From the Desk of Jill Freeman, President
Another incredible year has wrapped up, and what it year it was! A major initiative for us last year was my moving to the role of President of the Board, allowing my time to be freed up to focus on leadership and strategic initiatives. We then moved Jeannine Culbertson to a part-time paid position as Executive Director. Jeannine's role is to oversee all aspects of dog care, working with volunteers and adoption applicants. We also implemented a Director of Operations and Marketing role, which allows Lynne Brown to focus on streamline our Operations and further developing our Marketing initiatives. Together, we have a dynamic team focused on the key areas of BSR.
When you read the messages from Jeannine and Lynne, you will understand why BSR is moving at warp speed. We had 69 intakes last year, up from 53 in 2016, and we don't see that trend stopping any time soon. Jeannine will share more detail about the dogs and outcomes. Lynne will share with you some of the operational changes we have made that allowed BSR to care for all of the dogs, under budget, and Jeannine's execution on those changes which has resulted in better care and a quicker road to adoption.
We also had an unprecedented year in donations and diversification of income sources. The Brown Dog Nation continually steps up and supports BSR and the Little Brown Dogs we love so much, and individual donations were especially strong last year. But we have also been successful in obtaining grants to serve some much-needed focus areas, such as our senior dogs. Many companies have also stepped up to offer a portion of proceeds to BSR in their sales and promotional campaigns. To all of you who have donated, you have my profound gratitude! The difference and impact you make is very real. We work, every day, to be good stewards of the faith you have placed in us. It is the hallmark of BSR.
I would be remiss if I didn't thank our volunteers-- the true unsung heroes of our Organization. For those that identify dogs, transport, foster, do administrative work, participate in events, work at regional events, solicit silent auction items and so many other things that makes BSR so well run, I wish I could name you all and share with the world how proud I am of the work you all do every, single day. Thank you just does not seem adequate. But if you look into the eyes of one of our dogs, you will truly see the impact of your efforts.
Lastly, 2018 is shaping up to be another one for the record books. Yes, we will come to you sharing stories of our success and challenges. And yes, we will ask for your ongoing support. Whether volunteering, donating, or supporting any of our ongoing initiatives, I thank you in advance. We say "it takes a village"-- I am proud and humbled by the generosity and graciousness of our community.
All the best,
From the Desk of Jeannine Culbertson, Executive Director
2017 was an incredible year, for so many reasons, not the least of which was the dogs! We had forecasted that we would intake 49 dogs, and the final intake number was 69. Heading into the second half of the year, when the intakes started picking up—sometimes as many as 4 or 5 in a week—there was concern that we wouldn't have the resources (foster homes and financial) to take care of the number of dogs that just kept coming. But, as always, our Boykin Rescue family and the overall Boykin community stepped up to the challenge! Transport trains were especially important to keep intake areas from being overrun and spreading out the fostering of dogs all over the country. In a few cases, intakes on the west coast required some fast footwork to roust volunteers who generally don’t see a lot of action, or to recruit new ones to jump in. Again and again, I see that is the people that make BSR work!
And our lifeline of volunteers covers all bases: our volunteers graciously drop everything to go identify and pull a Boykin Spaniel in need; they transport these dogs hundreds of miles; they represent us at regional events; they open their hearts and homes to dogs we know little about. And, they work with our team to determine the best treatment options and learn on the fly. Veterinary professionals that we call on to advise us also graciously give their time for a second opinion or to discuss options. Simply put, our network of over 390 volunteers, 71 of which were approved in 2017, never disappoint!
On the dog care side of the equation, one of the big changes in 2017 was the institution of “care plans” for each dog. The Care Plans are a team effort between the foster, Regional Coordinator, Foster Liaisons, Dog Care team and others and help to establish expectations right from the start about what each dog requires to reach adoptability. Having a “road map” for each dog greatly enhances the tracking of progress and helps to ensure that we don’t leave a dog in care longer than needed when it could be bonding with a new family! We’ve also begun paying closer attention to the dogs that do need extra time in our care, and tracking them separately as “long term care” dogs. These are the heartworm positive dogs, dogs with significant allergies or conditions that will take more than a few months to treat. Strategic placement of LTC dogs around the country helps to ensure that we are not losing the fosters for our shorter term dogs, which come and go on a quicker clip. All told, these changes have allowed us get the dogs rehabilitated and to their forever home more efficiently, and the entire process is managed in real time thanks to our web-based tracking and database system. It works, and resulted in a decrease of time in care for non-PFC dogs from 121 days in 2016 down to 101 days on average in 2016. Now, with further differentiation between “standard” and “long term care” adoptable dogs, we will be tracking the time in care even more accurately.
We have also worked to better serve our adopters, with more efficient processing of applications and more uniform biographies of the available dogs. As ever, the dogs are our “clients” and matching them to the adopter that best meets their needs—not the other way around!—is what we do best! The number of dogs returned to our care has decreased this year, and those that do return are dogs that have developed significant health issues that the adopters were unable to care for. We will ALWAYS be “home” to our dogs! All told, 58 dogs were adopted out last year, leaving us with only 11 roll over cases to carry into the new year. That is a lot of Boykin happiness being shared with adopters, and we repeatedly hear that the process works!
You will see more specific information on the dogs we had the honor of caring for in 2017. The truth is we never know what is around the corner. But we don't expect that the numbers will go down. The good news is that we now have the infrastructure to support the growth and the never ending good will of our volunteers and supporters.
Thank you for always answering the call.
From the Desk of Lynne Brown, Director of Operations
BSR made incredible strides in 2017! We formally launched our dog database and new website, as well as established other initiatives which increased productivity while providing cost-saving opportunities. Our goal is to be lean, agile, efficient and sustainable.
The dog/volunteer/adopter database allows us to be virtually paperless. It also allows us to get data on our dogs going back to inception of BSR. With all the data in one place, we can better see trends and significant issues that help us to better prepare and build infrastructure. As Jeannine mentioned, we also use this dynamic platform to manage our volunteer and adoption application applications and processing. This has streamlined our workflow significantly.
Our new website has had glowing reviews. We are trying to "keep it simple" but we also want to keep you up-to-date with all things BSR, share stories and updates as well as events. The good news is that we have built it ourselves and continually self-manage it, so we can make updates at any time and at no cost.
We implemented several new Programs in 2017. First, our Junior Volunteer Program: the youngest amongst us help by assisting at events, visiting shelters to deliver ID Flyers and assisting with home visits. To date, we have 24 kids who have joined. They are our future! Click here for more information!
Our Brown Dogs in the Military Program was initiated to match Boykin owners in the service, who are heading out on deployment, with an approved BSR volunteer. The care of the dog is outside of BSR and is between the owner and volunteer, but the owner can rest assured that the owner has had references and a home visit completedMore information on this Program can be found by clicking here.
Lastly, we implemented the Seniors for Seniors Program late in 2017. Many of our intakes are seniors (7+ years) and need only a loving home in which to spend their golden years. We also know that many seniors would love to adopt a Boykin Spaniel, but are looking for a quieter dog who enjoys short walks and couch time. More to come as we continue to develop this Program, but click here for more information.
Boykin Spaniel Rescue, Inc. is very fortunate to have the support from so many incredible donors. We conducted a survey to understand what we do well, what you want to know, and how we can do better. Below you will see more of the outcomes of that survey, but we want to thank everyone who shared their thoughts with us! Of course, you are encouraged to share your thoughts and ideas with us at any time, but this survey helped us to learn what we could start doing better right now. Due to what we learned, we have implemented the "Did You Know?" campaign to share more insight on BSR and its operations, history and mission. We will also be telling more "Where are they now?" stories via our website and social media, and will be sending tribute cards for donations made "In Honor of" and "In Memory of". We do listen and hope that these changes are well received!
Thanks for all of your support!
2017 Financial Review
BSR is incredibly fortunate to have so many incredible, long-term donors and funders. We have been hard at work seeking grants and developing business relationships in order to increase our donor base and we are grateful that we were awarded grants from The Grey Muzzle Organization and the AKC in 2017. We also received funding from the following foundations: The Julia Horner Trust, Elis Olsson Memorial Foundation, The Hickerson Foundation and the Boykin Spaniel Society. We are truly grateful!
With the large number of intakes in 2017, we were able to stay within our budget for both dog and non-dog related expenses. Some of that is due to several of our Permanent Foster Care dogs crossing over the Rainbow Bridge early in the year, reducing PFC costs, and we are also fortunate that some of our fosters donate back their expenses. But a large portion of the savings is attributed to the implementation of Care Plans and the increase in communication between Fosters, RCs and the Dog Care Committee, and a far more precise execution of the rehabilitation need for the dogs in our care. Non-dog related expenses were also within budget. Finally, we have been able to increase our Marketing communications with inexpensive platforms and very creative volunteers!
2017 Dog Care Metrics
Total Intakes: 69 (year average is 48.5 intakes/year)
- 47 owner surrenders
- 8 shelter
- 5 strays
- 3 returned after adoption
- 7 from other rescues
- 7 intakes were placed in our Permanent Foster Care Program
- 10 intakes heartworm positive (15%) vs. 4 year average of 16%
- 34 required spay/neuter (49%) vs. 4 year average of 55%
- Average age at intake 5.5 years (youngest 4 months, oldest 13 years)
- Average time in care: 66.5 days for a Standard Foster, 169 for Long Term Care (i.e. heartworm treatment), 868.5 days for a Permanent Foster Care
- Average cost for a Standard Foster was $667.22 per dog vs. $700 per dog in 2016.
- Average cost for a Permanent Foster was $2,135.43 per dog vs. $3065.62 per dog in 2016.
Donor Satisfaction Survey
- 67% use our online portal and 100% of those like it
- 96% are satisfied with acknowledgements
- 96% believe BSR does a great/good job of marketing
- What BSR does best: Dog Care
- What BSR needs to work on: Expressing our needs
2018 Strategic Initiatives
- Increased visibility of Dog Stories and "Where are they Now?"
- Corporate Sponsorships
- Launch of Contact Relationship Manager (CRM)
- Increase 3rd party merchandising opportunities
- Develop and execute new and exciting fundraising opportunities
Meet our Board of Directors
Jill Freeman, President (Term 2018): Jill joined BSR as a volunteer in February, 2010. She became a foster of a pregnant dog less than two weeks after becoming a volunteer-that experience was "baptism by fire" and she learned a lot about the administrative end (medical expenses, processes, how transport trains were put together etc) at warp speed. She then took on the Regional Coordinator role in North Carolina in May of 2010. Later that year, Jill took on still more responsibility by adding Transportation Coordinator and Communications coordinator roles.
Jill became Executive Director in 2015, and held that position through February 2017. In March 2017, the Board unanimously voted that she take on the role of President of the Board. In addition to her wide ranging role within BSR, Jill has worked as an English teacher, Project Manager, Volunteer Coordinator for MASC and Baker.
Lynn Jacobs, Treasurer
(Term: 2017-2019): Lynn's introduction to Boykin Spaniels was 25-30 years ago via her parents and one of their friends. She and her Mother became involved in BSR in 2005, and she currently serves as a foster and transport volunteer for BSR as well as Treasurer. Lynn also volunteers as treasurer for her local bicycle club and serve on the BOD of Louisiana Society of Enrolled Agents, having also served on committees for the National Association of Enrolled Agents. Other interests include bicycling, reading, walking and running with the dogs and working out at the gym. Her household currently includes two Boykin Spaniels, Button (12, inherited from my late mother) and Hope (12-3/4, a BSR rescue), as well as a Sussex Spaniel, Pete (10). Lynn has vibrant career as an Enrolled Agent (federally authorized tax professional) as well as a Louisiana civil law notary and a U S Tax Court Practitioner.
Joye Ellis, Secretary (Term: 2017-2019): Joye has been a volunteer for BSR for several years. She has 3 Boykins and wanted to become more involved. Joye was approached by Jill and Jeannine in late 2016, asking her to consider throwing her hat in the ring becoming a part of BSR Board of Directors. They wanted to reach out to someone farther West, and have this area become more involved. And of course, she readily agreed. Joye's term as secretary is 2017-2019. In mid to late 2017, she transitioned into the role of Regional Coordinator for West/High Plains. This was a completely new realm for Joye, but she has loved every minute of it. Boykins are becoming more and more popular in the West and Joye has done a great job of getting the message out.
Beth Crocker (Term 2018-2020): After law school, Beth's reward to herself was to bring home a 9 month old Irish Setter. Jackson was her best friend and after taking a few obedience classes together, some of the local instructors encouraged her to try AKC Rally/Obedience competition. This was in 2005 and since then Beth has expanded her dogs and the classes and types of competition that she participates in. In 2009, as part of her work with the SC Farm to School program and Agriculture in SC, Beth needed a dog with high train-ability, and a great disposition for working with kids to promote eating more SC Certified Fruits and Vegetables, and she thought that a Boykin as the State Dog of SC would be the perfect "mascot" for doing this. As a result, Beth had the opportunity to bring home Jake, who was available at 5 months old after he returned to his breeder when he wasn't the "right fit". Jake and Beth, however, turned out to be a match made in heaven and continue to work,play and compete together every chance they can. In addition to competing in various performance sports, including Conformation, Hunt Test, Dock Diving, Lure Coursing, Fast CAT, Obedience, and Trick Dog, Beth also enjoys doing therapy visits with Jake. Outside of the performance venues, she currently serves as the Vice President of the Carolina Irish Setter club, she sits on the Board of the Wateree Spaniel Club and she is a member of the Clemson Kennel Club and the Greenville Kennel Club. She has also recently completed a 3 year term on the Board of Directors for the AKC Boykin Spaniel parent club (Boykin Spaniel Club & Breeders Association of American - BSCBAA). The opportunity to provide leadership through service on various Boards and as a club member, is important to Beth because she is passionate about providing and increasing opportunities for people to train and competete with their dogs in various activities because its healthy for both the dogs and their owners!!!
Jennifer Griffin, Term 2016-2019
Lynn McNair (Term 2016-2018): Lynn is a Carolinian with one foot in North Carolina and the other in South Carolina.She was born in North Carolina and grew up in Sumter, SC. Lynn graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Master’s Degree in Education. She taught Elementary school for 6 years, then worked in sales and marketing for Hewlett Packard for 18 years. She currently works at Boone Hall Farms in Mt Pleasant, SC. Lynn saw her first Boykin Spaniel at SEWE. She watched a young dog, named Flirt, do a retrieving demonstration and was smitten. They bought our first Boykin, a little girlkin named Sassy, from a breeder outside Greensboro, NC. Her next Boykin came soon after- his name was Wilbur. These two Boykins captured her heart. After Sassy and Wilbur, she adopted Abby and Hunter from BSR. Lynn joined Boykin Spaniel Rescue in the early days after BSR was formed. She has served as an Events Coordinator for SEWE and Nationals and two terms on the BSR Board of Directors. She is now on my 3rd pair of Boykins, two brothers Oscar and Elvis. They are wonderful companions and do an incredible job greeting guests at SEWE and Nationals each year. They spend most mornings walking Sullivan’s Beach, SC. and love every minute of it.
Andrea Semler (Term 2017-2019): In December 1994, Andrea was given a Boykin Spaniel puppy as a Christmas present. They were inseparable. Her favorite place in the world was at their house on Lake Moultrie. Sam lived to be just shy of 14, her last two years with lymphoma. In the summer of 1997, she added a second Boykin Spaniel to her life…she was hooked. Sam and Ali were fast friends. Ali lived to be 16, still full of spunk but just old and oh so loved. In December 2010, Andrea added Sydney and Sullivan to the pack. These two puppies from Illinois and one incredible family introduced Andrea to the field trial and hunt test world of the Boykin Spaniel, a world that she has come to support and enjoy since early 2011. Unfortunately in 2013, they lost Sydney and her fifth Boykin Spaniel came home with her in the fall of 2013. Ada Louise filled every hole in her heart. In June of 2012, Andrea was asked to be on the Board of Directors of the Carolina Boykin Spaniel Retriever Club. She has served as their treasurer for the past 5 years. Andrea is also actively involved in the Hunting Retriever Club and am a licensed started judge. Being in a field with a dog is definitely her happy place. The friendships developed there are life-long. When not in a field with her dogs, she works in a lipid research laboratory at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also enjoys photography, mostly of her dogs or close friends.
Peggy Vitolo (Term 2016-2018): Peggy has been a Boykin Spaniel owner for over 30 years. She and her husband are on our 7th Boykin and their 2 current Boykins are both rescues. Their others died of either old age or cancer. They nursed each of them to their last days, giving them the best possible quality of life, including doggie wheel carts for 2 of them enabling them to retrieve and go on walks literally until a few days before they died. All of their dogs were obedience trained and one was Therapy Dog International certified.They believe a well managed dog makes for a happy, stable one. After a corporate career, where she served as an Executive Coach and Change consultant, Peggy retired and became a dog trainer in 2008 for Star Dog Charlotte, a dog training center in Charlotte, NC. As a trainer she did home lessons, led obedience/agility classes, taught the Therapy Dog course and worked with dogs going to veterans. Her previous career coaching people served her well as a trainer, since much of dog training is persuading the humans to change how they interact with their dog! Peggy is a certified dog trainer through the International Association of Canine Professionals and a Canine Good Citizen evaluator through the American Kennel Club. Since moving to Nebo, NC Peggy continues to do dog training under her business, Sirius Canine Coaching. Peggy has worked with rescues for over 14 years. As a volunteer for Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control, she was exposed to shelter dogs and the efforts to adopt them out while in a high kill environment. In 2004, she joined BSR as a volunteeer and took over the role of Regional Co-ordinator for Western NC a few years later. Most recently Peggy relinquished my RC duties to spend more time doing phone consultations with BSR fosters, owners and adoptive families on behavior and training issues. Peggy also oversees the writing the biographies for the website to ensure consistency and full disclosure regarding the best forever home environment for our Boykins. Peggy has served on the BSR Board of Directors since 2016.
Margaret Wienges (Term 2016-2018): Margaret Wienges began her involvement with Boykin Spaniel Rescue, Inc. in September 2014, volunteering to foster Boykins and offer her graphic design services. Two months after receiving her volunteer approval, she was contacted by Regional Coordinator Anne Williams to pull “Buddy Boy” from a shelter in Camden, SC. During this first foster experience, she learned a great deal about the processes of rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming Boykins. She gained experience reporting veterinary finances and filling out appropriate paperwork as well as interviewing Buddy’s adoption applicants. She learned how important volunteering at any level was to such a well organized and cohesive Rescue group. Assisted by her Regional Coordinator, Anne, she was able to participate more and more, conducting home visits, learning from volunteers at event participation, and even interviewing new applicants interestested in adopting and volunteering. Eventually, her attachment to “Buddy Boy” and assuring his needs were met- led to her adoption of him. He completed her home of two boykins now, and ended the possibility of fostering more. Margaret, being unable to foster more, became even more determined to continue to give back to the breed.
Regional Coordinator Anne Williams continued to include Margaret and train her in countless duties of Regional Coordinating. Margaret then became Anne’s assistant as the volume of volunteers and adopters increased. During this time, she learned new database technology being implemented for the Rescue’s record keeping. Margaret attributes her experience as learning from the best in handling all things difficult, Anne Williams.
Over time and many event participations later, Margaret’s involvement grew and incorporated her graphic design skills creating the calendars, print materials and signage as well as social media graphics and end of year campaigns. She has attended hunt tests and field trials learning the value of maximizing the potential of each dog. She met more and more volunteers and has enjoyed each memory in the shared endeavor to give back to such a great breed.
Non-Voting Board Members
Jeannine Culbertson, Executive Director: In 1995, a sad cinnamon-brown dog with haunting amber eyes sat in the local SPCA waiting for the right person to make him theirs. He had already been turned back into the shelter twice for being too attached to his adopters and following them everywhere, and again for being messy at his waterbowl…hardly offenses in Jeannine’s mind! Christened “Shadow” for his slavish devotion to her husband, he was Jeannine’s first foray into rescue. It was their veterinarian who told them what a Boykin Spaniel was, while the family preferred to think of Shadow as simply “the greatest dog ever.” When Shadow passed in 2010 at the age of 16, it was firmly decided that a Boykin spaniel needed to always be a part of the family, and Jeannine researched rescues, zeroing in on Boykin Spaniel Rescue. Jeannine experienced the adopter side of BSR in pursuit of a rescue match, and experienced all the frustrations that our current adopters do! With no match seemingly likely, the family brought home a Boykin from a Virginia breeder, but Rider was in need of a companion and, in 2014, BSR #814, Scooter, joined the family, a successful match at last! BSR always says the right dog will find you, and this was definitely true with Scooter! Anxious with separation anxiety and crate phobia, getting him settled and secure was a labor of love, and gave Jeannine a taste of what fosters do to rehabilitate the dogs in their care. At the same time, Jeannine was leaving a career in Architecture and looking for opportunities to use her project management skills for something worthwhile. Boykin Spaniel Rescue just happened to need a Regional Coordinator, and it was settled, Jeannine had gone to the dogs! Prior to BSR, Jeannine had had a career as a museum facilities specialist and exhibit planner with various architectural firms since graduating University of Virginia with a BS in Architecture in 1987, and from Virginia Commonwealth University with a MA in museum studies in 1992. Once committed to BSR, Jeannine continued to put her organizational, technical and project management skills to use, not only as a Regional Coordinator, but later as Transport Coordinator, then Intake Coordinator and Assistant Executive Director to Jill Freeman. In 2017 Jeannine accepted the position of Executive Director of BSR, focusing on the “dogs and people” side of the organization. Along the way, another Boykin rescue alum has joined the home, and Rider, Scooter and Ziggy provide daily input to her work helping little brown dogs everywhere, mostly from the couch in her home office!
Eric Grubbs, Outreach Director: Eric joined BSR as a volunteer in 2009. He has been a foster, transporter, as well as having served on the Medical Care Committee, and Executive Director from 2012-2015. He currently serves as Outreach Director. Eric trains and handles dogs in field competitions, is a HRC AA Judge for all classes. He also took HRCH, UH, MHA Pawley's Island Boy "Paw" to the first ever rescue Boykin Spaniel to receive HRCH and MHA titles, who also was the 2014/15 Upland Dog of the Year for CBSRC and back-to-back Upland Doubles winner in 2016 and 2017. Eric services as President of the Carolina Boykin Spaniel Retriever Club, has a Board seat with the Boykin Spaniel Society and is the BSS Registry Chairman.
Lynne Brown, Director of Operations: Lynne joined BSR as a volunteer and then Regional Coordinator in 2016, after a 25 year career from corporate life as Vice President of International Business at a medical device manufacturer. Her roles throughout her career included sales, marketing, strategy and operations. During her time as Regional Coordinator, she started assisting with some of the Marketing efforts and working with the team to develop ways which BSR could update operational infrastructure and streamline processes. In 2016, Lynne was asked to take on the role of Director of Operations and Marketing. Lynne's responsibilities include oversight of the marketing and operations, including fundraising and website development. Lynne is a dedicated PFC foster, and spends much of her time with her PFC foster, Nora as well as her 6 year old therapy dog, Tess.
Thank you for taking the time to read our annual report. We are grateful for your support.
Boykin Spaniel Rescue, Inc.
© Boykin Spaniel Rescue, Inc. 2018