Animal Rescue of the Week: Episode 22 – One Tail At A Time in Illinois

One Tail At A Time was started when Heather, the co-Founder & President visited the Chicago Animal Care & Control for the first time. At that time they were euthanizing more than 13,000 animals. She knew she had to be part of the solution and started OTAT the very next year! Experiencing consistent and steady growth from the community for the last 11 years has allowed them to build a physical location and grow a robust transport program in which dogs are continuously rescued from the southern states.

Check out their music video!

Visit their website to learn more about their capital campaign & check for updates about their annual gala and follow them on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter!

Welcome to the ARPA Animal Rescue of the week podcast, featuring outstanding organizations around the country that are helping animals & the people who rescue them. This podcast is proudly sponsored by  Doobert is a free website designed to connect volunteers with rescues & shelters, and the only site that automates rescue relay transport. Let’s meet this week’s featured animal rescue. One tail at a time Dog Rescue in Chicago, Illinois aims to end pet homelessness By making pet ownership a joyful and accessible experience for all they accomplish this by rescuing from overcrowded shelters and placing them in loving forever homes and providing support and resource is to pet owners in need. They have four main values. They follow compassion for all animals, community engagement, focusing on vulnerable populations and to ensure they continue to progress and grow. Hey, Carol, welcome to the show I ate for having me. I’m really excited to have you kind of learn more. Why don’t you start us off and tell us a little bit more about your rescue or based in Chicago? We have a sister organization in Portland that I believe you spoke with us well on that. Our organization started in 2008 here in Chicago. I wasn’t around at the time that one pill at a time was founded. I joined see about three years ago. But between 28 2 1008 and 2015 we were a foster based only organization. And then, in 2015 we had our first capital campaign to open a physical space. So now we have a small but very delightful adoption center. I’m on a tiny street called Wood straight here in Chicago on the first year that one cell at a time was born. E think Heather and the team rescued about a dozen dogs. And then last year we rescued 668 and this year we’re on track to surpass 1000 lives saved for the first time ever. Wow, yeah, lots of exciting growth. That’s really, really do to just the support from our community or a very community focused organization. One of our core values is engaging our community to participate in every and everything that we do in all the ways that they can. Yeah, that’s pretty incredible. In Chicago is a huge city, so engaging the community is no small task. I definitely you know what? I’m not even gonna waste any time. I want to know how you’re doing that. Tell me what is behind that and how you guys are actually engaging the community. I guess I’ll start with our volunteer program because that is kind of the life blood of what we do. And that includes our volunteers at our center and both our volunteer foster homes. These are folks who have full time jobs. They have families, they have dogs, they have a life and they’re volunteering their time to our animals. Whether that’s coming to our facility once a week, some of them come No. 34345 days a week on set schedules or whether that’s taking in a special needs Blaster dog. That’s gonna be with us for some time. We have we have a special top right now. She’s a little Yorkie puppy named Lavender, and she had a pretty serious injury. Joseph by a car, and she’s had a pretty stressful recovery period. She had obviously some serious surgery and just the amount of attention and time that her foster families are given to her on top of their everyday lives is pretty remarkable to just see and hear about S O. We try to make our volunteer and foster programs really accessible by making those making it easy to sign up to be a volunteer. We have regular scheduled orientations, and we try to hold as many as possible at different times of the day so we can reach all different audiences. The process to set to volunteer at our adoption center is relatively simple. We just have the easy way to sign up, and we don’t ask you to come in a certain number of hours each week. Our foster program works a little differently than some shelters and organizations are Foster’s actually get to pick their dogs. So it was, well, certainly suggest foster dogs that we they might be a good fit, especially if it’s the first time Foster or a foster who we know they’re looking for something very particular we can do that, but for the most part we put it out there and what dogs are most in need of plaster and let our Foster’s make that decision on their own and then just give them all the support in the world that we can to keep them. Keep them supported. Yeah. So one of the challenges I know in talking to rescues is that when ah, foster home adopts the dog, a lot of times they’re no longer able to foster a dog, right? Maybe they’re limited by space, or it’s their time and their commitment. How does that look for you guys? When that foster home adopts that dog? Do you often find that they will take on another dog? Or do you find that they’re no longer fostering with you because they found that Forever Dog? I say it. The healthy Nick’s okay. Yeah, I’d say it’s a healthy mix, and we have. We have plenty of dogs that we rescue, who will just drive with another dog? And then we will ever see some dogs who have some medical needs to be isolated. So we always have a dog for everyone as well. Yeah, so talk to me a little bit more about what that foster program looks like for you guys. So you’re in Chicago. I know it’s over a large, ah, large area. How many foster homes do you guys have in your program. And what are you doing to constantly recruit more each year? Have around the same amount of active foster homes as dogs that were rescuing? Okay, so right now we currently have just under 1000 foster homes. Wow, if you volunteer with us, you can also foster a dog. So a lot of our volunteers, they might not actually go through the whole foster sign at process. What? They want to take some of our non sum for sleepovers or for a weekend. So technically, you know, their short term fostering a swell. So right on 1,000,000 foster homes and around 1000 volunteers. That’s crazy, Cara, Like, I don’t know if that if you really understand the mag that, like, I’ve I’ve talked to some pretty big shelters and nowhere near that amount, whether it’s short term or long term, usually a few 100 is kind of the max that I’ve heard of. Yeah, they’re just amazing. But like you said, we’re a big city here in Chicago. Um, and we are constantly working to recruit more foster homes. So a lot of times, that’s through our social media. Okay, that’s how a lot of folks find out about us on the store, a social media and word of mouth. So because that was gonna be my next question is, how are you doing that? How are you getting the visibility? I will say we do have campaigns that focus on volunteer and foster retention. So keeping our volunteers and Foster’s engaged and making sure that at least every day we’re putting a thank you out there so that I know that we appreciate them, Um, listening to their needs and their challenges, um, and their their successes and working on those as well? Yes. So with that many foster homes, I am curious on what are your maybe top one or two challenges that you see across the board that you guys there may be focused on? Well, here in Chicago, a lot of our foster fools live in, um, multi unit buildings, whether that’s, um, 33 floor flat or whether it’s a high rise with 200 units for so we have a lot of neighbors here in Chicago. Most of our dogs, they aren’t exactly why. It’s so sometimes we struggle a little bit with that, but we have a great. We have a foster mentor program, actually. So we have volunteers who will work with our Foster’s to say, we’ll hear some things that you can try and for the most part, are fosters. Really Want to try everything before having to say this isn’t working? Um, can we try? Try a different dog? Yeah. Yeah, I think the dedication is is really key. And you’re right. Chicago definitely has its own challenges. Right? Um, especially living so close to to a lot of people, especially in the city of Chicago, even versus the suburbs. Yeah. And where did the majority of your your foster homes come from? Our Is it a good mix between suburbs and the city, or do they primarily stay in the city? Premier Li in the city, Maybe a little more north in the city or little west in the city, but primarily in the city area? It is something we’re focusing on right now. Is actually finding more suburban foster homes as we as we increase our intake numbers. We have dogs in our care who would certainly thrive in a suburban environment. They would love to have a yard, you know, they may be they don’t love other dogs, so they love to have more space where they’re not gonna constantly see the neighbors stop. Yeah. So we’re working on fighting more suburban foster homes. We have. We have some, but we could definitely definitely use Moishe. Definitely very cool. So I definitely have to know. Then. So you are. You were a traditional rescue for many, many years now, you guys have added a physical location, but I know that you pull animals from animal shelters, right? Such as, I think, the city of Chicago. Um, and I and so I want to know a little bit about what that process is. How do you select the dogs that that you’re going to help? How many do you pull like, Tell me a little bit about that process. So this is a school shelter that we have if our adoption center. But no dog actually starts their journey with us there. So any dog that we arrest you from a partner shelter, um, mostly animal control facilities Or, you know, another type of municipal shelter, some of our partner shelters in the south. But those what we refer to as open emission shelters are where dogs are coming from, and they start their time with us in a foster home. And usually that periods between two for weeks. It really just depends on the individual dog art. Do they come to us? Paid you turd? How many rounds of that seems? Didn’t need. Are they sick? Did they did some training, so it could be a little longer than four weeks. But 4 2 to 4 weeks in the foster period is on normal time. Great. And the dogs will either meet potential doctors in the foster home or they could come over to our adoption center. But you admitted earlier our adoption center is on the small side, so we have upwards of 150 dogs in our program at any time, But we only have 10. Kendall’s at our adoption center. Okay, so what we’re doing is once a dog finished their foster period, if a dog gets adopted, our adoption center, someone else can come over, hang out in there, kendall, and meet families and be adopted quicker. Yeah, that’s pretty interesting. Tell me about the dogs that you’re actually pulling from. These shelters are the on euthanasia lose? Are they? Do they have medical needs? Tell me how you’re deciding which dogs to pull and help. Yeah, a lot of the times they are on the euthanasia list. Their urgent. Sometimes we have less than 24 hours to rescue the dogs that we rescue. I’m Sometimes they’re coming from partner shelters where every dog but interest. The shelter is immediately on urgent euthanasia list because of how many animals they receive. Eso we do work thio pull the most vulnerable dogs that we can’t. Um, and luckily, I I’m not the one making that decision. I honestly don’t know that I could way have we have a great um, We have some great staff members to have behavior backgrounds. They have shelter backgrounds and they make those tough decisions because there’s still many. They’re so money that we have to leave behind. Yeah, so when they’re making those decisions, if it’s, for example, a thought coming from Chicago Animal Care and Control, we can either send one of our staff and present to assess the dog and see if it’s a good match for our program or we worked really closely with the transfer team our city shelter. So animal control. Here in Chicago, they have an upstanding volunteer team of dog transfer volunteers. And so they’re there to just network the heck out of the dogs that are most in need. And they post handling videos, a post, pictures of the docks outside. They tell us as much information as they can about the dogs because we do not have kind to send a staff member and to meet that dog and assess in the time that the dog has to make it out. Yeah, yeah, it’s definitely important to have those good relationship than in connections. Um, so how did you how were you able to team up with the Chicago Animal Control Center where they did? You know, somebody there? Was it just a blind reach out? Because sometimes those relationships and connections are hard to make. Yeah, so we have been resting dog from Chicago Animal Care and Control since the very beginning days of one pill at a time. Chicago Animal Care and Control, luckily is very open to working with rescues and shelters because they need the support. I’m so it’s dead relative. It’s relatively easy to keep that relationship going. They belong to say, Really, they really want to see the dogs sleep the shelter. So it’s a great relationship, and one that just happened very naturally. Yeah, And you also mentioned that you guys work with some shelters in the South from pulling dogs as well. Now again, a CZ faras. The relationship it’ll doing goes, that’s a little bit more difficult because they’re not your neighbor. So how did you establish and how do you maintain those relationships? And is there a difference in how you work with Chicago Animal Care and Control versus those Southern organizations? Both shelters have a lot of dogs. They really want to see leading the shelter with a reputable organization. Okay, so we have different relationships with then Chicago Animal Care and Control. Their transfer team is wonderful with posting videos, and like I said, a lot of times we can go assess them ourselves. Our sack an the partner shelters in the style. That’s a little different. So we can’t drive to Alabama as often as any isn’t for the boarding our partner shelter stare. So actually, today we had a transport arrived and they will bring, I think our transport today was seven dolls. We had transports about to 14 dogs before. Um, and I know right now is a time when West at this animal shelter, which is one of our shelters that we really love working with and supporting they’re just completely full in any dog that needs the shelter saving the life of another dog. So right now you’re just trying to help them in every way that we can in the South. We see a lot of heartworm, a lot of parvo this time of year. So we just got to get the dogs out of status. You can? Yeah. And So what do you do then? Do you? It sounds like you’ll take them, you know, with parvo. And you’ll treat them once they arrive with your organization versus having them cleared and, um, and healthy before they leave the Southern states. Is that right? You guys actually do the medical up in Chicago? Yes. So our particle creatures that we have, we still have parvo in Chicago. So our partner cases that we haven’t one sailor actually coming from the city shelters where they’re right in our own backyard. Most of the time. We’re not receiving dogs that have parvo from our southern shelters. Okay, a lot of the dogs that we see from our southern shelters are adult dogs. So, um, they’re not a susceptible is part of. So I know there’s a 2 to 4 week period right where they’re in the foster home once they’re cleared, right, and they’ve gone through that process. How long? What’s the typical adoption rate for you guys or the adoption turnaround? Oh, it really depends on the dog, but really not too long. So we start even if they’re not at the adoption center. The hell on her website, us soonest. They figure it had all the vaccines that usually get adopted pretty quickly. It can be a couple of days, sometimes before we post them on the web site. You know, they’ve seen the dogs on social media there already. Pre applied for the dog. The dog. Probably use of the doctors are dogs. You know, we’ve had dogs in our care for up to a year and 1/2. No, it totally depends on the dog. Um, I would say once a dog becomes adoptable typically like an average between that time and the time they get a doctor would be, like a week. Two weeks. Okay, that’s Yeah, that’s pretty good. That’s pretty good. That’s pretty good. So tell me. So you guys are primarily dogs, and I know that you guys were just starting to get into kittens. And so I want to know a little bit about how that came about and and kind of what that looks like for you guys. Yeah, I love telling this story because I think that it really hits home on how one till the time started in hell until the time is loaded. Today on DIT starts with our director, Heather. So two years ago, we were at a conference and she was sitting in a workshop. And the speaker, it was with best friends, animal society. I’m delivered An amazing message about the shelters. Don’t need us to be pulling poodle mixes. They don’t need us to be pulling the shine. Mixes are local shelters. Listen to what they need and focus on those animals. So she listened to our shelter and the cat the animals that were dying, we’re course dogs and in the cap program it was unique ins. So you would think that the kittens they would be adopted super quickly and rested super quickly. But we’re talking about kittens who are sometimes only a few days old, sometimes only a couple weeks old, a lot of times without their mama. So these are kittens that are very, very susceptible when they come into the shelter a lot of times, if they don’t make it out the same day when they think might not make it out. That’s the reality of Neo Nickens. So we decided to launch a new unit kitten program, and we knew that it wasn’t going. We weren’t going to rescuing 100 kittens a year. You know, for 10 years they have been dog. Only it was gonna take some time, Yeah, to build up that program. So we started with just resting a couple letters at a time. And I think since starting the program a couple of years ago, we arrested about 60 kittens. These kittens are It’s a tough rescue program, you know? Yes, the kittens are now in foster homes on. They start in foster homes and are usually there. It’s a longer foster period than our dog plaster period come. And they have to be bottled that every couple hours or several weeks at a time. But then once they’re old enough to have their vaccines and the state neutered, we actually worked with partner shelters who have established adoption programs because we know they’re going to get a doctor really quickly. There. Yeah. So once they can get to that eight week mark, right, Then you’re then you’re safe. But it’s that that Sam, we’re in between, you know, six or seven week period that that they’re really struggling. And like you said, the shelters don’t have the tools. The resource is the money nor the staff right toe hang out in the shelter and feed every few hours. Yeah, The biggest challenge for me when I hear that is finding dedicated foster homes. Right, Because to your point, you have to feed him every few hours. So what has that? What does that piece look like for you? Um, I know you had it around for a couple years, but you’re really having to hone in on your foster home. Um, criteria. Um, and I have to believe that that’s a challenge in itself, but What other challenges have you encountered with that? Yeah, we definitely don’t have Kitten volunteer kid in foster homes signing out the door. Yet, as usual with Doc Bastard, what’s really helped is that we have volunteers willing to support foster families. So with me, when we have a litter of kittens that need to be bottle fed every couple hours or they need a you know they need a bathroom. We worm everyday way have volunteers that are willing to go over and help our foster homes. Maybe they can’t donate their back into a litter of kittens at that time, but they can go for a couple hours and bottle t to kitten and help out that foster family. That’s pretty. And Christine Yeah, that’s the things I love here at one tail is that I don’t going to help each other. Um, and if you can give only a couple hours a day, it stops. That’s still needed. We’ll take it. Yeah, yeah, a couple hours a day. You can definitely get a lot done in that in that time period. You know, I think one of the things I really like about that is is that you were a dog rescue for so so many years through one conference through one conversation, it became much bigger than that. You know, in addition to everything else, right? The physical location and and all the things you have coming up in the future, which we’re going to talk about shortly. I just love that you guys are always kind of looking for, for different ways to kind of help out. And it’s in. Like you said, it just seems like everybody’s pitching in and everybody has a title and a job description. But it goes beyond that, right? Absolutely. And that’s something. That’s how I got involved with one tail. I reached out to our director to see if I could help in any way with fundraising, with writing, thank you cards. And just very quickly, she responded personally and said, Yes. Yeah, it’s just that easy, right? Just a Yeah, we we need everyone and everyone has a different street. So come on over. Say some live with it. Yeah, so let’s spend a few minutes talking about that. So when you reached out, what were you doing? You know, before you joined one tail, so I actually come from a musical theater background, so Oh, no, not directly, eh? Fundraising background. Um, but that’s actually what brought me to Chicago from a small town in Kentucky. And then I had a lot of extra time when I was performing in auditioning. So I was volunteering with the rescue organizations and just really always looked up to the leadership at one tael and their progressiveness. And like you said, always looking for the next later help. Yeah, and so I just casually reached out and kind of from there, The rest is history. I was hooked. Yeah, Yeah, I definitely think it’s cool. And I and I love that a lot of opportunity is really present themselves from a volunteer standpoint, right? You just have to get your foot in the door and and want to help and want to be passionate about something, and things just kind of happen. I mean, if your animal lover and you walk into animal shelter on you see that there’s a way to help it is it’s kind of addictive. Yeah, lately, definitely. So now you kind of do their fundraising and so walk me through what that looks like maybe give me, you know, there’s probably not an average day, but what are some of those responsibilities? And what do you enjoy most about your role in one tail? Yeah, not every day is the same way. I, for example, right now we have our membership drive happening, so we have just over 1100 monthly donors who make up our membership programs. That’s kind of really the heart and soul of our fundraising is recruiting members, and they make $10. They make a donation of $10 a month or more and going back to the accessibility of one tail. Um, that’s That’s the way of giving that we really promote because most of our supporters, what’s more, supporters and give $10. And we hear a lot of times that they don’t even notice the $10 leaving your bank account, and that’s that’s really awesome for us to hear, because it certainly makes a difference where a dog. So, uh, we try to promote the membership program as much as we can and make it fun. Right now, we’re in a membership drive, which is recruiting more members to just be part of our team. and if you could give $10 a month, that’s amazing. That is an awesome way to help, because when we all get a little, it adds up. Yeah, really big, amazing things. Yeah, it definitely does. That’s a That’s a great program. Very grassroots, Right in my open. Yes, it’s very basic. Yet it has a huge impact, really. So I love that it’s a small item, but it’s a big scale. I thought I loved basic that started and you just keep building upon it. Yeah, absolutely. And it’s changed a lot as we’ve grown and we have more members to take care of. And, you know, he keep updated on all the amazing stories that their donations are making possible. But it’s it’s just changing so much to have that regular support on a monthly basis. So I take care of our members. We have our newsletters that well, I do most of our newsletters here at one tail, do some brief riding one, and then a lot of very large fundraising campaign to grow. Oh my goodness, I’m just going through. All the things now are our fundraising strategy. It went tale. We have a lot of events working with the community to help plan my own events as well as organizing our larger events like our gala at the end of the year. Our Summer beach party, etcetera. That’s definitely a lot when you start really thinking about it, isn’t it? Yeah, seeing it doesn’t seem like a lot, except it’s all happening at once. Yeah, but a deal sewn. Very cool, right? I have a little bit of event planning in my background, and I love that that kind of thing. And, you know, it really brings joy to people to see the joy that they’re they’re providing to the animals. And for me, that’s one of the biggest payoffs right in events and planning. You know, when fundraising is just the impact that you’re having on the people who are giving to help the animals, right? Yeah, you kind of follow me in that I felt like that was a little long winded, but totally I get what you’re saying. You know, we have a lot of supporters who aren’t in a position. Thio adopt a dog or Malan here or foster. Yeah. So they support our dogs by coming to an event and it’s an opportunity for us to show them This is what this is what your supports doing. Yeah, that’s one of the big reasons that I don’t have censorship. Yeah, yeah, it’s very cool. And so you quickly glazed over the big campaign that you guys are working on. Why don’t we spend a few minutes talking about that and kind of letting people know what’s going on and how they can help? So about a month ago, with this campaign went public. But it’s actually been in the works for a little over a year now, and it’s a capital campaign to bro. So it started out as last year, we needed to expand our isolation program, which is our program that focuses on savings stops from our city shelters who have been exposed to contagious illnesses. So we needed a physical space to house those dogs so that we could be rescuing more. Since then, you know, we had some challenges with getting that property. It’s you might be surprised. It’s very political here in Chicago, getting the property that we were in in contract to purchase. We needed to get it rezoned. That did not happen after it was scheduled to happen for many months. So that did not That did not go through. So we had to kind of regroup. We at that point had raised a significant amount of support, so we thought we’d got us. We’ve got this momentum of got this energy and we still need to grow. And we still maybe we still need this physical location to be able to save more, more potentially sick dogs. Yeah, So we regrouped a little bit and came up with, ah, larger capital campaign. Want a lot of time cooperative. And the idea is that we have these multiple resource is I call them like tools in our tool kit that are all doing their own thing to help us grow and to be able to continue growing in the way that we’ve seen in the past but also to sustain that grow. And one of the biggest pieces of that is that clinic. So this is a two faced capital campaign. The first phase of our capital campaign is actually to open. A behavior in training center for our more long term docks would benefit just from constant positive reinforcement and working with our volunteers and also a mobile adoption truck. But then, the second phase of this capital campaign includes opening our own that clinic, which at this point is absolutely essential to be ableto sustain on the number of dogs that were resting each year. Right now we work with many partner vets around the city of Chicago, and they’re amazing and so generous and so kind to let us bring in. Bringing dogs for service is in a lot of times. We know so little about the dogs. They work with us and very flexible in that regard. But it’s very, very expensive to the outsourcing, all of our medical, all of our medical care. So actually opening our own picking off that Karen House is going to cut our medical care in half, which means we can take those donations and go out and save more dogs with those donations. That’s one of the most exciting pieces about the capital campaign. It means that we don’t have to slow down all of this growth that we’ve seen every year. We can’t keep doing it, which is pretty incredible. I mean, you guys are actually turning from a rescue almost to a to a shelter. As you guys get bigger and grow, I really feel from you like you’re a You’re a very personable organization, right? You really get to know your people. You really support them. I think it’s you start to grow if you really thought about how that’s going to impact you and maybe what challenges that you guys might come across. Yeah, and what’s interesting is that before we make any decisions to grow, we kind of always ruin it by our volunteers way put it in their year and see what kind of response that we get. And the volunteers are always on board. They always want more. They always want to be more engaged. They want more locations in their neighborhood they don’t want to be driving to. That’s all around the city of tomorrow. I can’t even schedule an appointment. It’s walking on Lee so that that piece, especially is actually gonna take a lot better care. I think of our foster homes in our volunteers. It’s going to streamline a lot of a lot of those daily volunteer needs that we have now so that you know, transporting a dog from the shelter directly to event. It’s no longer a four hour adventure. Uh, it’s very clear cut. And then maybe you could go and transport another dog to the vet, Something with our foster homes. Now, they don’t have to take your foster to that clinic and wait for them to have availability. They’re gonna be able to make an appointment with a vet who already knows everything about their foster dog. You know what care? I think that’s really cool again that you guys care so much about the volunteers who have helped you grow and who have supported you over the years that you ask them, right for their input and their feedback and permission. Almost I But I love that I What would we do without them? If it means we made these decisions and then no one was on board, we’d be in a really tough spot in our thoughts, supper for it. So I think I asked the question right, because, you know, it’s almost like when you get too big for your britches. You kind of you kind of don’t know where that leads you. Everybody thinks success and bigger is always better. I think that’s true to some extent, but I think when you’re doing what you guys were doing, my my worry, right. My fear is that what happens to all the support that you’ve gotten over the last 11 years, Right? You know, would they stop? How do they feel? But I love that you were already 10 steps ahead. Hey, this is really what we want to D’oh! You know, good or bad. And it’s just a consensus, right? You’re just getting an opinion. And I love that everybody was on board. Yeah, absolutely. That’s That’s just the culture here. Until that’s that’s how we roll. I don’t get it. Can’t be any more plainly stated than that. I like it. Tell me then. So the capital campaign has already started. Um, how long does it go for? How much money do you guys need to raise for this? Um, tell me a little bit about that. Yes. So we’ve given ourselves, um, a goal over here, have all of our facilities open. So we have four different locations that were working to open. And we’ve made progress really in all of them. And the first physical location that we’re adding on to the capital campaign is our behavior center. And that building is well, say open because we have dogs moving in. The kennels just got delivered today, actually. But for the past several weeks, we’ve had dogs in kennels. They’re just not our permanent installed kennels. Sure. So dogs have been living there. We are up and running at the behavior, Senator. We’re just doing the build out inside so that it’s ready to go long term. Oh, come But the behavior center were there were moved in. Dogs are there. It’s going Amazing. The second piece is our mobile adoption truck, which we actually are having someone else build for us. So they’re doing all the hearts made progress as far as, um, locating our truck. I know they’re very, very close toe finding finding a match for what? We’re looking for him, but they’ve made progress as well. Um, the next piece is our vet clinic, and we’re very close, I think Thio announcing that that’s going to be located where new on that clinic home will be. The final pieces are isolations in there. And right now we have a temporary space, so to kind of go back to where we hit some C bucks with opening and isolation center for our, um, medically exposed dogs. We kind of got tired of waiting for a yes from the city at the patent and decided that we were going to start this program. We’re gonna expand it and temporary in the meantime, So the program is happening. We’re just in a temporary of states. That right, how is is an ideal for the lantern. Okay, that’s going bust. Going well, so on. And then, as far as our fund raising goal, we’ve raised just over half of what we need. So our goal is 950,000 and we’re at 512,000 as of today. Wow, that’s incredible. People, people, people are really, really kind. And Chicago animal lovers. They are your Chicago animal lovers, you know, way have a wild a girl. So we’re going to be busy for the next year. And so when did that start? And then I know you said your your goal is one year. So when did that start? And what is it scheduled to end? So we watched on June 5th and June of 2020 is when you’re scheduled, tend. So the out the duration of the year we’re going to have you no announcements of the locations announcements of different partners because then he had a couple of these locations. They actually have partner organizations that were working with to make them happen. So there’s gonna be some really exciting announcements that come along throughout the duration of the year that we’re really excited to share. So, Carrie, you had said that the fourth piece of this was your isolation center. So walk me through what that program is gonna look like in the future. Yes. So to kind of explain where these dogs needing isolation are coming from. These are the dogs that were rescuing from our two largest city shelters here in Chicago, and that’ll be animal control and then Animal Welfare League, which is Ah, smaller facility, but very, very crowded facility on the south side of Chicago. So, doctor, come through these two shelters, we need to isolate the mother dogs where a certain Amir certain amount of time, typically 2 3 to 4 weeks, and the struggle with that is that we have to have foster homes with no other dogs. So in order to to be able to save these jobs, we gotta have somewhere, somewhere to put up so that they can get out of the shelter first of all, but also decompressed. Start their medication before they get more. Stick. Most of these dogs, once they’re rescued by us, we’re seeing them develop some type of upper respiratory infection, sometimes escalated on tuna mon. Yeah, so the sooner we can get them out of the shelter, the sooner that we can get them healthy and we can intervene and not let them get any more sick than there already at risk of getting eso what? This shelter? What this program does essentially is it allows us instead of waiting on a dog Lis Foster home to become available and going to take one dog at a time. We can rescue 10 dogs at a time from our city shelter when they need us the most when they need us to come in and save multiple dogs at a time. Yeah, we can do that, and then they have the space that they’re able to kind of move into for the time being and get on medication so that they’re not getting more sick. They can decompress, get ready for a foster home so that they’re not going directly from the shelter Life to have lost their life. But also one really cool dating is that fosters can fosters can come and meet the dogs. Man, make sure it’s gonna be a good fit, which is something that we’re not always able to do. So right now, this program is operating out of its temporary space. But we kind of just moved into as, um in between for not having a face and have a, ah permanent space. We just wanted to be saving lives. So we decided, Let’s have a temporary face over that weekend. We can support our city shelter and save these dogs. So now we’re looking for a more permanent solution so that we can grow it even more. Yeah, that is pretty incredible. On the medical cases are always a really, really hard sell. Right, Because, like you said you in When it comes to the foster homes, they can’t have other dogs and that limits your audience. Unho can help you. And so I love the idea of in isolation center. And I love that again. You’re partnering with the organization’s in Chicago, and you’re able to pull those dogs right? Just because they’re sick doesn’t need the doesn’t mean they should be euthanized. And I love that you guys recognize that and you take the extra time, um, to help them heal. And it’s It’s not just time, but it’s money, right? So, again, going back to your supporters and your volunteers and having their support in that is is huge. It’s instrumental, um, in in being able to move forward and grow, especially with this isolation program. Yeah, yeah, that ISS. That’s our goal. We want to be helping. We want to be helping the shelters in our own backyard. So we’re always thinking of what, What more? Why can’t we? D’oh! Yeah, that’s very cool. So we’ll definitely put all the links, um, you know, to your website into your social media platforms and that so people can kind of find you easily through the podcast here. And then are there any other programs that you have in your program that you want to talk about? Yeah, I think one really interesting one. Yeah, I’ll touch on is our shelter diversion program. So that’s fast. The Chicago and rescue intervention and support program would call it. We’ll call it Chris was gonna say, That’s a muffled. That’s how it’s referred to here in Chicago, and this program started. Let’s see, just over just over three years ago, Um, and the the mission of this program is to keep pets with their family who are at risk of being surrendered to the shelter. And if we can’t do that, then still diverting them from the shelter by possibly networking them to another rescue group or shelter. So this is actually a one thing at a time led program. But it’s a program of 10 different rescue groups working together, and essentially what we do is we each take a day a animal control. Right now, it’s five days a week, and it’s staffed by volunteers. And when a when a family comes and their last resort is to surrender their past, we’re asking, what can we do to help you keep your pet today and a lot of the times it’s something a simple as talking to a land board about how about not around their pet, sometimes it’s most of the time. It’s medical care. Most of what we see owners needing to surrender their pet four is, um, financial, financial support for medical reasons. So we’re able to send them to our partner, that who takes amazing care of animal and then maybe just just all they need to be able to keep their pet. They’re already loved Pet, that they want to keep in their family in a family instead of sending them into the shelter to be reformed to someone I really like. I really like the way that our director Heather, talks about this, Which is that’s just the humane thing to do is to keep pets and families together instead of tearing them apart, simply maybe because of one financial circumstance. So we’re able to do that through Chris. And like I said, the other part is if we’re not able to keep a pet and family together, we started not working them right away into another rescue group. Yeah, and most of the time when Kristen’s there, if if there’s a if there’s a crisp table and a family’s coming to surrender their pet, your pet doesn’t go into the shelter that day. Yeah, they’re actually so many things I like about that one being that you work with other organizations, it seems like that’s a huge piece of who you guys are in and what you do when I love that. Um, I think the other piece of it is that again. You’re kind of listening to the community, and you’re helping them work through their problems. And you’re doing it in a very non judgmental way in a very loving and caring, you know, honest. We want to help you tell us how we can help. And it doesn’t seem like you shy away from from problems very easily, you know, whether it be talking to a landlord or providing medical attention or something else. So I That’s a really cool program. Um, and I love that, You know, again, I think the biggest thing for me that stands out is that you’re working with other organizations. It’s within your community, which I think people talk about. But it’s not. It’s not something I see a lot of I don’t see as much action towards right. Everybody says it. But doing it is something completely different. So yeah, great job for, for actually stepping up and and working with other organizations. I just think that’s really awesome. Yeah, I think so, too. I don’t think I don’t think it sounds like something that’s incredibly easy to do, so I totally I totally understand my organization’s would struggle with that. But the idea of just combining resources and combining streets and volunteers and Foster’s because we’re all here for the same calls, Um yeah, it has a great result. It makes a big impact. Yeah, it definitely does. So one of my favorite parts in this entire thing is memorable stories. And so I’m curious if you have one that you want to share. Yes, I’m gonna share Christie a Chris story. It’s just it’s always pops into my head when I think about, um when I think about a story that I have got to experience during my time with one tael and this happened actually, just a few months ago, a family, a family saw I had escaped their yard and was taken thio the shelter as a stray. Um, while he was in the stray, they discovered that it had a contagious skin infection, a really bad contagious skin infection, and they were able to get in touch with his family. And when the family and I’m just the dog’s name is his old fizzle. When when they were able to find his old family and his whole family thing to the shelter to bring him home, they found out that he had a contagious, contagious skin infection. They weren’t able to take him home, that they because someone living in their home hot and, um, how to compromise the new system. Yeah, so they weren’t able to leave with his soul. And we got we got a call that YSL Woz any worse this condition was was getting more serious. And you needed rescue, but not in the way he needed to be re homed. He just needed medical treatment his family wanted and back where he belongs, they just couldn’t bring him into the home with with scabies. Tell her so we know when it was a pretty long shot, we were gonna be able to find a faster for YSL. But we picked up the phone and called one of our partners bets to see if they could do long term boarding and of course, his little goddess treatment. He was aborted. Um, he got better if he’s doing amazing today. But the part of that story that really stands out to me is that this dad visited him all the time while he was at the vet getting his treatment. Just if you could spirits high, and we’re pretty sure that’s why I got better. And that’s why he was able to leave. Um, and we get updates from Missile of him with his family, and it’s one less dog that had to suffer and possibly not make it out. Possibly not make it out of the shelter. He was able to get comfortable, stay with his family, Um, and just go on to live. The life of a dog should live. Yeah, pet owners shouldn’t be afraid. Thio go to a shelter or go to a rescue and and ask for help. In their case, they didn’t necessarily know. But I think a lot of times you know, if a pet owner had an animal with the disease like that, but they weren’t quite sure they were embarrassed or whatever the case might be, they’re almost afraid to go and ask for help for fear of losing that pat, right? Somebody thinks they’re not taking care of, um, or whatever the case might be. But rescues and shelters are really there to help. And they have. Resource is So this is it for me. This is a story of that, right? And that we should be there to support each other and and offer that assistance and not be afraid to ask the question or ask for help. Yeah, absolutely. And then I think that just goes back to the relationship that we build with our community. Yeah, in making sure that, you know, the pet owners who are most in need know that were there. They know that they can come to us on that. We’re gonna help them if they can. Yeah, I think that’s I think that’s beautiful. So I know we we definitely talked about a lot today, and I so appreciated your time in connecting before we wrap things up. Is there anything else that we may be missed that you want to mention? Follow some social media. We leave the music video today way, try to keep things really fun. And on the positive side, it here. One tell. So if you follow us on social media, we literally put on music video today that you’re gonna wanna watch. I love that will make it. We’ll make sure that Linkous Well, I think your whole podcast Paige, is gonna be nothing but a bunch of links. Um, according to our conversation today, um, I just love everything that you guys air doing, and and I look forward to checking out this this music video that you released and, uh, I just again here. Thank you so much for joining me. And we look forward to everything you guys are gonna do in the future. Thanks, Rachel. Have a good day. 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