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Research Grant Studies Economic Opportunities and Demographics of Pet Businesses in
Austin’s Communities of Color
Huston Tillotson University receives a $10,000 research grant from Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity
(Baltimore, MD. March 12, 2022) — Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity, an animal welfare workforce development nonprofit, is pleased to announce Huston Tillotson University (HT) is the recipient of a $10,000 grant to study how companion animals affect communities of color in Austin, TX. The University’s research will focus on the ownership of pet-related businesses and services and how it is proportional to the demographics of those using their services.
HT students, under the supervision of faculty from the school’s College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Business and Technology, will participate in the pilot project. The students will research the size of the pet industry in the City of Austin, identify the major companies that dominate the pet industry in that area, examine the demographics of the industry, identify ways BIPOC communities can enter the industry, and much more.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to obtain research experience while investigating market proportionality,” said Dr. Michael Hirsch, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “We’re hoping to prove the efficacy of the research methods being used in this study with the thought of expanding this research outside of the confines of Austin.”
CARE’s Senior Director of Research and Development Mueni Rudd is honored to collaborate with historically Black universities. “This will expose diverse students to human and animal wellbeing considerations,” said Rudd, “this study prioritizes Black, indigenous, and other people of color who are serving their communities related to companion animals. CARE is eager to learn what is uncovered and watch the data tell valuable stories.”
The study findings will be released sometime after April of this year. Dr. Michael Hirsch, HT Professor of Sociology, and CARE’s Mueni Rudd are available for interviews.
This research is thanks to the generosity of animal welfare foundations, Maddie’s Fund® and PetSmart Charities®.
Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity is a 501©3 nonprofit that addresses organizational and personal biases within animal welfare. The mission is to bring diverse voices to the industry while also advocating for a more inclusive path to pet adoption. CARE believes in using evidence-based tools, narratives, and insights to inspire organizations to be more inclusive and less biased. It is all an effort to save more companion animal lives.
Maddie’s Fund® is a family foundation established in 1994 by Dave and Cheryl Duffield and is the fulfillment of a promise to their inspirational dog, Maddie. She provided them with much joy from 1987 – 1997 and continues to inspire them today. The Foundation has awarded over $255 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, pioneering shelter medicine education, and establishing foster care as a standard across the U.S.
Maddie’s Fund proudly offers the industry a national voice, important funding opportunities for bold ideas, learning resources, and access to collaborate and share innovative solutions. The Foundation invests its resources in a commitment to keeping pets and people together, creating a safety net of care for animals in need, and operating within a culture of inclusiveness and humility. #ThanksToMaddie.
PetSmart Charities, Inc. is committed to making the world a better place for pets and all who love them. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps nearly 600,000 pets connect with loving families each year. PetSmart Charities also provides grant funding to support organizations that advocate and care for the well-being of all pets and their families. Our grants and efforts connect pets with loving homes through adoption, improve access to affordable veterinary care, and support families in times of crisis with access to food, shelter, and emergency relief. Each year, millions of generous supporters help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities directly at PetSmartCharities.org, while shopping at PetSmart.com, and by using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting more than $475 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart Inc., PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator for the past 17 years in a row – placing it among the top one percent of rated charities. To learn more visit www.petsmartcharities.org.