Deborah Schutt is president, chair of the board of directors and one of the founders of the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance (MPFA). Professionally, she is an urban planner. After 21 years working for the public sector, she established her own consulting firm from which she retired after 20 years in 2016.
Working from her home as a consultant allowed Deborah to volunteer as a foster parent to puppies. As she became familiar and more involved with animal welfare, she became acutely aware of the lack of planning, collaboration, and use of systematic approaches, all of which were successfully used in areas of her profession – and could be employed to solve and address problems and issues in animal welfare. Deborah was convinced that animal homelessness and lifesaving in Michigan could be accomplished if a different approach was taken. When Michigan Pet Fund Alliance was established, over 125,000 cats and dogs were euthanized annually in Michigan shelters. By the end of 2016, that number was reduced to 15,335. Michigan now has an 88 percent live release rate (90 percent for dogs).
Michigan Pet Fund Alliance’s goal is to end the killing of healthy and treatable homeless cats and dogs in Michigan and works to accomplish that goal by providing annual data and reports, operating a rescue certification with a life-saving grant program, provides hands-on in-shelter training, shelter assessments, technical assistance, operates a list-serv connecting all shelter directors in Michigan, and produces an annual workshop/statewide conference. MPFA is an all-volunteer statewide not for profit.