Good News Stuff

Good News Fridays: Help Keep The Encore Enrichment Center For Shelter Dogs Open


Here in East Alabama, there is a center that takes shelter dogs from several area animal shelters and trains them to prepare them for adoption or rescue.  The center in the last two years since opening has gotten over 120 dogs adopted or rescued.  Now, the Encore Enrichment Center For Shelter Dogs is needing help from the community to help keep this great mission going.

The owners made a plea on their website.  It reads:

Hello to all our fabulous followers. We’re so happy you joined us on this journey to help shelter dogs. It’s been two years since the first dogs came to Encore. Two exciting years of helping shelter dogs become more adoptable – so far, 129 of the 182 we’ve worked with have been adopted or rescued!

We love the partnerships we’ve established. League for Animal Welfare, Calhoun County Humane Society, Rockin P Rescue, and Pell City Animal Control – their dogs are our reason for being. Action Industries, whose volunteers help in so many ways. Jacksonville Christian Outreach Center and Legacy Village in Jacksonville. And our individual volunteers – they rock! These behind the scenes stars are invaluable.

While we’re happy for these successes, we have come up short in one critical area. When Tom and I started this groundbreaking effort we gave ourselves two years for Encore to become financially sustainable. We believed that by meeting a critical gap in shelter dog care , we would be able to secure grants and donations. Those, along with proceeds from training classes and room rentals, would cover the cost of Encore operations. Sadly, this has not happened.

We didn’t anticipate the difficulty of being a one of a kind model that doesn’t fit into typical animal welfare grant opportunities. We don’t have the marketing savvy to be able to move people beyond loving what we do, to showing that love with actual donations. Training classes and room rentals have not taken off. While we do some things very well at Encore, getting financial support is not one of them. So far we have been using our retirement savings to pay the bills, and we can’t afford to keep doing that.

So we are at a crossroads. We know what we do makes a difference for dogs. We want to continue this good work. We think if we expand our outreach to new partners, perhaps working with veterans groups to bring vets and shelter dogs together in a safe and nurturing place, we may have more success with grants. We may be able to get more weekend rentals by marketing to dog competition events. There are things we can try, but to keep going, we need your help now. Without it, Encore will close in 2020.

Your donation has never been more important. Any amount, whether one time or recurring, shows your commitment to helping shelter dogs. Please make a $10 monthly donation, or a one-time donation of at least $33 (about the cost to sponsor one dog for one day at Encore). Our monthly expenses run $5,000 a month, which covers everything from utilities, salaries and insurance to dog treats and toys. Our goal is to raise $20,000, enough to cover four months of expenses while we work to secure more long term financial support.

As we enter the holiday season, know that your donation can make an immediate difference in the life and future for shelter dogs in Alabama. You can donate online at our website, www.eec4sd.org. You can also write a check made out to EEC and mail it to 301 EA Darden Drive, Anniston, AL 36201. Thank you so much for your help. The dogs say woof woof – they thank you too!

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