The Sparrow Fund was established by Wayne Pacelle and Lisa Fletcher in 2013 in celebration of their wedding. In lieu of gifts, they asked that guests donate to the newly-created fund at The HSUS. Inspiration for the fund came from Wayne and Lisa’s encounters over the years with animals in distress as they traveled around the country.
These encounters ranged from animals struck by vehicles to finding injured birds and other wildlife on beaches. The name of the fund comes from a story in the Bible (Matthew 10:29) that contains the words, “Not a sparrow falls without his Maker knowing.” The Sparrow Fund embodies this ideal — that every animal’s life matters, no matter how large or small.
Donations to the Pacelle Sparrow Fund go towards providing care for animals in distress, when there’s no one else to care for them — either homeless companion animals or injured wildlife. Money from the fund goes directly to nonprofit shelters or wildlife rehabilitation centers where animals are in desperate need of lifesaving care. Since its establishment, the fund has provided desperately needed care to dozens of animals that most likely would have otherwise perished.
Below are just a few of their stories:
A thirsty and hungry baby eagle was found by wildlife rescuers struggling to survive in a steep, wooded area of West Virginia.
A $1,000 Sparrow Fund contribution to the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia provided for lifesaving medical treatment which consisted of 48 hours of intravenous fluids and nutrition. He was subsequently released near Cheat Lake, West Virginia.
In 2014, a cat with just two legs and severe wounds on the stumps of his missing ones was brought to a Wyoming shelter after a woman saw him thrown from a car.The cat, since named, Nolan, required extensive surgery: repairing his front stump, extracting six broken and infected teeth and removal of a large tumor on his spine. Thankfully, the tumor turned out to be benign.
The cost of Nolan’s treatment at Second Chance Sheridan Cat Rescue where he was brought totaled $1,142.01. After Second Chance posted a request for donations on its Facebook page, the Sparrow Fund stepped in to help.
The cost of healing Nolan, who is now in long-term foster care, eventually rose to $3,500. A $1,000 Sparrow Fund grant went towards his treatment.
A stray dog, now called Pearl, was found near a highway in Mississippi severely emaciated and weak. With the help of a $1,000 Sparrow Found grant, Pearl was able to get food and medical treatment, and continues on the road to recovery.
There are countless cases, where the names and circumstances and breeds or species are different, but every one of these creatures has had some sort of woe befall him or her. Their stories, though heartbreaking, are also inspiring. They serve to remind us of the resiliency and fierce determination of animals, along with the humanity of the people who come to their aid.
We are inspired by these stories and want to make this a permanent fund. We also know that the needs are great, and will eventually eclipse the resources we have to render assistance. But with your kind and generous support, we’ll work hard to replenish the funds. Thank you for being a part of this program.