Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I have neglected this blog terribly...

Since the last post I made on this blog, a lot has happened. Pup-pup, Logan, has passed away. We love and miss him very much!

We adopted one of our fosters, Darcy. She fits right in with our family of pets.

We stopped fostering for Rugaz for a while. Mostly because we needed a financial break. Rugaz provides for a lot, but there are expenses like treats, toys and cleaning supplies that we always paid for ourselves.

We (my wife, daughter and I) were driving up US41 in Gibsonton, on our way to church on Kim's birthday. and a dog was standing in the middle of the road. We stopped and found that the dog was starving and mangy. I said to Kim, "Looks like Selah has a new rescue pup". Now we have a gofundme page where we are trying to raise some money to get him well.

Please give. Whether you can give a dollar, or hundreds of dollars, please give something.

Visit www.facebook.com/SelahSanctuary where we keep our status more up to date.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

New Foster Dog: Lilo

We got our newest foster dog yesterday. Her name is Lilo. She's a Staffordshire Terrier, one of the smaller lines of 'pit bulls'. She's about 35lbs.

The initial greeting with our dogs and cat went very well. She was a little slow to come through the front door, so I had to carry her in, but she's beginning to understand that this is her safe place. She is loving and gentle.

She is available for adoption from Rugaz Rescue, Inc.

She just got spayed and is undergoing slow-kill heart-worm treatment. We don't have all the details yet, but we'll be in touch with Rugaz to find out more.

Between the time I wrote this and the time I got it published, I found out that she'll be transitioning from the slow-kill to the fast-kill version of heart-worm treatment. It's generally considered a harsher treatment, but it gets the issue resolved and lets her go unencumbered into her forever home.

Here are a couple of pictures I took this morning. I hope to supplement them with some of her and Houdini, the cat.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Selah Sanctuary

This is pulled from facebook.com/selahsanctuary notes. Some of this referrs to the two dogs I mentioned long ago when I created this blog, but SO much has happend since then!


I have decided to atempt to begin, then continue, the history of
Selah Sanctuary.

The earliest written record I can quickly find is 5-11-08 where I created a folder on our computer to contain documents with information about how to create our ministry. Kim and I have been talking about it for a long time though, so don't put too much stock in that date.

The first rescue our family had was in about April or May of 2003. A puppy was found in a field near the community center of our housing development. Another family took him, but said it was temporary and asked the community center employees to try to find him a permanent home. I had mentioned that I'd think about it. One Wednesday I was at the center and they asked me if I had decided. I said I was still thinking about it. They said if he wasn't taken that night, that he would go to the pound. I couldn't let that happen so I took him.

Kim hadn't owned a dog before, so it was new to her, but we both fell in love with him. He is a pit-bull pointer mix (we think). He looks like an overgrown Jack Russle. His temporary family called him PupPup but we named him Logan, after the XMen character, Wolverine.

In December of 2003 we had the opportunity to take Logan to north Florida to run in the wild. He absolutely loved it.

After a while, (June or July 2004) we wanted him to have a canine companion. A couple, Carman and Dan, knew we were looking and mentioned a litter of lab/chesapeake bay mix puppies. We went to the house where they were and Carman actually crawled under the house to pull out one of the puppies. We named her Angel and she is our Labradorable.

In August 2008, a box of kittens was left at the school at the beginning of teacher 'prep' week. One kitten, who was later aptly named Houdini, kept escaping from the box in Ms. Psiaki's class on the night of student orientaion and we found him quite endearing. We brought him home with us and now he keeps the dogs in line.

I've jumped ahead here. Let's go back to around 2004. We would joke about our "puppy plantation". We would like to have a large piece of land where all our puppies can run and play. I think our visit to north Florida in 2003 planted this seed , along with the spontaneous 'play dates' our dogs would have with 3 of the neighborhood dogs. Barney, Dot and Chrissy would somehow all be out running around and decide to come over to our house to visit. Thinking nothing of it, we let them all in the house and out back to play with our pups. The feeling like this was 'right' overwhelmed both Kim and me as the dogs jumped up to sit with us, snuggle and play together.

At the same time, Kim had it on her heart to be a blessing to people, especially women in need. There are other ministries inside her as well, but we'll focus on these for now. At some point, our joking became more and more serious and we started referring to our future ministry as The "Puppy Plantation". As God often does, he expanded our vision and we realized that we didn't want to limit ourselves to canines. God gave Kim the name and a catch phrase: Selah Sanctuary, Paws and Reflect. This would be a larger ministry that included Puppy Plantation for canines, Houdini's Hideaway for felines and an as yet un-named area for our brothers and sisters in need.

This leads us to early 2008 where I started looking into how to start a 501c3 organization and how to get funded and such.

On 5-11-08 I put together a list of internet links that I thought would be helpful as I went forward. That list has been edited, so I don't know what was written that day, and what was entered later, but the file currently holds 6 links, ncsstac.org (How to Establish a 501c3), ehow.com (2126716 short primer on starting a pet rescue), animalsheltering.org (a program of the HSUS. Lots of information for those running shelters.) ehow.com (2180037 step by step guide to incorprating on sunbiz.org), irs.gov (life cycle of a public charity) & askdor.state.fl.us (FAQ for FL tax)

On 5/17/08 I saved a link to bestfriends.org. I didn't realize how important their organization would be to us when I saved this, but I'll talk more about that later.

On 6/13/09 I created a document that contains what I now call our Vision Statement. I can't account for what happend in that 13 month period, but I know the vision was brewing and growing inside us. This same day I purchased 6 domain names, .org and .com for each of selahsanctuary, houdinishideaway and puppyplantationrescue.

I think it was some time near here, but I could be mis-remembering, I asked one of the ministers at church if he would prayerfully consider being a member of our board of directors. I had heard he knew how to work with dogs, which implies a love of dogs, and I know his heart as a dedicated servant of God. I knew he'd be a good choice.

On 9/7/09 I followed up on a lead I was given by a fellow Christian, who was developing a ministry to help homeless or otherwise suffering people in what ever way is needed, to check with the Christian Law Association for help getting started. Whoever answered my email told me they don't do that type of work, so apparently my friend had a different experience than we did.

On 9/13/09 I created 2 documents that give evidence of what I had been doing, probably in August of 09, or perhaps just earlier in Sept. I called them "1 Year Plan" and "Materials Planning..." One was for converting our back patio into a kennel area and the other was some financial and other ideas. One of the ideas is making a line of plush toys. I think that might have been Brittany's idea.

On 9/15/09 I created the first draft of our bylaws. I'd have gotten the framework for these from one of the links mentioned earlier, or some similar site.

Sometime near Thanksgiving of 09 Kim was blessed with the idea to get dog recue related material from the library. One of the items was a DVD from National Geographic called "Dog Town". This is where Best Friends, that I mentioned earlier, comes in. They have a 33,000 acre ranch in the Utah desert where they care for hundreds, if not thousands, of animals. They are a no kill shelter (except for untreatable cases where the ONLY choice is euthanasia) that believes that every animal deserves the chance at recovery or re-habilitation. Their scope and their vision has served as a spark, an inspiration, to make us expand our vision. They have their own airstrip and their own airplane. They drive thousands of miles to rescue one dog. They have gone around the world, into warzones, to rescue refugee dogs. WHAT A VISION!

Sometime in the last couple of days I created this page on facebook to reach out to our supporters. My main motivation was to reserve the name, because I really consider it a little pre-mature, but it will give me some practice anyway.

Today, 02/07/10, we asked a sister at church to prayerfully consider being on our board of directors. She had expressed a supportive attitude when she heard us speak of our ministry before, and we know she has a loving heart and she is submitted to God.

I know there are a lot of gaps in this history, but considering this is the first effort to record any of it, I am pleased with the amount of information I was able to glean from my own memory and from the few files on my computer.

I'll try to keep this updated as we progress.
I have anonymized this version because I don't have anyone's permission to mention their names in it. If any of you read this and will allow your name to replace the anonymous info, please let me know.


Today I spoke to the head of a 501c3 organization about a potential Fiscal Sponsorship. The idea was warmly received. I downloaded a sample Fiscal Sponsorship agreement on 2/12 in anticpation of today's conversation and I'll be editing it to match our circumstances so I can write a proposal and have a copy of the proposed agreement included in it.

Fiscal Sponsorship is a financial and legal system by which a legally recognized 501(c)(3) public charity provides limited financial and legal oversight for a project initiated independently by another organization.

It will allow Selah to begin work quickly, and take care of tax exempt status later.


Today I asked the sister I mention on 2/7 if she had made a decision. Praise God, she accepted. Now we have 2 members on our steering commitee.

I informed her, and the minister I mentioned around 6/13/09, that I am pursuing a fiscal sponsorship. Both were agreeable to it.

I stayed up late last night finishing the proposal that I had written during the week. I submitted the proposal to our potential sponsor today. I am eagerly awaiting a reply.

I re-wrote what I had written as By-Laws for the 501(c)(3) as Guidelines for the project. I'll need to have the Steering Commitee review the proposal and these guidelines for approval.

We still need from 1 to 3 additional members for our Steering Commitee. I haven't decided who to invite at this time.

Again I have forgotten some dates, but here's an update on our history.
Since March I received a reply from the 501c3 about the fiscal sponsorship. They declined, so we'll have to either find another fiscal sponsor or create our own 501c3 like we originally thought.

Sister Sara has given me permission to use her name on here. She's the church sister I mentioned earlier. Thank you sister!

The minister I talked about ealier mentioned that other responsibilities might interfere with duties for Selah, so I may need to seek another board/steering commitee meber.

On 8/15 we rescued 2 pit bull dogs from our neighborhood. We don't know yet if they are lost or abandoned. We put up Lost Dog notices in the neighborhood and plan to put up larger versions this weekend.

This date becomes our unofficial founding date.

Yesterday, 8/19, we noticed that the one we call Molly (see FB Wall for details) has a swollen paw. Because we havn't actually established our organization, we don't have any arrangements with any vets. We do have an office where we take our pets, so we'll call them this morning.

Our facebook following is slowly growing. As of today 9 peolpe "Like" our page. That's 5 people that are not directly involved in Selah. May that 9 turn in to 9000 and then 9000000

Today is 9/20/2010 Last Tuesday, 9/14, I emailed Rugaz Rescue to see about surrendering Dolly and Molly. In my email, I indicated that we were willing to foster them, but needed the financial support for getting them spayed and vaccinated. They replied very quickly. On Thursday, 9/16, they sent Natalie and Kourtney to our house to test their temperment and give them some vaccines. Their temperment is super sweet, so there was no problem there. They took their vaccines with no problem. They did not have the paperwork with them when they came, so we haven't signed yet, but that's coming soon. Devilyn, the founder and director of RugazRescue, told us to expect about 6 months to a year for them to be adopted.

Selah Sanctuary isn't official, but we have our first recues! Praise God!

I also noticed today that 13 people now like our page, that's up from 9 just a month ago!

I posted this message on our FB wall on 2012-02-11:
I'll have to update later, but in short, Dolly and Molly were adopted a while back. We fostered a girl named "Georgia" for just a couple of days and she got adopted. We took in Selah (Yes, she already had that name! Isn't that awesome?!) and today we took Selah to an event and came home with another foster. Maybe a temporary foster, but we'll see. His name is Ralphie and he is recovering from an eye removal and an immune issue that made him lose his fur.
Selah is a hero! Twice while in Hillsborough Animal Services, she was a blood donor to save another dog's life. Perhaps you have room in your heart and home for a herione like her!
Since then, Selah (the dog) has been adopted by a lady who also had a special connection to the name "Selah", so I see God's hand in that! Wee still have Ralphie. I weighed him yesterday and he's up to 50lbs! We got another foster this past Thurs, 4/26. She's a returned adoption. Part of me wanted to be indignant or judgmental about returning an adopted dog, but I have to trust God that He has a better fit for both that family and for "Beetle". She's a small pit bull, probably around 40lbs. Beautiful brindle color. She can play hard with Ralphie, or sit quietly and be stroked. I think it gets over-used, but the best word to describe her is "sweet".

Through all this, we are developing a relationship with a well established animal rescue and we are learning a LOT!
::according to my txt history and our FB wall::
We picked up a miniature pincher in our neighborhood on 2011/01/14. We called him "Cheep" or "ChiChi". He got adopted about a month later. I'll try to find a specific date for this. He went to a home in Pinellas country. We count him as our first adoption. It's unofficial and very informal. We'll have to work on actual adoption procedures before we really do this on our own. For now, Rugaz handles that. Dolly and Molly were adopted on 2011/12/17. Their new mom sent us a picture by txt on 12/24 wishing us a Merry Christmas!  Looks like we picked up Georgia on 2012/01/30 and on 2012/02/07 she got adopted after Rugaz picked her back up from us on or around the 3rd (Her new family wanted to give her a couple of days to make sure theirs was the right home for her) and we got Selah on the 7th also. (From my the wall post, we see that Ralphie arrived on 2012/02/11) Selah was adopted on 2012/03/24 and we got Beetle on 2012/04/26.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

First Night

Pup-pup came home on a church night. We had absolutely nothing in the house that was meant to take care of a dog. The previous family gave us a little food to get through the night. I felt bad that I had to leave him home by him self. I did a quick check of my back fence, and left him on the back porch. (Screened in patio, Florida style.) The details are a little fuzzy because it has been a while, but I think it was after church, and I came home that I decided to make a toy for him. I took some newspaper, balled it up, and wrapped it in wide clear packing tape. That was his first toy. [Picture to come, if I can find it on my old computer.]


About 5 years ago a pre-weaned puppy was found on the grounds of the community center of our housing development. A family took the pup in temporarily and asked the community center staff to ask around for a permanent home. I was there at the time and said I would think about it. Two weeks later I was picking up my daughter from their after school program and they asked me if I had made my decision. I really hadn't, and said I still needed to check with my wife. (She had never owned a dog, and I wasn't sure how she'd feel.) They said that if no-one would take him that he was going to the pound the next day.
I figured I could at least buy him some time, so I agreed to take him home. When the temporary owner gave him to me he had a vet statement where he was named "Pup-Pup".