SAF (Shakespeare Animal Fund) is a volunteer organization dedicated to financially assisting low income pet owners when their pets are in need of emergency veterinary care.
Here are a couple of stories that demonstrate the need for what SAF does - and that illustrate just some of what your donations can do to help pets in distress and their owners:
Belle is a young Chihuahua who had one of her legs severely injured one Christmas day while she was out having fun in the snow with her family. That night she couldn’t walk and was in substantial pain. Her parents called every vet they could, asking if the vet would take payments since money was very short after Christmas for their human kids. No one could help them. The family was referred to Shakespeare Animal Fund. The contact at SAF referred Belle’s family to a vet who works with SAF and who would take payments. SAF also contributed $100. for the initial emergency care. As it turned out, Belle’s leg was broken beyond repair and had to be amputated. But with that, Belle’s pain and suffering ceased. Today, Belle’s Mom says “She’s very happy and healthy today thanks to Shakespeare. Without the amputation the next option would have been euthanasia. And that was never an option for us, but we wouldn’t have made it without Shakespeare’s blessing. Thank you Shakespeare for your personal concern, support and financial donation ... God Bless Shakespeare ...”!
Here is another example:
Bessie is a mature Blue Tabby kitty and her human Mom is deaf and must use sign language to communicate. Bessie’s Mom says she is the best kitty she ever had, since Bessie is so sweet and loving and always stays next to her. Bessie’s Mom was worried about her left ear which was bothering her a great deal for several weeks. Bessie’s parents did not have the money to take her to the vet during those weeks. Mom says “can you imagine no vet for three weeks due to lack of funds?” SAF was able to assist this family in need. Bessie’s Mom says she is so glad she found SAF to help with Bessie’s need. She can’t imagine what they would have done without SAF. “Many thanks for your donation and help, Bessie is my baby and I love her so much.”
These happy endings and many others were made possible only through the generosity of our donors, some of whom are listed on the SAF website. We are so thankful to all the people who care enough to give of their hard-earned money, and therefore help us help pets and people in need. We invite you to become one of our “angel partners” by making a donation too!
The March 19th annual meeting at Brew House Restaurant was well attended and bursting with great energy, ideas and enthusiasm! Here are some of our plans for 2008 - With the invaluable help and guidance of Joseph Galata, SAF intends to apply for financial grants which will enable us to grow so much more, and help so many more pets and their people.
Jennifer’s vision of SAF becoming a national organization might just be down this particular road. Some grant proposals are near to being completed, if they haven’t been already. Thanks and blessings to you, Joseph!
We are pleased to announce the formation of a new pet loss support group which fills a need that is often not recognized. The grief of losing a four-legged baby can be compounded when those around you, even your closest loved ones, don’t truly understand the depth of your sorrow and loss. This support group can help validate those feelings and help healing to begin.
On a lighter note, we are launching this new monthly newsletter that will help SAF spread the news of our mission and raise community awareness so that we can help more people and their pets.
We will be sending out another round of mailers to generate much needed donations to be able to pay vet bills. Money is the gas that keeps this engine running! All the good intentions in the world, all the cheering from the sidelines will not save the life of a sick or injured pet if we don’t have the money to pay the vet bill. SAF does an incredible amount of good with the donations we receive, but consider this - in one 11 day period, we received 77 calls for help and could only help 21 of those. With your support, we can help more and turn down fewer people.
By the way, looking for a (non-paying) job? SAF is looking for Veterinary Contacts. This volunteer position will act as the face and name of SAF to the veterinary clinics who work with us. This person or persons will be the crucial link between SAF and the veterinarians to keep the wheels of this relationship turning smoothly. The Veterinary Contact will be a personal liaison and make on-site visits to the vet hospitals to make sure all is going well, everyone is getting taken care of and especially that the vets are getting paid as they should. If you are good with people and enjoy schmoozing, this could be fun! A full job description is available.
At the meeting, Mary contribution was made and earmarked to purchase 20 doghouse donation jars to be placed at various locations around Reno. The sturdy jars are made of clear attractive plastic, can hold a small placard which will briefly describe our mission, and are shaped like - you guessed it - dog houses. If you see one of these cute little guys, please help it to fulfill its purpose in life and stuff some money into it. Thank you!
We also heard a great proposal about regular PetSmart Table PR Events, wherein SAF could set up and staff tables a few times a month, probably on Sundays for a few hours in the afternoon. These information tables, complete with donation jars and volunteer sign up sheets, would help to raise public awareness of what we do and increase donations and our volunteer base.
Last, we held elections for the positions of Secretary and Treasurer. Alysha Buch was elected Secretary and Paula Rightmire is our new Treasurer. This was Alysha’s first meeting with SAF, having heard about us from a friend, and we are happy to have a new participant who is willing to get involved so quickly. Paula is an accountant who is helping SAF with the important task of keeping our records on track and we applaud her for being willing to assume this new task as well. Thanks and Blessings to you both!
April 5 & 6, The Nevada Women’s Exposition - SAF staffed a table at this conference which was held at the Convention Center. Awareness of our organization, donations and new volunteers were the goals, as always. The SAF representatives met many interesting people, several of whom may turn out to be extremely good contacts for us in the future. We are excited about the opportunities that were discussed with the people who stopped by our table. We were also able to spread the word about SAF and get some people interested in volunteering with us.
April 9, Pet Loss Support Group - the first meeting was held in the Training Room at the Sierra Association of Foster Families, located at 3376 Lakeside Court in Reno, from 7 to 9 pm. These ongoing meetings are held each month at the above location and attendance is free for all participants. The first meeting was well attended and actually generated lots of publicity. A reporter from the Sparks Tribune attended this first meeting, and this resulted in an excellent feature story about SAF, complete with photos, which appeared in the 4/14 edition of the Tribune.
Also, thanks to Joseph Galata’s contacts, the Pet Loss Support Group was featured in a news segment on KOLO Channel 8 on 4/7. Jennifer Webb did a very professional job in talking about the Group and SAF.
In May, the meeting of the Pet Loss Support Group will be on Wednesday the 21st. See the website for additional information.
April 12, Best Friends Nevada Week for the Animals - SAF staffed a table at this very special event at the Livestock Events Center Exposition Hall from 10 am until 4 pm. The stars of the gathering were all the wonderful dogs and cats who needed homes. This “Adoptathon” was funded by the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary of Utah, and was sponsored by SAF, the Northern Nevada SPCA and the Nevada Humane Society. Many animal rescue groups were present, bringing animals who needed homes. The event was very successful because over 130 animals found new loving homes! SAF was a big part of it and we received some good publicity.
April 16, General Meeting - the public is always encouraged to attend at 6:30 pm at the Brew House Restaurant, located at the intersection of South McCarran and Kietzke Ln, next to Marie Calendar’s. We meet in the small meeting room, just ask the hostess to direct you. Your ideas and input are welcome.
April 20, Earth Day - although a little chilly, it was a beautiful day to be out enjoying our gorgeous piece of the planet here in Reno - raising awareness of the need to care for our Mother Earth and continuing to spread the word about Shakespeare Animal Fund. At yet another venue in which we represented SAF, we continued to meet more interesting people and keep the door open to future opportunities to help SAF grow.
Your help is important for two reasons - most everything we do, including these appearances, is aimed at raising money to be able to help more pets and people. And, we have a shallow pool of volunteers at this time so those who have been willing to staff the tables up until now have had a lot of hours to cover and could use a little relief!
Coming up: We will be gathering at Jennifer’s house starting around noon to prepare our next fund raising mailing campaign. At this time, these mailers are our primary means of receiving donations and there are over 1500 pieces to be sent out. We could use all the helping hands we can get. Even just an hour or two would be great.
It is likely that these Contact positions would be assigned as geographical regions, so that each SAF representative would be visiting vet hospitals that were closest to their own part of town, especially with the price of gas these days! It would be something like “sales reps”, each with their own “territory”. If you have the time and you would like making such a huge contribution to SAF, we need you !!!
Proposed PetSmart PR Events - once this gets rolling, we will have a regular, ongoing need for people to man the tables. It will be fun - get away from it all for a few hours, sit and chat with other people like yourself who love animals, spread the word about SAF and help raise money and gather volunteers. That’s a lot of good that can be done in less time than it takes to watch a football game!
Thanks for reading our news, we’ll chat with you again next month!