The long-awaited GRAND OPENING AND RIBBON-CUTTING for the new city shelter, the Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center, took place on a beautiful sunny day in January. About 300 citizens (and pets) gathered with City officials, DASF Board members, McNatt family, construction vendors, architect, and others to celebrate the actual opening of the new shelter home for thousands of abandoned Denton animals. This shelter is considered the most state-of-the-art in North Texas with a first-ever on-site veterinary clinic to serve the shelter pets. Denton Mayor Chris Watts, along with Chief of Police Lee Howell conducted the opening ceremony. The speakers included Linda McNatt, 2014 DASF Chairwoman Laura Brewer, DASF Co-Founder Pete Kamp, and 2015 DASF Chairwoman & Co-Founder Bette Sherman who also headed the DASF capital campaign and was DASF Chairwoman from June, 2006 – June, 2013. Deputy Chief Scott Fletcher was honored for his management and dedication to the shelter project over about 10 years. There were so many people to thank, including the wonderful people of Denton and surrounding areas who supported the old shelter and the new shelter project to improve the lives of the abandoned pets. After the ribbon was cut, the public (and dogs) flooded into the new shelter for tours conducted by the proud shelter staff. The shelter pets formally moved into their new home two weeks later.
The Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center represents a major accomplishment for DASF, as an advocate and funder of the project. The foundation was a major force in the initiation and implementation of the project, through the public-private legal partnership formed between DASF and the City. The DASF capital campaign raised over $2.2million toward the construction of the facility. The project began for DASF in 2007.
In February, the foundation began the legal process of a name change to Denton Animal Support Foundation, Inc. The new name became official in March. The Board Marketing Committee, led by Rebecca Personett and Kristen Fisher worked with our marketing experts, Swash Labs to rebrand DASF with a new logo and new image. This project was completed in April. The new name and brand emphasizes the broader strategic focus of DASF on animal welfare in our community.
In March, DASF was voted the first-place 2015 “Best of Denton” by the entire community in the animal -welfare organization category. The new city of Denton Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center took the second-place. A proud time for DASF and the shelter.
In April, the Board began a search, led by Chairwoman Bette Sherman for a professional Executive Director. Consultant Margaret Chalfant was engaged to guide the process and take some of the workload from Board members. The Board Executive Committee was the official Search Committee that reviewed 41 resumes. Twelve semi-finalists were interviewed by the Search Committee. This ould be the foundation’s first paid employee and the end to our all-volunteer status after nine (9) years. Three finalists for the position were interviewed by the full Board in June. The decision was made unanimously to hire Rebecca Finberg as DASF Executive Director. Rebecca has the education, training, experience and enthusiasm that is perfect to help lead DASF into increased growth and success in saving animals.
ED Rebecca Finberg joined DASF on July 8 and spent the next few months in training with Chairwoman Bette Sherman. Rebecca jumped right into all aspects of DASF, quickly learning and absorbing daily operations plus nine (9) years of history. Her professionalism, creativity and new ideas are moving DASF forward. She has attended national nonprofit conferences, as well as donor workshops in order to bring the latest fundraising techniques to DASF.
Also in July, a major DASF supporter, Dr. Norm Pomerance donated 1200 square feet of office space to DASF, rent free. Thus, DASF acquired its first ever office location along with an official telephone number. Bob and Bette Sherman donated the funds to renovate the space and provided furnishings. DASF purchased needed equipment. By the end of August, the office was completed and fully functional.
The new office space is so large that DASF was able to terminate the rental storage unit, move everything into the office and save the annual rental fee. It is a perfect place for volunteers to gather and help with events, etc. We are most grateful for the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Pomerance.
During the Spring and Fall, The Education Committee led by board Education Committee Chairwoman Jackie Bruce continued “Animal Safety and Care” presentations to elementary school children in all DISD schools. The volunteers use puppets and DASF coloring books to teach the children about safely approaching dogs and about caring for their pets. This program is offered in coordination with school teachers and with DISD. ED Rebecca Finberg obtained a grant from Walmart to support the DASF educational programs. At this point, all Denton elementary schools have been reached including approximately 2,400 children since the program started in September 2014.
The Program Committee chaired by Paula Woolworth began the board approved community outreach focus on prevention and intervention of overpopulation and abandoned pets with two major community grants. A $5,000 grant was awarded to TCAP (Texas Coalition for Animal Protection) to provide $20 spay/neuter services in Denton County. The result was that 148 pets were spayed/neutered, preventing hundreds of unwanted pets and allowing pets to lead healthier lives. Also, a $4,000 grant was awarded to SPAN Meal on Wheels “Senior Paws” Program to provide food and supplies to pets of home-bound and needy clients. Many of these clients were sharing their one hot meal/day with their pets.
Three (3) Low Cost Vaccine Clinics were held at the shelter in partnership with nonprofit TCAP. DASF provided free rabies shots to the pets of the first 20 people in line (219 pets received free shots) and 252 total pets were vaccinated. This service is much needed by fixed/low income, elderly, students and large families.
DASF provided emergency monetary assistance to several low/fixed income individuals by direct payment to local vets for procedures needed to keep pets in their homes (and out of the shelter). Of those, three (3) dogs were helped with major surgeries which DASF funded by soliciting several major donors for specifically this purpose. All of these pets are doing well and are safe in their homes.
In July, DASF designed, printed and distributed our first Annual Report covering the period of June 2014 through June 2015. The piece was beautifully done by Swash Labs. It has been very well received by donors and potential donors as it details the positive outcomes of DASF activities and use of donor money.
In August, DASF began marketing the first fundraising event of 2015 which was the annual renewal/sign-up of community supporters for the Kroger Community Rewards Program. Grants to DASF from Kroger based on community participation have provided excellent and much-needed funding for several years. In 2015, 552 Kroger Plus Cards were linked to DASF producing $10,528 total granted funds.
The largest annual fundraiser for DASF over several years has been The North Texas Day of Giving held in September. DASF again participated under the direction of ED Rebecca Finberg. The event is presented by Communities Foundation of Texas and provides regional marketing and matching funds for a single on-line giving day. For the first time, the DASF board raised Challenge Funds by personally pledging donations if DASF reached its stated goal (which we did)! For 2015, DASF raised $85,166 gross total including matching funds.
In October, major donor Dr. Norm Pomerance brought a community issue to DASF for consideration. He noted that Denton County Friends of the Family, a local nonprofit aiding victims of domestic violence, was having a serious issue with victims who have pets. Most of these victims had no alternative to save their pets except surrender them to the Denton shelter, which then meant that the pets were gone from their lives permanently. Research showed that about 70% of women with pets and who are victims of domestic abuse stated that their pets were either threatened, abused or killed by their abuser. Domestic violence shelters in the Denton area do not allow pets. DASF board Program Chairwoman Paula Woolworth and ED Rebecca Finberg began working on this important issue to determine how DASF could implement a program to fund temporary private kenneling for these pets. The target date is early 2016.
Also in October, major donors Dr. Jerry and Shirley Watson initiated the new DASF Shelter Endowment Fund. They were receptive to an approach by Chairwoman Bette Sherman to structure an on-going endowment fund for the purpose of funding adoption and emergency medical services for shelter pets in perpetuity. With the aid of DASF attorneys, the Endowment Committee was formed under DASF bylaws to manage endowment funds separately. Both of the Watsons serve on the committee currently chaired by Bette Sherman. An Investment Policy was approved by the board and plans to grow the endowment were begun. Active marketing is set to begin in early 2016 after appropriate materials are designed. The Watsons made an initial donation of $20,000 and pledged to match future donations at that level each year.
Two more fundraisers were held in November and December respectively. The 3rd annual Purrrfect Bite, chaired by board member Kimberly Truax was another wonderful success. This unique progressive dinner on Denton’s historic square is completely donated by participating restaurants. In 2015, 110 people enjoyed gourmet food, wine, and entertainment, raising $14,759 net total. And in December, the very first Lights of Love event was held at the shelter. This event was not expected to be a big fundraiser, but instead provide a way for the community to honor/memorialize pets, people, groups, etc Also it is a way to celebrate the holidays at the shelter. Chaired by board member Terri Gibbs, the event drew about 150 people on the night of the lighting of the tree and unveiling of the decorations commemorating beloved pets and people. Volunteers decorated almost every kennel and space in the shelter & served desserts and punch. Live music and raffle items were featured. This festive and joyous occasion, which raised about $3,400 brought the community out to support the shelter pets with presents under the shelter tree.
As usual, many other local events were arranged and managed by individuals and businesses to benefit DASF during the year. We are always grateful to supporters throughout the Denton area who make the effort to raise money for DASF and donate items to the shelter. Included in this, was an amazing event and donation to DASF made by the Fry Street Merchants Association of $10,000.
In 2015 as in previous years, DASF continued to support the City of Denton Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center with funding for subsidized adoptions, emergency and extraordinary medical services, medical supplies for the on-site clinic, pet microchips, clinic equipment such as additional kennels, supplies for the shelter not in their city budget (such as cardboard cat carriers for adoptions) and more. DASF also continues to fund marketing for shelter animals through social media and other advertising. During 2015, approximately$50,000 was donated or spent to support the shelter.
By the end of 2015, it was clear that DASF has become the premier animal welfare organization in the Denton area. Facebook grew to over 35,000 followers and all other areas of donor/potential donor contact grew. General donations remained strong as did response to events and special solicitations.
Special recognition to the DASF Board of Directors and new ED. This dedicated group of community leaders demonstrated outstanding commitment to the foundation and to the mission of saving Denton area animals. Also the DASF volunteers must be recognized for their amazing support and persistence.
While the success of the Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center is a collective effort, it reached new heights of success in 2015 saving over 4,200 abandoned and abused pets. The new shelter is proven to be an unqualified success. Thanks and enormous recognition also goes to the professional and dedicated shelter staff and to the shelter volunteers who work with these poor pets every single day bringing compassion and love to their efforts.
In December, Chairwoman Bette Sherman was recognized by the DASF board for 10 years of service and for co-founding the organization in 2006. During the 8 ½ years that she served as Chairwoman, the organization grew from nothing to a superior fundraising nonprofit, having generated over $3.2 million toward the mission. She acted as board chairman, executive director and capital campaign chairman – most times with all duties overlapping. As her several terms of office were now completed under DASF bylaws, the board elected her as the first lifetime ex-officio Honorary Director of DASF. She also accepted the appointment of the board as the 2016 Chairwoman of the new Endowment Committee to continue to raise funds for DASF.
The success and progress achieved in 2015 has prepared the foundation for 2016 and future growth. 2016 is the official 10th anniversary year of DASF.
The event, “Wine & Whiskers” was again held in March at Denton Country Club organized by Board Event Chair Kathleen Duffy and her committee. It was a great success, drawing “sell out” attendance for the second year. About $9,500 net was raised.
The DASF Board Executive Committee, led by DASF Chairwoman Laura Brewer, held several strategic planning sessions to determine the future direction of the foundation. Some important ideas and suggestions resulted, including the idea to change the name slightly. Two main reasons drove the idea of the name change: 1) continued confusion among the public regarding DASF and its relationship to the shelter, and 2) a new broader purpose for the foundation going forward. The Board voted to approve a name change after the opening of the new shelter.
A new fundraiser for the shelter, “Gift Bricks Campaign,” was managed by then-Immediate Past Chairman Bette Sherman. Engraved clay bricks and granite pavers were sold for a period of two months. It was very popular, raising $21,000 for the new shelter animal habitats and furnishings. The bricks and pavers were installed as part of construction. Sherman also headed a Board Ad Hoc Committee to design and implement the shelter Wall of Honor and all other donor acknowledgments.
The golf tournament fundraiser, Puttin’ for Paws was held in October at Denton Country Club with Hays, Berry, White & Vanzant, LLC again as lead sponsor. The committee included several board members and other volunteers who worked for several months. There was an excellent turnout for the event, and $15,280 net was raised.
In November, the unique DASF fundraiser Purrrfect Bite was again organized by Board member Kimberly Truax. It is a progressive dinner and wine tasting held in restaurants on and off Denton’s historic square. All food and wine is donated. It is a one-of-a-kind event. About $14,900 net was raised.
The new Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center was scheduled to open in September; however weather-related delays in construction pushed the actual operational opening to January 2015. The new shelter was close enough to completion in December for DASF and the city to celebrate the holidays with a special reception. An invitation-only Preview Tour and Reception was held for major capital campaign donors who are represented on the Wall of Honor. About 150 donors and their families, city officials, shelter staff, and DASF board members/former board members – for a total of about 225 people – attended an evening of excitement and celebration at the new facility. It was not yet occupied by the shelter animals, so attendees were able to view both public and non-public areas. Tours were conducted by the shelter staff. It was a memorable evening representing the successful culmination of a seven (7) year project.
The DASF board officially closed phase 2 of the capital campaign having met the goals for both phases. Donations and fundraising continued for adoption subsidies, emergency medical, and other animal initiatives as well as for furnishings/animal habitats in the new shelter.
In February, members of city staff met with the DASF board and major donors to clarify several issues regarding the delayed shelter construction process. It was agreed that most issues were resolved by the city; and the project could move forward. Actual construction was set to begin by July 1, 2013. A new target opening date was set for mid to late April 2014.
The shelter experienced heavy volume of intakes and was frequently overwhelmed with the numbers of animals needing shelter/adoption. DASF continued to provide adoption subsidies which, by month-end May amounted to over $60,000. In April, Chairman Bette Sherman initiated discussion with shelter management and city staff concerning the possibility of reducing the city’s adoption fees. This would make adoptions more affordable and would relieve pressure on DASF fundraising for subsidies. Capt. Scott Fletcher did extensive research on other city’s fees and drafted a proposal for city council reducing adoption fees for Denton by 50% to $60/pet. Also proposed was the flexibility to reduce senior and special needs pets to $30, and to reduce other pets in times of over-crowding. This continues to include all initial vet services. Capt. Fletcher made an excellent presentation to city council; and his proposal was approved starting on July 1.
The DASF board approved continued subsidies as needed and requested by shelter management. Also emergency medical funds continued to be available. The new fees had excellent effect on adoptions.
The first annual DASF “Wine & Whiskers” fundraiser was held in March at Denton Country Club, sponsored by the club. It was sold out at about 230 people and raised about $14,000 net. Wine vendors provided wine tastings, the club provided fabulous food and a silent auction took place. Thanks to board member Brenda Oxley for this great idea. Also during the spring, DASF had several successful Facebook fundraising promotions, including with Advanced Auto Repair and with Hays, Berry, White & Vanzant LLC. Also a “Make Happy Happen” Facebook promotion was launched for DASF by Swash Labs.
In May, Co-founder Bette Sherman announced to the board that she would step down as Chairman and as Executive Director effective immediately . This was due to the continued time involvement of over 50 hours/week; and after 7 years, she needed to spend more time with her family and terminally ill mother. She became the first Immediate Past Chairman, Parliamentarian and Chairman of the Nominating Committee continuing her board term until December 31, 2015.
At this time, Vice Chairman & Co-founder Pete Kamp resigned from the board citing personal and scheduling issues. The board elected Laura Brewer as Interim Chairman and David Carles as Interim Vice Chairman pending official elections in January 2014.
In June, DASF remitted to the city over $1.8 million in cash and in-kind capital campaign funds in order for the city to sign a construction contract. The remainder of about $200,000 will be remitted to the city as it is collected from pledges. The city council approved a contract with Schmoldt Construction LLC to build the new shelter. The bid process held by the city determined that the new shelter/Animal Control facility construction would be $4.3 million, not including furnishings and equipment.
The start of construction was delayed slightly and actually began on August 1. With some weather delays, the new target opening date is July 2014.
DASF donated an additional almost $23,000 from phase 2 to the city to begin purchase of veterinary equipment for the on-site clinic; and $50,000 for furnishings.
DASF received the largest single grant ever given by Kroger Community Rewards Grant Program: $49,760. This grant required a great deal of effort/marketing and was coordinated by Rosemary Grose. DASF also again received a $10,000 grant from Toyota Corporation thanks to Jim McNatt and board Grant Chairman Sandi Brackeen.
The first annual “Puttin’ for Paws” golf tournament was presented by Hays, Berry, White and Vanzant LLC law firm benefiting DASF was held in July at Denton Country Club. DASF Chairman Laura Brewer and Board Member Lara Tomlin worked on this event extensively together with a joint committee from DASF and the law firm. The idea was brought forward by lawyer Daniel Abasolo. It was very successful, raising about $8,000 net restricted for adoption subsidies. The funds were remitted to city shelter management. The law firm and the DASF board decided to make it an annual event.
Headliners of Texas/Denton Rock Band presented “Hot August Night,” a concert benefiting DASF. The two performances led by Scott Sackett raised over $2,000 for adoption subsidies. And Kwik Car Tune & Lube (Marta & Frank Dudowicz, long time DASF supporters) held an event raising $2,000 for DASF. Several other local clubs and merchants held events benefiting DASF, all coordinated by board Events Chairman Kathleen Duffy.
DASF participated for the 4th year in Communities Foundation of Texas DonorBridge, North Texas Day of Giving. Over $66,000 was raised in a single day.
The 4th annual Tails and Trails 10K/5K/1M Pet Walk was held again in October at North Texas State Fairgrounds. The Event Planning Committee was chaired by volunteer Susan Manuel. A record number of 560 registered participants ran or walked, and over 100 dogs were included. Participants came from 56 cities/towns and 37 vendors provided food/retail items. An estimated over 1,000 people attended even though the day was very cold. A net of about $26,000 was raised.
In November, “The Purrrfect Bite” DASF fundraiser was conceived and organized by board member Kimberly Truax. It was a fun evening of a progressive wine tasting and dinner on and off Denton’s Historic Square. Over 80 people wined and dined at several local restaurants. Live entertainment by Denton Community Theatre was donated, gift bags were given to each attendee and a unique raffle was held. Everything was donated so that all proceeds could benefit DASF. Over $12,000 was raised. The board decided that it should be an annual event.
The annual holiday solicitation was mailed in December.
The DASF board approves Phase Two of the capital campaign with the goal of raising $150,000 for the new shelter interior. This amount will provide for the on-site vet clinic equipment, supplies and staffing; as well, funds will be used for animal habitats and volunteer coordination/training. This money supplements funds allocated in the project budget for furnishings and fixtures.
The new Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center has an official address: 3717 North Elm Street.
Larry Connolly of Connolly & Associates is formally contracted by the city; and his firm begins the process of developing construction documents and contractor bidding. The plans are completed by August 1 and submitted to the city. The joint DASF/City building committee is dissolved, having completed design of the new shelter.
Three additional program grants are received to subsidize adoptions: “Luv A Bull” from PetCo Foundation; Pedigree Foundation; and Build-a-Bear Bear Hugs Workshops Foundation. Have-A-Heart for Cats program is held during the month of February, funded by a grant allowing cats to be offered at half-price. A DASF Special Valentine photo promotion is held on Facebook. A donor offers DASF a “challenge grant” for a total of $10,000.
Groundbreaking for the new shelter is held on September 14 with a large attendance. A luncheon for major donors and city officials is held at Denton Country Club, personally hosted and donated by Chairman Bette Sherman and Bob Sherman.
For the third year, DASF participates in DonorBridge North Texas Day of Giving resulting in almost $145,000 raised, including a special award of $10,000 for obtaining the most number of donors for a small organization. Part of the funds go into the building account and part go to subsidize adoptions during the ASPCA Challenge.
DASF in partnership with the city shelter enter the ASPCA $100,000 Rachael Ray Challenge. This is a multi-phase competition which begins in March and ends in November. The first phase is a public vote during which DASF must come in at least 5th in our 9 state region. We do. Then the Adoption Phase is held from August 1 through October 31 during which the shelter must adopt out 300 more pets that the previous year during the exact same period. That is a goal of 1,182 adoptions. The shelter, using subsidy money from donors and DASF reduces adoption fees. Adoption go so quickly that the shelter transfers pets from 5 local shelters, helping to save even more animals. The shelter adopts out 1,532 pets in that period or a 74% increase. The last phase is public voting for the “community engagement” award. DASF and the shelter come in 6th in the nation, out of an original field of 200 competitors. We do not win a prize; but do win $5,000 for meeting our adoption goal. We also win $8,000 in the separate photo contest.
DASF participates in September in Communities Foundation of Texas, DonorBridge North Texas Day of Giving. This is the largest fundraiser of 2012 for DASF, raising a net total of $143,276 from 307 donors. Matching funds from CFT is $9,000.
The 3rd annual Tails and Trails is held on October 20, and a 10K is added to the traditional 5k and 1 Mile Pet Walk. The Event Planning Committee is co-chaired by board member Brenda Oxley and volunteer Brad Andrus. Linda McNatt serves as race starter. Over 2,000 people attend this successful event on a perfect fall day. About $15,000 is raised.
Chairman Bette Sherman obtains a $114,000 donation for Phase Two from donor Mr. Max Howell, Mr. Howell designates DASF as the beneficiary of his IRA; and he is terminally ill from cancer. $100,000 of the donation is restricted to use for the new shelter on-site vet clinic.
The DASF board approves a contract with The Nervous Bookkeeper to take over all bookkeeping functions, PO Box, and coordination with the accountants and with donor management.
On November 30, Chairman Bette Sherman receives an award on behalf of DASF presented by the Texas Coalition for the Protection of Animals (TCAP).
Also on November 30, “Holiday Hoedown for the Animals” is presented by national grammy winners, Brave Combo. $1,500 is raised for adoption subsidies. Also “Square Deal on the Square” is organized by board member Jackie Bruce benefiting DASF.
The annual holiday letter/solicitation is mailed in late November netting about $5,000. And the DASF Facebook page reaches over 9,200 followers.
There is a delay in the new shelter construction documents by the city council and a new timeline for the start of construction is estimated for spring of 2013. That means that the new projected opening is approximately early 2014.
An anonymous donor of almost $500,000 contacted by Chairman Bette Sherman contributes to the capital campaign. A $250,000 grant is awarded from the Martha Sue Parr Charitable Trust. A $30,000 grant is received from the Jennifer A. Kemp Foundation; a $10,000 grant is received from the Elinor Patterson Baker Charitable Trust, and a $10,000 grant is received from Toyota. Board Grant Chairman Randall McDonald submits 21 grant requests across the USA. Other large and small donations are received as well. The donor base now exceeds 700 names of individuals, foundations, corporations and small businesses. The mailing list exceeds 1,000.
Merki & Associates is contracted to be the DASF accountants per board approval.
In February, DASF joined with the major local film festival, Thin Line Film Festival, as a community partner in which DASF was able to “sponsor” two films at no cost to the foundation. Excellent exposure was then available annually to DASF.
A benefit concert is held for DASF at the University of North Texas, sponsored by Sally Beauty Company and hosted by the UNT College of Music/Wind Symphony. Dr. Eugene Migliaro Corporon, UNT Regents Professor conducted. Over 500 people attended and a large raffle of gift baskets was held.
Also, the UNT Construction Engineering Technology class donates a playhouse which measures 6 feet long, 6 feet wide and 7 feet tall. Retail value of $2,500. DASF sells raffle tickets and displays the playhouse at the North Texas State Fair. Caliber Construction Company of Denton transported the playhouse at no cost to DASF.
A $5,000 donation to the capital campaign was given to DASF from local credit union DATCU.
DASF reaches the $2.0 million capital campaign goal in June, 2011. On July 12, Chairman Bette Sherman announces to city council that DASF has met the fundraising goal required to begin the construction process. Police Capt. Scott Fletcher presents council with recommendations for proceeding with the project. Council members unanimously agree to provide the remaining $3.0 million and authorize Capt. Fletcher, together with city staff, to negotiate a contract with Austin-based Connolly & Associates, Architects and Consultants. The new timeline projects opening the facility in 2014.
Board members who worked on the capital campaign during their time on the board: Bette Sherman, Pete Kamp, Sharon Draper, Jon Scruggs, Leslie Marchman, Laura Brewer, Randall McDonald, Jackie Bruce, Nanci Kimmey, Dr. Peter Lane, Dr. Dick Shepherd, Stephen Plyler, Gary Steele, Dr. Ann Stuart, Dr. Joyce Swegle, Brenda Oxley, Kathleen Duffy, Charles Stafford, Debbie Johnson Stafford, and Rosemary Grose.
The 2nd annual “Tails and Trails 5K Run and Pet Walk” raises over $25,000 net. A local social media / marketing firm, Swash Labs, is contracted to upgrade the DASF website and Facebook Page with a professional image. The company also sets up DASF on Twitter. The new professional image vastly improves DASF’s marketing. Swash labs continues to consult on social media fundraising.
Two major grants are received, thanks to the DASF Program Chairman Dr. Joyce Swegle, to subsidize dog and cat adoptions: an ASPCA grant for cats and a Doris Day Foundation grant for senior animal adoptions.
DASF participates again in the “North Texas Day of Giving” raising over $120,000 in a single day.
The capital campaign continues with intensity. Board members utilize their contacts and search for opportunities to partner with corporations and small businesses. A new board member is elected to begin grant writing; and 25 grant applications are ultimately submitted nationally. DASF now has 17 board members. The mailing list approaches 900.
DASF launches its Facebook page, thanks to a DASF volunteer, Karen Scruggs. This move into social media enormously expands the marketing reach of DASF. The site also supports the shelter by posting animals up for adoption.
Lennox Corporation selects DASF for their “Blue Jeans Friday” opportunity to showcase the foundation and accept donations. Board Member Gary Steele identified this opportunity. About $1,000 is raised. Also Lucky Dog Day Care Ranch hosts “Paws Jump into Spring” fundraiser for DASF and the Denton Humane Society. Again, DASF sets up a booth at the city of Denton’s event, “Dog Days;” and over $2,000 is raised. Also, Beau’s Bath House & Doggie Spa donated funds from their grand opening. Texas Woman’s University had a DASF fundraiser which netted $1,300.
DASF is approved to participate in the Communities Foundation of Texas “North Texas Day of Giving” and is the only animal organization in the area to receive an approved profile. Over $65,500 is collected in a single day.
The major annual fundraiser for DASF is launched: Tails and Trails 5K Run and Pet Walk. It is held in October at the North Texas State Fairgrounds; and despite rain, it is very successful. Over $10,000 is raised toward the capital campaign. A dedicated website is set-up for the event. Several other important fundraisers are also held, including “PAWS for Refreshment” and “Memorabilia for a Cause.”
DASF Volunteer Coordinator is added ex-officio to the board; and volunteer management software is purchased. Over 125 names are in the database.
A $500,000 capital campaign donation is received by Chairman Bette Sherman from local businessman, Jim McNatt to name the new facility in honor of his wife Linda: The Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center. They are honored at a surprise luncheon hosted by DASF Chairman Bette Sherman and Bob Sherman. Additionally, two $100,000 donations are received, placing the foundation OVER the half-way point in the capital campaign ( $1.0 million+ raised by year-end).
A new adoption program is initiated and underwritten at the shelter by DASF board member, Dr. Ann Stuart: “Diamond in the Ruff” providing a pre-vetted dog each week for adoption at half-price. All “Diamond Dogs” have been adopted or transferred to rescue. The annual “Rays of Hope” adoption day continues to bolster adoptions. DASF initiates the “Purrfect Pal” program to subsidize cat adoptions increasing them dramatically.
“Antiques/Western Memorabilia For A Cause” is hosted by board member Stephen Plyler at his western Heritage Gallery with 100% of proceeds benefiting DASF. Over $8,000 is raised. The 2nd annual “Paws for Refreshment” is also held, coordinated by board member Jackie Bruce. About $1,000 is raised.
DASF funded the spay/neuter of a feral cat colony on the grounds of the Denton State School. Almost 100 feral cats were treated and returned to their colony. Residents and staff at the school love the cats and feed them regularly.
The city purchases six (6) acres of land for the new facility. It is directly adjacent to North Lakes Park providing an excellent destination location surrounded by park land, facilities and walking trails. DASF has 13 board members, many with full-time jobs; all are experienced fundraisers and community volunteers.
Chairman Bette Sherman announces the launch of the capital campaign “Shelter for Today – Hope for Tomorrow” in May. The DASF website is initiated: www.dentonasf.com thanks to board member Gary Steele who designed and maintains it. Board members begin an extensive process of direct solicitation, distributing over 150 campaign packets plus personal calls and letters. The first “PAWS for Refreshment” fundraising event is held in four local restaurants coordinated by board member Jackie Bruce. And board member Laura Brewer organized a “DASF Table Setting” at the Denton Benefit League’s Sensational Setting event.
The first DASF NEWS newsletter is distributed in the fall. The mailing list, including donors is approximately 400. DASF continues extensive media, direct marketing and public awareness, including “hang tags” distributed by various businesses. Thousands of brochures are distributed through a network of 80 business locations. The first annual “Rays of Hope” half-price adoption day is initiated and underwritten by DASF board member, Dr. Ann Stuart. Almost 60 pets are adopted, emptying the shelter in a single day. Approximately $300,000 is raised for the new shelter by year-end.
DASF begins participation in the Kroger Community Grants program allowing DASF to earn grant funds from Kroger customers who link their Plus card to DASF.
The Master Plan for the new facility is reviewed and accepted by Denton city council. Permission is granted to move forward. All funding for the $6.0 million project is required to be in place prior to the start of the construction process. The new facility will be 15,200+ square feet (vs. 7,000 sq. ft. in the current facility).
DASF board approves a capital campaign goal of $2.0 million to fund the “care and adoption” areas of the new facility. This is a proportional division of square footage between the shelter areas and the animal control functions. Additionally, the city agrees to provide the land. The city also grants permission for DASF to offer “naming rights” to the facility and areas within the facility.
DASF board proceeds to develop a capital campaign plan, timeline and materials. Chairman Bette Sherman heads the campaign. “Shelter for Today – Hope for Tomorrow” becomes the theme. The campaign cannot begin until the land has been acquired. DASF purchases a sophisticated donor management software system to aid in the maintenance of capital campaign recordkeeping.
DASF initiates two new funds to support the current shelter and provides some funding for needed improvements. The Adoption Subsidy Fund is formed to provide private and grant money to reduce the cost of adoptions to the public. A trial day of low-price adoptions determined that the adoption fee is a significant barrier. The Feral Friends Fund is also initiated to help with the humane maintenance of feral/stray cat colonies in Denton (est. over 20,000 feral cats in the city) and the adoption of feral/barn cats from the shelter. This fund primarily supports individuals caring for colonies with spay/neuter, vaccinations, examination, food & supplies until a more comprehensive program can be developed after the opening of the new shelter. The fund also provides 100% subsidy for barn cats.
Bed, Biscuit & beyond holds a “dog wash” benefiting DASF. The foundation also sets up a booth at Denton’s annual “Dog Days” event, raising about $800.
DASF continues to distribute materials, attend public events such as Denton’s “Dog Days of Summer” and provide media releases. More people become aware of the shelter.
The DASF board determines that replacing the old shelter is the priority project. DASF initiates a legal public-private partnership with the City of Denton to replace the existing out-dated 30+ year-old shelter with a new state-of-the art facility. DASF commits to raise private funds for the “care and adoption” areas of the new city Animal Services facility which would continue to house the city Animal Control functions. A joint building committee was formed between the foundation and the city, chaired by Police Capt. Scott Fletcher.
DASF begins participation with city officials on the preparation of a comprehensive Master Plan for the new animal services facility. Austin-based architect Larry Connolly is hired by the city to complete the plan. The building committee works on the needs assessments and on the research for the plan. DASF board members tour several new shelters and research others across the USA.
DASF forms the Emergency Medical Fund to provide much needed funds for triage and treatment of injured and sick animals entering the shelter. There is no funding for these situations. DASF board members personally provide the initial funds of $2,200.
Chairman Bette Sherman develops marketing materials, brochures, media releases and DASF begins the process of public awareness concerning the shelter. Several small events are held; and DASF board members set-up tables at public events.
The current shelter floods in the extreme rainstorm that hits the city. No animals are injured but significant loss of equipment occurs.
Denton Animal Shelter Foundation, Inc. is formed by co-founders Bette Sherman and Pete Kamp as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt public charity, chartered in the State of Texas. A board of 9 local community fundraisers and experienced volunteers is constituted. Bette Sherman becomes Chairman, Pete Kamp Vice Chairman, Marilyn Sisson Secretary, and Patti Smith Treasurer. Board member Kay Daniel designs the DASF logo. Bette Sherman will also act as DASF Executive Director. There will be no paid staff or rented office space. Board members contribute personally to fund operating expense and to fund Directors & Officers Liability Insurance. The mission is to save more Denton area animals. The purpose is to support the Denton shelter with funding for programs and facility needs; to provide public education; and to energize the community toward helping the shelter pets.
Revised October 2015.