Rebuilding Update

Thank you to Spectrum News 1 for highlighting our rebuilding efforts! You can support our rebuilding mission with your donation by check, through PayPal or GoFundMe, and by designating us as your target charity through Amazon Smile or Click the image below to see our story!

Have you heard about the Naugatuck River Duck Race? Do you want to know how this year it’s helping Sweetpea Friends of Rutland Animals? Read on!

Every year on Duck Day as many as 20,000 rubber ducks are dropped into the Naugatuck River – each one representing a raffle ticket holder. These brave little duckies then swim for their lives – and to earn prizes for their person. Non-profit organizations can sign up to sell Duck Race tickets and earn back 50% in ticket sales. So, for every $5 ticket purchased, $2.50 is donated back to the seller after the Race. This year, Sweetpea Friends of Rutland Animals is proud to be signed up to participate! Here’s how you can help us:

1. Go to

2. Click on the red “Click to Enter” button.

3. Select Sweetpea Friends of Rutland Animals from the drop-down menu.

4. Fill in your information and purchase your tickets,

5. You will get a confirmation email – and then you are entered to win and Sweetpea will receive half of your purchase amount!


As the winter fades away we’re hoping to see our efforts to rebuild the shelter start to bloom with the landscape. Through the winter we were graced with fundraisers by our friends – many ran Facebook birthday fundraisers, we had ongoing, spectacular help from Juno’s Place and Juno’s birthday fundraiser, and such generous contributions by artists and support of our friends for our annual HeART Auction. Your support made sure we had funds in the bank to handle the emergency repairs that were needed in the office building.

We’re starting to schedule spring and summer activities, including a rabies clinic April 30th from 1-3 at the shelter.

As always, we appreciate your ongoing support to help us get the funds together to complete the shelter rebuild from the fire. You can donate directly through the PayPal link in this site or shop through and a percentage of your purchases will be donated to us. Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on our activities. You can vote for us in the contest and we might get a share of of $500,000!

2021 is going awesome

We ended 2020 with this beautiful Christmas message from Wynonna, and we’re charging through 2021 with hopes of reopening some of the spaces in the office/kennel building this year. With financial help from our supporters we made some emergency repairs this spring to the old building, and continue to fundraise and build out the new shelter building. We’re so excited to be close to handling even a limited number of rescues in the near future!

Watch our Facebook page for the latest events and updates – many of our dear friends are running fundraisers to help us meet our goals, and we’ll be having workparties and events at the shelter to keep things moving forward. If you’re able to, we’d be grateful for your donation through our Donate button on this page – every bit helps us cover regular maintenance costs for the remaining structure and property as well as moving the new shelter forward. You can also help us out by naming us your charity of choice in Amazon Smile or – in both cases, a portion of the purchases you make will be donated back to Sweetpea.

If your browser has trouble playing Wynonna’s video from our site, you can also watch it on Facebook from this direct link.

Giving thanks

We’re so thankful to you our extended Sweetpea family! This November 22nd was the 5th anniversary of the tragic fire that destroyed the shelter building, taking the lives of several rescued animals and changing all our lives. Your kindness, friendship, and personal support means more than we can ever say. We created this video to show our journey from acquiring the shelter, losing it in the fire, and our efforts to rebuild. We remembered the tragedy and those lost and affected in our Facebook Live event and by sitting down for Pizza with Juno afterwards. We continued our journey of hope forward with our 5th Anniversary Virtual 5K run/walk.

Thank you so, so much! There really are no words to describe our gratitude.

dog with race medal

Autumn update

We’re rolling into the fall with fundraising support from our friends, starting out with our second “BINGO With A Kick” event and a One Hope Wine fundraiser that will run until October 30th. You can watch our virtual wine tasting here – we had a great time, enjoyed the wines, and talked about the upcoming shelter indoor wall construction, next steps, upcoming events and more! Order your wines for holiday gifts or to get you through the pandemic!

Check out our One Hope Wine Tasting! We had a great time and talked about a lot of things coming up! Click here or on the image to view!

Join our Virtual Pumpkin Carving Contest through October 30 for a chance to win an Amazon gift card!

Join us at the shelter from 5-7pm on Halloween for a socially-distanced Trick or Treat!

The great support from our friends has us looking at the next steps we can take to build out and outfit the kennel. We’re excited to keep our momentum going and so grateful for your encouragement and support! We’ll update this spot and our Facebook page as we’re able to open up new events and projects.

Summer recap

As the Commonwealth continued to slowly open up through the various phases of the pandemic response, we restarted our construction efforts and the fundraising to support it! We’re so grateful to those who supported our online Tupperware party, two Rebuild Sales, and our first “BINGO With A Kick!” event.

Pet Hotel Hadley generously ran a car wash to benefit Sweetpea on Saturday, August 8th, thank you so much!! Good friends like that are helping us to move forward again.

You can help every month by designating us as your non-profit-of-choice in Amazon Smile or – your online shopping helps support Sweetpea every time you shop. We’re very grateful for the friends who have chosen to support us through these methods! If you are able to during these challenging times, we would also appreciate your financial support through our Donate link on this page.

This summer we also recognized the 20th anniversary of the founding of Sweetpea Friends of Rutland Animals! Created by retired animal control officer Dick Clark, Sweetpea grew and in 2015 purchased the former Palatine Kennels, which were tragically lost in a fire before renovations could be performed.

We want to send a very heartfelt thank you to everyone who continues to support our efforts to build and outfit the new kennel building, especially during these very crazy pandemic times!

Online heART auction

Thank you to everyone who supported our online HeART Auction in February! The money raised from your generous donations and bids brings us one step closer to our goal of re-opening the shelter!!

Thank you to everyone who came out and made Photos with Santa a success at the shelter and at Petco throughout December! Thank you to our volunteers and Santa who made the shelter events possible! Also, m any thanks to the Auburn MA Petco for supporting Sweetpea (and for providing a great Santa!) for our three events there!!

Halloween Dog Walk 2019

Thank you to all who joined us for the Halloween Dog Walk – and thanks to those who made a donation towards the new shelter. We loved the dogs’ costumes ….. and the kids!

A Giant Thank You to everyone who helped to pull this event together behind the scenes, donating, cooking etc. .. We appreciate and love all of you! 

This image shows the presentation of a donation check by the Big Y manager of the Holden store.

Big Y Foods Donates $5000 to Sweetpea from the Annual Paul & Gerald D’Amour Memorial Charity Golf Outing

A huge THANK YOU to Big Y Foods, Inc. They donated $5000 from their 38th Annual Paul & Gerald D’Amour Memorial Charity Golf Outing to Sweetpea!

It’s a big boost to our building fund, which will get us quite a way towards reopening. The photo shows Mary and Dick Clark being presented with the donation by Holden Big Y Store Director, Karen Sultan!

Sweetpea is extremely pleased to announce that we have received a $5000 grant from Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Inc./Rosemary Davis Memorial Fund “to aid in the costs necessary to rebuild and open.”

We are very thankful for this grant and will be using it to help complete the shelter rebuild. Thanks to the generosity of the Foundation, we are now a lot nearer reopening!

Shows our table at Auburn Petco

Come Visit Us At Petco Auburn 

We are at the Auburn Petco store , 438 Southbridge St, Auburn, MA 01501, every Sunday from 10:00am-2:00pm – stop by and hear about our progress on the shelter rebuild!

Here is Dick Clark, our founder, manning the Sweetpea table, assisted by Juno of Juno’s Place