Dr. Kate Hurley likes to think big. She knows that portalized double-compartment housing makes shelter animals happier and healthier while making their care easier for shelter staff. So she asks, How can we make it so every shelter in the world could offer portalized cages to the animals in their care?
The answer: the Portal Pay It Forward Fund, and the Portal It Forward campaign. Using the money from her Maddie’s Hero Award, Dr. Hurley will purchase up to 30 portals for each of ten shelters chosen by lottery in March, 2018.
To qualify for the lottery, shelters must be members of the Million Cat Challenge and send an email describing why they want portals.
“I believe [the portal] will make cats happier and more comfortable every single day they’re in your care, and I believe it will pay for itself… starting from the day that you put them in,” Dr. Hurley told potential participants in a campaign launch video.
“You know I believe those portals are going to save enough money in your budget in real dollars, that if you just donate the cost of the portals back to the Portal Pay It Forward fund, we could keep buying portals and running the lottery and just keep this thing going until everyone who wants portals has them.
“But I also know that a lot of shelter budgets don’t work that way and even if you save a lot of money you can’t necessarily donate that back to another organization. And that’s OK, because no matter how your budget works, I want you to have portals too. So here’s another way you can pay it forward. You can document what happens after you install portals. You can show the benefit in real life better than I ever could. And that could help other shelters make a case to their funders or with their communities so that they could afford portals too. And then they can pay it forward from there.
“Who knows? if this thing works out, we could take the portals I bought with my Maddie’s Hero award, and leverage that to pay it forward until every single cage in every single shelter in the whole wide world has a portal in it. That would be pretty cool.”