SUMMARY OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
Our Board of Directors met on January 4, 2014, to discuss all aspects of GSRNE and to make plans for the New Year. The most pressing issue was the serious illness of our treasurer, Paul Kelley. He had to resign at the end of 2013, after 11 years as our treasurer, and he recommended that GSRNE enlist the help of a bookkeeper in addition to appointing a new treasurer. We’re very fortunate in having two active members who will fill these positions: Craig Hanson is now treasurer, and Liz Arnold is our bookkeeper and we want to extend a sincere welcome.
We discussed the need to establish written criteria for being a board member. Each current board member has served for a number of years and will be stepping down as experienced volunteers are ready to serve; only one board member is replaced at a time so there are always two longer-term members still present. GSRNE has a “working board,” and each member works with a specific area. Karen McCall works with adoptions and assists Adoption Coordinator, Jill Cuddihy. Jeannie McMahon is Volunteer Coordinator and also works with the Events Committee. Chris Harriman has been Intake Coordinator and Website Administrator and will now be working with Fundraising, assisting our current Website Administrator, Jessica P. and looking into store set-ups for the Website.
Mary Farren has taken over as Intake Coordinator and will continue to be Training Coordinator. She works with our Foster Home Coordinator, Dee Zaccagnini, to move new dogs into appropriate foster homes and will address training issues as they come up. Dee, our Foster Home Coordinator, works closely with the foster homes on an ongoing basis. She makes sure the dogs and supplies are set up correctly in each foster home, asks for and reviews reports, gets paperwork signed and keeps up with medical appointments and records. We’re doing a better job of getting foster home supplies returned to GSRNE thanks to Dee’s following up after a dog is adopted.
There were 25 dogs adopted in 2013; 15 males , 10 females and 1 honorary adoption (Nitro). The donation that is requested for an adoption is $250 for a non-senior, healthy dog. This is lower than that of most other rescues, so we think it’s time to increase ours, also, to $300. We’ll keep the requested amount at $150 for dogs who are seniors or who have chronic health issues. The Buddy Program, coordinated by Amy Rogers, is working well in pairing sponsors, or buddies, with dogs in foster care, which helps with the expenses. The adoption donation does not come close to covering what it costs to keep a dog in foster care and have vet care done, but it helps. The average cost, for a dog who is in foster care for 1 month, is around $2,000.
Karen Martier is following up with adopters after six months to find out how the dogs are doing, and we love hearing the updates. We can usually share them on our GSRNE Facebook page, thanks to our FB Coordinator, Tina Marie Russo. Another volunteer, Lucy Moore, checks in with adopters after one year for another update if we haven’t heard anything in the meantime. We have a volunteer,Raj Punakar, updating our Happy Tales, a new Membership Coordinator, Remy Carroll and a new Publicity Coordinator, Jenn Byrne. Joan Doucette continues to help with getting the word out about GSRNE dogs ready for adoption, and Deb Wiebe (was Membership Coordinator) will continue to help with other volunteer jobs.
Our Photography Team, led by Loueen Lavallee, is doing a great job of getting photo shoots done as foster dogs become ready for adoption. The Events teams are doing an amazing job at representing GSRNE in Petco’s, Petsmart’s and other pet supply stores around New England…really making our presence known.
We review each aspect of GSRNE and don’t have room to include everything in this article. I hope I’ve made it obvious that there are many, many volunteers working in a variety of areas in order to make it possible to help the dogs who really need us.
Fundraising and Events are ongoing efforts, and the sales of the GSRNE calendar for 2014 went very well; we ordered 250 calendars and have sold them all! Although our Walk ‘n’ Wag raised money this year, the participation has been dropping off, in spite of good weather and publicity this year. It’s a lot of work to put on this event, so we’re not going to do one in 2014 and are looking for other ideas for an event where our dogs can take part with us. The Auction is always a popular event, and we have the 2014 forms already available on our Website; check it out and mark the date on your calendar!
Karen S. McCall, President