Core Values, DEI, & Community
Our Companions is dedicated to the empowerment and advancement of animal professionals and animal lovers across our organization and the greater community. Through our Core Values program, DEI Initiatives, and Community Programming, we aim to build a future where all humans and their animal companions can access the care and support they need to live a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life together.
Our Core Values
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Animal Shelters, Rescues, and Other Animal Welfare services are crucial resources to our community. It is estimated that 4.1 million shelter animals are adopted in the United States every year and close to 800,000 found animals are returned to their owners (ASPCA.org). With educational services, veterinary partnerships, food drives, etc. we are constantly striving to create long-lasting relationships between the adopters and their animal companions.
However, our industry often falls short of this mission through policies and procedures that, while focussing on the needs of the animal, neglect the needs of the people we serve. This oversight disproportionately impacts historically-disenfranchised groups in our community including People of Color, people without housing, people with disabilities, and other marginalized populations.
“Minorities in general and African Americans, in particular, are still virtually invisible in all aspects of organized animal protection.”
Demographics of the Animal Welfare Industry as of 2019
This lack of inclusion is echoed in the demographics of staffing and leadership. Recent studies have shown that across all of animal welfare 75% of staff are White while only 4% are Black or African American. Of this percentage, only 0.8% of Black employees were in top leadership positions and 62% of Animal Rescues/Shelters had no People of Color on their staff (CareAWO.org).
With the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting a 33% growth of employment opportunities within the Animal Professional field by 2030 (BLS.gov), it is even more imperative to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion and ensure a future that represents and serves everyone in our community.
Our Companions DEI Statement
At Our Companions, we believe the future of our field lies in the advancement of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and the reform of practices that negatively impact human and animal well-being. We are dedicated to the continued education and well-being of our staff as well as creating barrier-free systems where diverse voices and innovative programming can flourish both in the workplace and in our community.
We aim to reach these goals through:
- Continued education and training of all Our Companions Staff, Sub-Contractors, and Person-facing volunteers
- Providing various promotional opportunities and advancement pathways for employees
- Analyzing barriers that may prohibit participation in our programs
- Assessing and responding to the needs of our greater community
- Expanding recruitment efforts and hiring practices
Community Advancement Highlights
At Our Companions, we strive to create innovative programming and services that support our community, support the animal-human bond, and keep animals in their homes. These programs and partnerships include, but not limited to:
- The Helpline
- Buddy Project
- Community Cats Trap-Neuter-Return Assistance Program
- Low Cost Pop-up Veterinary Wellness Clinics
- Veterinary Assistance
- Aid-a-Pet Partnership
- Local Animal Control Partnerships
- Rehoming Program (Dogs, Cats, Small Animals)
- Affordable Dog Training Programs (Canine College Classes, Parenting with Pets, Save the Home)
Our Companions is expanding our programs, join us today!
Join our various volunteer programs and make a difference in your community.
Apply for our Canine Behavior internship and work towards your Dog Training certification.
View our staff openings and learn more about working at Our Companions.