Applications for the Pat Sanford Animal Welfare Award — a yearly grant that provides $500 to an organization that actively helps animals in the community — will close this Saturday, Oct. 15.
Pat Sanford, the award’s namesake and former executive director of the Animal Protection Society of Orange County, was an activist for humane animal euthanasia. After her retirement in 2002, she still remains one of the largest contributors to animal recovery, placement and well-being across the state.
Tenille Fox, the communications specialist at Orange County Animal Services, said the award is designed to help others carry on Sanford's work.
“This is offered to honor her because she was really just a huge proponent of helping to manage pet overpopulation in the county and do it humanely with spay and neuter programs,” Fox said.
She said it is important to look at how applicants plan to affect the wildlife community locally.
“The folks that are applying for this, they don't actually have to be in Orange County,” she said. “But their work has to go towards helping the county community or communities and I think that's one of the biggest things I look at is, 'How is this affecting our community, and how is it assisting animals and people in our community?'”
Our Wild Neighbors, an organization in Hillsborough, was last year's recipient.
Linda Ostrand, the director and founder of Our Wild Neighbors, said the organization's main goal is to heal and release local wildlife.
“We take in orphaned and injured animals that are ordinarily not treated by veterinarians since they're not domestic,” she said. “We do our best to either raise them to release or heal any injuries that they have in order to re-release.”