What We Believe
In the United States, one in six households falls within the definition of poverty. There are an estimated 23 million pets living in those households. These are pets falling through the cracks.
Kane's Krusade practices the HomeFirst! model, which is founded on seven key principles:
- We operate from one simple premise: have we done all we can do to keep this pet home? This approach requires a critical shift to focus on addressing causes of surrender in addition to standard rescue and adoption practices. These causes include but are not limited to economic, behavioral and housing issues. Surrender becomes a last resort, not an automatic response.
- We actively create ways to see people as part of the solution, not the problem. HomeFirst! is the audacious belief that we in animal welfare can actually learn to love people as much as their pets by finding and building common ground. We focus on pets as part of the family unit, not separate. We understand that if we want to help pets, we must help people. Caring about people goes hand in hand with caring about their pets.
- Direct engagement in communities and under-served neighborhoods is essential. We no longer wait for people to come to us. We go out and meet them – where they live, work and play. We actively listen to identify opportunities, challenges and needs. We are sincerely curious and open to learning. We understand we don’t always have the answers, but we are committed to exploring options to find the answers.
- We find solutions, not fault. A non-judgmental attitude is essential to the HomeFirst! philosophy. We are committed to checking in about personal judgments, assumptions and expectations as they affect our ability to keep an open mind and facilitate solutions. We follow a harm reduction model – choosing to meet people where they are, not where we think they should be. We recognize that time and energy spent judging people has never helped improve an animal’s situation. Judgment builds barriers. Openness and dialogue tear them down.
- Empowering people creates long term solutions. Depth is valued over breadth. We continuously look for ways to set people up for success. This means providing opportunities, not handouts. We empower people to be part of the solution by creating a new model of interaction. This community model is based on building relationships, taking the time to get to know people, and inviting them to be a part of something bigger, with purpose. Opportunities to “pay it forward” are a major component of the HomeFirst! approach. Families can choose from a number of involvement options. This strengthens feelings of worth, builds commitment and creates strong advocates at all levels.
- Kindness is not mistaken for weakness. Upholding personal responsibility and creating and maintaining boundaries are critical for healthy organizations, staff and volunteers. By providing assistance, we do not assume responsibility for the animal. Animal abuse and neglect are never tolerated and are always reported to the authorities. We share information and resources so that people can make good choices for their pets. Ultimately, their choices are their own and healthy boundaries protect our sanity, health and energy reserves. Boundaries also deter mission drift which can quickly swallow up a well-meaning organization.
- Collaborating and leveraging resources maximizes impact. We know that we can help more animals by working together than working apart. Focusing on what we do best and leaving the rest to other organizations ensures sustainability. We understand that the most important focus of all is to last, to thrive. Burn out and martyrdom help no one. Creative solutions are a byproduct of collaboration and openness.