The Foundation was founded in 2011 by Dr. Adam Parker, DVM and Marjie Alonso, CDBC, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP, after years of community organization and involvement, including two large, successful initial fund-raiser events, the 2010 and 2011 Somerville Dog Festivals. They have been joined by Foundation Treasurer Jill Hourhian, Kelsey Roth, Brennan and Jessica Fry in the ongoing, yearly planning for the Festival and other events. In 2019, on the 10th anniversary of the festival, the Somerville Foundation for Animals partnered with Rebecca Waugaman and Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital to organize and run the festival to allow the Foundation the opportunity to welcome a new charitable endeavor: The CARe (Community Animal Resources) Van, which will provide free veterinary care to homeless and at-risk family pets throughout the greater Boston area. The festival and its proceeds will help champion the combined mission of the Somerville Foundation for Animals and Mass Vet Referral Hospital to help pets in the community stay with the families who love them.
Through its efforts, the Foundation has funded the Somerville Pet Food Bank, providing pet food to homeless and at-risk families throughout Eastern Massachusetts. The Foundation also strives to provide education and awareness about responsible pet ownership within the city, and to support, through donations and community involvement, local organizations in their efforts to provide care and education to pet owners and their companion animals. In addition to the Somerville Dog Festival, the Somerville Foundation for Animals holds smaller community events, offers free basic dog training clinics to the public, and raises funds through donations and corporate sponsorships.