What We Do

Neighborhood-run Animal Health

  • Free basic veterinary services for living in public housing with a pet. No family ever sees a vet bill or is subjected to an undignified qualification process. Residents then encourage their neighbors to spay/neuter their pets and help them get started.
  • Support for families who can no longer keep pets. Our shelter partner steps in to help by providing a medical exam and finding an adoption family.
  • Support for stray animals. When a stray animal wonders through public housing neighborhood, our shelter partner steps in to provide a medical exam and find an adoption family.
  • Community “mousers”. Our goal is to get as many cats off the streets as possible and take good care of the remaining ones. Our partner traps and spay/neuters. Our shelter partner finds homes for tame cats. The few truly feral cats are returned where they are well cared for and contribute positively to the neighborhood. We reduced community cat populations in and surrounding public housing by well over 90% over the last decade.
  • Special services for neighborhood changers. Our newest program supports the aging pets of residents who have done so much to save and change the lives of animals.
Kennell leading neighborhood boys in a Roots & Shoots Project in his neighborhood.
Pet Packets are in the hands of public housing residents and employees and ready whenever a pet needs services.
Rita urging her neighbors to spay/neuter their animals.

Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots

  • A community around caring for animalsWe believe like Jane that people, animals and the environment are all connected. We started in public housing – all of us figuring out how to save animals in tragic situations. Ever since, a large network of public housing people has grown around caring for animals and serves as the bedrock across all other programs. One big lesson that we learned over the years is that residents matter more than anyone else in making long-term neighborhood changes.
  • Youth projects. Roots & Shoots empowers and encourages youth pursue their passion, mobilize their friends, and become the leaders our world needs in order to ensure a better future for people, animals, and the environment.
  • Youth employment. Our partnership with the City and County of Denver Office of Economic Development has enabled youths attain their first employment while helping their own neighborhood at the same time. 
  • Education pipeline. We encourage and support youths pursue the veterinary profession through field trips to shelters and veterinary clinics, serving as animal assistants for the day, and educational curriculum advice.
Kennell, Hawra, Asawer, and Ali visiting with Jane Goodall in about 2004.
Sun Valley youths rescuing a sick kitten in one of our Roots & Shoots youth projects.
Said Mohamed implementing salesforce.com through our partnership with Denver Office of Economic Development.
Yaminah and friend at Colorado State University with (now) Dr. Linda Nguyen.
Anuka’s children observing in the surgery suite.

Research & Knowledge Sharing

  • We believe that people in public housing and animal welfare have much to learn from one another. Our great hope is for better-informed practices by animal welfare agencies and public housing, plus more resources and services put into the hands of community members.