Today is a very sad day for me as the board of directors has made the announcement that the Blue Dog Shelter is closing as of December 31. Unfortunately, the Shelter has been operating in a financial shortfall for some time and despite all the recent successful fundraisers, including the Golf FORE Blue Dog Tournament, we could not overcome our mounting debt. I really want to thank everyone who came out once again this year to support us. Your enduring dedication to this fundraiser, and all other fundraisers, has helped us year after year in keeping the Shelter open to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home dogs in our community in need.
As most of you know, the Blue Dog Shelter was founded back in 1999 when a dog named “Blue” came into my life. I had to help this dog no matter what and this is how the whole journey began. I forever will fondly look back on those early years and how the community came out for that goofy Neapolitan mastiff that forever changed my life. For the first eight years, the Blue Dog Shelter was my passion, my opportunity to serve the community, and I worked diligently toward having a viable shelter for families to relinquish their pets. Running J.M. Pet Resort and Blue Dog was not easy at times, but the mission of helping dogs in need and operating Blue Dog as a private shelter was purposeful for me.
The Blue Dog Shelter started to grow and with the support of others I was excited to make the decision to officially make it a 501(c)(3). A board of dedicated individuals, many who had been involved with the shelter since its humble beginnings was put in place, and together, we made the Shelter the best that it could be. I was lucky to have J.M. Pet Resort as a business and allow the Shelter to be housed within it. It enabled so many opportunities that other shelters were not privy too. So many of the dogs we took in had behavioral issues that needed to be modified. I couldn’t take the dog trainer out of me, so training and socializing the Blue Dogs was always important to me. The Blue Dog Shelter dogs were fortunate to be surrounded by an experienced staff at the Resort and trained volunteers that made such a huge difference in the dogs’ lives and their success stories. I personally want to thank the staff of the Resort and the volunteers for their amazing contributions to our beloved Blue Dogs.
I have so many fond memories of the past 17 years and the relationships that I have formed over those years are irreplaceable. I would do it all over again. I have no regrets. For instance Bailey, a PitBull mix that lived with us enriching our lives for over 3 years and found her way home where the sun rises and sets around her. While I am very sad that the shelter is closing, I am also fulfilled with proud memories of dogs that have been saved and people that have been helped in difficult situations. I think fondly of all the events that we have run and the amazing participation of everyone involved coming together for one cause…. To ease the suffering of dogs in our community.
Operating a shelter does depend on good financial status. Our love alone, taking dogs in and rehabilitating them, can no longer sustain us. I understand the board’s difficult decision to close the shelter and I support it. We had to face that reality. There are so many of you that I want to personally thank. As a community, your unwavering devotion and support to me, as well as to the board members, numerous volunteers and staff is something that I will be forever grateful for. We helped a lot of people and a lot of dogs! In fact, we’ve placed 1,775 dogs in loving, forever homes, and I’m darn proud of it! We should all be.
The Shelter will no longer be taking in any dogs as of September 30 and we will work on placing the last dogs in forever homes as soon as possible. We will still be available until December 31, 2016 to offer support to past adopters for any questions or concerns they may have regarding their recent adoption.
I would like to ask all of you to please take a moment and celebrate all of the wonderful work that we have done over the last 17 years. It has been a wonderful ride. We have laughed, we have cried, we have accomplished and we have saved. Thank you to all.
Founder and Director of The Brockton Blue Dog Shelter 501(c)(3)