These comments are from Barbara who has taken a leave of absence from work to volunteer at Red Lake Rosie's Rescue this summer. She helped Karen so much with organizing and running the HSUS/RAVS clinic.
Well, now that I've had a week to R & R, I though I'd send out a note about RAVS. There's already been a lot of action since then-the successful garage sale (thank you, Crystal), and the Pins for Pets event yesterday (thank you, Denise) is already getting to be old news....
We have to wait for RAVS to report numbers, and Karen already sent a note regarding the surrender and placement info, so I'll stick to the other stuff.
First of all, a huge THANK you to everyone who came and worked-everybody worked HARD-we were lean on volunteers, so everyone had to do double duty. Extra special thanks to the animal care people-those who stayed at the warehouse. Especially the gang who was there the second half of the week-Colleen, Carol and Jeanette-did I miss anyone? As the number of surrenders went up, and as Karen's animals cycled through, these ladies worked like maniacs to keep all the animals cleaned, fed, watered and walked. And of course, they had to monitor all through the night, so I don't think they slept much. They had some special needs dogs in their care and also worked on socializing some tough cases.
And to our wonderful soon-to-be-U of M student, Ellen-who ran the kitchen virtually single handedly (AND with a smile on her face!) I can't speak for her, but from a user-perspective, the operation was smooth and successful. Ellen was unexpectedly called on to provide occassional day care for unruly kids, and she smartly involved the kids in helping with meal prep. She kept notes of how much food was consumed, staples we should have on hand, what was popular, what was missing, etc., so we'll have that info for next year. On a personal note, I'd like to say thank you to Ellen for her positive "can do" attitude, which significantly reduced the stress level for me!
Speaking of food, it was great-the prepared meals provided by Claudia, MaryAnn and Kristin (did I miss anyone here?) are absolutely the way to go. They were hearty and delicious and made meal time a relative breeze. The snacks that others sent up were great-especially the fruit (next year veggies too, per Ellen's list & requests from the RAVS folks), and there was always something available for a quick pick up. One night a local woman who had brought her dog to the clinic stopped by with fresh fry bread, a pot of wild rice soup & cake-they loved it.
Nancy also brought sandwich makings, potato salad and a hot dish that went over great. Her wonderful husband Tom also arrived with a big load of high quality food from the shed-just in time! On Sunday, they brought the whole family to break down and clean crates. I am hoping this is the start of an annual family tradition...
In addition to volunteering all week and delivering food & other supplies, Jodi recruited her friend Chuck to spend a day at the shelter on some grounds improvements that were awaiting attention and helped immensely to provide sufficient kennel space for the surrenders returning to the shelter. Jodi spent her evenings repackaging sample packets for giveaway at the clinic-this is her idea of a "vacation"!!!!!
Tanya arrived with a truck load of premium dog food and hospital pads and did data entry for the database, Denise brought a grant from Friends of Flicka to enable heartworm treatment--wonderful, life-saving news for several lucky dogs. Lesle brought fruit for healthy snacks and spent hours with a very downtrodden dog named Pete who needed special care. Crystal and Benay brought the rest of the dog biscuits (which everyone on site spent all week repackaging for giveaway, as time permitted), and other stuff which is a little blurry. Crystal did intake and Benay made a trip to the shelter with Karen to plan for her trip this fall/winter. I think everyone who came transported animals. I hope I didn't miss anyone. My apologies if I did. The week went very fast for me, I don't recall many deatils, I just know I wasn't in one place for very long.
I also want to mention there were several local folks who helped with prep work, clean up and animal rescue, and our own Sherae brought her AWESOME cousin Aaron who was a great dog walker, and would do anything that was asked of him. Here's another youngster worth keeping our eye on.
Thanks for everyone for coming, or for sending up food, supplies, ideas and good wishes. If I missed you, I apologize and please let me know so I can recognize you. Everyone's contribution was essential to the success of the clinic and to the resulting operations at the shelter-so please know that you are appreciated !!!!
Peace to all creatures, Barbara