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Country's Only Cage-Free, No-Kill Animal Shelter Needs Your Help

There's no question that in today's tough economic climate, many worthy causes are facing trouble.

After it was broken into by a drunk man, the country's only cage-free, no-kill animal shelter, The Saint Francis Animal Rescue Center, has gone into tailspin and needs your help:

Now, with almost no volunteers and two staff members, the shelter might have to consider permanently closing its bashed-in doors.

"It's just been horrible," said shelter director Charlene Rodriguez. "My assistant and I have been using our own funds, and I don't mean trust funds, but as in paycheck to paycheck.

"It's been extremely difficult." - Thanks Jill!

According to Amy Lieberman of ZooToo Pet News, you can donate to the Saint Francis Animal Rescue Center through their paypal email of

I'm sure it's a very nice place and a worthy cause and so forth, but it is *not* the nation's one-and-only no-cage no-kill animal shelter--they got 'em all over the place these days.
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my mom just sent me this link, for the elyria, ohio shelter!! those poor animals already live in crappy cleveland, ohio...they could at least have a decent shelter!
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Tough one, but it looks they need some organizational skills. Good intentions do not a successful venture make. There are a lot of healthy nonprofits out there that might be able to give them pointers on securing grants and developing ongoing support through the community. Honestly, and I don't want to sound harsh since cute things are involved, but it sounds like the people running this thing have been moping around for years instead of taking big creative action. Donating half your own paycheck every month?

No; you drain your own resources and become a less efficient manager because your own interests are tied up with those of the animals and everybody's helpless. I really think that in order to do real Good, you need to be savvy and objective and kind of clinical about things. Some of the most saintly people in the world are also the most no-nonsense, realistic, and non-touchy-feely. And those are the most successful.
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Having a website (even a free blog) with a donation link would be a good start. I tried to find them by entering the yahoo email @ the paypal site to no avail. They need to help people help them.
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And yet people donate millions to PETA who turn the money around to generate more marketing while euthanizing 9/10ths of the animals in their shelters because it's not cost effective to give them homes.
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Don't get me started on PETA, DaveL. Those idiots make me ill.

I have to agree with violet on this. Donating one's paycheck because you aren't proactive enough to get out there and do positive things to actually get donations is really sort of mind boggling.

The other disturbing thing here is that they have two regular staff and very few volunteers to take care of all those animals. They can't afford to vaccinate the 100 cats and who knows how many dogs, but there they all are, roaming around together. They can't spay/neuter, and while they have the genders separated,I would not be surprised if overworked staff threw a tom into a room full of female cats by sheer accident. Having worked with animals, the more I think about how they are operating, the slightly more horrified I become.

Maybe another group of people can run a local no kill shelter in a better way.
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1st why isn't the Idiot that broke down their doors paying to have them replaced?

I commend these 2 for their work. They are doing the best that they can with what they have available.

Yes they should have been planning ahead and trying to get a 501c Non-profit group ID. But getting the 501c and/or Grant money is not as easy as they make it sound on TV and radio commercials.
There are people who actually make a living by preparing the paperwork for these grants. Maybe someone in the area that does this type of thing can help them with the paperwork, but they need help NOW years from now. And it takes a year minimum to get a the paper work done and through the proper channels these days.
All non-profits are hurting these days. When the economy sucks people have no $ to donate. They need to see if they can get the local TV & Radio networks to allow them to make a Public Plea for help. Even if they don't get $ they may get volunteers and other donations.
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Oh and if there are only 2 people looking after all these animals, where do you think they will find the TIME to proactively go out and get donations. They need more volunteers.
I know how much work it is taking care of 5 cats,2 dogs and 2 kids is. Imagine taking care of this many cats.
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DaveL, judging by this and other recent comments, I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter. Amen, brother.

I encourage everyone to give $5, if not to this shelter, than to a local shelter near you. Send 'em a check or just stick a fiver in an envelope.

They will appreciate it.
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@scotchdrnkr: Sure, at this point it's a vicious circle--no volunteers, so too overwhelmed to go rally the community, so no volunteers, so--but the point is that something has to give.

If I had five bucks to send, which I don't, I would still feel like I might be tossing it into a bottomless pit and not really effecting change because there's no organized plan in place to switch the scene from Helplessly and Perpetually in Need to Using Our Resources to Create a Framework for Sustained Success.

It's kind of like how I don't feel like there's much use in handing over my spare change to one homeless person. He's not got much of an action plan, and so the act is an isolated instance of giving but not an effective aid. I donate services to those who have a systematized effort going to help homeless people with beds and clothes instead. Teamwork.

I'm not saying that abandoning these people is a great choice, but pouring money into an ill-managed endeavor is not effective just because the principle is correct. It's like when somebody with a great idea asks for seed money to get his invention off the ground. I want to see the business plan.
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The part where they claim to not be able to get and KEEP volunteers is what raised a red flag for me.

Nothing screams "mismanagement" and "hostile work environment" like a cage-free no-kill shelter full of lovable kitties that somehow can't secure volunteers at a time when volunteer organizations are bursting at the seams with jobless folks looking to do a good turn.
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violet and Brammi hit it right on the nose.

Non profit organizations are suffering right now, which is to be expected. Fine. But when one is basically drowning in its self made puddle of mismanagement, then there's little point in offering support. If they haven't been able to manage their funds before now, what makes anyone think that they will just because they get enough money to stay open a little longer.

I also suspect that they can't keep staff/volunteers for a very good reason.

There are better run facilities a person can back and have some peace of mind in knowing that their money is actually making a difference rather than prolonging the life if a shelter that probably shouldn't even exist.
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I volunteered with a Rescue group locally and it seemed whenever they got a little money they just turned in into more Animals to rescue instead of helping the ones they already had. They had a hard time realizing that you can save them all. But the ones you can save should at least be given proper care. Don't overwhelm your volunteers, it makes them not want to volunteer ever again.
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Help save the no kill shelter because lots of animals need it. There lives depend on it, and if the shelter is gone, there is a good chance of them being killed or euthanized.
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