Project Puppy Awards 2013 - ROUND 2 VOTING
Project Puppy 2013 Awards
Thank you for taking the time to help choose the 2013 winners! This year, we will have 2 rounds of voting - each one week long. Round one of voting will include ALL nominees. Round two will include the top three vote getters for each categories who will be recognized at Project Puppy on Nov 2nd. Winners will be announced at Project Puppy.
*Round 1 of voting - ENDS SUNDAY, SEPT 22nd @ 7pm
*Round 2 of voting - ENDS SUNDAY, SEPT 29th @ 7pm
Join us for our 5th Annual Project Puppy Gala on Saturday, Nov 2nd at University Plaza. This formal event includes dinner, dancing, silent auction, awards ceremony where we will announce your winners, and the crème de la crème - a doggie fashion show featuring rescued dogs rockin' the runway in custom designed outfits. This is our biggest and best event of the year, and we hope you will come out to support a great cause! Tickets are available through Oct 31st with PayPal on our website at www.projectpuppy.org or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Who should be the 2013 Business of the Year?
Who should be the 2013 Business of the Year?
UTURN STUDIOS – Whether April has set up complimentary photo shoots for animals in need of a loving home, organized foster homes, helped to strengthen the bond between pets and their owners or provided service to adoptable animals during the Model Pet Project, one thing is certain: April is a dynamic force for animals in the Ozarks!
WISEGUYS SCREEN PRINTING - They provide shirts, towels, and other supplies to numerous charities at free or discounted prices. BSRO and A Parrots Perch are two of those charities that I know of. They encourage and support fundraising efforts and many charities are able to use the products to fundraise with. They are very pet friendly and are one of the great “behind the scene” supporters. The products they supply are often times some of the most expensive products for a charity to purchase but with the support of Wiseguys, it is possible. They also never back down from a challenge on design and requests but rather reply “we can do that, how many do you need”.
EntreMANURE K-9 WASTE REMOVAL – EntreMANURE is founded, owned and operated by Victor Grosso. Victor is a disabled American veteran that served his country for 12 years. He was an aircrew man and rescue swimmer for the Navy – his intentions were to stay in as long as they would let him as he LOVED his job helping people. However, his career was cut short due to an injury suffered when his helicopter was shot down while performing a mission in Beirut. When Victor returned stateside he tried many different careers but had trouble finding something he liked and he could do that didn’t aggravate his injury. One day he was driving in the car and an idea popped into his head – “I can help people by taking away the one chore that most dog lovers hate to do! I can pick up poop for a living.” Of course his friends and family thought he was crazy but he researched, studied, investigated, and explored the topic. Vic discovered that there are many busy families, elderly, and disabled people that love their dogs and are unable to clean up after them so he decided to give it a shot in 1999. Victor has picked up after hundreds of dogs in three states and finally decided to settle down here in Missouri after meeting his wife Karen through an internet dating site. Victor enjoys his business because he likes to help people while setting his own hours, enjoying the beautiful weather, and playing with the loveable dogs! Sometimes he gets down on himself thinking that his business isn’t very important, he is certainly not changing the world by picking up dog poop. But then his sense of humor kicks in and he remembers that he is helping to keep the Ozarks “poop free one yard at a time.” He says, “It may be just dog waste to you but it’s our bread and butter.” Victor also says, “We hire the most patient people around because we take crap daily.” His goal is to be #1 in the #2 business. Vic’s business is important because he is helping to remove most chances of Salmonella, rodents, rats, snakes, tape, round, and hook worms from the yard. He is reminded that his service helps the environment because uncollected feces contribute to water pollution. But most of all he enjoys the fact that he is able to give back to families by providing them quality time to spend together as he remembers how valuable that time can be. Vic also tries to give back to the community by donating 10% of his profits to those “not for profit” organizations that he has partnered with that contribute to the ever growing pet needs of the Ozarks.
. Who should be recognized as Volunteer of the Year 2013?
Who should be recognized as Volunteer of the Year 2013?
KRISTY RITTER – I would like to nominate Kristy Ritter as volunteer of the year. She is the rescue coordinator for Springfield Animal Control, she also works with Rescue Road Warriors who transports the rescue dogs/cats and she also helps Republic Animal Control to get there dogs/cats into rescue. Kristy is a wonderful person who deserves this award for all the hard work she does for all the animals.
TERI JENSON – I would like to nominate Teri Jensen for volunteer of the year. She can't physically do a lot but she is one of the most giving selfless people I know. Teri works as the receptionist at Branson Veterinary Hospital and people go there just because they love her! Teri has helped me and my rescue over the years. She paid for Whiskey's basic vetting when I had no help with him last year. She also arranged for Samson to be boarded at the vet for so long as long as she helped take care of him. Teri is one of the most compassionate animal people I know. She holds people hands when they are putting down their 4 legged family members. Teri goes in on her days off to be with clients who are euthanizing their pets. She helps get donations for our rescue, shares stuff on facebook, and donates food and money. Teri has chronic COPD and has a lot of trouble breathing and is often sick but that doesn't keep her from helping. Teri is loved by so many and even though she's not out in the public doing stuff she is vital to so many people's lives and leaves an impact on so many animals lives. She is one of the greatest people I know!
VANESSA JOHNSON – Vanessa Johnson not only has her own rescue called Pause 4 Paws, she volunteers for Ava Animal Control. She goes above and beyond ordinary commitment to the rescue and rehabilitation of any dog that comes across her path. She will go out any time of day or night if someone tells her of dumped puppies or dogs. She has spent thousands of her own dollars on these dogs. She has miraculously found funding for dogs needing surgeries, extensive vet care ,and turns her back on no dog in need. Her motto should be, “No dog left behind.” In addition she has put thousands of miles on her vehicle for transporting rescues, in addition to the endless hours of net working with other rescues and people to rehome or foster dogs in need. On a weekly basis she cleans the pound and walks the dogs that come to Ava Animal Control. Countless hours on Facebook and phone after working her regular job, finding rescues to take the unwanted. In addition she has been responsible for many rescues in which dogs were near death in which she never lost her faith thus miraculous recoveries occurred for these dogs. She has made a dramatic difference in the lives of many dogs, in turn the blessings received by the people who get to have these dogs as a part of their lives. Many times I have thought of Vanessa Johnson as a doggie angel in disguise and know that what her dogs must feel. She deserves to be recognized for her unwavering commitment, her faith that the needs of her rescues will be met and the miracles she has manifested for hundreds of dogs whose needs would otherwise go unmet.
. Who should be named the Veterinary Office of the Year 2013?
Who should be named the Veterinary Office of the Year 2013?
HEALING PAWS – I would like to nominate Healing Paws Veterinary Clinic for Best Veterinary Office. Since their grand opening in 2009 when I adopted a rescued animal from them, I have marveled at how many precious animals this dynamic group of veterinary clinicians save, rehabilitate and re-home to loving homes. Beyond their regular call of duty, Dr. Susan Ross [formerly Ruggeri] and her staff work nearly round the clock hours providing service to local rescue organizations as well as Good Samaritans who need assistance in the care, sheltering and re-homing of animals. With their added attention to the comfort of animals using modern techniques, their experience and specialty training is unparalleled in this region.
SPRINGFIELD VETERINARY CENTER - They continue to support BSRO in the rescue efforts often carrying an extremely large balance so that we can help the dogs in our program. Drs Wiseman are always available for questions at any time and the vet techs are often found working events outside of business hours to support BSRO and other rescue efforts. SVC supports numerous pet related events in the community and has even branched into non-pet related events to spread the word about rescue. Not only are they there for our rescue dogs but always answer calls and texts after hours for our personal dogs when an emergency occurs. They keep themselves updated on cutting edge technology and are always willing to take on the challenges that some of our rescue cases bring them. SVC is truly like family to BSRO, they celebrate with us when a dog is finally healed, and they cry with us when we help a dog cross the bridge. They are also there for our community, when the tornado hit Joplin they were there to help with vet care. They have donated their time to make the Ozarks a better place for pets.
TRI-LAKES ANIMAL CLINIC – I would like to nominate Dr. Brent Lower of Tri-Lakes animal clinic in Humansville Missouri for the Veterinarian of the year award. We have been working with Dr. Lower for many years as a veterinarian who cared for our personal pets. He also cared for the animals while I was animal control for the City of Osceola. After a city meeting where they had discussed closing down the animal control department, I had a conversation with Dr. Lower in which he made a comment in passing “Too bad we can’t do this somewhere else”. Well I am sure he had no idea that I would take that comment and run with it. That was March 2009 and in June of 2009 Half-wayhome got our Mo. Dept of Ag License and we opened our doors. Dr. Lower sets aside an ENTIRE day at least once a week sometime twice for the animals we pick up from Springfield animal control. The numbers vary from week to week we have anywhere from 5 to 25 dogs (with the occasional cat, rat, rabbit, chicken, ferret or snake), he never knows what to expect. He is compassionate and caring with each and every animal. He completely understands what these animals have been through and truly cares about them. He has empathy for each and every animal that we bring in. Dr. Lower not only offers routine care for the healthy animals basic needs, ie…spay/neuter, heart worm tests, vaccinations etc, but provides care for the sickest of the them. He has provided eye removals, entropion repair, heartworm treatment and medical shave downs at a moment’s notice. This is just a few of the services he has offered. He provides these services and products at the bottom dollar prices that in no way can benefit his practice. The days that Dr. Lower spend on Springfield animals are not typical 9 am to 5 pm days. There have been days that we drop off animals at 8 am and the clinic calls well after 10 pm, after all the animals have been vetted. This my friends is dedication! The number of animals that Dr. Lower cared for from Springfield Animal Control is staggering. In 2012 there were 766 dogs and 59 cats and 2013, so far as of 9-13-13, 568 dogs and 110 cats. People, this is 1 man, his wife and very small staff. As well as all the amazing things above, Dr. Lower participates in the Animalkind Low cost spay/neuter program. This program enables large breed dogs and pit bulls to be spayed or neutered at little or no cost to the owner if they cannot afford the services. Dr. Brent Lower truly is a man that became a veterinarian for all the right reasons. He is a veterinarian that truly deserves this recognition!
. What is the BEST Rescue Story of the Year for 2013?
What is the BEST Rescue Story of the Year for 2013?
MODEL PET PROJECT – I would like to nominate The Model Pet Project as Rescue Story of the Year. Even though it is not a typical rescue story about the journey of a single dog, it is a rescue story in that we have created a program that has not only doubled PetFinder views for the adoptable pets involved, but has also helped to change the perception of what a shelter pet can be. Here’s a little more info on the program: 18 months and more than 17,000 photos ago, three Humane Society of Southwest Missouri volunteers held a photo shoot for 46 shelter cats and dogs. The goal: to boost adoption rates and showcase the personalities of individual animals. “This project is not just about snapping a photo of a shelter pet,” says The Model Pet Project co-founder Robin Bulster. “Pets adopted because of their personality are far more likely to find their best match in a forever home.” Since April, 2012, The Model Pet Project has been shining a light on the unique and lovable characteristics of more than 1000 dogs and cats at the Humane Society. They groom, train and photograph roughly 50 shelter pets a month, then display photos on websites www.swh.org, www.petfinder.com, and social media. The results: more attention for the animals that need it the most. In fact, Model Pets receive more than twice as many views as other pets featured on PetFinder. Model Pet co-founders Bulster, Misti Fry and April Turner utilized their own professional experience to develop and implement the project. Marketing executive Bulster researched programs with similar goals at shelters throughout the U.S. and helps to generate buzz. Fry is a certified pet dog trainer, owner of Springfield Side Kick Dog Training, and the human who knows just how to generate the play and poses captured during photo shoots. And Turner is owner of UTurn Studios, a photography studio that specializes in pet portraits. Together, they spend time getting to know the animals they feature through play, extra grooming and training. It doesn’t take long for the pets’ personalities to begin to show, and they use their knowledge and creativity to capture those special aspects in a photo.
BOONE – Boone was rescued from circumstances that are all too common in the Ozarks. He was freed from circumstances analogous to being a prisoner of war thanks to my friend Rita. Boone's owner left him in a small outdoor kennel two inches deep in feces, no water, poor shelter and fed in a filthy dish. His owner had not let him out of the kennel in over 5 months and would shoot at his dogs to keep them quiet. No telling what he did to his dogs behind closed doors. He did in front of Rita who ask me to help get Boone released from his prison sentence. Of his 3 hunting dogs, he stated Boone was of no use for him and said that Rita could take him. We could not get Boone out of the deplorable situation quick enough and I agreed to foster him. Boone's physical issues paled in comparison to what lay ahead for Boone. When I brought Boone home I discovered this neglected dog had extreme fear issues. He shook violently just by taking one step into my dining room, he would only walk on dirt or grass. Sidewalks and pavement set him into a panic attack so I could not bring him into my house to bathe him to rid him of the stench or provide shelter. Fear ran through every bone in this poor creatures body. Just to get him to take one step onto my deck resulted in major panic and resistance. Sounds of the TV, pots and pans in the kitchen all of which are routine was something he had to learn to adjust to. Drawing from my background as a Speech Pathologist using systematic desensitization techniques, my own personal experience of overcoming anxiety and lessons I have learned from my dog trainer friends I began his rehabilitation process. It took hours and hours of counter conditioning, praise, and positive reinforcement to help Boone overcome his fears of walking on tile/hardwood floors, going through doors, going up and down steps as well as getting used to common everyday household sounds. My pack of dogs motivated him to go into other parts of the house once he felt safe in the dining room. Boone was accepted into a rehabilitation rescue in Virginia Beach. Due to his fears we drove him ourselves. The trip provided many opportunities for continued rehabilitation. He overcame his fear of walking on pavement, sidewalks and getting in and out of cars. I laughingly call it “Road Trip Rehabilitation” No sooner had I dropped Boone off, the center announced they had an emergency closure. I went back to Virginia to bring Boone home for good! Boone has transformed into a trusting, confident, loving, and gentle soul. He has taught me significant lessons about overcoming fears, patience and most importantly the heart felt jackpot that comes with commitment to rehabilitate a wounded soul. To see him now, you would never know he had to overcome so many fears.
ALBIE – In March of 2013, the City of Ava Animal Control was dispatched to catch a dog running loose with its chain still dragging behind him. As a volunteer for Animal control I was called because the dog looked like was starving they had concerns if he could even survive. What I saw was horrifying and the worst case of starvation I had ever seen. The AC officer gave him food and water, but his body had already started to shut down, rejecting everything that he swallowed . We had to get him to the vet immediately! The vet put forth intensive efforts to save his life as his organs had started shutting down, he was severely emaciated, dehydrated and severely anemic. They put him on IV fluids to start and was uncertain if he would make it through the night. He had hundreds of people praying for him and miraculously by the next day he had rebounded. This dog was a brindle colored pit bull. This 15 month old dog should weigh an easy 45 pounds, but his little body only weighed in at 17 pounds. Despite his near starvation, he was very gentle, submissive and only wanted love. I promised him then he would only know love from here on out. We named the dog "Albert" after Albert Schwietzer to symbolize this quote from him. "We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace." We call him “Albie” I posted Albie's story on Facebook and put out a plea for help. Albie touched the hearts of people all over the US. The outpouring of love and support was amazing and I had offers of donations to cover vet bills for a dog people had never met. After returning 40 calls of people willing to take him in, I found that special someone for Albie: Sarah Boyd. Once Albie was with Sarah Boyd, her husband and daughter he was loved with their whole heart, mending his broken spirit. The City of Ava Police Department charged his owners with Animal Abuse and one was recently sentenced to jail. We learned our “Albie” had lived on a cable in the back yard with no shelter and given no food. In desperation, he had started eating styrofoam used for target shooting. Albie had not given up, and in one last attempt to free himself, he chewed through the cable and ran. Fortunately he got caught by AC. Little did he know that his life was fixing to change and he would never want for anything again. When it was time for Albie to be adopted I received a text from Sarah showing a picture of Albie with a sign around his neck that said “I'm Home”. Sarah said that when I called and told her I had an adopter for Albie, she realized she could not let him go. Albie had been home all along, we just had not realized it yet. Albie is now a cherished member of the Boyd family living happily ever after.
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