Dear Sweetpea Community,

In reaction to our recent Facebook post about DaVinci, many people voiced some pertinent questions and concerns with Sweetpea. While many did not seem aware of our current situation, we assure you we are not intentionally misinforming or withholding any information. We have had a detailed update posted on our website, www.sweetpeafora.org , since early November and are always vigilant about answering emails and Facebook messages. Our goal is to be completely transparent, we have nothing to hide. Towards the end of last year, most of the members of our board of directors resigned. Essentially, this meant we had to start over and it took some time to assemble a new board. Now that the new board has been established, with it comes fresh ideas and determination. We have lawyers working with the town on our behalf to reinstate our boarding permit as well as to get the go ahead for rebuilding. There are zoning issues with the property that are out of our control, but we and our lawyer are working diligently to resolve the issues so we can finally move forward. Beyond the legal issues, we continue to need you and your support. Your thoughts, opinions, and ideas are not only welcomed, but encouraged and valued. Please ask us questions before making negative assumptions. Our Board meets once a month and all members of the public are welcome at those meetings.

As for DaVinci, we have been actively seeking placement for him since October 2014 when he came to us. After the fire, we checked into a local reputable training/boarding facility but chose not to send him due to a clause in their contract that he would be removed from the program with no refund “if he showed aggression toward any humans”. Since this is what we wanted them to work with him on, it seemed senseless to send him and throw money away. The urgency of DaVinci’s fate arose when the place that we have been paying to keep him informed us they could no longer house him once his quarantine (from biting one of our volunteers) was up. We had no place to put him. While none of us agreed with it, and I assure you that not one of us accepted it, the hard truth of the matter was if there was no place for him to go, there was only one other option. This is what prompted the Facebook post that caused so much controversy and negativity. We realize now that the post was lacking in detail and led people to jump to unthinkable conclusions about Sweetpea. Our only thought was to save him. DaVinci is a sweet dog, yes. However, it cannot be overlooked hat he has a bite history due to known reactivity towards other dogs which has caused injury to him, other animals, and humans. This makes him very difficult to place, but we never once gave up on him, and still were not planning on it despite our limited options. We needed help, and thankfully we received it just in time. We thank everyone who gave us suggestions, shared our post for the right reasons, offered help, made phone calls and reached out to us. It does take a village, and because of you, DaVinci has found a place to go.

We cannot thank you enough for all of your efforts and support. Many questions also arose about the status of the donation monies we have received since the fire. All the monies donated specifically for rebuilding are secure in a rebuild account and cannot be used for other purposes. A portion of other donations has been used for the care of the survivors. We still need to maintain the existing building on the property – mortgage, taxes, heat, electricity, and insurance – but we are doing our best to minimize expenses and focus on rebuilding. We hope that with improved communication and transparency, we can earn the trust of those who may be uncertain. If anyone has any further questions or concerns, the best way to reach us is through a ​Facebook private message, or by email at sweetpeafora@verizon.net .

We are posting updates and more information in the Board Minutes linked from our “About Us” web page.

We remain Sweetpea Strong!

Sincerely,

Sweetpea F.O.R. Animals Board of Directors

A Letter To Our Supporters