Since DVGRR’s dream for Golden Gateway became a reality in 2000, we have typically accepted and cared for four to five arriving dogs each week.
Our weekly population rarely drops below 22 dogs, and we routinely enjoy 40 to 56 Goldens, Labrador Retrievers, Goldendoodles, and Labradoodles in our care. Relinquishing owners turn to DVGRR for many different reasons. Although they’ve had to give up their family companion, they know that DVGRR will do everything in our power to provide their dog with all needed veterinary care and then place him or her in a home where love will quickly bond the new family together.
We are routinely faced with the dumping of puppy mill breeder dogs that have outlived their usefulness as a source of profit. We are challenged to care for and find homes for these dogs that are as gentle as our breed demands yet fear a human’s outstretched hand, are unable to walk on solid ground because they’ve never felt anything but wire under their paws, and have no understanding of the many comforts we lavish on our own dogs. Stuffed toys, long, leisurely walks on leash, or afternoon naps snuggled next to their person on the sofa are pleasures that will be realized only after many months of rehabilitation at Golden Gateway through our Project Home Life program.
Those of us who treasure “Old Gold” can never understand parting with a senior dog until they let us know their time on earth is ending. Still, senior dogs are relinquished all too often because their medical needs are beyond the financial resources of the owner or because people do not want to deal with the inevitable.
You will often find four or five aged Goldens enjoying life inside The Lynne Glennon Sanctuary for Senior Goldens and Puppy Mill Survivors. They receive as much exercise as they wish, are provided with medications and supplements to keep their older bodies more comfortable, get treated to a weekly canine massage, and surprise us daily with their joy and silly antics.
All of us who volunteer or work at Golden Gateway are committed to providing the best possible care and love for these dogs.
We often feel we “get” more than we “give” in working with all our DVGRR dogs – young and old, silly or sedate.
But what happens next year and the years after that?
The state of our economy has caused an increase in Goldens, Labs, and Doodles relinquished to DVGRR while the decline in our own personal wealth has caused a decrease in giving. It has become a struggle to raise funds for daily operations, let alone think about the future.
But future planning is critical.
In 2010, BEN’S GOLDEN VISION FUND was established with the Lancaster County Community Foundation.
“Ben” was a very special Golden Retriever. He ended up in a shelter at 8 years old, and from there he made his way to DVGRR. He impressed us all with his exceptionally gentle, affectionate nature and easily won the hearts of a new family. Two days after Ben was adopted, he suffered a major seizure in his new home. There was no evidence of a seizure problem at Golden Gateway and he came with zero past medical history, so we had no way of knowing if this was a pre-existing or a new problem.
For Ben’s new family, this health issue was just a bump in the road (albeit a big one), and they were perfectly willing to address it and work with him. It took many months and many efforts at trying different medications, but Ben’s seizures became well controlled. Throughout the process, he was nothing but a trooper and to say his family was in love with him would be an understatement!
Now Ben’s adopters, who so deeply treasure Ben and his amazing spirit and who are so grateful to DVGRR for helping Ben, have given DVGRR the opportunity to provide for our dogs forever through BEN’S GOLDEN VISION FUND.
Ben’s Golden Vision Fund has been established to provide a permanent endowment fund with the Lancaster County Community Foundation. Endowment building is a vital piece of the puzzle that has been missing from our future plans for meeting the needs of Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Goldendoodles, and Labradoodles to come.
The idea behind endowment is a simple one: a pool of assets is invested, and earnings from those investments are paid back to a charitable cause yearly in a fixed amount. Any earnings over the fixed percentage are reinvested to grow the principle. In this way, an endowment fund keeps pace with inflation over time. With reinvestment and the receipt of new donations to the fund, DVGRR has a reliable source of income to depend on far into the future.
The Lancaster County Community Foundation has been a trusted resource for local nonprofits since 1924. By establishing an endowment at the Lancaster County Community Foundation, we will receive professional investment management, planning assistance, fund listing on the Lancaster County Community Foundation’s website, secure online giving with personalized acknowledgements and no transaction fees, semi-annual fund reports, and 990 reporting.
With careful planning, an endowment fund can supply revenue in years in which donations are down or charitable need increases – giving DVGRR a reliable stream of flexible resources.
In early 2012, one of our benefactors pledged to match funds to Ben’s Golden Vision Fund up to $25,000.00. It is a very generous offer and allows your donation to effectively double in value. We’re currently about a quarter of the way to our goal. Every dollar donated to this important endowment fund helps ensure that the work we’ve started at DVGRR will continue well into the future… meaning help will always be there for Goldens and dogs in need. Your kindness can live on forever.
While we do not want to challenge your generous giving to DVGRR now, we encourage you to consider Ben’s Golden Vision Fund in your stock donation and/or estate plans. If you have additional questions, please contact Inza Adams, Development & Donor Engagement Manager