We moved into our new location in January 2013. Here it is summer of 2014 and it seems like we are still unpacking our bags.
While we are in our new location, there is still so much we need to do to make our new digs great for our animals living in sanctuary whilst they await adoption with us.
We have had so many wonderful achievements; many of our long term residents have found their homes with families and are so loving living life large in homes rather in sanctuary.
Our adoptions have doubled from the year prior, and those had doubled from the year prior to that!
Our volunteerism has increased dramatically and our community support in Jackson is phenonomal.
BUT! We still need your help. We have play yards to build, we have building improvements to construct, we have visitor areas to install, and we need to be able to help so many more animals who are homeless, abandoned and abused.
We have partnered up with a sister shelter and implemented a program named SNIP (Spay Neuter Iniative Partnership) whereby we intend to educate the public as to the need for responsible pet ownership with a focus on spay/neuter of companion animals. Until we change the mindset of the community as to the need to stop the cycle, we will all be working to over come the over population of companion animals and searching for ways to fund the need for their care. Please help us end the cycle, but until we end the abundance, we need to care for the homeless animals under our care. We need your help with their care, and we need your help in ending the cycle.
What a long way we have come since we started! From an abandoned, empty warehouse in 2012 to a growing and thriving rescue facility in early 2014.
With the continued support of so many, we have rescued, rehabilitated, provided sanctuary for and rehomed so many companion animals! But, we have such a long ways to go to build the dream of what we can provide these animals. Through the ongoing support of Global Giving and supporters our mission is continuing to thrive and blossom.
We have in the last year built play yards, gotten electricity upgraded and run to various areas where it was lacking previously, we have installed heating and cooling in our future puppy room, built two puppy play yards off the puppy room with plans to add more.
We are currently building more play/exercise training yards and have had 15 loads of dirt delivered so we can build 8 more exercise/training/play yards.
Some of our on-going long term needs are to build more cinderblock pens in-order to have large, safe kennels for the dogs. We are also building a sanitorium onto the cat rooms allowing the cats to go outside and enjoy sunshine, butterflies and bird watching.
There are some seasons that the struggle is just to keep food in the bowls, but because of you this was not one of those seasons! Of course you know and we say it often but the work at a shelter is never done. The stress about finances is never small. The worrying about our future never fades. However, these past few months have been a blessing. Just as things got harder, wonderful people swooped in and helped raise us up. Supporters local and from all over the world have helped us. The generosity is inspiring! Thank you!
Vet bills, event costs, daily operation costs (food, electricity, ect) and training are constant. Despite that we have broken ground and started the major project of multiple play yards and runs for the dogs. This is a huge undertaking and without the man hours volunteered or online donations, we could not do this. With more runs and yards we can get more dogs exercised. When the large volunteer groups come, more groups of dogs can be brought out for play and traning. Being able to rotate more dogs outside not only helps the dogs physically and mentally, but it also helps the people who care for the kennel. Everyone is happier and things move smoother. On top of that, happy, healthy dogs get adopted faster and we have had many more great adoptions!
As well as being able to work on the outside of the shelter, many much needed repairs to the inside have been done. Things being worked on are isolation rooms, larger pens, extra pens and the cat room. We've also been able to finally fix some of the damage that was done during our break-ins. With the New Years fast approaching, we feel like we have turned a corner and much bigger and better things are on our horizon. This new motivation and hope is brought in large part to supporters like you. The donations help us physically get things done and our support that stretches from all around the globe boosts us up and keeps us going. Thank you and we hope to bring you even more progress with even more adoption stories for the next report. ARF supporters are the greatest! Thank you!
This summer has been like a trip to the park: the park with lots of roller coasters! It has been a summer full of sweat and tears, but we wouldn't do it any other way. Our constant supporters kept us moving forward with hope in our hearts. Animal rescue is a rough business and we will always have our bumps, but we will always keep moving with our supporters.
This new building has been so amazing. Yes, it costs three times as much to operate it, but our adoptions were amazing this summer! We met so many new, wonderful people! They came and adopted, donated, volunteered and truly made a difference. The amount of new volunteers would have never happened at the old location. We had numerous successful adoption events and fundraisers including an online t-shirt drive. We have several exciting events coming up including our annual 5k. This year it will be an officail timed event and a glow run! We also have been accepted into the MSU Homeward Bound program. This is very exciting and will make a huge difference. Our dogs and cats will now be able to be selected to go up north to various shelters where the adoption rates are much higher. This will impact our numbers greatly and will allow us to do more.
As the summer wound down and school started back up, adoptions and donations have dropped off considerably. We still are trying to raise enough funds to finish our outdoor exercise runs and extra play yard. This is a very important project and we hope to be able to finish it soon. This project on Global Giving has been amazing. The amount of support is just heart warming. We truly appreciate each and everyone of you. You are part of something very big and have helped so many animals. Thank you and we look forward to your continued support.
The past few months have been quite the ride with ups and downs, lows and highs. We've had some major setbacks but through the amazing support of our volunteers and donors we have steadily pushed forward with even more optimism towards our goal of helping the animals and in turn helping the community.
We have been working hard at making our facility the best it can be for our animals and all the people that come through its doors. This is a major feat and will never be “finished” but ARF has come such a long way in such a short time. That is all thanks to great donations and absolute wonderful volunteers who dedicate their time and skills to us for nothing more than to see a happy, furry smile. One of our outstanding volunteers has fixed up the trim around the outside of the building, helped build a handicap ramp, fixed doors, and done some amazing work in the cat rooms. It is cat heaven now with shelves all over to jump on, window fixtures for them to sun and nap in and cat trees that we wish were bigger so we could play with them! We have some of the happiest cats around now!
Spring brought lots of rain and severe weather and we are so thankful that our animals are safely sheltered. When the storms come we do not have to worry about them being out in the elements or things flooding. Half of the permanent, concrete kennels have been created and we are working at getting the rest done. There is also a very large play yard in the back that volunteers enjoy playing with the dogs in. Now that is it warmer we fill up kiddie pools and everyone plays in the water! Of course more still needs to be done, but we have come such a long way in less than a year.
In the middle of the night in May we got a call that we hope to never get again: there was a break in. People broke in, broke things, stole things and stirred up all the animals but luckily did not steal any of our precious pets. Some cats got loose but we were able to get them all back to safety. The burglars broke our big rolling door in the back, tore apart several doors inside, stole a compressor, tools, dishwasher, refrigerator, dishwasher and other equipment. They also trashed the vet tech room and stole medicine and antibiotics. All of these things can be replaced but we wish we did not have to spend money on things that were already bought. The truly heartbreaking issue through this all however, is that all of the medicine that was taken is most likely being used to treat injured dogs from dog fighting. The people that do this do not want to take injured dogs to vets so they are either killed or medicine like this is stolen so they can treat themselves. This is an eye opener and makes it all the more important for us to help the community and educate people.
In the first 25 weeks of this year, we have had over 50 adoptions! We know this is thanks to the wonderful new facility in a much better location. Being forced to relocate has proven to be a blessing and we are now able to help so many more strays. Our area is one of the highest in the country for stray companion animals. The support and donations from Global Giving has aided us in tackling this issue through rescue, rehabilitation, adoption and education. This is a problem that will continue, but we are making a difference one day at a time. Currently our facility is at maximum capacity and we feel bad turning people away but know that we need to help who we already have before we can help more. To alleviate the issue of high numbers, we are focusing on getting our animals to many adoption events and using Shelter Exchange. Through Shelter Exchange we can reach a much broader audience of people searching for a furry friend.
Our current goals are: 1) ventilation 2) outdoor runs 3) individual kennel repair. The summer in the south can be unbearable and we need proper ventilation and cooling for the animals and workers. We’ve got some fans right now and have raised some money but need an electrician to do the repairs and get things moving. If we cannot find an electrician that can volunteer their time we will need to pay someone to do it. While we’d rather not, this is something that absolutely needs to be done. Outdoor runs and kennels are also being worked on. The individual kennels will also need updating and ARF workers are great at staying on top of it. The separate outdoor runs will be great for groups of dogs to go outside, socialize, play and get some exercise while their kennels can be cleaned and prepared. We hope to start construction of these soon.
We are so grateful to GlobalGiving and its fabulous donors. The response and positive feedback has been uplifting. Through the dedicated work of our volunteers and your continuous support we can make the Animal Rescue Fund of Mississippi the shelter that others look up to. Thank you!
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