provides pet food and other pet essentials to various agencies in Orange County who host pet food pantries for pet owners in need.
OCCATS - Feral Cat Program - Our OCCATS (Orange County Cares About Cats) program assists in controlling the feral, community, and stray cat population through local Orange County resources.
Mark Thompson talked with Kevin Marlin, the executive director of OC Animal Allies. Kevin has more than twenty years experience in animal welfare, rescue work and humane animal education. He has worked with OC Animal Allies for more than 11 years as volunteer, where he has been responsible for the planning and implementation of a wide array of OC Animal events and activities.
Kevin served as Director of the Organization’s pet therapy program, PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support) for nine years and, in conjunction with the Orange County District Attorney’s office, developed the organization’s pioneering PANDA program, which provides support to child victims of sexual assault and abuse through pet therapy.
Kevin has served on the Board of Directors of OC Animal Allies for five years. He brings a wealth of knowledge that comes from hands on experience working with animals, and employs relationships he has cultivated over the last two decades in the industry to help broaden the impact of OC Animal Allies programs within the community.
To listen to Mark's conversation with Kevin, please listen below: