Episode 13 – Jenny Vandermeer

Jenny Vander Meer is a passionate animal rescuer and is the founder and president of R.A.V.E. Rescue, a foster based organization located in Osceola, Missouri.  Jenny is a pillar in animal rescue in her community of <1,000 people and has made a name for herself by taking on some of the most difficult cases including special needs animals, dogs with a bite history and just about every situation the local shelter does not have the resources to handle.  From providing pet food assistance, to engaging and teaching the next generation about the importance of spay & neuter, Jenny’s passion for animals knows no bounds and she’s always excited and open to welcoming new members to the wonderful world of rescue. To learn more about Jenny and R.A.V.E. Rescue you can visit their website, http://www.raverescue.org/ or you can find them on Facebook here, https://www.facebook.com/RAVERESCUE/

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 “Welcome to the Professionals and Animal Rescue podcast, where goal is to introduce you two amazing people helping animals and share how you can get involved with animal rescue. This’ll Podcast is probably sponsored by do bert dot com. Do Bert is a free website designed to connect volunteers with rescues and shelters and the only site that automates rescue really transport. Now on with our show. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Jenny Vandermeer. Jenny is a passionate animal rescuer and is the founder and president of Rave Rescue Ah Foster based organization. Located in Osceola in Missouri, Jenny is a pillar and animal rescue and then her community of less than 1000 people. And she’s made a name for herself by taking on some of the most difficult cases, including special needs, dogs, dogs or the bite history and just about every situation the local animal shelter does not have the resources to handle, from providing pet food assistance to engaging and teaching the next generation about the importance of Spain neuter Jenny’s passion for animals knows no bounds, and she’s always excited and open toe welcoming new members to the wonderful world of rescue. Hey Jenny, welcome to the program. It’s good to be here. So tell us a little bit about you. I know when you and I talked a couple weeks ago, I was just amazed by the work that you do. So tell us about you and what you do and rescue. Well, I had a life changing event back in 2008. It was December 2008 where I, um, became ill and my chief complaint was at emergency room that I thought I was gonna die, and that was actually correct. I wa sai have pulmonary fibrosis that was undiagnosed. And I, um, collapsed and and had a very traumatic everything go on. And because of that And I came back and contacted my family and, you know, did the big feel sorry for me and all of those type things. My father gave me the best advice in my world. He said, Do what you love the level to two. Because if you do that, it’s never work. It’s your passion. You don’t need an alarm clock. You don’t need any of those things because you’re just It’s your passion. You’re all about it. And when I graduated from Stephen’s College as the valedictorian and gave the commencement speech. I passed that along, and I had spent so many years educating myself and going back to college and getting health information minister station degree and, you know, graduated four point because I’m a type A personality and then went on to start with the stillness. I learned that I’m wasting my time doing something that I hate to get up for. And then it’s a big struggle and I’m not passionate about. So I looked at my life, and after they sent me to a transplant team to see whether or not I qualified to have a lung transplant, they told me at that time I was like £600 on that they could not do anything for me because of my weight. And I was too high risk. And they had to say of an organ for somebody who would survive the surgery. So, you know, I came home, fills her, felt sorry for that girl, Nate, Oreos and all that, and then I just decided about a week later it woke up and I said, This is the day that I live for me this is the day that I live for what is important to me. So I looked around and I hate exercise. So then I started taking dance lessons and I’ve gotten off £328 I realized that I fostered on the Department of AG once through the shelter that they got a little dog by the name of Rebound and she waas a puppy mill surrender. Somebody had brought her in. Actually, somebody had hotline her in here. Somebody had hotline the for having bad conditions. Well, the department of ag want out there. Ryba was there a kennel and she had been in a kennel until her feces defecation had become concrete and the wires hanging around for her feet where they had thio cut them out. You know, at that point I was familiar with the shelter, and when I went in there, the older woman who doesn’t work there now, Doris said, Gosh, I really wish we had a place to put her. But because of all the cure that she, you know, you put down. Then I learned that she was so since she was pregnant, I want her. So they just handed her over to me, and I took her to a specialist. They removed the wires out of her feet and she came home. And even though she has inbreeding and his death, she doesn’t have any air drums. And that’s from not being probably genetically matched. You know, it’s from reading too close to their own wine Ege. I worked with her and it broke. My heart broke my heart. She was scared to go across the threshold that broke my heart, that she didn’t know how to climb steps and broke my heart that any time that close to her she, uh you know, was having a heart attack and evading me. She never been shed everything, and I would pick her out by corner and pick her up and took her to bed and love her and river belly. And I could feel the baby’s move. And then, you know, I asked about your drugs and that she had your infection, and that’s when I learned she didn’t have any ear drums. And that’s genetic thing from not proper breeding. And she just she just captured my heart. Once I saw her, I knew this is where I should be. So I have her and I have her three deaths civilians. And she’s been here, Spends January of 2008. Okay? And she’s she’s amazing. So that was literally your 1st 4 to animal rescue their waas Bayliss. Then I couldn’t stop. Yeah, then food want my addiction if most of my addiction and I loved him and I, um, I had to make a decision who I was gonna help, though, you know? And I made the decision that I am willing to take the worst of the worst. I want the dogs that are gonna be euthanized because they’re aggressive. I want the dogs that are on a chain and they have no social skills. I want the dogs are high risk medical. I want the dogs on death doorstep because I am going to you breathe life into them. I’m gonna raise the money. I’m gonna be life changing, and it matters. Ah, lot of rescues don’t have the capability to raise the money. And it’s not about the money for me, it’s about I will press severe. I will make this happen. And in the beginning, donations did not come in because people didn’t buy Waas, so I decided that I hadn’t you. If there were tried for my dog for my job when I got say and my kids were almost out of school, Yeah, I homeschooled all of them. I had 10 kids and then I was a foster parent and, you know, I had several in groups. I think it was like 78 or 82 kids. I helped through it, And, um, I really had to look at my life and realize that, you know, I became a foster parent because my own home life was in a crisis situation. And since I could extend and help those go through, you know what I went through and give them some understanding that these animals I have the same emotional problems that I did and that I need to help them overcome it. And I am that person. So from there I decided that I had to do something to financially support them. So that’s when Jenny’s Yorkies and Dogmas ball was opened, and it’s not because I’m a breeder. It’s because this little dog, Reba, started this with her little kids and I needed to help more so I got on you too, And I went down every dog grooming everything because I couldn’t afford anything because I was spending so much in these animals, and I self taught myself how to grow. And then I realized I couldn’t really open a shot because that costs money so I could burn up my house and my doctor, my shop in my home so I could be here 24 hours a day, work from home and be able to take care of them because dogs I bring her horrific. You can’t leave them because of their medical needs or maybe behavioral needs. When that happened, I started working Wednesday, Thursdays and Fridays and advertising. And as people got to know me and as people came in and saw my animals as people started sharing as people just came in and look at them when they came in and saw what I was doing when they came in and they wanted to know when they came in, they were ecology. When the Police department started calling me after hours, we have an injured dog on the highway has been hit by a car, you know. Can you come get it. When the community started Message me, Jenny, we found this dog. Here’s a pitch. Grab it. When the shelter started calling me and saying We’re at capacity and nobody wants to make a decision to euthanize. Can you help us? So I work so closely with the city of those Ula who is amazing. I work so closely with the shoulder, even though we’re not together. I am their volunteer intake coordinator and they faxed me ever intake sheet and I go take pictures and any dog that’s not medical or behavioral or haven’t issue. I work very well with about 1500 rescues and way get them in a transport, and I have to bring him to my house to breathe life through a video or a picture or something to help him. Then that’s what I do. And I’m so blessed all these rescues. They’re supportive and admire me, and we work as a village and a team, and I love who they are, and they’re always giving me a hand up, so it’s just it’s inspiring. So after that out and I asked the shelter if I kiss her becoming their pet adoption in person, they’re like, Well, we don’t have mine pay you and, you know, they agree. The board agreed for me to be because they were a 501 and I said, I don’t want to take your money or anything. I want that they’re to be able to recoup its fees and I need to volunteer my time to make sure everybody has a hand up and nobody has to come in and say We have five runs and we have nine dogs here whose turn is it to be put down today because we don’t have any space. And so they agreed to let me do that so nobody would have to make that decision because it’s hard for them. As a matter of fact, the shelter was against naming them or petting them or anything, or have any contact because it was so emotionally heartful for them to have to put a dog or a cat down so they didn’t want to give them a personality, because every day the walked in, it was traumatic. Since then, since I’ve been on board now with them for seven years because you know it takes forever to get established. I spent the 1st 2 years building a relationship and I’m on board with them are euthanasia rate is zero, unless the dog is so horrific that even trying to save it would cause it such suffering. So this washed this. Last year we got out 884 animals, and then, um, we have not had to make that decision. Last year we had to. We had to put down one that was everything aggressive and £220. And even though I have a bite suit and all of those things, it was, ah, I really looked at it. And we gave the dog six months and I’d work with it and a lot of those things. Then it was heartbreaking, Um, but because it was a public safety issue, you have to look at if I am able to place the stalking only dog home, what’s going to save that child, even if it’s an offence? Chard, for me being dog bit my riding a bike by and you know you have to be diligent and and look at all those things. And even though he was a beautiful dog and through no fault of his own you know, he incurred hardships that he couldn’t draw another scenario from, so that was very difficult. And then we had another dog that, um, had a gunshot wound that we were just not. They will say that because it struck a vital organ, even with emergency surgery. Could make it to Kansas City for that to happen When the shelter calls me that. Hi, Jenny. Like, ask you got Because I know I just got a kid out that had had a kidney removed that was ruptured, and Great Plains s P s a Courtney took that dog on. And, you know, I’m just very thankful that people that support me. So what motivates you to take on the most difficult cases? Because I think that’s what’s really inspiring about your story, is you don’t just take, you know, easy cases. You’re taking the most complex, hard to place heart behavioral problems, you know, medical problems. I look at it like this. The only limitation that you put on yourself is the one that you But the only line you’re the only limitation I have is what I’ve got on me. Okay? I’m not limited. I don’t have kids in the home. It’s me here. You know, I have safety devices. I I have an electric fence. You know, I have extra interest. I have all those things. And when you put your heart into something, you breathe life into it. So with my difficult dogs, if I know they’re gonna walk again, if I know that they’re gonna become other dogs Social, If I know that I can save that from our Forbes if I know that I can make a difference in their life when other animals are accepted into rescue so easily because they don’t have issues. If I’m gonna do animal rescue, why should I give those that don’t have a second chance, a second chance? So that’s why I do what I do. Because I know these talks have zero option zero, and that’s the same way with kiddies. I mean, they just they have I have no other option. I am it. That’s really amazing. So for somebody this listening to this that says, Hey, I want to get into animal rescue, but I don’t I don’t know where to begin. What would you tell him? Well, I would tell anybody that that doesn’t have space that, um, works 12 hour shifts. That isn’t available because, you know, maybe the daughter Neil of other dogs or they have small children. Or maybe they have a fenced yard. Or maybe there Yeah, or they’re pregnant where they’re getting married or they’re gonna write to move for them during the military. All these things, all of those things do impact her life. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t volunteer to shelter. It doesn’t mean that you can’t donate your birthday. It doesn’t mean that we can’t educate the next generation of our kids to be no kill that you can’t take them and have them race donations for their birthday. It does not mean that you can’t signed up like with Jessica with praise for Rand Express and drive a mile, save a life. You know, all volunteers hand off animals to accepting rescues and that one hour that you donate on a Saturday and Sunday, we’ll get that dog from high kill shelter or two in a doctor’s home, and you save its life. You are that freedom, right? It doesn’t mean that you can’t sign up on amazon dot com so every time you make a purchase because maybe your college your kids are in college and by other school bus that money backs rescues like me. You could do the papal giving fund. So even though you’re not physically capable of carrying out or have an animal or foster in your home, even though maybe you can’t drive a car, maybe because you don’t have a car, your car won’t make it that far. It doesn’t mean that you can’t share a Facebook post. It doesn’t mean that you can’t sign up for the paper giving you can. Also, if you work for Wal Mart or CMEs, you can go to the VAT program, which was a volunteer animal volunteer application programs. And if you find out of work for Wal Mart, if you don’t know 24 hours of your time over three months to go and help a shelter, a rescue or any, or educate, or maybe you can spend an hour once a month and go hold onto an animal at a pet adoption event and walk around a showcase it Walmart or CMEs will write that rescue a 250 large check if you attend an event for WalMart. Get you submit it. You get double points is $500. So if I have one person who works for Wal Mart for Sam’s Club that says I can donate 25 hours 24 35 hours over three months at your pet adoption event to sit there and talk to people and pet a dog, which means I get to showcase one more animal. Homer will give me $500 you know, because Wal Mart is backing what we d’oh. Not only that, but there are so many organizations you can sign up on on friendly you can sign up on. I mean, there are so many ways to get. So if your passion is animals, please is reach out to somebody because I’m sure there’s somebody in your neck, the wet that does animal rescue or her local shelter. Or maybe there’s a friends of or a transplant crew race for Iran, which is Marine Lamberts 5 23 Jessica or myself. You can look me up braver, ask you any of those high can give you so many options that you can help if you can’t even be hands on you can buy a T shirt. You can, you know, passed along a fundraiser. You should do so many things. So there’s really no excuse because we have to educate our next generation because euthanasia has not acceptable and those are all really great suggestions. And and I appreciate you running those down for people because there are so many different ways that people can get involved. That will definitely be helpful. So So what’s next? So what’s natural? You’ve had quite a journey, and it definitely sounds like you found your passion to fulfill your life. Where does this take you? Well, so far, I never realized I would. I never realized that I would ever become a five, a one C three nonprofit animal rescue crew. I never realized that I’ve become a transport coordinator for race for Ran. I never realized I’d be taken care of 51 Animal’s 52 55. I never realized I’d run my own trance, for I never realized that I would go up Thio, unleash food pantry and hold back £3000 of food every Tuesday and distribute through all the rescues in this various So everybody has food so I’m gonna build a shelter. Wow. Um, I don’t have the money to do any of those things, but I don’t need it because I just I I’m just gonna do it. It’s just gonna happen. That’s just how it is. It’s cut and dried and everything will fall into place because it always does. When you’re doing the right thing for the right reason. Yeah, that just happens where you’re very inspirational. So I guess I’m curious. Is there somebody or a group that brilliant sprayed you to do what you do? What inspired me to do what I d’oh was I realized that he local shelter here was euthanizing 86 to 90% of the influx of shelter animals coming in. And I also realized that the local boards attitude was that they did not want to complicate them. They did not want to complicate the that because it’s also is a better office and the shoulder They did not want to complicate his schedule with Spain and new terrain. There was no options for pet adoption in this area. It’s a farming community. And here they’re just dogs and cats. For me, these this is my family. These are my kids. So because they have partnered with a V and I have partnered with them, we work so closely together. They cheer me on. They are glad to discount their glad to do whatever they are supportive. I learned that they did not have heat and air and to fund raising up in your condition after building. Put in here with her building have brought them food. They’ve taken home seniors themselves. I supply them food. I have some excellent fosters. I worked really well the primary bet. So as people have gotten to know me, just them coming in and being interested in my passion inspires me daily. The people that says me face messages the person that has $2 to donate, the kid that reaches into their pocket at PetSmart and says, If this $2 will help you and this kid’s nine years old and they put it in my donation pig, that’s inspiring. That’s very inspiring. So I think I’m inspired by the people who really want to do something, you know, in the beginning, nobody acknowledges. But Raver Excuse stands for a rescue. Adopt volunteer and educate. So my big thing is every pet adoption event. I take one of my sick kids and I said this was heartworms. This is what it does. This is the prevention. This is what you can do for it. His heart’s three times a minute size. This is how much it cost to treat it, you know? So a lot of people just aren’t aware of those things. And once they become aware, they want to be good animal owners, they just don’t understand. And a lot of people think heartworms is something that you treat within a bore. A warmer. It’s not. So, um, a lot of my mission was to create options for the community. So since then, I’ve opened up Pause pantry at the St Clair que me feet big. So when my seniors go through there because they have spent down in medical expenses and things like that, that if they have a dog or cat that senior of their own that they have years and years and because of their declining health or financial difficulty, I wanna have a sack of food for them to take care of. I want to take care of their kids. I want their kids in their life as long as possible. And, um ah, lot of times because I do keep the worked very close with a food pink, which is a new thing that I just started. Um, I also keep food here, So if the general population falls on hard times, you think buying kicked back a few? I don’t want anybody to go hungry. Two years ago, I started the outreach committee program. When the sheriff’s Office for People call in and say There’s a dog on a chain or tether and it’s in the county, not in the Center City because the city’s changed her tethering laws based on genetic, that’s great and they enforce it. They’ll go up there with a police officer with me and will inform them. And, um so it’s really nice to see a whole lot of palate fences being built supply the ballots that he thinks better than being on a chain and s o. Now I collect igloos and blankets with flaps on them and heated water bowls and heated man. It’s because I want those kids, even though a lot of times the dog on a chain is just not an inside dog and they prefer to be outside and then try to keep him off the highway or from chasing the neighbor’s cattle and stuff. And I understand that. But I wanted to be he mate, and I want it. Founder didn’t have resource is for the animal to be warm and half food and have not present water and have a shelter if it chooses to go into it. And then I have getting ready to start my Meals on Wheels program to the senior center, where when they deliver those mills beginning of the month, they’ll deliver a sack of figured based on what’s in the household, so that those shut ins that can’t even get out or cook their own meals We’ll have food for their kids. So I am just going to continue to grow. And now we have, um, now I have community service. Volunteers, which is very exciting, have now partnered with a couple colleges in our area. So there’s a lot of young people that I’m educating, and when they came in and volunteer. First of all, they’re either a dog or a cat person. And by the time I’m done with him there, Everything first and the colleges has started offering if a student will actually donate hours to work here, no matter what you’re doing. A lot of times I just have them brush the animals and, you know, feed and water and leave the hard work up to be. But I also didn’t there. Introduce them to my transport and tagging and and, you know, getting animals in and out and introduce him to my software and their medical needs. And I take them to the shelter and I take him on a transport myself. And I take them to do that because I’m developing the next generation. The college will give them college credits for coming here, So I find that a lot of kids, and especially like the schools when they have the occasional programs, I’ll have an intern come to me that wants to become a dog groomer, and they’ll come in a couple days a week. Then they’re headed groom dogs, and then they get Jenny crazy animal rescuing and another one’s board, and I love that. And of course I don’t charge anybody for any of those things. I do it because I wanna open everybody’s eyes. Um, the animals, most of them. I’m foster based most over there, but I keep the worst of the worst here because every dog grooming client, every 1,000,000,000 student that comes in and out of here and because I have been home studio, I want them to see what I do because it just cramps. It just gets bigger. Donations have been People call me. You know, the sheriff’s department, please. Per I mean, everybody cheers me on. And every time they call me, I am so thankful that I was here for them to reach me. And so I find out a lot of my kids, my one of my college kids, when they get your back up against the wall and they need a couple extra credits or else we’re gonna have to take another semester. I have all hands on deck E. That’s a great source of volunteers, so Well, thank you. Drink so much for sharing your story and what inspires to use. Or is there anything else you wanted to tell her listeners? Before we go, just reach out. It doesn’t matter if you just go to the shelter and read a book to an animal. It doesn’t matter if you have one old harness that you don’t think city. Good. Drop it off at your local shelter. I mean handed over because those things are so important. And that way their money can be spent elsewhere. Everybody can do something. Thank you. Thanks for having me, Chris. It was really nice. Thanks for tuning into today’s podcast. If you’re not already a member, joined the Air P A. To take advantage of all the resources we have to offer. And don’t forget to sign up with do bert dot com. It’s free and helps automate the most difficult tasks in animal rescue.”

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