Animal Welfare is a serious business and that's why Dogstar is run like one.
For many years my husband Mark and I worked in the private sector in Rail operations , engineering and construction in the UK and Australia, we are both qualified project managers, handling multi-million pounds projects, we had to budget and forecast, deliver the highest quality of service, we were accountable to bosses, industry regulators, shareholders and our customers.
Running an NGO / Charity is really no different in our minds, and its a subject I wrote about in a 2016 blog article "why running a charity is like running a business." We both care deeply about animal welfare and while we have made many personal changes to our lifestyle including adopting a fully plant-based diet we still have to be totally professional and ensure we have funding in place to run all our programs. The majority of our income comes from grant funding and is mostly ring-fenced to spay-neuter work which means we cannot use it for other projects ( even if its a really good project ) and we currently don't have large reserves.
Earlier in the year, I misjudged a series of interactions with people who had approached me personally asking for help for animals and commitment to donate and assist with generating funds for their care who then didn't. In short, my mistake meant we were faced with a very large vet bill, and it was only with the generous support of 192 amazing people who responded to an emergency appeal on Facebook that we could pay the bill and continue to be able to probably help dogs in need of critical care. It's not a situation I ever want to be in again and the coworkers who saw me opening crying at my desk in utter frustration probably agree!
With the excess money raised from the February appeal, we have been able to save some dogs like Dooma who had suffered burns, Geoffery who was dying from anaemia when our dog catchers found him covered in thousands of ticks and Burton who had raw bones stuck in his throat. Currently, we have Honey suffering from chemical burns needing regular wound dressings with Manuka honey hence her name and Dunston who is having daily physiotherapy after a road traffic accident.
We don't want to have to say no to dogs like these but we are nearly back at square one and out of funds again, running a series of emergency appeals is not only unsustainable it doesn't allow us plan and help the maximum number of dogs possible, so we fail on all counts. We have now set up a Critial Care Fund appeal to raise money specifically for dogs who do need 24/7 care from a dedicated veterinary team whilst they recover, with regular income we can plan ( so back to project management again ) including importing drugs, supplies, and equipment from overseas in advance, ensuring that the dogs we admit are getting the very best care available at all times.
I was deeply touched by the response to the emergency appeal in February, how many people truly cared about the welfare of dogs in a country that many will never even visit and the kind personal messages of support and encouragement we received. Please help us say yes to dogs who need Critical Care