Sunday June 4th, 2017 we attended the Whisker Walk . We had a fantastic day with our friends from Massachusetts Vest-A-Dog, The Little Oliver Foundation, Basset Hound Rescue , and Mass Coalition to End Puppy Mills!
May 26th-May 28th 2017, Sweetpea attended this fun event. We are so grateful for being chosen as the charity for Fur-Xoticon Convention again this year. Thank you to the organizers and all who attended. The group photo only shows a few of the attendees. We thank them for raising money to help us continue to rescue animals! WOW! The convention raised $2,583.00 for Sweetpea! Such a great fun group! Sarena, Robert and Deb spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the convention and had a super time! Jake and Juno too!
Saturday, May 20th, 2017 Sweetpea along with Juno’s Place and Hanna’s Home, attended the 2nd Annual Petfest in Glens Falls NY with our friend Hudson the Railroad Puppy. We had a great day. It was Jake’s first event since his attack. He did great! Juno wowed her fans in her convertible and Sweetpea alum Hanna did what she does best – slept through it all! We love our NY fans; they are so generous! We talked about Sweetpea and our mission, met some new friends, ate some food, and saw some really awesome dogs and cats, too. We even met Gordon Shell. You can check out more about him here and here. We look forward to attending again next year.
On Monday, May 15th, Sweetpea was asked to help a stray cat that had been found in Dudley. He is an intact male. He was brought to our vet and was treated for wounds, eye infection, flea, tick, internal parasite infestations, and he was neutered. If he is yours, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please read update below….
5/24/2017 Mufasa is recovering very well. A Gofundme account was about to be setup to help us cover his medical costs and care during his quarantine, but then a super special secret person stepped in and covered his medical bill for us. Thank you! Mufasa is now in his foster home. He has to be there for four months minimum under strict quarantine! This limits our foster homes further! The foster home cannot foster other cats while Mufasa is there. We turn away cats and dogs on a daily basis. We are limited in cat foster homes and have no foster homes for dogs. Since the fire, we have rescued multiple cats and kittens with our small foster home base, but we need you, our loyal supporters. We need you to help us expand our foster home base. If you would like to become a foster home, please email us at Sweetpeafora@verizon.net or come to our monthly volunteer meeting. We meet the first Friday of every month at 7:00 p.m. at 1090 Pleasant St. Paxton. With your help we can save more! We hope to see you there!
In preparation for applying to the Zoning Board, Sweetpea’s attorneys referred us to an engineer to prepare the site plans required by the Zoning Board. Unfortunately the plans that we had in our possession from previous work done did not meet the requirements of the Zoning Board. We contracted with the engineer and the work is in progress.
While this is being done, our Rebuild Committee is meeting with contractors to get estimates on demolition and building a new shelter on the footprint of what was there. As much as it has pained us to leave the destroyed kennel there, we have never gotten a clear answer from the town if tearing it down before we have permits to rebuild would adversely affect us.
Our tax return was filed on Monday, May 15, to meet the filing extension deadline for Fiscal Year 2016. We are now working with our accountants to prepare a review required by the Attorney General’s office. Last year was a challenge because we went from leasing the property in Paxton to purchasing it in April 2015. We were in the midst of preparing for renovations when the kennel fire occurred. In the aftermath of the fire, we were blessed with the generosity of the public. That significantly increased our income for that short period of time and overwhelmed our very basic volunteer bookkeeping which challenged our accountant. Since then we have been working with the accountants to accurately report those events and to improve our accounting system going forward.
As we have said in the past, all funds donated for rebuilding are secure in a Rebuild account and are to be used only for that purpose. Undesignated donations are used to maintain the existing property and to help care for a small number of cats that we are able to keep in foster care homes.
We hope to get back to you soon with more news of progress.
Sunday, May 7, 2017 we attended Paws 4 A Cure 10th Anniversary Celebration and Charity Walk. It was a beautiful, but windy day. We have to figure out how to secure these tents better on windy days as a few blew over and were ruined. There were fun times to the day. We ordered pizza and shared it with Juno, Jake, and Hanna. But it took all of us here some time to recover from the shock of Jake’s attack before posting photos of the day. If you aren’t aware of the terrible attack, you can visit Juno’s Place on Facebook for updates. Thankfully, he will be ok. Thank you Robert for getting pictures of the vendors present. Thank you so much to Keri Goldman for all her hard work organizing and running this event. Thank you to Marcel Dubois from K9 Tails for this video tribute to the day! You can also see more pictures on our Facebook page …
Dear Sweetpea Followers and Supporters,
It has certainly been a difficult 16 months since our devastating fire, and we wish more than anything we could provide you with news of rebuild. We recognize that it is exhausting for all to hear about nothing but obstacles, permitting issues, roadblocks, and other setbacks.
Before our new Board of Directors was formed, our president, Dick Clark, and then treasurer, Mary Clark, engaged a law firm on Sweetpea’s behalf to begin to work aggressively with the Town of Paxton on issues with permits and zoning. This is an active process that takes time. We have received many goodhearted suggestions that we truly appreciate, and we have followed up on all of them. We assure you that we are leaving no stone unturned. In keeping with our promise to remain transparent, information can be found here on our website and on our Facebook page. Members of our board are actively learning how to edit the pages of our website for times when our webpage administrator is not available. Once they are able to edit, it will be easier to keep it up to date.
We are the first to acknowledge that the public deserves to be kept up to date on our status, but the reality is, there is no more to say at the moment. Our mission is to serve homeless animals and it is distressing to our volunteers not to be able to fulfill this mission. That is the bottom line, and the one thing that keeps us going. We need to rebuild to save the animals in need, and so are remaining confident that we will get there. Sweetpea has had a very strong community of volunteers and supporters that have helped hold us together during this time. The truth of the matter is, we cannot rebuild without your continued support. Our new board is working towards learning their roles and taking on tasks; names and pictures of our officers and board members are posted on our website, and meeting minutes will be posted as they are accepted. Right now our focus is on keeping our name out there, attending events, and holding fundraisers so we can continue to pay the expenses on the property.
As mentioned earlier, we have hired lawyers to help us work with the town and decipher what we need to do, what paths we need to or can attempt to take, and what our legal rights are. We have also been working with a new accountant to ensure all reporting is done properly, although due to the circumstances of the fire, we have asked for and received a filing extension for our taxes.
We are a group of dedicated volunteers that want nothing more than for Sweetpea to get back on its feet. If there is anything more that you suggest that we should do to improve communication and keep or restore your faith in us, please let us know. In conclusion, our situation is not what we want it to be, nor where we expected it to be 16 months after the fire, but we continue to fight for the rebuild. We hope the hurdles with the town can be resolved soon so that rebuild can begin, and that we still have our greatest asset, you, our supporters, through it all. Thank you for your continued support and belief in Sweetpea.
Sweetpea F.O.R. Animals, Inc.
Isaiah is our honored Guardian Angel this month! He collected donations for Sweetpea for his birthday and is shown here with all the goodies he collected for us. Isaiah is the brother of another of Sweetpea’s Guardian Angels, Michaela, who donates the profits from her lemonade stand and craft works to Sweetpea. Many thanks, and hugs and kisses on your birthday, Isaiah, from Sweetpea – you made our work a lot easier!
A whole lot of people – Sweetpea volunteers, friends, and relations – showed up to say goodbye to Davinci, our longest term resident, who has left us to join a trainer who can teach him some manners. Everyone got very emotional about his departure — we all wish him all the best!