Letter From Executive Director, Rene Bender
March 1, 2012
Dear Donors, Sponsors, Friends of Homer, and assorted Kindred Spirits:
Spring is a time of new life and new beginnings where the trees bring blossoms and surrender to the leaves as they branch out and grow. As part of our final reorganizational transition and the coming of the new season, it is time for us to finalize the process of closing down A Chance for Bliss (ACFB).
The Board began the necessary steps at the time we took over the ACFB operations, as well as steps to become incorporated as a new animal sanctuary in early December 2011. On the 19th of December 2011, Wind Song Animal Sanctuary Foundation, Inc (Wind Song) was born and we've just finished transferring all of ACFB animals and assets to Wind Song. This will mean that ACFB will soon be legally dissolved. On March 1, 2012, we are officially and publically launching Wind Song Animal Sanctuary Foundation, Inc. The good news is we will continue the mission the new ACFB Board took over last fall continuing to help rescue senior and special needs animals, saving them from euthanasia.
To continue to make this transition smooth and transparent, we've developed some FAQs (frequently asked questions) to help you understand the process.
As of March 1, 2012, what does this mean to current and former ACFB Donors and Sponsors?
It will not change your commitments to these animals in sponsorships or donation pledges. The animals are the same--only our name and operations have changed. As a nonprofit to nonprofit transfer, we will continue to accept your donations for ACFB and transfer them to the Wind Song account. We ask that the next time you make a donation, to write the check to Wind Song instead.
What if I already sent my check in to ACFB?
Not to worry, your donation will be transferred to the Wind Song account. So the next time you contribute, make your check out to Wind Song.
What happens to my PayPal Sponsorship that is ongoing for the next few months or year?
These funds will be transferred to Wind Song automatically. Your PayPal sponsorship will continue but when it is time to renew, we will have you sign up your sponsorship pledge to PayPal for Wind Song.
What will happen at the end of the year regarding my donation tax receipt?
We will track all 2012 donations you have made for January and February and send you a receipt for ACFB. The March through December 2012 donation receipts will be from Wind Song.
Will this affect the animals in anyway?
No. Your contributions will help continue to keep the former ACFB and recently rescued (new) animals well provided. We are only changing the name of the sanctuary, not the mission, operations, or our commitment to the senior and special needs animals in our care.
Is Wind Song a new nonprofit sanctuary?
Yes. Wind Song is legally a new incorporated nonprofit sanctuary.
Will the new sanctuary continue with the current new Board?
Will the sanctuary need to move to a new location?
No. ACFB animals have already moved to their new location in Lincoln CA. We are continuing the development of their new home and with 27 acres, we will be expanding our operations and have plenty of room to grow.
Will you be accepting In Kind donations like ACFB?
Yes. A Donation Station has been set up to receive any In Kind donations for Wind Song.
February has been filled with many exciting happenings with the beginning formation of one of two canine programs being developed for Wind Song.
The first is the Canine Foster Care|Wind Song Wishes Program.. Its conception is a program designed to help owners of canines with life threatening illnesses or senior canine medical conditions that are treatable but due to the owner’s inability to afford these medical treatments, they have become at risk of euthanasia. This program will be offered through the collaborative association with local veterinarians who will refer animal patients who meet these criteria. For example: An elderly couple on a fixed income has a canine that is in need for diabetic medication. Without this medication the canine owner's options would be to find another home or have to face pet euthanasia. As a healthier, more positive alternative, the veterinarian would instead now refer them to Wind Song and we would enter them into the program to ensure they receive the medical care for their special needs canine. The canine remains with the owners and all payments are made directly to the veterinarian. This will allow each canine to remain with their loving owners and you the donor will be able to share in their stories and help make a difference in all their lives.
As the program grows, we will be able to exceed the capability of rescuing and housing canines, as space will not be a factor in how many canines we can help. With your generous assistance, we could really make the difference in so many canine and owners lives.
In the meantime, we received a call from Wonderdog Rescue regarding a former ACFB resident named Sam I am. His veterinarian had determined that he needed an eye surgery, or he would be euthanized. The Board had an emergency meeting and agreed to pay for 75% of his surgery (about $800.00 with Wonderdog paying the rest). I am happy to report that Sam I Am has had his surgery and is doing very well.
Sue Sue is another success story. She too needed eye surgery, and we reached out to the sponsor/donor communities to help. However, during the fundraising initiative for Sue Sue, it quickly became an emergency surgery necessity so the Board called another meeting and agreed to pay for her eye surgery in the hopes that we would receive enough donations to cover these costs. So far, we have received 960.00 of the 2400.00 eye surgery.
These two wonderful canines are the first to receive the surgeries they needed from the New Wind Song Wishes Program.
The second program is building the Canine Castle for fostering hospice canines. This facility will be built to house senior and special needs dogs from shelters that are unadoptable due to their medical needs. We receive emails every day for these canines that are not able to be adopted out due to their age or medical needs. The facility will be built after the concept of the best canine spas in Beverly Hills with climate controlled room and TV, couches, bean bag chairs, and an outside dog park. The property has room to grow and we are hoping to break ground soon with your support and donations.
We have had two calls for help for five (5) very lucky equines. The first call came from a desperate woman who owned four (4) beautiful registered Polish Arabians. She was having to make the difficult decision to give them up after 15 years as she was having to choose to feed between her own children or the horses as hay cost increases became a very strong economic concern. She called and asked if Wind Song could take her four horses and keep them all together. The Board agreed we commenced rescue operations in retrieving Algebra II, a 26-year old mare with a stifle injury; Duke, a 21-year old gelding with shyness issues; Jake a 16-year old flea bitten gray gelding and Calculus, a 15-year old gelding. All four of these gorgeous Arabians were in poor weight condition, but have already started to increase their body condition since arriving a couple of weeks ago. All have had their feet trimmed and Duke has had his teeth floated and sheath cleaned by our Veterinarian.
Last week a wonderful person emailed us regarding a 32-year-old Quarter Horse gelding named Dinero. He had been given a west nile vaccination that caused him neurological damage to his hind quarters. His equine massage therapist contacted us on behalf of the family as his owner was tragically killed last month in a car accident. They had tried to find a rescue that would take him and were consistently informed they were filled up or did not take special needs animals. As synchronicity would have it, they found our contact information among the deceased owners papers and emailed us to see, as a last resort, if we would take him. Dinero joined us along with a trailer full of wonderful In Kind donations from the family. Dinero is settling in and making new equine friends here at Wind Song.
The open air barn has been completely erected and we have used it to intake/admit these new equine residents. The barn still needs finishing and we hope to paint, add water, lights, and install a much-needed end-wall to serve as a windbreak. Please let us know if you can donate any of the items on our wish list page. We also need automatic waterers, hay & grain feeders, stall mats, and dry stall to complete the Barn.
As I stated last month in my letter, transparency, honesty, communication integrity and being open to positive suggestions is important to the success of this organization. I have requested our treasurer to produce a financial chart to keep you informed of where your contributions are spent each month. Each month you will be able to see the pie-chart for the previous month's donation allocation on the "Donate" section of our website.
Our First Open House
Wind Song is planning our first open house in April. Stay tuned for the date and time. We hope everyone locally will come and see what a wonderful start we have made and how we continue to help support so many animals in need.
In closing, I personally would like to thank everyone of you for your continued words of encouragement, love, and financial support.
With gratitude always,