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Bridges of Pawsibility

Submitted by: Beth Rudnick

Porter County native Jami Heying has devoted her life to animals – she grew up on a farm, works at the Independent Cat Society in Westville, works at All Creature Features Animal Hospital in La Porte, volunteers at the La Porte County Small Animal Shelter in La Porte, and cares for a family of critters of her own at home.

Still, Jami wanted to do more to promote animal welfare in Northwest Indiana.

“I saw that there was a need to develop a safety net type of program to fill the gap between pet owners and shelters,” Jami says. So she has begun her own nonprofit, Friends of LaPorte County Animal Shelters, Inc., launched just this month.

“Right now, some of our goals are to provide spay/neuter assistance along with assisting with the cost of other veterinary care (vaccinations, surgeries, etc.) for those in need” she says. “Also, I’m hoping we can help with reclaim fees for people whose pets end up at shelters as well as hosting some low cost microchip events.”  Additionally, Jami’s new organization will be hosting 4th Annual Dog Days event at the LaPorte Fairgrounds on Saturday, August 24th from 4PM – 7PM.  

In addition to assisting the public, Jami wants to help more shelter animals find their furever homes. A graduate of PNW, she is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in shelter medicine at University of Florida and also hopes to develop an enrichment program for shelter animals that engages their senses, keeps stress levels down, and increases their adoptability.  

“We plan on reaching out to the shelters and rescue groups within La Porte County and finding out how we can help,” Jami says.

For now, Jami is working making a pawsitive print on Northwest Indiana by getting her nonprofit off the ground and ready to help those in need.

For more information or to volunteer, go to or email Jami at

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