Questions & Answers | Small Dog Rescue & Humane Society Acquisition
Why did Furkids Acquire SmallDog Rescue & Humane Society?
Like any leaders of successful organizations, the current SDR Society board members – executive director Anne Stockton, secretary Pat Bittinger and treasurer Linda Gill – have wanted the organization to evolve and grow beyond their tenure. The acquisition by Furkids represents the next step in the evolution of SmallDog Rescue & Humane Society, ensuring that its work to rescue homeless dogs will continue to flourish when Pat, Linda and Anne retire from active daily involvement in the organization. The acquisition also will strengthen Furkids, representing the next step in the evolution of the organization.
Doesn’t Furkids already rescue dogs?
Since its inception, Furkids has rescued and enfolded a handful of abandoned dogs at a time in its program, but the organization hasn’t had the resources available to care for a large number of dogs. SmallDog Rescue & Humane Society makes this capability possible for Furkids.
How do the philosophies and missions of Furkids and SmallDog rescue dovetail?
Furkids, Inc., founded in 2002, operates the largest cage-free, no-kill shelter for homeless cats in Georgia. SmallDog Rescue & Humane Society (SDR), founded in 1995, is dedicated to finding loving families for homeless dogs in Georgia. During the past several years, SDR and Furkids have had a loose affiliation in which they have exchanged selected animals, each helping the other rescue or place cats or dogs into adoptive homes. Culturally, both organizations are well-matched. Both have passionate leaders, exacting adoption and animal care processes and a commitment to the highest level of care, including shelter and foster home care, for homeless animals in their programs.
What is the significance of the SDR acquisition by Furkids?
It represents the evolution of both organizations, making the union of two strong, fully-functioning operations virtually seamless. The combined forces of Furkids and SmallDog Rescue & Humane Society are vastly stronger and with a greater reach than either organization alone, making Furkids one of the largest, most successful and respected animal welfare organizations in the Southeast.
When are the terms of the acquisition effective?
As of November 14, Furkids will take over management and operation of SmallDog Rescue & Humane Society, assuming total responsibility for the organization. The acquisition allows the SmallDog Rescue & Humane Society board members – executive director Anne Stockton, secretary Pat Bittinger and treasurer Linda Gill, to retire from active daily involvement.
Who will the new leaders be?
Furkids founder and executive director Samantha Shelton will continue to head the organization. A new board of advisors will be named in the coming weeks. Anne Stockton, Pat Bittinger and Linda Gill already have agreed to serve on the board of advisors.
What will happen to current staff members of both organizations?
Furkids will merge staff members, medical practitioners, volunteers and foster caregivers into one organization. They will continue their current assignments at both shelters. Dr. Melvin Gordon will continue his services as the Furkids veterinarian, as will Forsyth County Animal Hospital.
Furkids has a cat shelter and SDR has a dog shelter. Will both shelters still operate?
Ultimately, the Furkids goal is to operate one consolidated shelter that efficiently houses cats, dogs, medical services and administrative offices.
For the foreseeable future, Furkids will continue to operate both facilities. SDR has had its 4,375 square-foot facility, located on .8 acre in Forsyth County, on the market for sale. Furkids will keep it for sale, taking over its operation with a new shelter manager and the current volunteer staff, until it is sold. Furkids also will continue to operate its 4,800 square-foot shelter in Gwinnett County.
What does this mean for Furkids or SmallDog Rescue & Humane Society volunteers?
You’ve already demonstrated that you’re a passionate defender of homeless animals. The only thing that will change is that, instead of volunteering for an organization that supports homeless cats or dogs, you will be volunteering for a more comprehensive organization that rescues and cares for homeless cats and dogs. You may volunteer in whatever capacity best serves your interests and abilities – and your own heart.
In every case, as a volunteer with Furkids, you now are part of one of the most successful and respected animal rights organizations in the Southeast.
As a volunteer, will I continue in my same capacity?
We certainly hope so! Our homeless animals need your help today more than ever. While we consolidate the operations of both organizations, you should continue to work with your volunteer coordinator.
As we bring the volunteer teams together, you will have the opportunity to meet all of your fellow volunteers, especially those who will be new to you. For example, the Furkids 2011 holiday party, scheduled for Saturday, December 17 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Garden Hills Recreation Center, will be a happy occasion for all of us to get together and meet one another. The Center is located at 335 Peachtree Drive, Atlanta, 30305.
What does this mean for me as a Furkids or SmallDog Rescue & Humane Society foster?
You, as a foster caregiver, provide a priceless service to our animals. While our shelters provide safety, security and a healthy environment, we all know that animals need socialization with people, and the constant of routines and rules of living in an actual home. We hope you will continue to maintain the animals in your care until we reach our goal of placing them in loving permanent homes.
What does this mean for me as a Furkids or SmallDog Rescue & Humane Society supplier?
In the short term, we will continue to use our current suppliers. However, as we consolidate the organizations, we may find overlap in suppliers. Our shelter management teams will evaluate how we can best support our animals while supporting the suppliers who have supported our organizations throughout the years of our history.
What will happen to the adoption programs at PetSmart and PETCO?
Furkids now operates adoption center programs to include cats and dogs at a total of 12 retail pet supply centers: eight PetSmart locations (Alpharetta, Mall of Georgia, Midtown, Milton, Northlake, Perimeter, Sandy Springs and Smyrna) and four PETCO locations (Alpharetta, Edgewood, Holcomb Bridge and Sandy Springs) in metro Atlanta.
The logistics for showing cats and dogs to potential adopters are different; Furkids will maintain the dog adoption model designed and carried out by SDR, and continue the cat adoption model it has successfully implemented.
How will fundraising change?
Now that Furkids is responsible for the SDR operations, fundraising is more important than ever. It takes a lot of money to pay for the rescue, veterinary treatment, care and maintenance of cats and dogs and vetting of potential adopters. (As you know, our adoption process is very detailed and stringent because we want to match homeless animals with the right adopters in the right environments).
Furkids will be responsible for maintaining two separate shelters and staff as we raise money for a new, consolidated shelter. In addition to our current fundraising activities, we hope to develop new sources of revenue. The only difference is that we are raising money for an organization that now serves homeless cats and dogs. Ultimately, the Furkids goal is to operate one consolidated shelter that efficiently houses cats, dogs, medical services and administrative offices. We are planning a capital campaign to help us raise the funds needed to establish this shelter.
Furkids will maintain its thrift store (www.furkids.org/store) at 4015 Holcomb Bridge Road in Norcross. If you’ve been a SDR volunteer and you’re not familiar with the store, go the Website and Facebook pages and see how you can donate your used clothing, furniture, appliances, household items and other things to the thrift store for a tax deduction. And don’t miss shopping at the store. You’ll find terrific buys to replace all of those things you’ve just donated! All proceeds of the thrift store support Furkids programs.
Major fundraising events include:
- Birthday party
- Holiday party
- Open house
- Paws for Cocktails
- Summer picnic
- Shows and special events
How will marketing change?
We are marketing an organization that now serves homeless cats and dogs. In the near term, Furkids and SmallDog Rescue will maintain separate but closely linked Websites and social media presences. Over time, the sites will be merged into one, singular site, and we will establish Furkids with a new logo that reflects our new purpose of serving cats and dogs.
Why are you keeping the Furkids name and not the SmallDog Rescue & Humane Society name?
SDR has a strong infrastructure and powerful presence in the community. Changing its name was a difficult decision, and we know it will disappoint the people who have worked so hard to establish the SmallDog Rescue & Humane Society brand and reputation.
After considerable thought and discussion with our marketing team, we felt that the name SmallDog Rescue could not accurately embody the mission of the organization. A name incorporating both SmallDog Rescue and Furkids is a long one – and the name Furkids encompasses both cats and dogs. We will develop a new logo, however, that also will reflect our new mission.
Certainly, the unfaltering work of the SmallDog Rescue & Humane Society board of directors Anne Stockton, Pat Bittinger and Linda Gill, who devotedly carry on the work of the late founder, Brenda Kyle, has allowed both organizations to expand their work to serve more homeless animals today.
Will the mission change in any way?
Both Furkids and SDR are focused on the terrible problem of pet overpopulation, which contributes to producing homeless cats and dogs. Every year, in Metro Atlanta alone, some 100,000 dogs and cats are euthanized because they have no place to live and be safe. These animals shouldn’t be condemned to die simply because they are homeless. Therefore, the Furkids mission remains to help end pet overpopulation in Georgia through sterilization, high-quality adoption and by providing valuable spay/neuter services and pet care education to people in the community.
Neutering remains a keystone of the organization’s program because pet overpopulation in the United States is a very real problem. Furkids sterilizes all of the unaltered animals in its programs before placing them in adoptive homes. Since its inception, Furkids has rescued and altered more than 6,000 animals. SmallDog Rescue & Humane Society has rescued and altered approximately 5,000 animals since it was founded.
Furkids cares for more animals on a daily basis than any other local organization, including the Atlanta Humane Society. Today, Furkids is responsible for approximately 600 cats and dogs at the organization’s two shelters, in 10 retail adoption centers and numerous foster homes.
Furkids was founded in 2002 when then-Equifax executive assistant Samantha Shelton found a mother cat depositing three newborn kittens in her backyard. What began simply as a quest to find shelter for four cats in a place where they wouldn’t be euthanized has grown into a nonprofit organization that today operates the largest cage-free, no-kill shelter in Georgia.
SmallDog Rescue & Humane Society was founded in 1995 by the late Brenda (Bren) Kyle, who rescued homeless dogs and cared for them in her home. She also convinced her friends to serve as foster caregivers. Bren took a few dogs at a time and sat in front of a willing merchant’s store, interviewing and screening people who were interested in adopting her rescued charges, matching people and pets. When she died in 2004, she willed the organization to Anne Stockton, who, with a new board of directors and volunteers, continued to build the organization.
Furkids acquired SmallDog Rescue & Humane Society in November 2011.
Furkids is a 501(c)3, charitable, non-profit organization that operates the largest cage-free, no-kill shelter for homeless cats in Georgia and a no-kill shelter for dogs where they can experience the best care in a loving environment until they are adopted. Each year, Furkids rescues, shelters, sterilizes, rehabilitates, and places hundreds of animals in permanent, loving homes. The organization has been confirmed as one of the top charities in America by Independent Charities of America. Of the top six animal rescue organizations in metro Atlanta, Furkids has the lowest percentage of its budget dedicated to administrative expenses. And for every $1,000 Furkids accepts in donations, the organization places more pets into permanent homes than virtually every other organization.Share on Facebook