Here are some answers to common questions:
What is your mission?
Friends of the Shelter was incorporated to fund the medical care of sick and injured dogs at the Franklin County Dog Shelter-dogs that without this medical care would not be considered adoptable, or would not survive.
Where do our donations go?
Over 95% of your donations go directly to benefit the Shelter dogs! The little overhead that our all-volunteer organization has includes buying stamps for thank-you letters and paying taxes, insurance and minimal fundraising costs. Friends of the Shelter directly pays the third-party medical care facilities that care for the Shelter dogs. The Friends of the Shelter Board of Trustees takes our financial responsibility of your donations very seriously.
Are you a 501(c)(3) organization?
Yes. Friends of the Shelter is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. It is led by an all-volunteer group of passionate dog lovers. The volunteers and trustees donate many hours each week helping the homeless dogs. While incorporated to help the dogs at the Franklin County Dog Shelter, Friends of the Shelter is a separate, non-profit organization that does not receive any county or tax funding.
How many dogs do you help each year?
On average, Friends of the Shelter funds the care of approximately 350 dogs per year, at a cost of $120,000-$150,000 annually. It has also helped a couple of Shelter cats!
What kinds of injuries and illnesses do the Friends of the Shelter-funded dogs have?
Friends of the Shelter works with a local veterinary clinic that serves as an off-site infirmary, caring for dogs with illnesses such as parvovirus and heartworm, as well as those requiring non-orthopedic surgeries and recuperative care. Friends of the Shelter also works with a local specialty animal hospital that performs complex surgeries (e.g., broken bones, dislocations, etc.). When the need arises, other experts are used to care for dogs with cardiac, opthalmology, blood infection, and other medical issues. We feel fortunate to be able to fund the best care for the Shelter dogs--working with a great group of dedicated professionals who discount their fees and give the dogs the upmost respect and care. Once the dogs are healed and healthy, they are made available for adoption.
How are the dogs that receive funding selected?
The sick and injured dogs helped by Friends of the Shelter are selected by the Shelter veterinarian and staff. They then request financial assistance from Friends of the Shelter to fund the additional medical care. The medical care typically begins with a consultation with a third-party veterinarian to identify the appropriate treatment.
How do you raise life-saving funds?
Primarily, Friends of the Shelter relies on donations--outright donations, employee-sponsored donations, and donation drives. For example, Friends of the Shelter has a "Be A Friend" program where you can honor a loved one by creating a frame around the photos of adoptable dogs on the shelter's web site. We also find that these frames drive potential adoptees to look at the featured dogs.
In addition, Friends of the Shelter holds fundraisers, such as the annual 5K for K9s, the upcoming Purses & Pearls, Pins for Pups, Howliday Bazaar and PupArt. Others hold fundraisers for the dogs, such as the Going to the Dogs Cruise-in, including some private fundraisers held by individuals and companies such as The City Dog daycare, Subaru Central Region, Pistacia Vera, etc. Friends of the Shelter has a gift shop at the Franklin County Dog Shelter, staffed by dedicated volunteers; supporters donate most of the inventory. Finally, we are constantly looking for other ways to raise money, such as grant funding.
Most importantly, Friends of the Shelter counts on you and others like you-donors who care about the community's homeless dogs. We have been fortunate to have passionate donors, and without your financial assistance, Friends of the Shelter would not exist. The Friends of the Shelter all-volunteer group plans to continue to help these dogs as long as you will allow us. We partner with wonderful veterinarians who have a similar life's mission.
Each year, the number of sick and injured dogs needing our financial support to find their forever homes has significantly increased. Please consider donating to help save the lives of our community's sick and injured dogs. You can donate online by clicking here or by sending a donation to Friends of the Shelter, PO Box 307450, Columbus, OH 43230.
Thank you for your support!