Hi, my name is Randy Carpadus and I am the Chairman and COE of Great Pyrenees Rescue of Northern California (GPRNC) and we need your help. Hopefully this isn’t too long but if it is, please bear with me as this is our first time at this.
The Great Pyrenees are an ancient breed of dog that comes from the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain. They have been used for literally thousands of years as Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGDs) guarding sheep and goats (and these days many other things) from predators. Today in the US they are still used extensively for this purpose but are also the friend and companion to tens of thousands of families across the country.
IndieGoGo says I should “introduce myself and give my background” but this isn’t about me so I will keep it short. I have been involved in this breed pretty much all my life (I learned how to walk hanging on to one) and have been involved in rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming them since my teens. After many many years as a volunteer for GPRNC (along with my wife and sons as well) and before that the Rescue Committee of the Great Pyrenees Club of California (our predecessor organization), I was appointed Chairman of the Board (a volunteer position) for the organization and have been working to rebuild it after it was severely affected by the economic downturn. The Great Pyrenees are an amazing dog but like many “giant” and/or LGD breeds, they are not a dog for everyone and that’s why many end up in shelters or turned in by their owners in normal times but even more so during hard economic times.
That’s where we come in. Great Pyrenees Rescue of Northern California, Inc is a 501c3 non-profit and was born of one of the oldest Great Pyrenees rescue groups in the country, the Rescue Committee of the Great Pyrenees Club of California, which had been rescuing Pyrs since 1969. This organization was formed from the members of that committee in 1997 when it was spun off as a non-profit organization. We are also one of the few Pyr rescue in the U.S. that rescues and rehomes working Great Pyrenees to family farms.
1. To aid owners of Great Pyrenees who reside within Northern California in the recovery of their animals when lost, strayed or stolen.
2. To keep Great Pyrenees out of the hands of laboratories, animal dealers, puppy mills and similar enterprises.
3. To attempt to keep Great Pyrenees out of pounds and animal shelters.
4. To attempt to place stray or abandoned Pyrenees in homes that will provide a high level of love and care and where the spirit of the Code of Ethics of the Great Pyrenees Club of California is observed.
So why are we asking for your help? Three reasons really (ok, reason #1 has 6 parts!)
1) Raliegh, Ree, Rory, Sebastian, Saki and Sanger. These are 6 Great Pyrenees (one a cross) that have impacted us greatly in recent weeks. Raliegh, Ree and Rory came to us out of a hoarding situation in Sacramento CA where there were 31 dogs in a residential home! They were in surprisingly decent shape physically but needed a lot of grooming and some vet care. When we were notified about them, we had no foster homes open so they had to be boarded at a “Doggy Day Care” (more than a boarding kennel). It was determined that Ree, a very very shy 5 y/o female, has some health issues (she may be partly blind) and won’t eat (to the point of starving herself). She is currently at a special foster home that stepped up but may require long term care and rehab before she can go to a “fur-ever” home. Rory is lucky and has found a home (but spent over a month in “Doggy Day Care”) but Raleigh is a Samoyed- Pyr cross, has had none seriously interested in him and is still in boarding. The vet costs and boarding bills for them have been very high.
Then there are Sebastian and Saki. They are 5 year old brother and sister who are a rare “bonded pair” (meaning they are desperately attached to each other and separating them cause’s great distress) that were found by the sister of one of our alumni in the middle of a very busy major thoroughfare in the South San Francisco Bay area. Though appearing to be well fed (Sebastian is a bit underweight but Saki isn’t as she eats all of his food), they were otherwise severely neglected. Their coats were so badly matted that it took volunteers almost 10 hours to groom them, a lot of scissor work needed to be done and they had foxtail stickers embedded in their skin. Their toe-nails were so over grown that it was painful for Saki to walk and their dew claws (Pyrs have double rear dew claws) were grown in a complete circle and imbedded into the pad. After some intensive detective work, it was determined that the dogs were frequent wanderers, were being cared for by tenants as part of a property rental agreement, were left outside (possibly with little to no human affection), and other than feeding received little other care including no heartworm prevention (Heartworm is a major issue out here). They too have required extensive vet work including x-rays to determine if they had inhaled foxtails (a potentially deadly occurrence) as Sebastian coughed one up. He has a mild case of bronchitis but is otherwise healthy. They are also having to be boarded, in this case at a ranch kennel with very secure facilities as these two are professional escape artists (possibly from lack of attention).
The last part of the 1st reason is Sanger. He is an approximately 2-3 year old intact male that was just picked up from a high-kill shelter in the central valley on July 28th just 24hrs from exicution, and is very scared and very shy. He appears to possibly be a semi-feral raised (an old and outdated method of raising and training working dogs) livestock guardian dog as in addition to the fear and shyness, he is covered in matted in animal feces. He will need a vet check and a calm caring foster home to help him trust again while we work on finding his “fur ever” home. However as we are short fosters, he too will end up being boarded for a period.
This crew will cost us in vet care, associated costs, and boarding bills around $2000 (as of this month) of which their adoption fees will reimburse maybe $600
2) As you can see from reason #1, we are short foster homes. We have several homes that would make good fosters except they don’t have adequate fencing (Pyrs require good fencing as they like to patrol large areas!). We also have 2 foster homes that can take another dog (or even a pair) but need a safe place to house them until they are cleaned up and evaluated as house or working dogs (such as Sanger). Because many of our “clients” come in filthy, matted and even sick, and also may not get along with certain other dogs, they need a safe secure place to be until they can be inside (if they are an inside dog), or if they are a working dog, evaluated with livestock. Good quality, study, heavy-duty portable kennels can cost as much as $1200 for a 10x10 (more if they need to be roofed). We’d like to at least 3 to have for the foster homes that we have in need and they have to be the heavy duty kind as some Pyrs at first can be real hard on fencing and will wreck a cheap “Home Depot” style one. Cost for this is $3600
3) The last reason we are asking for your help is that the economic downturn hit us hard as it did everyone else and we have very little reserves left. Unlike what many people think, we do not “make money” on free dogs. We often have fees to pay to shelters; every shelter and found dog, and even some owner turn-ins need to be vetted and have shots brought up to date at the least; and some require more care (such as treatment for heartworm, an expensive and potentially fatal treatment procedure). We also have feed bills for some dogs, incidentals like leashes, towels (for bathing) micro-chip scanners, grooming tools for regional reps and the like. We do small local fundraisers throughout the year and have some regular small donors that help us cover these costs but we also need to build up a small reserve to cover emergencies. We’d like to have $2000 for incidentals and reserve.
So there is why we are asking you for help and what we would do with your donations. Here’s how we are good stewards of the money that we receive.
1) Our foster homes cover/donate most of the costs of the fostering (except vet care) including food. We also get food donated for special cases like the Necco Puppies in the video. We do however have to pay for food during boarding and occasionally for those that are having financial hardships.
2) Our volunteers donate their driving expenses (except extra-ordinary gas expenses, usually for the long transports).
3) Vet costs are our largest expense so we take 90% of our dogs to either Sacramento Animal Hospital, a long time rescue partner that has lower fees than vets in the metro bay area and give us discounts and free care (in Jack’s case they wrote off almost ¼ of the bill. Jack is the “tri-pawed” dog in the video), or Pleasant Valley Pet Clinic, which offers quality care at country vet prices. We also take advantage of any programs that shelters may have for free or low cost shots and spay/neuter and for owner turn-ins request that they either have the dogs fully vetted prior to trunk over or donate toward the costs once we take the dogs in.
4) We are all volunteers so there are no personnel costs.
5) We don’t take trips or do conferences or have lavish parties like some non-profits. Any group activities like our annual appreciation picnic (potluck) are fully funded at the activity by raffles, donations and fund-raiser sales (wine and t-shirts).
6) We look for donations, discounts and deals wherever and whenever we can.
The impact your donation will have is immense. We currently have 13 Pyrs in our program looking for homes. Last year we had to pass on saving more than a few dogs that we could have helped and more are put to sleep every month. Right now, today, here in Northern California there are 2 “out in orbit” as we say, found dogs that the finders are holding onto as long as they can but may be forced to turn in to a pound or even give away, and this is not an uncommon occurrence. Your donation will to pay the expenses of the 6 that impacted us the most in the last few weeks) and will help us help these beautiful Great Pyrenees and many others. We are experienced at making donor dollars go a long long way and will be good stewards of your money and put it where it will do the most good.
What can you do if you can’t contribute? There are many things that you can do with the most important and the most needed being to spread the word about this campaign. Share the love so to speak. Indiegogo has share tools that make it so easy. Get the word out on Twitter, Facebook and anywhere you interact with your friends and family. Post about it, Blog about it, Tweet it, Share it and you will have contributed to this campaign and helped dogs in need.
Thank you for taking the time to read though this whole thing and we hope you see fit to contribute to helping these magnificent dogs that can’t help themselves.
Great Pyrenees Rescue of Northern California