Jill Freeman, President
2018 was another incredible year for Boykin Spaniel Rescue on many fronts. As in years past, 2018 presented BSR with challenges, both old and new. However, with the steadfast support of the Boykin community--all of you who continually answer the call allowing us the ability to care for every Little Brown Dog that needs our help--and the long hours worked by both the dog care and the operational sides of BSR to get the dogs the care they needed as well as ensured the mechanisms and funding needed to care for them were solidly in place, Boykin Spaniel Rescue ended another successful year stronger than ever .
We took in 77 dogs in 2018. Each a unique case; each with a story. Eight more than in 2017. Jeannine will share more with you regarding the dog care metrics, but I will tell you it is not slowing down.
From an Operations perspective, we have continued to streamline our operational efficiencies and increase our visibility. Both of these have been accomplished with an incredibly small budget, and Lynne will share some of the specifics below. I am very pleased with the strides we are making.
Our initiatives in 2018 were about streamlining. Care Plans and educational resources were developed to get the dogs rehabilitated with increased efficiency and into their forever homes. The launching of a CRM (contact relationship manager) now allows us to manage our contacts in a more secure format, increasing our ability to communicate more efficiently with you. We also set out to increase our participation at regional events. Lastly, we sought out more effective ways to merchandise ShopBSR. My team has done an incredible job in each of these areas, as you will see below.
And through all of this, we approved 62 new volunteers, bringing the total to 443. We estimate over 13 thousand hours per year was donated by our volunteers in 2018: transporting dogs, caring for dogs, working at events, handling administrative duties. Clearly, our volunteers make BSR work. And I, for one, am humbled and grateful.
I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge three Board members whose terms concluded in 2018; Jennifer Griffin, Lynn McNair and Peggy Vitolo. While the have left the Board, they continue to work tirelessly on behalf of Boykin Spaniel Rescue, Inc. I am so grateful to each of these ladies for their voices these past three years.
I would also like to welcome three incoming Board members: David D'Agresta, Bob Riggs and Richard Vitolo. Each bring a skill set which I believe will propel us into the next several years of growth and expansion. Their bios are below, I think you will agree they are great additions to an already robust Board.
2019 is off to a very busy start from both the initiatives we have set for ourselves (which are described below) as well as the dogs which have come in since the first of the year.
Thank you for the faith you have placed in us.
Jeannine Culbertson, Executive Director
Every year we review trending to plan for the number of intakes and the needs of the dogs we anticipate coming in. Of course, this is not an exact science, but we can at least see trends and histories to allow us to reasonably “guesstimate” the next year’s numbers and budget. Accordingly, last year we budgeted for 72 dogs and took in 77. 45 were “standard” dogs (dogs that stay with us less than 3 months before being adopted); a whopping 24 “long-term care” dogs (dogs that are in care for more than 3 months for things like heartworm treatments, allergies, behavioral issues and other health concerns); and 8 became part of our Julia Horner Permanent Foster Care Program (PFC)!
Digging a little deeper to see what these numbers tell us, we know that we must expect—and plan for—higher numbers of intakes as the breed continues to gain popularity and more dogs in-care for longer periods. We know that we will see continued increases in heartworm positive intakes, as well as dogs with more significant health and behavioral needs. Some will be younger dogs whose owners were unprepared for the energy and behaviors of the breed. But, many more will be older dogs as the number of senior intakes continues to rise. With the addition of the 8 dogs entering our Permanent Foster Care program, there are now 25 PFC dogs. Sadly, we lost several of our beloved PFCs in 2018: Boogar Roux, Suzie, Nora, Rosie, Jack & Huck. We miss them dearly.
The take-aways from the year include:
- 90% increase in heartworm positive dogs (19 in 2018 vs. 10 in 2017)
- Average number of heartworm negative dogs in “long term care,” but with higher than average health or behavioral issues, including: 5-week old dog come in with deformities that caused his mother to reject him; 1 dog with an unexplained rectal bleeding issue requiring many tests and a visit to a regional veterinary college for care; 3 significant behavioral cases requiring specialty consultations and training.
- Taking longer to approve dogs for PFC care allows us to exhaust all options before adding them to PFC roles. Such cases include: 2 catastrophic allergy cases transferred to PFC status from long term care status as their cases evolved over several months and needs became clearer; 5-week old dog being held in long term care status with expectation that he will be adopted after he reaches skeletal maturity and is neutered; Adopting out 2 PFCs whose better conditions improved after time in-care to the point of adoptability.
On the positive side of things, 64 dogs were adopted and found wonderful forever homes last year, including 2 permanent fosters that had progressed far beyond their initial prognosis and were doing well enough to become adoptable and not have to remain in care. Also, with increased tracking and oversight, our time in care for adopted dogs and the cost of care per dog remained consistent.
Considering that most applicants say they are looking for dogs 5 and younger, we’ve made stronger efforts in creating new and innovative ways to see that our seniors find their ways to forever homes. We also see from our statistics that the number of senior intakes continues to rise each year. Knowing that there are also older adopters who are looking for the companionship and love of a Little Brown Dog but may on a fixed income or not able to handle a younger, more energetic Boykin, we launched our “Seniors-for-Seniors” program in 2018. With this targeted marketing approach, we have successfully adopted out 6 seniors to older applicants in the past year!
Lastly, I want to recognize our volunteers who continue to be the backbone of our organization! Each of the dogs we take in needs a foster. Most need transportation. They need forever families, too, and to get those we need people to process applications and make home visits. Our volunteer Regional Coordinators, transporters and fosters keep things humming, and other volunteers step up to visit shelters, work on special projects and represent Boykin Spaniel Rescue at events all over the country. Quite simply, we could not help as many dogs as we do without these heroic efforts by our volunteers! And, as ever, we are making efforts to streamline the internal processes so that our volunteers have an easier-than-ever experience. Our foster manual is undergoing revision as we speak, and our easy-to-use reporting and tracking processes enable us to keep dogs moving through the system. It takes a village, and boy what a village of volunteers we have!! Thank you all!
Lynne Brown, Director of Operations & Marketing
Many of the strategic initiatives in 2018 were Operations focused. We continue to look for ways to streamline our work and make us more effective.
Our new back-end donor portal and CRM launched in the fall. This was an incredible amount of work, but feedback has been tremendous. We looked at many options and selected Network for Good. This platform is specifically designed for nonprofits and is used by some of the largest nonprofits in the country. The end result has been wonderful; we are more streamlined, versatile and we are able to communicate with you more effectively. Feedback has been tremendous.
We launched our Corporate Sponsorship Program last year in full force. So many businesses, many small independents, have been big supporters to BSR for many years. The Program's goal is to acknowledge the businesses that have, and continue to, support BSR. This Program is growing exponentially and I am thrilled it is a win/win for all involved. You can view our Corporate Sponsors (as well as click through to learn more about them) on the homepage of our website.
We set out to overhaul ShopBSR in 2018 and we have made great strides. We will continue to sell favorites, but we are looking for new and unique items as well as drop ship opportunities to reduce our risk and increase turns for those products we do house.
We now have an Events Coordinator, Teresa Bell, who will be managing not only our larger events (SEWE and Nationals), but also develop relationships with the regional clubs and individuals hosting events. We are very grateful to Teresa for jumping in with both feet!
There are many volunteers who work behind the scenes to assist with the administrative functions. We are so grateful that they are willing to take on roles from writing thank you notes to working at events. You all are why this works, and I cannot thank each of you enough.
Dog Care Statistics & Metrics 2018
Total Intakes: 77 (5 year average is 60.4 intakes/year)
- 52 owner surrenders
- 12 shelter
- 2 strays
- 1 returned after adoption
- 1 from other rescues
- 9 other (veterinarians, etc)
8 intakes were placed in our Permanent Foster Care Program, bringing the total to 25
- 19 intakes heartworm positive (24%) vs. 14% in 2017
- 37 required spay/neuter (48%) vs. 49% in 2017
- Average age at intake 5.5 years (youngest 5 weeks, oldest 14 years)
- Average time in care: 51.63 days for a Standard Foster (vs. 66.5 days in 2017), 142.33 for Long Term Care (vs. 169 days in 2017), 543 days for a Permanent Foster Care
- Average cost for a Standard Foster was $680 per dog vs. $667.22 per dog in 2017
- Average cost for a Permanent Foster was $ 2,050.30 per dog vs. $2,135.43 per dog in 2017
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. We also received funding from the following foundations: The Julia Horner Trust, Elis Olsson Memorial Foundation, The Hickerson Foundation, Antine Family Foundation, The Macamor Foundation and the Boykin Spaniel Society. We are truly grateful!
With the large number of intakes in, we effectively managed the cost of care with 81% of expenses directly going to dog care. New operational platforms have streamlined our efforts. Being fixed costs, they will sustain us as we continue to grow. Thus, a greater percentage of expenses will go directly to dog care.
Our New Board Members (term 2019-2021)
Having a love affair with hunting dogs most of his adult life, David got his first Boykin in 2003. Having had five over the following years, he and wife Robyn currently have three, Abby, Gia, and Oats. Being active in the Southern Boykin Spaniel club, competing in local roustabouts and dock diving, dove hunts, and working pheasant tower shoots as pick up teams, they enjoyed the versatility of the breed.
Adopting came first, and BSR #869 Chipper, left an indelible mark. Experiencing the impact Chipper made as an ambassador for BSR within his community, David wanted to do more, and volunteered as a transporter. Oats, BSR #1111, came after Chipper passed, and is carrying on that legacy in true Boykin fashion.
Having retired from a 28 year career in law enforcement, David wanted to give back more to help the breed, and hopes to do so as a Board of Directors member with BSR.
Bob has had various dogs as companions and family pets throughout his life. In 2013, after the loss of a 16-year-old rescue, he started to research canine companions. He was looking for a dog with chocolate fur that loves water, one which could potentially hunt, and that are good with people and other dogs. He discovered the Boykin Breed, did his research, and a couple of months later his pup (Sir George of Fairfield) came to California and became part of the family.
George and Bob became inseparable. He was the first dog that he had ever bonded with so completely. Always at his side, whether in the vineyard, the shop, or around the house. A 24/7 companion for sure.
In February of 2018, at just 5-years-old, George crossed the bridge. Bob decided to adopt a Boykin rescue, because they had fallen in love with the breed, and they adopted BSR Alum Mojo, a six-year-old rescue, in April 2018. He joined the pack with 6-year-old, a Jack Russell rescue, and 3-year-old Maremma; Mojo brings a whole new spirit to their farm.
Bob named the first wine bottled at the Forever Farm & Vineyard in George's honor, the Boykin Blend, which won a silver medal in the American Wine Society annual competition! Cheers to George!
Bob has 40+ years of experience in management positions (both domestic and international) in manufacturing with hundreds of employees and staff. He has developed business plans, budgets and goals, and responsible for implementation of methods and procedures to meet and exceed those deliverables.
Bob us recently retired and wanted to take an active role in a volunteer organization, especially to honor George and Mojo.
Richard was first introduced to Boykins by a friend who bred them in 1986 and has been a LBD owner and fan of the breed ever since. With his first two Boykins he trained and participated in local field trails, as well as, in the BSS national trails. Always, he says, the dogs exceeded his rookie training skills! His current Boykins, Dixie and Maggie, (#s 6&7) are both BSR alums. Since 2004, Richard has served BSR as a foster/transporter and most recently a member of the Finance Committee.
After a career in commercial real estate lending and finance, Richard and his wife and retired to the Foothills of NC where he volunteers in several capacities for their neighborhood POA. In addition, he volunteers with a group that maintains a section of the The Mountain to Sea Trail in NC, is a member of the local Master Gardner organization and serves on the advisory board of the local YMCA.
To read the bios for all of the BSR Board of Directors and BSR Management team, click here: https://www.boykinspanielrescue.org/board-of-directors.html
The Year Ahead
We are off to an incredibly busy start, with 18 intakes as of this writing. That is a run rate of 108 dogs for the year. Yes, 108. We do our best to forecast, but the truth is we just don't know when and how the dogs will come. This is why streamlining and being nimble is so important to BSR. We need to have processes in place to act at a moment's notice.
Our key initiatives for 2019:
- Development of Formal Fundraising Plan/Expansion of Fundraising Initiatives
- Education- Internal and External
- Increase number of volunteers/fosters (with a focus on Mississippi Valley/MidWest/Northeast regions)
- Development of 1/3/5 year Plan
- Update of Bylaws and Policies
BSR Alum "Capt. Rhett Butler"
Thank you for making Boykin Spaniel Rescue, Inc. your good cause.
For questions, suggestions, or to speak with our team:
Jill Freeman, President: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeannine Culbertson, Executive Director: email@example.com
Lynne Brown, Director of Operations & Marketing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Boykin Spaniel Rescue, Inc.
© Boykin Spaniel Rescue, Inc. 2019