Message from Molly Goldston, Founder/Director:
2020: A Year Like No Other
Animal Sheltering comes with so many challenges in a normal year. It is a world of limited resources and needs that feel like they will never be filled. With each dog I see leave Saving Grace (SG) with a happy family, there are so many others left behind in rural shelters that never got the chance.
No matter how much money we raise or donations we receive it seems there are never enough resources to serve all the animals needing our service. That’s a tough thing to say, even with all the amazing folks who work with us daily to meet the demands of animal care, fundraising, veterinary needs, transports and adoptions.
Our community is always loyal and supportive of SG and we couldn’t do it without them. With that said we appreciate the patience and grace from those who have worked with us this year.
While we had many new folks, who offered to help through fostering, adopting and volunteering, we didn’t have extra people to assist the influx of people wanting to adopt which resulted in a lot of frustration.
There were lots of challenges when Covid hit and things shut down. We couldn’t get dogs vetted as quickly as usual. Our work-around was to set-up a foster to adopt program for people to take home their chosen dog as we worked together to complete the vet care when available. This was an eye-opening experience for many on how much care a shelter dog gets. So much of what we do before a dog is adopted became transparent. Heartworm treatments, pregnant Mamas, worming and more, resulted in a lot of disappointed people but it was worth a try! Some folks jumped in and were amazing and provided fabulous care to get the dogs healthy and to a place where they could finalize their adoption. This was certainly not the way we prefer to do things but we were trying to balance an adoption opportunity while simultaneously doing our best to assist everyone with their needs, questions, adoptions, questions, parasites, questions, concerns, questions and more questions. You get the drift.
We had to adapt quickly and pivot to new programs and procedures as we navigated so many challenges. Our team had to put their heads together and rally to find new ways to keep adoptions going. I am so proud of the folks who continued to come day in and day out. Solely because of their dedication and the uptick in people wanting to adopt many, many dogs are spending the holidays in a loving home instead of a landfill. Not only were our operations compromised but so were all the clinics and hospitals we work closely with. This created a monumental speedbump for SG to move dogs into their forever homes.
With all the challenges, there has also been so many great things and realizations.
- The SG onsite spay/neuter clinic- This will help us provide spay/neuter and care to dogs onsite rather than rely on other organizations to accommodate us.
- We added more online options to our adoption process to hopefully simplify it.
- We added more short-term foster/host opportunities to give people a chance to interact with the animals while we maintained limited appointments to keep crowds down.
- We hosted “virtual” foster and volunteer orientations.
- We scheduled adoption pick-ups in the parking lot rather than asking people to come inside the farm which greatly minimized contact with people.
While these changes did NOT provide the experience, we pride ourselves on, it made it possible for people to continue to able to adopt and for our dogs to have a chance with a family.
As the world paused and many people spent their days hunkered down alone or with family, it increasingly became apparent what were the important things in life. Suddenly people were home and found it to be a great time to add a furry family member. For others it was a chance to bring home a companion to spend time with, talk to, and provide great company at a time when socialization just wasn’t cool. To our pets, we have always been the most joyous part of their day and existence. In a year like no other, they have been ours.
I am confident many of our SG dogs adopted over the years brought much needed companionship and smiles to their families this year. I can’t be the only one thinking “who rescued who?”
Again, let me just say I am immensely grateful for everyone that made this year possible. The volunteers, donors, fosters, adoption team, host weekend team, veterinary technicians, veterinary practices and individual veterinarians. The list goes on with our shelter partners and their animal control and kennel staff, transporters, photographers, social media folks, and many, many more.
I hope this holiday season finds you healthy, safe and happy. From everyone here at Saving Grace we wish you all the best in the year ahead. Here’s to many more dogs finding their happily ever after in 2021.