It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post, for which I apologize. As much as I love to write for you, it seems that I somehow get farther and farther behind in doing so. I think the inclusion of social media into our every day work tends to affect the consistency of the blog posts because the updates are daily on those platforms. Yet there are times when a social media post just won’t suffice. So, I revisit our blog and say “I must do this more often!” Since I have slacked, and since there are things I want to share in more detail, I thought I’d come to chat and give you the k9.5 Rescue lowdown.
When I say “the k9.5 Rescue lowdown” I don’t mean what the dogs did today or how a vet visit panned out. You get those updates on our social media sites. What I thought you might be interested in falls on the k9.5 structure. How things flow; how things manage; how we go about our routine.
One reason I am behind is all of the activity involved in managing a rescue. Add that to assisting my parents, trying to get some work done, grocery shopping, cutting grass, cleaning house, fixing up my dilapidated old house, cleaning up after the dogs…all of the things I personally have to take care of since there’s nobody else to do it…and the days, even weeks, are gone before I know it. That is not a complaint by any stretch of the imagination, nor me trying to give excuses. It’s just the way life rolls around here. Yet I know there are so many questions that people have about k9.5, and I want to make sure I get that information out to everyone because…well, it’s important to you as a supporter.
1) Let’s Talk About the Dogs
k9.5 Rescue focus is on Great Pyrenees, other giant breeds, seniors and special needs. We have a soft spot for those and decided that they would be our priority. Although on occasion we will take in another, just because the dog speaks to us in some form or fashion, those categories are the basis of our organization and what we strive to assist.
The current rundown goes like this (please note that some of these will overlap):
Keely (Pyr Mix)[/column] [/column-group]
OTHER BIG DOGS
[column]Physical and/or Medical
THOSE AFFECTIONATELY KNOWN AS “the .5s”
These are the dogs that you benefit from your contributions. They are all good dogs with big hearts. Some need a little more assistance with physical aspects (e.g., Nyla can’t jump in the car or will occasionally have an accident; Bogart takes medication and is getting a little slower these days) and some need some support on the emotional side (e.g., Lottie and Lola are very shy and a little afraid when meeting people). Some are just goofy or perhaps a little dominant with other dogs…but each of them make people smile, give kisses, and adore being loved after various types of hardship or loss in their past.
So How do Our Contributions Help These Guys?
As you would suspect, 90% of monetary contributions are used for medical bills. This includes paying off our regular vet visits and paying off our emergency debt (they know us well at the Emergency Clinic). The rest goes toward supplies, our website fees, mailbox fees, grooming, fundraising efforts and the like.
The medical aspect includes vet visits (exams, tests, medications, treatments, surgeries, etc.), medications at pharmacies, supplements, Pill Pockets, flea and tick preventative and heartworm preventative. We think proper medical care is vital and a tremendous responsibility. So when you make a monetary donation, know that you are literally providing good health to these animals.
We do not have a facility, so no money is allotted for buildings, water, electricity…all of that is covered in their foster home. I buy the paper towels, Clorox, detergent, and cleaning supplies, etc. so that we don’t have to use rescue funds.
How Much Does it Take to Cover These Costs?
Our annual “income” is around $12000, but yeah…additionally we somehow always have a huge medical debt, and I generally run my credit cards up with something (which I pay, not the rescue). Point being, 12 grand doesn’t allow us to come out ahead. I won’t go into a breakdown of medical cost, as to not bore you, but pet parents know how the vet bills run.
We don’t bring in money by the buckets. Part of this is because we are so small. I often have trouble keeping up with organizing multiple fundraisers, completing grant applications, and well, you know…begging for money (which I hate doing and lousy at, to boot). That’s where I need help. It takes more than one or a few people to raise large sums of money. This is why the more “hands on” help we can get, the more funds we can bring in, and the more animals we can help.
I know that’s what you hear every day, and I really do not know how to make it sound any different or any better because it is what it is.
Money is such a pain.
How do You Raise Funds?
Funds can only be raised in a few ways:
1) Begging, as annoying as it may be.
2) Sponsorships, which include individuals covering certain needs of certain dogs. Admittedly, I have trouble with this one because it’s hard for me to reach out to someone and say “Oh, by the way, can you get Bogart’s food? He’s running out.”
3) Monthly contributions are one of the biggest impacts outside of fundraisers. The $5, $10 or $25 a month sent to us is something we can count on and a bit of a safety net. We can breath because we know that we can make a payment on our veterinary debt because $25 will be coming in.
4) Event fundraising is obviously the biggest contribution because events bring in larger amounts of money.
5) Daily fundraising are things like Amazon Smile, ResQWalk or WoofTrax, IGive, GoodSearch, etc. These are things that cost supporters NOTHING but give us a small donation. When numerous people participate in these, it can add up to larger donations for us.
Enough of the Money, Already! What Else Goes on in k9.5?
In a nutshell, imagine what you do with your dog and multiply it by 20 +/-.
Dog-wise: Letting dogs in and outside, walking when needed, feeding, filling water bowls, as well as washing them. Handing out daily medications, providing flea, tick and heartworm preventative, cleaning crates, washing bed clothes and picking up donations. Scooping poop (don’t be jealous). Training, introducing new dogs, monitoring all behaviors, making sure everyone gets along and separating dogs if necessary, handing out treats, comforting during storms and firework crazed holidays, ball time, and picture time. Cleaning up accidents, hiding trash cans, and watching food on the counters. Bathing, cleaning ears, and lots of dog laundry. Let’s not forget vet visits!
Administrative-wise: Answering emails and phone calls daily. Reading and screening applications, conduct interviews, home visits, transports, and lots of discussions with applicants. There’s also talking with shelters, people who want to surrender their dogs, and adopters who give us updates (which we LOVE!!). Website updating, adoption site updating, blog posts and newsletters written, and social media posts are all part of the workload. Grant applications are filled out, fundraiser ideas searched, and shopping for any items needed. Of course there’s managing bank accounts and checkbooks, filing, other paperwork, copying, tax forms, and other boring things of the like. Fundraisers must be planned, organized and executed, donated items have to be organized and handed out accordingly, microchips have to be transferred (a job in itself!) and foster parents need to be checked on to make sure they have all that they need. Lest we forget the mounds of cleaning, both house and car (my poor car…).
I’m sure there are things I’ve forgotten but you get the gist.
Calling it What it is
SO – what does all that mean?
It means we are a functioning, not for profit business, a hospital and an orphanage.
That’s it! That’s the k9.5 Rescue lowdown. That’s how the cookie crumbles, the rain falls, the ball rolls, and so on and so forth. I tell you this because I want you to know what you are contributing to via donations, volunteer support, and via adoption. Every bit of what we do is voluntary, and it’s done out of sheer love. Sure, we have our moments where we pull out our hair; kids cause that bit of stress, you know…but it’s a passion that continues to burn, and I just can’t stop…not now at least. 🙂
For those of you that have stuck around, as well as those that have recently learned about k9.5 Rescue, we thank you for all that you’ve done and will do for us. We genuinely love you and your kind hearts, and knowing that you are here with us is what helps keep our heads above water. So don’t ever think you aren’t appreciated…you are our blessing. 🙂
If you ever want to come to the other side and volunteer or foster…just give us a shout. We’d love it!