GWIL2015 Nonprofit Profile: Wags, Hope and Healing Reply

Week of Online Giving 2015 April 19-26

Week of Online Giving 2015
April 19-26

The 2015 Givin’ Where I’m Livin’ (GWIL) campaign provides support and publicity for local non-profit charitable organizations competing for GWIL matching funds during the campaign’s Week of Online Giving, April 19-26. Around Dripping Springs is pleased to feature this series of GWIL non-profit profiles to help publicize their unique missions to the community. We invite you to get to know these wonderful organizers and learn more about the important work they are each doing to enrich our community. Please share their stories, and be sure to donate to your favorite during the Week of Online Giving! Learn more at: http://www.GivinWhereImLivin.org

NOW MEET WAGS, HOPE AND HEALING:

HOW AND WHY WAS YOUR ORGANIZATION FOUNDED?

Wags, Hope and Healing incorporated as a 501c3 nonprofit in January, 2012.We have been rescuing, rehabilitating and finding loving homes for local rescue dogs since the Fall of 2011.  In June 2012 we relocated our operation to 5 acres of rolling hills in the Hill Country between Dripping Springs and Johnson City on Highway 290. Our organization is led by Jennifer Carroll, Founder, Executive Director and Mary Beth Ansell, Co-Founder, Accounting Director.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 9.24.31 PM

Video of Birdie’s Rescue:  http://youtu.be/bEcPKWrcH_E

WHAT IS YOUR PRIMARY MISSION?

We rescue, rehabilitate and find loving adoptive homes for dogs that were the victims of abandonment, abuse or neglect.  Through leadership, behavioral conditioning and love, we help them become balanced and healthy in mind, body and spirit.  We take time to facilitate a perfect match between our adoptable dogs and their forever family and offer a support system for adopting families.  We promote kindness, leadership and responsible pet ownership and advocate for the prevention of cruelty to animals including preventative measures for overpopulation. Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 9.30.02 PM

Our vision is to facilitate permanent, healthy bonds between pets and their families. Wags partners with law enforcement and animal control officers to assist with neglect, chaining, hoarding, cruelty and dumping cases.  We play an active role in these situations so that these dogs have a safe place to land.  When local rescue efforts don’t keep us full, we pull from euthanasia lists across Central Texas.

WHAT HAPPENS IN THE COMMUNITY THROUGH YOUR EFFORTS?

We have drastically reduced the number of homeless dogs by partnering with local law enforcement.  Through education and support we have helped surrounding communities to euthanize fewer dogs that are homeless.  We have provided rehoming consultation to families that are no longer able keep their pets due to difficult circumstances.  We work with Dogs of Character to participate in school programs and have brought a rehabilitated “bait” dog to one such program.  This was aimed at helping children that are the victims of bullying and was at the Dripping Springs Elementary School. 
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GWIL2015 Nonprofit Profile: Service Dogs Reply

Week of Online Giving 2015 April 19-26

Week of Online Giving 2015
April 19-26

The 2015 Givin’ Where I’m Livin’ (GWIL) campaign provides support and publicity for local non-profit charitable organizations competing for GWIL matching funds during the campaign’s Week of Online Giving, April 19-26. Around Dripping Springs is pleased to feature this series of GWIL non-profit profiles to help publicize their unique missions to the community. We invite you to get to know these wonderful organizers and learn more about the important work they are each doing to enrich our community. Please share their stories, and be sure to donate to your favorite during the Week of Online Giving! Learn more at: http://www.GivinWhereImLivin.org

NOW MEET SERVICE DOGS:

WHEN, HOW, AND WHY WAS YOUR ORGANIZATION FOUNDED?Aaron & Keeper in new vest 2013
The name of our organization is Service Dogs, Inc. Our founder and president is Sheri Soltes, a lawyer who saw a need for service dogs and decided in 1988 to start the organization. In order to help both dogs and people, Sheri decided that our dogs would all come from shelters and that we should provide them to people with disabilities free of charge. Our Director of Training is Al Kordowski.

WHAT IS YOUR PRIMARY MISSION?
Our primary mission is to improve the quality of life of persons living with disabilities through partnership with a working dog, to rescue dogs abandoned at animal shelters and provide them with renewed lives of love and service, and to provide the training and dogs free of charge. We serve the needs of both dogs in need of homes and people in need of assistance due to disabilities such as mobility issues or hearing loss.

Blandina & Chief pink shirt AWHAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE COMMUNITY THROUGH YOUR ORGANIZATION’S EFFORTS?
The bond that forms between our dogs and clients is powerful, and we hear wonderful stories about our teams every day. One of our most memorable stories involves Pastor Ray McCoy and his service dog, Excalibur. Excalibur has saved Ray’s life twice in the time since they were matched as a team – the first time was the day after he moved in to Ray’s house. Ray has a rare disease that can cause blackouts, and he was at the back of his yard with Excalibur when he passed out. Excalibur immediately ran and fetched Ray’s wife and led her back to help him. The second time was even more powerful – when Ray passed out in the bath, Excalibur pulled him out by his ankle and prevented him from drowning. This was especially meaningful because Excalibur had come to us scared of running water, but he was able to overcome that fear through positive training and his bond with Ray.
Many of our teams have similar stories of the amazing relationship that forms between our service dogs and their human partners.

WHAT ARE YOUR ORGANIZATION’S PRIMARY GOALS IN 2015?Bruce and Jax

Our primary goals for 2015 are to rescue and train a minimum of 15 dogs for our program, to find foster homes for all of our dogs for nights and weekends, to raise funds to train the dogs, to increase public awareness of service dogs and help train the next group of service dog trainers through our professional workshops, and to increase our community outreach and the number of people who know about us.
We have several events planned to support these goals – our biggest event of the year will be the Mighty Texas Dog Walk in April, which will raise both money and awareness. We will also hold a professional workshop and audits to both raise funds and increase the number of service dog trainers in the field. In addition to these fundraisers, we will participate in La Senorita and the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, hold foster orientations to gain local fosters, and participate in multiple public speaking engagements.

Service Dogs, Inc.HOW CAN FOLKS DONATE OR VOLUNTEER YEAR- ROUND?
We can be reached through our website, servicedogs.org, to donate and for volunteer opportunities. Our mailing address for donations is 4925 Bell Springs Rd, Dripping Springs, TX 78620, and our volunteer coordinator Karri Spence can be reached by email at office@servicedogs.org for information about volunteering and fostering.