A look back at 2014

It was an amazing year!

As we prepare to say goodbye to 2014 and welcome the new year, we want to take a moment to thank everyone out there who has given of their time, support, volunteer hours, donations, and blood, sweat, and tears to make life better for so many animals AND people in north Texas and beyond this year.

2014 marks the first time in our 17-year history that we have taken in over 1000 animals in a year – 1016 in all! This number represents an immeasurable amount of work by everyone involved in HSFM…but let’s try to measure it a little anyway.

  • Cats taken in for adoption: 177
  • Dogs taken in for local adoption: 264
  • Dogs taken in for Love on Wheels: 575

In addition, our volunteers have been busy serving the community in many other ways:

  • Families assisted by Flower’s Fund: 9
  • Spay/Neuter certificates issued: 215
  • Animal Adventurers Club meetings: 5 (85 attendees!)
  • TLC and Love-a-Pet and Adopt-a-Pet and other volunteer hours clocked: OK, we don’t have those numbers yet but it’s thousands and thousands!

We are proud to partner with some of the finest organizations in north Texas to accomplish our common goal of helping animals of all kinds. Duck Team 6, Barn Cats Incorporated, PAWS for Irving Animals, Wichita County Humane Society, Duke and Oliver Foundation, Mazie’s Mission, Dallas Companion Animal Project, Texas Coalition for Animal Protection, Texas Humane Legislation Network…these are just a few of the many stellar organizations that make up our family and community. If you aren’t familiar with them yet, check them out. Together we make up a pretty amazing village!

The support from the business community in 2014 was overwhelming. Each time we put out the word that we needed help, you responded. From the incredible dog food drive by Three Dog Bakery to grooming assistance (including sa kunky mastiff!) from Blissful Bark Dog Wash and The Nosey Dog, to boarding help from The Velvet Snout, to adoption events and constant support from PetSmart, to a wonderful Angel Tree at Canine Courtyard, to donations of food from Pet Supplies Plus and our new friends at Hollywood Feed, local pet supply stores have allowed us to ease the burden on our foster homes and channel needed supplies and food to families in need as well. You have no idea how much your support means to us.

We got out into the community even more in 2014. The Wellington Fun run was the best one ever! Volunteers tabled local events to spread the word about our programs and services. On North Texas Giving Day, our Ambassadogs visited just a few of the local businesses that support HSFM to say thank you. We got dressed up and had some fun at Tuxes and Tails, Mardi Paws, and then spent some quality time with our dogs in the park at Fido Fest. Each and every one of them was made possible by our amazing sponsors, staffed entirely by volunteers, and a success thanks to the generosity of those who joined us at those events.

These crucial fundraisers make is possible for us to save hundreds of animals each year who come to us abused, starved, terrified, and shattered by the circumstances life has handed them. With your help, we make them whole again, and they go out into the world to enrich the lives of families as near as Flower Mound and as far away as New York.

Animals like Nilla, who inspired us so much this year…this sweet girl was too afraid of the noise and commotion to attend adopt-a-pets, but a family met her in the foster home and gave her a chance. Not only did she fit in perfectly, but she also brought comfort to a terminally ill family member whose wish was for some canine companionship in the hospital.

Animals like Reghetti, shot in the eye by a pellet gun…he reminds us not only of how much work we have left to do to teach compassion and empathy, but also of the forgiving spirit of animals.

Animals like Clooney, neglected and left to fend for himself after his sister was shot by their owner for barking…so unsocialized and afraid that volunteers had to carry him from the back yard to save him. Clooney has spent 2014 learning what it is like to trust people, to live in a family, and to know what life should be like for all dogs.

Foster homes form the backbone of our adoption program. In 2014 we welcomed dozens of new families to ours. They stepped forward to take on dogs with mange, kittens with ringworm, animals with broken bones and bloody diarrhea and eyes popping out and every kind of crazy thing you can imagine. They also stepped forward to foster litter after litter of fun puppies and kittens, and animals who were perfect in every way and left us scratching our heads wondering what in the world someone could have been thinking to let this one get away. They helped dogs get used to crates and living inside for the first time and cats who needed a little socialization after being abandoned outside or in deserted homes. They cleaned them up, and gave them confidence, and helped us tell adopters everything they needed to know to give them the best chance at finding a home.

We laughed—a lot. Rescue is not ALWAYS fun, but the good times get us through the hard times. Silly kittens climbing draperies…puppy breath…that feeling of dread when your foster dog meets you at the front door…after you left him in a crate that morning…the way one cat can hog a whole bed…these are the moments we cherish, and laugh about later (sometimes MUCH later).

We cried some, too. Okay…we cried a lot. We see some sad things, and we can’t save every animal. Each time we visit a shelter, we leave some behind. Their faces haunt us but also strengthen our resolve to move forward, do more, and never, ever give up. We lose some after they come to us, too. Each one is a deeply personal loss to us, and most especially to the fosters and others who tried so hard to save them. We want to acknowledge your losses this year and tell you how much we appreciate the sacrifices you have made. The ones we lose live forever in our hearts and they leave us having known love, at least for a short time.

We cried happy tears, too: Audrey, a cat found by the side of the road last year near death, found her forever home this year after many months of waiting patiently. Blossom, who suffered for days under a house with her leg bound with wire, got the surgery she needed and was playing like a puppy in a foster home days later. Hundreds of dogs with no chance for rescue in Texas found loving homes in New York.

In 2015, you’ll see many exciting changes at HSFM as we continue to build on the foundation we started over 17 years ago. We’ll continue to grow our outreach programs like Flower’s Fund, to keep animals out of shelters in the first place and help those who want to keep their pets in the homes they have but just need some assistance to do so. We will send our 1000th dog through Love on Wheels early in 2015, and aim for #2000. We’ll reach out to our neighbors and shelters and partners to help us locate animals and people in need of help. We’ll engage the younger members of our community to ensure an even brighter future. And through it all, there will be special animals being rescued every day of every week of every month. We thank you for being with us every step of the way, and we hope you’ll keep HSFM in mind as you are making those last-minute donations.