From Jill Freeman, Board President
As you can see, Boykin Spaniel Rescue (BSR) had another incredible year. From implementation of new programs to streamline our dog care to increasing awareness of BSR through events and social media, it was a busy time for us all.
As Jeannine will share with you, we cared for 115 dogs last year. Those include carry over cases from 2018, new intakes as well as our beloved Permanent Foster Care (PFC) dogs. Sadly, we lost 8 of our senior PFCs in 2018. Many of you have followed their stories and really came to know them and their stories. Our Handsome Harry-- the dog that started the Julia Horner PFC Program for us-- crossed the Rainbow Bridge in 2019. We named our program "Permanent Foster" instead of hospice because of Harry. While he needed on-going significant care, he lived a full and happy life and paved the way for the 69 PFCs that have come to us since we began the Program. Our PFC parents have our eternal gratitude.
Our key initiatives in 2019 included expansion of our fundraising initiatives; increasing education (both internal and external); increasing our volunteer network; continuing development of three and five- year-plans; and reviewing and updating of our policies and procedures. While all of these are ongoing projects, I am happy to report that we have made significant progress in formalizing committees and work groups for each of these areas. Both Lynne and Jeannine will share more details about their respective outcomes below.
We seated two new Board members for the 2020-2023 term. We were honored to have had 12 exceptional candidates apply for the 2 open seats; and, we are truly grateful to those who were not seated on the Board but who are now sitting on committees and are very involved in our growth. BSR is proud to share that John Steinmeyer and Julie Cox-Seidel have joined our Board. John has a strong financial planning background that will help us plan for audits and future growth; and Julie will be incredibly helpful in our internal auditing.
As I have shared with you in the past, BSR works very hard to plan for the unknown. Whether it is disaster planning, financial planning or other areas, we strive to position the organization, the Board and the team to make sure we are as ready as we can be should the need arise. To that end, the Board has elected Richard Vitolo to serve as the Board's vice president. Richard is a long-time volunteer, has a strong financial background and is heavily involved in our operations. Should the need arise, Richard is ready to step in should he be needed to lead the organization.
I want to personally thank our volunteers for their tireless efforts and thousands (yes, thousands) of hours spent caring, transporting and volunteering in so many ways. To our donors, thank you for the faith you place in us. We ask a lot of you; we know that. And, we are humbled by your support. And, to the Boykin community--the Boykin Spaniel Society, the Boykin Spaniel Club and Breeder's Association and all of the regional clubs that support BSR and include us with open arms at your events--we appreciate you all more than you know.
So far 2020 is off to a fast start. We have many new programs that we have implemented. More are coming. We have had eight catastrophic cases already this year, and it doesn't appear to be slowing down. We are here, we are planning. And, we are grateful to you.