We were honored when Governor Newsom tapped the Koret Shelter Medicine Program in January to lead a five-year effort to realize California’s 20-year-old goal that no healthy or treatable animal be euthanized. It was a historic move by a governor: Never before has a state put forward a comprehensive proposal to partner with animal shelters in achieving a shared vision of a truly humane community, one where the right care and outcome would be offered to every animal in need.
Further signaling the governor’s recognition of the critical role pets play in our families and to our own wellbeing, the initiative was dubbed California for All Cats and Dogs and was backed by 50 million dollars in programmatic support and grant funding earmarked for animal shelters that have historically struggled to meet their communities’ needs.
Unfortunately, the economic consequences of COVID hit California’s budget hard and the support accompanying the lifesaving plan has been trimmed to $5 million. The Koret Shelter Medicine Program remains firmly committed to the goal of supporting California shelters and realizing our shared dream. With your support, we can still move the vision for a healthy and humane California to goal.
The Koret Foundation Funds
Based in San Francisco, the Koret Foundation supports organizations that promote a vibrant and distinctive Bay Area. Koret focuses its giving in two major areas: strengthening the Jewish community in the Bay Area, Israel and Poland, and supporting Bay Area anchor institutions. Since its founding in 1979, Koret has invested nearly $500 million to contribute to a higher quality of civic and Jewish community life.
The Koret Foundation seeks strategic, collaborative solutions to leverage our grantmaking dollars. For more than thirty years, Koret has looked to market-based approaches and proven business principles to improve communities and the Bay Area.
The Koret Foundation played an instrumental role in developing the Koret Shelter Medicine Program with multi-million-dollar five-year grants, the first one starting in 2005. These grants allowed us to become firmly established as a program, as well as a leader for the development of shelter medicine nationally and globally. The Koret Foundation’s emphasis on developing model programs fostered a collaborative spirit and allowed us to partner with numerous organizations to magnify the benefit of the foundation’s investment. For 15 years, the Koret Foundation was the single largest supporter of the Koret Shelter Medicine Program as we worked to create an enduring resource for educators, veterinarians, shelter workers and society through expansion of this website and refinement of shelter consultation services. We are honored and privileged to have received the support of this forward-thinking organization.
The “KT Fund”
I first met Karen Tsang when I volunteered at the veterinary clinic where she worked as a technician. I was preparing to apply to vet school, and thought my volunteer time would help me learn about veterinary medicine and how to be a doctor. I did learn some of that, but I learned so much more from watching Karen interact with the animals that came to us for care. Her delight, amusement, and boundless compassion for her charges remain an inspiration to me and many others. I’ll never forget the way her face would light up when she was able to help some damaged creature – the more mutant and pitiful, the better. She always had a ragtag assortment of one-eyed (or no-eyed), crippled, scruffy rescued dogs, cats and other animals at home. Though she generally had far more animals than really seemed reasonable, she kept them all in perfect health and delighted in each individual. I had to choose carefully whether to tell her or not whenever I ran across some particularly pathetic specimen at a shelter – especially if it was an elderly shi-tzu or a slightly deranged border collie mix – as she was always ready to take on one more.
Karen left the world a bleaker place when she passed away on September 17, 2004, at the age of 38. The Karen Tsang Memorial Fund was established in her honor, to help the animals she cared about so much. I find it impossible to write about her in a way that really captures the tremendous warmth and vibrance of her spirit, but I hope some of that will be channeled through this fund anyway. Certainly, her spirit is honored by the work so many of you do every day, helping those animals with no voice and no loving advocate of their own.
Dr. Kate Hurley
Director, UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program
If you would like to make a contribution to the Karen Tsang memorial fund please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.