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Wags _ Whiskers Pet Rescue_ Inc


									Wags & Whiskers Pet Rescue, Inc. 2007 Annual Report to the Community
Wags and Whiskers Pet Rescue, Inc. was founded in April 2004 to prevent cruelty to animals. With primary focus on dogs and cats in Cumberland County, the organization:      Rescues abandoned / unwanted animals Provides foster homes for these animals Ensures needed medical care Provides Spay / Neuter Surgery Promotes the adoption of these animals

In the 12 months ending December 31, 2007, we rescued a total of 439 animals, a planned decrease from the 639 rescued in 2006. The animal types and sources in 2007 were:

Strays Dogs Puppies Cats Kittens Totals Operations 26 64 24 56 170

Owner Surrender 17 16 32 35 100

County Shelter 3 11 10 45 69

Other Sources 21 15 25 39 100

Totals 67 106 91 175 439

Because we do not operate an animal shelter, we do not have to raise funds for personnel, land, building or improvements. In 2007 we continued with the same operating philosophy and goals as the previous year. However, in the 4th quarter, we did reduce the number of animals in care and reduced the intake of new animals. This was in anticipation of planned absences of key foster parents in the winter months. In 2007, we added several new foster homes to replace our normal turnover and expanded our grant request activity. Our Spay / Neuter program was expanded via increased grants in 2007. We continued to fine-tune our proprietary computerized management system that provides detailed information about each animal and its stay in foster care. Our website was continuously updated with the available cats and dogs, a key promotional tool for us. We were also recipients of several unsolicited donations from individuals and organizations. We are a membership corporation with about 40 members from throughout Cumberland County. Many of our members are also “foster parents” who provide a home-like environment for rescued pets until they are adopted. Other members provide support such as working at our adoption events, transporting animals, and publicity.
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Our ongoing operations are focused on:      Animal Intake Animal Foster Care Animal Adoption Community Spay and Neuter financial assistance Administration

Animal Intake Operations: As previously reported, we took in 439 animals in 2007. Sixteen percent (16%) of these came from the Humane Society of Cumberland County in a cooperative effort to relieve pressure on that facility. Some 170 animals came to us as “strays”. These stray animals are likely to have otherwise been the responsibility of City or County Animal Control and the Humane Society Shelter. The 150 that came to us directly from owners would most likely have been delivered to the Humane Society Shelter as well. Thirteen of the incoming animals were reclaimed by their owners, often with the help of radio announcements provided by Peg Broadcasting. Animal Foster Care Operations: As animals are accepted, they are inspected for obvious problems, get needed medical attention including worming and vaccinations, and are placed in a foster home. The foster “parent” provides ongoing care and shelter, food, and water at their own expense. This home-like environment provides good health management, socialization and allows for needed training. Besides being good for the animal, our network of foster care homes allows us to concentrate on animal care and adoption rather than shelter management and fund raising for facilities. Needed medical care, including spay or neuter surgery, is funded by donations and our adoption fees. During 2007, several incoming animals needed extensive veterinary care for heartworm eradication, injuries and other major problems. Donations and adoption fees also funded these expanded medical needs. The PETCO store in Cookeville, and the French Club and the Beta Club at Cumberland County High School, as well as individuals, have donated food and supplies to us. This helps us attract foster families who may not otherwise be able to afford to feed their foster animals. Animal Adoption Operations: When animals are ready for adoption, they receive attention in several ways. First, they are photographed and posted on the national website and our own website ( ). A bulletin board in the Wal-Mart pet department, supported by the Very Best Pet Network (a partnership with Wal-Mart and Purina) is updated bi-weekly with pictures and descriptions. Books with pictures and descriptions are provided to local veterinarian’s offices, and are updated bi-weekly. Newspaper articles are placed about every two weeks and a weekly complimentary classified advertisement is provided by the Crossville Chronicle and Glade Sun newspapers. Adoption events are held the first and third Saturday of each month in front of the Save-a-Lot store on Interstate Drive in Crossville, with the support of the Save-a-Lot Organization. Further, we attend several local events including craft fairs in Fairfield Glade and at the
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Spring Flower and Garden show, the Knights of Columbus Spring Craft Show and Depot Days. At these adoption events, most of our animals are displayed and their respective foster parents are there to discuss each animal with prospective owners. In 2005, we were invited to participate at the Petco store in Cookeville several days a week, and we continued that relationship in 2006 and part of 2007, and that has allowed us to reach a larger audience and increase our adoption rate, especially for cats. Unfortunately, due to a policy change by Petco, we were not able to continue that arrangement in the second half of 2007. By the end of December 2007, we had adopted out almost 460 animals (104% of the incoming number), and returned 13 stray animals back to their owners. This is a much higher percentage of adoptions than the national average for shelters (39%). The Internet has played an important role in adoptions by making our animals visible across the nation as well as locally. We have placed several animals via the Internet and can accept adoption fees via the Internet. We have cooperated with several other animal rescue groups by assisting in their animal transport needs in Tennessee, and they have in turn helped us move animals to other states. We have contracted with a professional animal transport company to take dogs and cats to several states, with these costs being paid by the adopting families. To date, we have placed animals in 22 states in addition to Tennessee and Canada. Administrative Operations: We have performed the necessary accounting and organizational tasks for a non-profit corporation and received Federal Tax exemption under section 501(c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Our internally-developed Rescue Management computer system tracks each animal, including behavior notations, medical records and costs and maintains information about our members, donors and adoptive persons. Our financial records are computer-based and we have filed the Federal 990 tax return for 2006. We hold both membership and Board meetings. Our Board of Directors is composed of seven people and includes a veterinarian. Community Spay and Neuter Assistance: As funds are available, we provide financial assistance to Tennessee families who would like to get their dog or cat sterilized, but cannot otherwise afford that procedure. We feel that spay / neuter is critical to making a dent in the number of unwanted cats and dogs in the area. The family pays $20 as co-pay and Wags and Whiskers pays the rest of the costs for the surgery and a rabies vaccination and canine heartworm or feline leukemia test. Local veterinarians that have agreed to partner with us in this community-service venture perform the surgery. The availability of this assistance is promoted through newspaper articles and Internet discussion forums. Funding: Our funding is composed of adoption fees, donations and grants. The adoption fees are $80 for dogs or puppies and $65 for cats or kittens. This fee does not, on average, cover our animal care and surgery expenses, but has enabled us to continue operations without seeking donations from City or County governments. Most grants have gone toward financial assistance for spay / neuter for local needy family’s animals. Grants have been received from the Petco Foundation, the TN Animal Friendly License plate program administered by the
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Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Aetna Insurance, Wal-Mart / Purina and The Very Best Pet Network and the Bernice Barbour Foundation. A few memorial gifts were received in 2007 from several families who wished to honor their deceased loved ones with gifts to us. We ended the year with a small loss on operations. Community Education: In 2007 we worked with the Cumberland Mountain School’s summer program and held an animal care and awareness program over several days. We have published articles in local papers and online discussion forums on the benefits of spay and neuter, what to do when your pet is missing, and about caring for dogs and cats in cold weather. Plans for 2008: We understand that we cannot solve the problem of the thousands of unwanted animals in Cumberland County by providing housing and adoption services. The root cause is the low rate of Spay and neuter in the County. As we have talked with people about Spay and Neuter, we often hear that they cannot afford the surgery. We expect to be able to expand our financial assistance effort for Spay and Neuter in the area again in 2008 by receiving more grants and individual donations for this purpose. We will continue to promote the benefits of Spay and Neuter to the community through newspaper articles, radio public service announcements and similar publicity. Our motto “Please don’t Litter – Fix your Critter” will hopefully become better known in the area. Community education, at all levels, about the benefits of Spay and Neuter is also needed. , We will contribute more newspaper articles and press releases about animal care and the benefits of Spay and Neuter surgery. In 2008, we intend to do what we can to help improve the County Animal shelter operations and facilities. Our Rescue | Foster | Adopt operations volume has been challenging our organization, and 2008 may well see lower, but still significant, numbers of animals accepted and managed in our program. Conclusion Our third full year of operations has been very rewarding and has exceeded our expectations. Our experience shows that there is a definite need for services such as ours in the community and we have received many “thank you’s” and encouragements. We feel that we continue to have a well-run and mature organization that is prepared to continue our services and hopefully increase our influences in the community. Jackie Baker President Wags and Whiskers Pet Rescue, Inc.

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