betterTogether Forever

safer. healther. happier. stronger. betterTogether Forever.

Glendale, CA   |  www.PeopleAndPetsBTF.org
GuideStar Charity Check

betterTogether Forever

EIN: 20-1329182


Mission

betterTogether Forever is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to empower pet owners and local communities to reduce abandoned animal populations through spay/neuter, pet retention, reclamation and education. Working with communities and non-profit partners, betterTogether Forever provides spay/neuter funding, pet tags, microchips, education and support to pets of families in need in Los Angeles and surrounding counties.

Ruling year info

2004

Co-Founder & Executive Director

Ms. Christy Schilling

Co-Founder & Associate Executive Director

Ms. Kerry Armstrong

Main address

PO Box 21172

Glendale, CA 91221 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Bark Avenue Foundation

Home Dog LA

EIN

20-1329182

Subject area info

Elementary education

Animal welfare

Animal population control

Population served info

Children and youth

Children

Adults

Economically disadvantaged people

Homeless people

NTEE code info

Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs) (D20)

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

betterTogether Forever offers resources and referrals to at-risk, under-resourced, under-served, housing-challenged pet parents in Los Angeles, California so that they can keep their pets, keep them safe and healthy and NOT have to surrender them to an animal shelter, give them up, or abandon them on the streets.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Spay/Neuter Program

betterTogether provides free and low-cost spay/neuter surgery, as well as vaccinations and microchips for owned pets of low-income families. This program has sterilized nearly 5,000 pets to date and has contributed to reduced intake and euthanasia of adoptable pets at the municipal shelter.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Adults

Since 2004, Bark Avenue Foundation has rescued dogs and cats from area shelters, the streets, and abandoned in foreclosed homes — providing them with food, shelter, veterinary care, and nurturing support until a forever home is secured.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Bark Avenue Foundation (BAF) works with LA school programs and community organizations serving children, such as the Boys and Girls Club, to deliver Humane Education programming to children in K-5. This program using storytelling and interactive problem solving to educate children about responsible pet care. Another key aim is to instill compassion and empathy for all living beings. BAF is committed to providing educational resources and guidance for current and future pet owners to ensure happy and healthy pets. Our trained staff and volunteers provide materials on vaccinations, the importance of spay/neuter, post-surgery care, training, obedience training, nutrition, feeding schedules, and much more.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Families living below the poverty line and the homeless face daily challenges that seem hard to imagine, including the ability to care for their animal companions. Therefore, our emergency veterinary care programs offer services to these people and their pets- providing spay/neuter programs, food, and medical care.  Sponsorship donations are used towards boarding, food, medical costs, and for daily care of the pet.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Awards

Recognition 2008

City of Los Angeles

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of animals spayed and neutered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Spay/Neuter Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

betterTogether Forever tracks the number of owned pets that receive free spay/neuter and vaccinations through our community clinics.

Number of animals receiving vaccinations and assistance with veterinary care.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

betterTogether Forever tracks the number of owned pets that receive vaccinations and medical care through our community clinics and partnering veterinary providers.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

betterTogether Forever seeks to end the euthanasia of healthy and adoptable animals in Los Angeles area shelters, to reduce pet overpopulation through spay/neuter, and to promote the retention of animals in their loving homes.

Provide free and accessible spay/neuter, wellness, vaccinations, assistance with vet care, pet food & supplies, Emotional Support Animal assessment (ESA) landlord issue assistance, fence repair, dog houses, owner redemption fees to release a pet from shelter.

betterTogether Forever was founded in 2021 with the merger of two successful animal welfare non-profits, Bark Avenue Foundation and Home Dog LA. We joined forces to broaden our reach and impact, increase our organizational strength, and make Los Angeles a better place for pets and their people.

Bark Avenue was founded in 2004 by animal-lover and advocate, Melanie Pozez. Since the founding, Bark Avenue has helped thousands of animals and their families in Los Angeles and surrounding communities through safety net programs, finding pets homes, providing medical care and sterilization surgery that at-risk pet parents would not otherwise have been able to obtain. In August 2017 Christy Schilling became Executive Director.

Home Dog was founded by Kerry Armstrong in 2013 at the North Central Animal Shelter in Los Angeles with the desire to help financially challenged pet owners with resources so that they could keep their pets and not turn them in to the shelter. Since 2013 Home Dog LA has helped keep over 4,000 pets out of the shelter by providing free pet food, assistance with veterinary visits, pet supplies, covering the cost to spring a pet from the shelter and more.

We help those most in need, those most at-risk of having to give up their beloved pet. Our purpose is to help those people and the pets they love stay together. And to help those pets stay safe, healthy, and happy.
We do this through three core services:

The Unsheltered People with Pets (UPP) program addresses the need for support of un‑housed/transitionally housed pet parents.

Shelter Prevention - By providing access to resources and support, this program gives low-income, senior citizens and homeless pet owners options other than surrendering their pets and keeps those pets at home where they belong.

Community Engagement - We work closely with local organizations to host pet wellness clinics, pet food pantries, and provide supplies to those who are struggling financially.

Some of the services we provide:
spay/neuter |wellness | vaccinations | assistance with vet care | pet food | pet supplies |Emotional Support Animal assessment (ESA) landlord issue assistance | fence repair | dog houses |owner redemption fees to release a pet from shelter| humane euthanasia (in severe cases)


Key Accomplishments:
• 2019 – BAF partners with LA Family housing where we held monthly wellness clinics for people experiencing homelessness with pets. Our Humane educators provided demonstrations at the California Science Center’s Dogs! A Science Tail exhibition.
• 2018 – Launched our first onsite pet wellness clinic for UPP program.
• 2017 – BAF partners with LA's Best Summer Program to deliver Humane Education to more than 4,000 students.
• 2016 – BAF launches Unsheltered People & Pets Program working with PATH and other human service organizations to address the complex challenges facing homeless pet owners
• 2016 – BAF launches BAF Humane Education Program with a volunteer management team of 5 and 10 additional volunteer presenters. To date, over 800 K-5 students have participated in the program.
• 2016 – Bark Avenue Foundation produces “Shane's War," a 9-day Mega Adoption event at Downey Shelter that saved the lives of more than 350 cats, dogs, and rabbits.
• 2015 – Created “Sleepover at the Shelter" event at Downey Animal Care Center, which raised $30,000 for spay/neuter and resulted in a 100% adoption of pets in their facility during following Mega Adoption Day.
• 2015 – Community Cares Spay/Neuter Program expands into new communities of Cudahy/Bell Gardens. More than 2,000 pets of low-income families sterilized to date.
• 2014 – Launched pet transport program “Fly Me Home" which transported thousands of adoptable dogs and cats to no-kill adoption partners across the country
• 2014 – Expanded County Spay/Neuter programs to serve one additional community - Florence/Graham
• 2013 – BAF launches Community Cares Spay/Neuter Program in Unincorporated East LA, with grant funding from PetSmart Charities and ASPCA
• 2012 - BAF launched and operated The Shelter Hope Pet Shop, a humane pet store in Ventura County for a year, inspiring the launch of a second store and gifting the project to another group. BAF offers tried-and-true as well as innovative solutions to reduce animal overpopulation, promote adoption, and pet retention.
• 2011 - Was asked by WB to be the only organization to offer dogs and cats for adoption at their red carpet premier of " Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore"
• 2011 - Puppy Mill Awareness Day was combined with "Get Your Licks on Rt 66" event where BAF closed down the entire block of 500 S. Main St., Los Angeles and hosted 9 organizations for adoption (including bunnies and cats) as well as hosting politicians and others to discuss PMAD.
• 2010 – Selected as exclusive LA partner by Purina for food give away. Event closed down the 500 block of S. Main St. in front of BA and gave away food and free vaccines for 250 pets in addition to 50 vouchers for free spay/neuter at CLINICO veterinary clinic.
• 2006 -BAF is the only organization to be chosen to represent the LA community and brings adoptable dogs and cats for ASPCA's huge Venice

Financials

betterTogether Forever
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
NET GAIN/LOSS:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2019 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

0.00

Average of 0.89 over 7 years

Months of cash in 2019 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

3

Average of 1.6 over 7 years

Fringe rate in 2019 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

8%

Average of 4% over 7 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

Source: IRS Form 990 info

betterTogether Forever

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

betterTogether Forever

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

betterTogether Forever

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

This snapshot of betterTogether Forever’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $15,305 $16,562 -$20,410 $108,724 $103,085
As % of expenses 3.5% 1.7% -2.8% 11.8% 9.8%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $12,145 $11,462 -$21,935 $108,724 $103,085
As % of expenses 2.8% 1.2% -3.0% 11.8% 9.8%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $450,199 $984,185 $715,068 $1,029,269 $1,157,078
Total revenue, % change over prior year 71.1% 118.6% -27.3% 43.9% 12.4%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Government grants 0.9% 3.0% 2.3% 0.2% 0.5%
All other grants and contributions 98.2% 97.0% 98.6% 99.8% 99.5%
Other revenue 0.9% 0.0% -0.9% 0.0% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $434,894 $967,623 $735,478 $920,545 $1,053,993
Total expenses, % change over prior year 69.9% 122.5% -24.0% 25.2% 14.5%
Personnel 0.0% 0.0% 3.6% 13.6% 12.7%
Professional fees 11.3% 5.6% 8.9% 1.3% 0.5%
Occupancy 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Interest 0.2% 0.1% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 88.6% 94.3% 87.4% 85.1% 86.9%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Total expenses (after depreciation) $438,054 $972,723 $737,003 $920,545 $1,053,993
One month of savings $36,241 $80,635 $61,290 $76,712 $87,833
Debt principal payment $0 $4,419 $16,422 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $29,367 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $503,662 $1,057,777 $814,715 $997,257 $1,141,826

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Months of cash 1.8 0.9 0.9 2.1 3.0
Months of cash and investments 1.8 0.9 0.9 2.1 3.0
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 1.6 0.9 0.9 2.1 3.0
Balance sheet composition info 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Cash $63,906 $75,583 $54,336 $163,060 $266,145
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $29,367 $29,367 $0 $0 $0
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 10.8% 28.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 28.1% 21.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Unrestricted net assets $64,809 $76,271 $54,336 $163,060 $0
Temporarily restricted net assets $0 $0 $0 $0 N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 $0 $0 N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total net assets $64,809 $76,271 $54,336 $163,060 $266,145

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Material data errors No No No No No

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Documents
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Co-Founder & Executive Director

Ms. Christy Schilling

Christy Schilling, long-time animal advocate and non-profit professional. Over the past decade, Christy has become one of the key leaders and respected activists in the Los Angeles animal welfare community. Schilling brings substantial experience in animal welfare and advocacy, strategic partnerships, education, and non-profit development. In 2014 she co-founded the non-profit The Animal Protectorates (TAPS) with the mission to Teach, Advocate, Protect and Support. She has been highly active supporting numerous animal welfare groups including Best Friends Animal Society, Los Angeles Animal Services, Lange Foundation, and BAF. She has received the Animal PAC’s Humane Hero Award for Activism (2016) and Congressman Adam Schiff’s Woman of the Year Award (2014). Ms. Schilling joined Bark Avenue Foundation as the Executive Director in August 2017. In 2021, she oversaw a merger with nonprofit Home Dog LA and a rebrand of the combined organization to betterTogether Forever.

Co-Founder & Associate Executive Director

Kerry Armstrong

Kerry founded Home Dog LA in 2013 with the desire to reduce the number of animal surrenders to LA City Shelters. Before starting Home Dog LA she was a volunteer at the North Central Shelter and saw too many animals being surrendered by people in tears. People who loved their pets but felt like they had no other option. Inspired and mentored by Lori Weise of Downtown Dog Rescue, she started Home Dog LA as the surrender prevention program at North Central Shelter. Kerry has always loved animals and has been involved in animal welfare since 2004 when she was an apprentice dog trainer in New York City and volunteered at various shelters around the city. Past work includes producing commercial photo shoots, performing with experimental theater company Red Dive. In LA, she was the Senior Producer of The Moth StorySLAM Series and main stage events. In 2021, Kerry oversaw the merger of Home Dog LA and Bark Avenue Foundation and a rebrand of the new organization to betterTogether Forever.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

betterTogether Forever

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Compensation
Other
Related
Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

betterTogether Forever

Board of directors
as of 05/18/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Ms. Shyreen Martin Hancock

Shyreen Martin Hancock

No Affiliation

Kate Sawyer

Cheesecake Factory

Karen Grant-Selma

Oprah Winfrey Network

Sara Harris

Julie Maigret

Lana Meier

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/1/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data