Rescue Journal

up early again today...

Carol  ·  Nov. 12, 2011

same headache, same sore back...and same worries clogging my brain.
it totally sucks.

if i could have one would be to pick up saints and move it to a bigger and better property and turn over the running of it all to someone(s) smarter and more capable.

i really believe that saints could grow much bigger, go much further, make far greater impacts if we just took it one step past the grass roots, home based rescue we currently have and move it into a bigger arena...and i am honestly too limited in my actual abilities to accomplish that.

i am not saying we haven't done well here because honestly we have. we are pretty well known, we are well respected, and we are very effective in doing what we do. but...what i have learned over these past years is...the actual need for senior and special needs rescue is freaking huge, much bigger and far reaching than can be effectively managed by just individuals or small grass roots groups.

and see..this is where i get into trouble when i am in worrying mode. i can't just concentrate on the actual things that are worrying money/bills, staffing levels, animal numbers/care needs and rat population, i have to stick my head up and look for much needed future sustainable growth.

how many things do i need to worry about without going out looking for more?

i keep telling myself...just concentrate on one thing at a time and get it well done and then look to the next. but i don't take advice very well...even from myself.

when KO and i were cleaning the barn yesterday, i said...really over the years, we have done a pretty good job. we have helped so many and continue to do so but unless we find a way to take the next will eventually end. we are all getting older, and each year i am personally getting credit card is max'd, i just cashed my very last savings bond to get us thru the next couple of weeks and i don't mind cuz it was just sitting there doing nothing anyway..... except, i am no longer financially viable as our emergency back up plan...and that scares me.
if one of the animals needed to go into the emergency clinic in the middle of the night...i couldn't take them because i can't pay their bill up front...and that is a big problem for them and for us. so i sit here and hope that no one has a freaking midnight crises until we get some money back in the bank.

i let us get too big. i stretched us too far. i let us help too many animals and the scary part is...i don't regret a single one.

and that is why i need someone(s) smarter and more capable (and with a better sense of direction!) to take over so i can get out cuz at this cross roads of our particular rescue world... i am not smart or capable enough for us now. i don't know if we should just stop and stay where we are...or...go forwards, go backwards or turn right or left?

i am just stumped....cross roads also suck.



Ang Deb & Chris, I am so very sorry to read of molly's passing, my condolences to all of you. the Pilates princess was a well loved little dog & is now practicing her exercises at the bridge.


I came across your website by accident last month. Your logo seemed familiar. I have seen it before maybe at some store maybe? Well if it helps, I signed up as a sponsor for "Emily" last month. I noticed she did not have a sponsor. Maybe you need to get more sponsors?? What you do is amazing. I am telling all my animal loving friends about your site and got them to vote on the Aviva contest too!!


thank so much for everyone for taking the time to look into things and write back suggestions...but here lies the problem...sheila, nicole and meghann are applying for and getting grants wherever they can, the guardian angels have donation boxes pretty much EVERYWHERE! the government does not fund any kind of animal assistence programs for the elderly, they are busy cutting critical programs on them.

best friends founders have an interesting history...back in the 60's they were a group of friends that started a religious group over in europe (please keep in mind that this was the hippy years with everyone out to spiritually find themselves...)
anyway some reporter ran an international story, labelling them as a "cult"..they sued and won.

some of them were down in mexico and had rescued a bunch of dogs...they met an old man on a deserted beach who was a "seer" and he saw their future across an ocean of sand caring for homeless animals. when they found angels canyon in the utah desert, they all pooled the money they won in the lawsuit and bought the canyon and best friends began. a few years later after many struggles... they were lucky enough to basically hook up with a very generous millionaire who believed deeply in what they were doing...he helped them put in the infrastucture that has enabled them to grow into one of the largest private animal rescue/sanctuary groups in the world.

sadly even if someone was stupid enough to call saints a cult..i am not smart enough to sue them..i would be too busy laughing my ass off. and the kind of magical good luck that best friends originally had has so far totally eluded us!

now they are a well run and well oiled rescue machine with 25,000 members, a 25 million dollar annual budget, 3000 acres, 1800 aanimals, 300 paid staff members including full tech. and fundraising dept's...and now they have a tv show too!

it is pretty freaking amazing what a dedicated and committed group accomplished.
you probably wonder how i know all of this? was part of my orientation when i was down there on a 2 week job trial just before saints began...i think i got the gist of it right..but i will admit my memory is not all that great, they used to have the full beginnings story on their website..not sure if it is still there but if it is you might get a clearer and more accurate look at how they began.


The Vancouver Foundation also has grants. They have a one time grant to repair, expand or build facilities. That one closed in October but they also respond to requests any time for grants that are less than $10,000 for animal welfare projects.


PetSmart has grants. The latest round closed in September but perhaps next year Saints could apply. I have requested information on it.


molly had a very great deepest condolences to angelina, chris and deb for the loss of your beloved pilates queen.


angelina, i am so sorry for your loss. i know how much you love and care for your animals and what a heartbreaking morning for you. may molly rest in peace.

Barbara DeMott

As animals left by the elderly when they die or enter homes are a huge category, may be there is governmental funding to do with the elderly and their mental health or some such combination that could be accessed. After all transitioning the elderly and even home care support is a big focus of the health care discussion. In your unique role as both human and animal caregiver, you might get some funding? Or as a venue, or consultant for animal welfare programs at universities, on line programs?


I used to disburse the corporate donations for Rogers Sugar. Most big corporations/companies have "ad hoc" money set aside for charitable organizations, but you have to write in to the company and request it. Not sure if SAINTS already does this, but there's a lot of available money out there from corporations.

Brenda S

Interesting discussion this morning. I checked on the Best Friends (Dogtown) website and they are wholly funded by donations. Over 300,000 American households donate to them as well as many corporate sponsors including most of the dog food producers. The series DogTown was very well done and brought much needed exposure to the sanctuary. Suzanne brings up some very good points about advertising companies on your website. Many websites do this. Perhaps that is an area that needs to be explored. As Suzanne suggested it may even be worth it just to get food donated. Perhaps someone reading who has connections in the film/documentary world would like to do a documentary series about Saints. ER Vets is another good series on the CW network. It would bring the much needed exposure to this sanctuary by bringing in a much broader audience. A broader audience could mean increased funding.


Sorry I couldn't make it up today we had to euthanize Molly this morning.


Have you developed any contacts at Best Friends? I'll bet they would happily explain their financial workings to SAINTS. Perhaps some contact needs to be developed.

These are big issues and they need to be faced. I'll volunteer time to explore it if you want some assistance.

SAINTS is too important to fail!


I might be able to put the calendars together online - I found a website where it looks like they start at $6.99 each and there is free shipping on orders over $34 until Nov 14 - who knows maybe they will extend it for christmas. Maybe we could sell them for a $15 donation or something. I don't mind paying for them myself either. Let me know what you think.


I'm not sure if you guys have done it before, but for a fundraiser in the next few months, perhaps we could make SAINTS posters with Jenn's lovely photos and a small caption of the animals' story each month. Selling the calendars would raise money and seeing the calendar every day may remind people to donate throughout the year.


Do you have donation jars at all your suppliers?
EG: at feed/hay store... a frame with before and after photos of Pops explaining that he was left alone to fend for himself in a field with no vet care for 20 years and that it's a miracle SAINTS was able to save his feet and he can now lie down for the first time in 15 years etc and could you please help SAINTS help Pops for the time he has left? And we thank whatever-the-feed-store's-name-is for their help and outstanding products for our barnyard bunch etc etc etc.
I think you would be stunned at what you would get in those jars over the course of a month. Crass though it may seem, every little bit helps.


You don't need more smarts or capabilities, Carol... you have PLENTY of those. You simply need more money.
I don't know if there are grants out there or what. Best Friends runs that huge operation called Dog Town with multiple vets on staff, (thank you very much), state of the art surgeries (thank you very much), housing for the caregivers (thank you very much) etc.... where in the hell do they get all that money? It can't be simply from donatons... a lot of people in the US (and I assume Canada) don't have a lot of donation money lying around these days. So they have to have accessed either corporate sponsors or grants or their money would have dried up by now, and you cannot build and staff a facility of that size and scope if there is any chance at all that you will wake up one day and have no money.
Try to find out what corporations have grants (in all your spare time)... I think I'd start with the ones that produce quality animal food... and see if there is anything out there. Also, see if any of them would donate food in exchange for you putting their logo on the website and at the fund raisers. I know it sounds somewhat crass and probably isn't where you really want to go, but if you can get even HALF the monthly food donated you'll be up that many dollars.
Praying for you.

Bunny Horne

EVERYONE don't forget to vote in the Pet Shelter Challenge, $1000 isn't much but SAINTS needs every single penny. Please vote every single day. If you could see what this woman does for the animals in her care you would be amazed.

And just a reminder to get on the list or back on the list for the daily reminders to vote for the next phase of the AVIVA Challenge. The semi-final voting starts December 5th - we need everyone to register and vote every single day of the challenge.