The Chamber Review April 2018 - Page 32


Next on this behind the scenes tour of BIG Hat Days nonprofits is Valley Animal Center - the Central Valley's largest, no-kill shelter. We spoke with Devon Prendergast, Community Relations Coordinator, to learn more about their mission and their capabilities. Valley Animal Center serves through three main facets of their organization: adoptions, low cost veterinary care, and a membership-driven dog park. From education to adoption and spay/neuter programs, this nonprofit has made it a goal to not only reduce pet overpopulation problems in the Central Valley but also improve healthcare and quality of life. Devon shares some thoughts about what this year’s event meant for Valley Animal Center, “BIG Hat Days is huge for us because even though we’ve been around for years it’s still a fantastic opportunity to gain exposure about our organization, vaccinations, spay/neuters, and adoptions.”

This year, Valley Animal Center was able to secure twelve adoptions to forever homes during BIG Hat Days. They also completed a few more adoptions in the week after this big community event. Devon appreciates that BIG Hat Days gives her nonprofit a place to share about not just their adoptions but also their low cost veterinary clinic and dog park. Increasing awareness for these programs enables Valley Animal Center the ability to help even more pets throughout our local region. Their clinic provides preventative care, wellness exams, dental consultations, vaccinations, and more at affordable prices. Their Dr. James W. Thornton Dog Park is a unique offering with a 2,000 gallon wading pool, water jets, agility

course, and lots of grassy land divided into dog runs. Patrons may access the Dog Park by becoming members for just $50 per dog a year or by paying $5 per dog for a daily membership.

Did you know that children are welcome as volunteers at Valley Animal Center – if they have an adult with them – children as young as five years old can become volunteers. Learn more about them by visiting their website at, or attend a volunteer orientation. Don’t miss their upcoming Red Carpet Rescue on May 4, 2018 and save the date for their Super Adoption on May 12, 2018. Super Adoption is a special event where several shelters come together for a single day of family fun and pet adoptions. Last year’s Super Adoption yielded around 120 total adoptions! This year’s event boasts face painting, a bounce house, food trucks, and more.

Large community events offer much more than family fun. They offer an outlet for local nonprofits to gain necessary exposure while educating others about their mission. It's wonderful to know how many organizations found new volunteers, donations, and helped educate about their causes at BIG Hat Days this year. Make sure you take a moment to learn something new about how some nonprofits are giving back to our community at the next big event you visit!