AnimalKind works with humans to save pets’ lives

Sarah Book treats her dog, Lucy, to a tummy rub at this year’s Doggie Easter Egg Hunt in Caswell County, hosted by AnimalKind.
Sarah Book treats her dog, Lucy, to a tummy rub at this year’s Doggie Easter Egg Hunt in Caswell County, hosted by AnimalKind.

Whether you’re a dog lover who lives to see a wagging tail at day’s end or a cat person who loves having your pet curl up and purr on your lap, animal lovers agree that euthanizing a healthy dog or cat is a failure.

Marines don’t accept failure.

Martin Banning’s passion is pets – protecting them, keeping them alive and safe.

The former Marine is determined to stem the tide of euthanizing healthy animals in North Carolina.

“I spent my career in the nonprofit field, specifically working with high-risk communities,” Banning said. “My passion for animals and the opportunity to serve as the executive director for AnimalKind brought together my two passions – people and pets.”

We will accomplish our mission one person at a time, one pet at a time, one county at a time.

Martin Banning, director AnimalKind

AnimalKind’s mission is simple and immense. The agency works to end the unnecessary euthanasia of adoptable cats and dogs in North Carolina shelters. “We will accomplish our mission one person at a time, one pet at a time, one county at a time,” Banning said.

There were 160,000 cats and dogs euthanized in North Carolina last year, according to the Animal Welfare Section of the N.C. Department of Agriculture 2014 Public Animal Shelter Report. Banning says that may not be all: “These numbers may be much higher because animal control shelters are not required to report these numbers.”

AnimalKind needs individuals and businesses to make a financial investment in the targeted spay/neuter programs it delivers. Working with other animal welfare organizations, Banning and his small staff raise awareness all over the state of the need to spay and neuter cats and dogs to reduce the population of stray animals.

There’s usually a waiting period of three to five days before the shelter is allowed to euthanize animals taken to the shelter. If the owner surrenders the pet, it can be euthanized immediately.

County animal shelters are run with taxpayer dollars (more than $45 million last year), which puts pressure on them to keep costs low – including costs associated with housing animals for an extended time, Banning said. “Much of this money went to reactive approaches like capturing, euthanizing and adopting out animals,” he said.

His agency’s challenge, he said, is to step in and do more outreach, providing community education and prevention services.

In September, AnimalKind launched the CARES program in Alamance County, providing spay and neutering surgeries free of charge. “This is a door-to-door approach and is designed to take our services to those who need it and not expecting them to have to come to us,” Banning said.

The CARES program is funded by individuals, businesses and other private donations from the community. To date, $55,000 has been raised for the CARES program in Alamance County. Banning believes that this program, its funding structure and the results it delivers will be the model that other counties will follow to overcome the pet overpopulation and euthanization issues.

In 2016, AnimalKind hopes to raise $75,000 to $100,000 in each of Orange, Wake and Durham counties to launch the CARES program there. The agency has the programs and structure in place, but currently lacks the funds necessary to deliver services.

Also next year, AnimalKind hopes to raise the profile of its ReTails Thrift Shop, at 2821 Spring Forest Road in Raleigh. This thrift shop is one of the largest sources of income for AnimalKind, and all of the net profits from sales of everything from blankets to books in the 8,300-square-foot facility go to support its programs.


6520-110 Falls of Neuse Road, Suite 110

Raleigh, N.C. 27615


Contact: Martin Banning, 919-870-1660

Description: AnimalKind is a nonprofit dedicated to ending the unnecessary euthanasia of adoptable cats and dogs in N.C. shelters. It aims to achieve this through a number of preventative measures, specifically by helping low-income families spay and neuter their pets to prevent unwanted litters.

Donations needed: Donating online, by mail or phone is the most effective way to support AnimalKind. You can also shop or donate at ReTails Thrift Shop; all of its net profits support AnimalKind programs.

Volunteers needed: Opportunities range from administrative support to community outreach to assisting at our ReTails Thrift Shop. We are always on the lookout for professionals with skills in fundraising, grant writing, marketing, graphic design, web design, social media, photography, volunteer coordination, and more. Visit our website or email volunteer@animalkind.org for information and a list of current volunteer opportunities.

$10 would buy: Postage for our $20 FIX voucher for 20 families.

$20 would buy: An e-collar and pain medication for one low-income family’s dog or cat after its spay/neuter surgery.

$50 would buy: Pre-surgery bloodwork for one cat or dog before its spay/neuter surgery.

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