Thursday, July 02, 2009

Growing up and out - Your help needed for an important fundraiser

This senior dog's name wasn't supposed to stick, but she came into Oakland Animal Services with toenails so long that they curled into her pads, causing her toes to swell. So, meet 'Toes.' Dumb name, I know, but when your day is a busy blur, that creativity can just fly out the window. We figured she was so sweet that a new friend will certainly re-name her, right?

Unfortunately Toes had a seizure in the shelter lobby last week, which led to the discovery of a tumor on her pancreas - dammit. It's bad. It's causing her to wobble a bit and it threatens to shake her like a SF quake again if her blood sugar dips close to empty. If you're a crowded shelter, heartbreak decisions about very sick dogs are relatively cut and dry. And if you're a rescue, you weigh out all the other dogs that need medical care and you make the tough but necessary decision to let go. Toe's prognosis is bad, so we've got to get ready to say good bye. But not so fast -- first we have to give this girl an extended party.

We're giving Toes a compassion hold, meaning, she gets a few days or hopefully weeks living just like a spoiled princess. She's in a home now and is sleeping on soft blankies, playing with new dog friends, eating the best table scraps and getting opps to smell the air and lie in the grass. Readers may know that we do a number of these kinds of cases throughout the year, and while they aren't as sexy or headline worthy as bust dog cases, we believe they're just as important.

Because compassion cases as well as dog fighting and other cruelty cases tend to show up without much warning, it's not unusual for our living rooms to get crowded with last minute crates. After the Vick dogs arrived, we had thirteen dogs spread around in our living/dining room before they finally left to waiting foster homes. Crazy, man (don't tell the neighbors!) We grin and bear it, but there are clearly better ways to do this work.

So what took us so long? After slapping our foreheads and realizing that we need to create a more appropriate setting, we kept our eyes open and finally found the perfect half acre setting to build a barn - or, 'guest house' with exercise grounds for incoming dogs. No more pushing the sofa aside for new dogs, and no more long hours in a crate. New dogs deserve roomier kennels to unwind in.

I had no idea what a pole barn was until we started pouring over internet sites that sell kit houses and kit barns. What a fascinating shopping mission! We settled on a modest but attractive design that will allow us to house compassion holds like Toes in roomy comfort as well as provide decompression relief for fight bust dogs that land here en route to their next way stations. It's very exciting, and sorta scary.

Capital Campaign

To make the barn a reality, we'll be doing our first ever capital campaign. But before we launch the fundraiser, we're looking for a few matching gift challenges to boost the project. Can you help?
What's a matching gift? --> INFO

If your employer has a matching gift program, or if you're willing to arrange one as an individual, please send a note to Tim so we can 1) remind ourselves that we're not altogether crazy for fundraising during an economic downturn and 2) so we can have your challenge ready and waiting to be met when we launch the campaign. Tim will help you get your paperwork in order.

For all the dogs who will benefit, a million thanks!


Home2k9 said...

Early congratulations as this is excellent news! You are not crazy for fund raising during an economic down turn, this project WILL come to be and WILL benefit SO MANY! Once again, you guys are the best and we'll do whatever we can to be at least a speck of support from afar. Good luck!!!

Donna said...

*Thank you* for that encouragement Home2k9.

Dianne in DC said...

Hi Donna,
I work for Freddie Mac which matches our contributions to charity. I have nominated Bad Rap for this program and expect to hear back from them. But we are all going home at 2 pm on the East Coast here, so have a happy fourth.

Bethany said...

I can't do a matching gift but I'll make a donation to the campaign once it's up. You guys do great work and inspire me to try a little harder with the animals around me.

Heather Cherry said...

Don't downplay it... compassion for senior doggies is hella sexy and headline worthy! Thanks you guys!

staffys4me said...

I'll donate too when the campaign gets started. Thank you for helping Toes and for all of the wonderful work that you do for the dogs.

Anonymous said...

Ditto on the comments from staffys4me above. Just sorry my employer doesn't do matching gifts...thanks for everything you are doing and the sooner the $$$ starts coming in the better! It's a fantastic idea and I think you will get lots of support.

Lo-Cal Lori said...

Here is a link to a list of companies that have matching programs

NYCKitten said...

What an interesting scenario for older seniors...Bad Rap, always pioneering...gosh we could use you in NYC.

Boris said...

Hey Toes,
You are beautiful gal to inspire a 'Cap Capaign'. You suck-up and hang on to all that compassion.

O.K. what you're talking about is just an "ol' school" BARN RAISING.
"Failure to attend a barn raising without the best of reasons led to censure within the community"
While matching shouldn't be missed, the key concept in these times is EVERYONE contributes in the form they can.

So, my nose to the ground looking for $$$$$,


Donna said...

Beautiful thinking there Boris!

We're very grateful to read these encouraging notes and early pledges. Let the madness begin!

NYCKitten - -Animal Farm Foundation in NY is big on compassion holds, too. I know that a large number of NYC dogs have benefited from their big hearts.

smason39 said...

I'm a teacher working for a school district so no big corporate match from me...sorry:(

But I'm always looking for an excuse to buy more Bad Rap gear so hopefully you guys will make a new design just for the campaign (inspired by someone like Toes or Nelly!)

Anonymous said...

Love you guys for your work and your conscience. No employer match here but I'll gladly send a check.

Anonymous said...

Hi Donna,

Brilliant fundraising idea- but I must admit that seeing the crates in the living room was very affirming for our own sanity - but if we moved out our crates, we'd need to go purchase coffee tables, end tables, etc and stop using crates as furniture pieces! And xpens and baby gates as natural doors! Good luck with this wonderful endeavor! Any people employed with HP out there? Bad Rap is already on the approved Charitable Giving Campaign matching donor list!

Lynn in N. Cal

Anonymous said...

My employer does not match funds either, but that's okay..... a check will be on its way to you when you get ready to receive them. It's a wonderful idea to help older pups!

I had to laugh at Lynn's posting...I too use crates as tabletops, work areas, storage....I'd be at a loss without them. And dog cuddle-beds in each room are great places to toss dog toys, blankets and balls for a quick clean up.

Keep up the great work and wonderful ideas to help the dogs Donna and Tim!


Jennifer said...

I absolutely LOVE what are doing for Toes. It seriously made me cry!