Getting to Know Michael Barrett
Last year, The ASPCA granted more than $7 million for animal welfare and anti-cruelty in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the District of Columbia. If your agency’s looking to apply for funding, here’s someone you’ll want to meet—Michael Barrett, the ASPCA’s Vice President, Grants Management.
Shelters’ Edge: Tell us about your role at the ASPCA.
Michael Barrett: I work with various departments within the ASPCA to help create and administer diverse grant programs to improve the welfare of companion and farm animals in the United States. I personally review every inquiry and application, and I oversee the strategic planning, implementation and procedures for all grant categories.
Shelters’ Edge: What kinds of grants are you offering to sheltering agencies around the country?
MB: Our current funding priorities for sheltering agencies are for spay/neuter projects, animal cruelty response, disaster response, live release initiatives and programs that keep animals from entering the sheltering system, such as ID tagging and community safety net programs. We also provide scholarships and travel stipends for shelter employees to attend trainings and conferences. Our grant budget nearly doubled in 2011 compared to 2010—and we have a knack in our department for getting even more dollars thrown into our budget during the year so that we can give more money to shelters that administer high quality, life-saving programs.
Shelters’ Edge: What’s a great day at work for you?
MB: Advocating for and getting approval from the CEO or the board of directors to add grant dollars to the budget so that we can meet the needs of shelters and the animals they serve all over the country! And then there are those cupcake parties…thank goodness for birthdays and retirements!
Shelters’ Edge: Any advice for shelters applying for a grant from the ASPCA?
MB: Follow instructions at “ASPCA Grants” on ASPCApro.org carefully. Grant proposals that identify a clear plan of action for a project, including a detailed project budget and anticipated outcomes, will stand the best chance of getting approved. Our administrative staff consists of just two hard-working souls, so it helps us and our applicants tremendously if we all follow the guidelines and processes outlined on the website. Also, be sure to diligently submit grant requirements (receipts, reports, etc.) online and on time!
Shelters’ Edge: We know your dog has an incredible story. Please share!
MB: Binah was rescued by the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response team from a particularly grim and dreary puppy mill in January 2010. She was unable to walk due to a congenital defect in both of her hind legs, so she spent the first three years of her life inside a dirty cage bearing litters of puppies. On the day of the raid, Binah stood out as a little dog with a huge spirit. She apparently had a big impact on her rescuers, and because she was such a severe medical case, they brought her to the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York to operate on her legs and give her a chance to adjust to life outside a puppy mill. Since adopting her in May 2010, Binah has become the light and love of my life, and she finds most of her enjoyment taking me for runs and walks in the streets of New York City, hanging out with her ever-expanding family of squeaky toys, and furthering her mission to change the world’s perception of Chihuahuas by making as many people as possible smile and see the love that dogs can give and deserve in return.
What are your questions for Michael? Please submit them in the comment box.