May is off to a great start! We've formed new partnerships with several established rescues, helping them out with emergency kenneling, northern contacts, and fundraising ideas. I'm particularly excited about the possibilities for expanding our network of GoNorth program participants. The more we do it, the better we get at it, and we have more and more rescues asking for help setting that up.
Big item on the agenda this month -- some seriously innovative fundraising programs. For so many years, most of us used ChipIn or First Giving as our primary fundraising tool Now, with ChipIn gone, we've turned to http://youcaring.com. They don't charge fees (though you still pay paypal fees) and they offer an easy-to-use experience. Sure, there are occasionally glitches, but a lot fewer than we were experiencing in ChipIn's waning days. AND they have customer support!
Another resource I'd like to share with you: https://www.signupgenius.com/ We've been using this to help buy food and monthly meds for our scholarship dogs. While many of our rescue partners help out with costs and buy food, Frontline and Heartguard for their dogs, we always have a few dogs on scholarship at the Waystation. Covering those costs is always a challenge. Most of you know that a Coonhound is basically a bottomless mouth, so feeding the big 'uns can be a challenge. The Sign Up Genius site is great for letting people make manageable commitments for a month in advance. A bit tricky to figure out, but the help files and examples are great.
April is off to an astounding start! Late this evening, seven puppies and their Basset mom arrived at ARI! The pups are only a day or so old. Their mom, a stray, gave birth under a porch in Cookeville. And Wednesday, we have a gorgeous little whippet/Iggie mix coming in from Jackson Rabies Control in West TN. She was on the Euthanasia List for the next day and we have a soft spot for little sight hounds.
The national average cost to keep a dog in a shelter for a week is $50. Our costs are considerably less, but not by a whole lot. Dog food, electricity bills, non stop cleaning supplies, gas for our volunteers who drop everything to make late night runs for innocent lives, transport costs, and boarding for this precious little Iggie until we can get her moved -- and more gas to do that. Can you help? We want these puppies and this little Iggie to have the best possible start to their new lives! Please donate so we can continue to be the fast reaction immediate response safety net for innocent lives.
I just ran the numbers last night: from 1 Jan to 11 March. If you count one dog staying here for one day as a dog day, we accumulated 672 dog days of boarding here. Our average census was 9.4 and our average stay time was a little more than 16 days. More than ten rescues were involved, including CK Rescue (Ontario, Canada), BellyRubs Basset Rescue, TriState Basset Rescue, East TN Pitbull Rescue, The London Sanctuary, American Black and Tan Coonhound Rescue, Answered Prayers Rescue, Southern States Bullmastiff Rescue, Secondhand Hounds, and Recycled Best Friends. They came from every Southern state and countless shelters. Of course, our long termer residents skew that, but so do the hordes that we provide ovenights for as they head north.
Multiple transporters tromped through the mud as transports came and went, picking up loads ranging from a single hound to loads of twelve headed for Canada. Liberty Train came through, as did a number of other OTRA and Kindred Hearts transporters.
All this adds up to a lot of paper towels and wormers. We try to put every dog through our intake protocol, which includes a dose of Marquis Paste and three days of Panacur, but we're currently out of Marquis Paste (it knocks any possible coccidia in one dose. It's around $2-3/dog to treat, but it only comes in large tubes that run $200 each.) We use Safeguard instead of Panacur, Ivermectin instead of Heartguard, and have other cost-savings measures, but it adds up.
There are also our resident and ARI dogs, the ones we pulled who didn't have a chance otherwise or who ended up staying longer than expected. Dauphine, who unexpectedly turned up HW positive on her way to Maine, has been here since last summer. Little Daisy Doodle, the demodex fluffy girl, is an ARI dog, as is Billy the Beagle mix, who was going to be put down after the cruelty case was filed on him. Incoming soon are Snoops, a Basset from Mobile, and JJ, a Coonie from Ft. Payne Alabama. Even apart from fundraisers for their vetting, they have to be fed, wormed and treated for fleas every month. And, I have to tell you -- I very very much want to help a couple of small Coonies in Florida who are currently at The London Sanctuary. The only thing holding us back right now is making the commitment to feeding and caring for them until we find a group to take them.
Our electricity bill for the Waystation was right at $185 last month.
Bottom line -- it costs money to save these lives. But you already know that. All rescuers do. What's different about the Waystation is how many groups we help and how flexible that help can be. We fill in the gaps in the rest of the process, providing temporary stays and overnights for rescues on the frontlines of the battle. We take in a few hard luck cases that nobody else will touch as well, dogs like Daisy Doodle, so eaten up with Demodex that everyone though she had sarcoptic.
I'm also planning on buying a grunch-load of premiixed concrete bags this month. It takes 57 bags of premix to cover a 10x10 area with a four inch slab and one bag is around $3.85. We do have some money set aside for this, but it's not going to be enough to cover what we'd like to get done. This is a critical need, since puppy season is coming up soon and we MUST have concrete for the puppy area! Too much danger of parvo otherwise. We've got a volunteer with a portable mixer who's willing to frame stuff up and mix and pour -- I'm taking a run at Home Depot and Lowes again to see if they'll donate some materials, but i haven't had much luck with them so far.
Can you help out? Get us stocked up on food and wormers and cement? There's a paypal button to the right, or you can snail mail donations to: At Risk Intervention, 2000 Stock Creek Road, Knoxville TN 37920