This picture was taken in 2002 about a year after the sanctuary opened. Rick and I felt like at the time that we could continue rescuing senior and special needs Dachshunds forever. But as we get a little older each year we have realized that there will come a time when we are unable to continue the work that we cherish so deeply. We hope that time is still a long way off, but life can be so very fragile.
Recently we have been over-run with babies that have come to us because their families could no longer care for them because of health needs or the passing of their primary care-giver. I wrote a blog several weeks ago about this very subject. While that blog helped us understand the need for providing for our babies once we are gone, it was aimed more at the families that support us. Our thoughts have now turned inward and we feel it is our obligation to begin to make plans for our sanctuary after Rick and I can no longer care for our babies. Now that is a daunting thought! Anyone know someone who can take in 40+ senior and special needs babies? We certainly don’t. And what a shame it would be for all of our work over the past 16 years to just end when something prevents us from going on. After much thought and discussion with each other and our Board of Directors we have come up with a plan that we hope can insure the legacy of The Promised Land Dachshund Sanctuary.
The first thought we had was finances. How can we possibly provide for our babies after we can no longer promote our sanctuary? Several times over the years we have had people discuss with us the possibility of leaving part of their estates to the sanctuary. Rick and I are very seriously considering rewriting our own wills to leave our land and home to the sanctuary. We believe this will require a Trust Fund of some kind to be set up that can manage the property we, and perhaps others, will decide to leave to the sanctuary. So we are seeking out the advice of an attorney to educate ourselves about the possibilities of making this happen. We want this Trust to be able to employ a director that would carry on the work that we began so many years ago.
But there remains one more big problem that must be addressed. Our home, which houses the sanctuary now can only hold so many babies. We have been over our limit of 40 dogs for several months and it does not appear as if we are going to be able to get back down below that limit. Babies just keep popping into our lives that need a secure home. For each senior, special needs, or bonded pair of babies we take in our number of permanent residents rises. Certainly some of these dogs can be adopted out to good homes. And we see a much greater interest in adopting these babies than what we saw in 2001 when we first began to rescue. But there are still many that garner no attention in the realm of adoption. Bonded pairs of seniors, seniors over 12 -13 years of age with major health issues, and hospice care dogs are not going to be adopted. What we feel we need to do is expand our capacity.
Our home sits on 18 acres of land that we own outright. So a place for an expanded facility is not a problem. What we need now is the funds to build another building with our sanctuary philosophies in mind. The major philosophy that we built our sanctuary on is the pack therapy theory. We believe our dogs live longer and happier lives if they not only have all the care and love they need from us, but from each other. So any new facility would have to be built with that in mind.
The sanctuary would also benefit from several other ideas that we have for our new facility. We need more isolation areas for new babies, especially the ones that come directly from a shelter or off of the streets. Our fragile seniors must be protected from every possibility of health risks that new dogs can bring. That starts at the simple problem of pests both external and internal, and expands to include things like kennel cough and parvo. We are also reaching a crisis of storage. The extremely generous following of the sanctuary has provided us with blankets, beds, toys, collars, and treats that are wonderful. But storing these supplies in the home we have lived in for 33 years is an ever increasing challenge.
A separate facility would also enable us to make more use of volunteers who want to come and help care for the dogs. We could have bigger and better Open House events, adoption events, and visitation from the many people who would truly love to be able to come and sit with or play with the dogs. This would definitely extend the time that Rick and I will be able to continue to oversee the everyday needs of the sanctuary.
Rick and I see the future of the sanctuary as an ever expanding refuge for the dogs that need our care. With a new, larger facility we would not have to say no so often to babies that may not have a lot of other options. Currently we are forced each week to pick and choose the babies that we can take in. What a heartbreaking situation that is! We would be able to assure the many people that have come to us hoping to secure a place for their dogs in a time of need that there is room for them at our sanctuary. We would, in fact, be able to secure the legacy of the sanctuary that we have devoted the last 16 years of our lives too.
We know that many of you love the fact that seniors dumped on the streets or in shelters can have a wonderful home again. We know that each week we hear from several followers who are hoping we have a spot for the baby in their sight that needs us desperately. We know that what we have built is worth preserving and that we cannot do it on our own.
So we have set up a savings account for the Legacy Fund. That savings will grow over time and eventually will have enough money to lay the foundation of our new facility. It will continue to grow until each and every part of the new Promised Land will be funded. I am going to seek out grants from PetSmart, Petco, and any other foundation or organization that might be interested in helping us make this new facility a reality. We hope that each of you will help us make this dream for the future of The Promised Land Dachshund Sanctuary come true. Please continue to donate to the care of our babies, and maybe you could add just a little each time and designate that for the Legacy Fund. Together we can make this happen!
There is a donation button on this page that can be used to donate to our everyday needs. It just takes another minute to indicate on that donation that a portion of your money should go into the Legacy Fund. I will set up a Legacy Fund counter on our Facebook page so anyone that is interested can tract the progress of that fund. Rick and I will begin to seek out estimates on the costs involved in building the facility that we dream of.