Lost Our Home Pet Rescue with Founder Jodi Polanski and Co-Host Barbara Barnstead
The mission at Lost Our Home Pet Rescue is to provide compassionate services to pets and people in crisis. Founded in 2008 in response to the economic downturn and, more specifically, the Phoenix area housing market crash, what began as a grassroots, foster-based network to rescue pets abandoned as a result of foreclosures or evictions quickly evolved into a resource to help those at risk of losing their pets due to life circumstances or financial hardships.
Lost Our Home has 6 programs that are designed to prevent pets from going to overcrowded shelters where they face an uncertain future and to keep pets with the families that love them. Their Adoption Program rescues and finds new loving homes for abandoned and owner surrendered dogs and cats. Their Temporary Care Program provides up to 90 days of pet care for individuals or families who are experiencing a life challenge or crisis such as job loss, homelessness, domestic violence, illness, injury or hospitalization. Their Pet Food Bank provides pet food and supplies to those who are temporarily unable to afford them. Their Pet Friendly Rental Program has a network of realtors who locate rental properties for more difficult to place pets due to breed restrictions or number of pets, then they donate 100% of their commission to cover pet deposits. Their Low Income Boarding program, offers low cost boarding for those who are unable to afford traditional boarding rates. And they operate a Pet Companion Shelter on the campus of Sojourner Center, one of Arizona’s largest domestic violence shelters, so that families fleeing abuse can keep their pets with them while they heal. Since 2008, they have helped more than 22,000 pets. This includes finding loving homes for over 4,500 cats and dogs. Reuniting more than 750 pets with their families following a crisis and feeding over 17,500 pets through their Pet Food Bank.
Jodi Polanski has been involved with animal welfare for more than 14 years. Prior to her career in the non-profit sector, Jodi spent 16 years in sales and management in both the retail and mortgage industries. Jodi founded Lost Our Home in 2008 in response to the thousands of pets in need as a result of the economic downturn and Phoenix-area foreclosure crisis. At the time, Jodi was working in the mortgage industry and saw firsthand the devastating effects the housing crisis had on people and pets. During that time, many pets were abandoned in foreclosed homes, often times without food and water. In response to the growing need, Jodi launched Lost Our Home Pet Rescue.
From heartbreak to hope, from extreme crisis to loving care, Jodi has used her extensive past business experience to create an innovative and efficiently operated pet rescue center that helps people while saving pets. In 2011, Jodi received a scholarship from the Arizona State University Lodestar Nonprofit Management Institute and earned her Professional Certificate in Nonprofit Management. She has also been the recipient of many achievement awards throughout her career, and was most recently named an “Outstanding Woman in Business” by the Phoenix Business Journal in 2016. In 2015, she was honored as “Business Woman of the Year” by the Tempe Chamber of Commerce.
Our special guest Co-Host is Business Development Strategist, Barbara Barnstead. Her talents are in building and developing business relationships, new marketing initiatives along with strategic planning for progressive businesses looking to accelerate their market share and revenue growth.
Barbara was introduced to Lost Our Home Pet Rescue a few years ago when Jodi Polanski was being honored through the Tempe Chamber. As a dog lover and advocate for rescue animals, it made immediate sense for Barbara to volunteer for this important organization. Barbara has volunteered her time in helping Jodi make important business connections in the Valley to help her further this wonderful cause.