Come join us for a ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ at Southern Swells Brewery!
Join us for the Second Annual Help a Hound Charity Golf Outing at Royal St. Augustine Golf & Country Club!
Registration is $65 per person which includes range balls, green fees, cart, coffee/donuts, and a hot lunch with an adult beverage!
Many great raffles and prizes!
Time: 7AM Registration Opens / 8:30AM Shotgun Start
Kids of all ages will learn about the benefits of pet adoption through adopting a stuffed friend with local animal rescue group Swamp Haven Rescue! Registration is required for this free program. Please call 904-827-6900 or register online.
Reprinted from the Unleash Jacksonville Brilliant Issue.
When you see someone fully embracing their passion—and growing in it—BOOM! It’s pretty darn inspiring, right? Kelly Kinlaw of Fur Sisters has been dedicated to saving dogs from high-kill shelters for many years and always wanted to be able to do more. Save more. Last July, Kelly realized her dream when Fur Sisters opened a 750 square-foot transitional space for dogs coming from urgent situations. In this space, dogs can decompress while waiting for a foster or adopter. This time allowed to transition is so important, because dogs are often too stressed in shelters to show their true personality and they get overlooked time after time. In the week or so that dogs stay at Fur Sisters, they can relax in this calm space while listening to music, enjoying some aromatherapy, and getting lots of treats. They are also tested with cats and other dogs during this time to see what kind of home would be best for them.
Here is where we need to stress that the new space IS NOT an adoption center (although that is one of Kelly’s ultimate goals), and it IS NOT a drop off for found or unwanted animals. But, while it’s true the new space is not an adoption center and you can’t just drop in any ‘ol time, there are always some very amazing dogs hanging out and you may make an appointment to meet them!
Fur Sisters mainly pulls from Putnam, Bradford and Clay county shelters, as these shelters are constantly overcrowded and, unfortunately, euthanize for space. They’ve also taken in some sweet pups from emergency situations, like Norman, who was thrown out of a moving car on Normandy Boulevard, and Angel, who was found in a Walmart Parking lot, completely starved, and the bottom half of her stained yellow and brown—you can figure out from what. You may also have seen Fur Sisters on the news when they helped Louis, a homeless man living in the woods taking care of a pack of dogs. Louis was taking as best of care as he could of the dogs he loved—they were being treated better than he treated himself. Fur Sisters stepped in to help the dogs and are also continuing to help Louis.
Here’s some exciting news for those of you who are looking for a great hair cut and want to meet some dogs at the same time! Kelly has moved her “day job” to be in the same building, so that she can be more efficient in both her rescue work and her making-people-look-gorgeous work. Cuts by Kelly moved to the front of the Fur Sisters space in Jax Beach in September of 2017. Go get your human hairs cut!
The new Fur Sisters location is a fantastic asset to our beach community. If you’d like to become involved (and become a “Fur Angel,” as helpers call themselves), Kelly says they’re always looking for people to help walk and socialize dogs, especially on the weekends. You could take a dog for a beach romp! They also always have a need for chew bones, dry dog food, monetary donations, and fosters—most crucial to save more lives!
Donation items can be dropped off Tuesday through Friday 10-4 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate a time, offer volunteer time, or set an appointment to meet some amazing pups!
Fur sisters currently has several dogs they’ve pulled from high-kill shelters in boarding and the bills are piling up. Kindly Donate to Fur Sisters on #GivingTuesday or offer to foster!
You save lives! You help rescue! You help with vet bills! You help transport animals from high kill shelters to a new life! These are some of the wonderful things that you do when you support us! Not one dime goes to a salary and ALL goes to the cause! Sign up today before all seats are filled!
Bring your best friend, a bottle of wine, and be prepared to have a great time! We’ll also have wine and light appetizers to share!
What a weekend this is going to be and we are SO excited to be hosting our guest bartenders, Jason & Lauren from BrewHound!
Cash tips and donations will be benefiting Dogs on Deployment: Gulf Coast! We will be having drink specials all day, some special food from ABBQ, and raffles every hour!
Join ABBC and the FUR SISTERS as we do a Down Dog the second Wednesday of each month this summer beginning 6:30pm at ABBC (June 13th, July 11th and August 8th).
Your $15 donation gives you a fab yoga class, one free pint of ABBC craft beer or one glass of Hogue wine as well as a chance for ABBC swag! Bring your mat and get ready to stretch. All proceeds benefit FUR SISTERS of Jax Beach!
Polly Pocket was a Pit Sisters rescue. She came with a menagerie of medical problems, mostly caused by heart worms. We adopted her and sadly lost her just seven months later on December 19th. She changed our whole world and words cannot describe the pain we still feel over loosing her. God Speed Polly, no more suffering….. xo
~ Jennifer Bristow
Amy Olivieri | Unleash Jacksonville
I was thinking about the power of a thank you this week. It’s kind of immeasurable. (I guess, in all transparency, if pressed … and maybe given a floor-to-ceiling chalk board, and a three-year grant, I could come up with a mathematical formula. But I’d kind of like to get this post finished today. Immeasurable. When you say thank you and mean it … it most definitely has far reaching effects beyond the smile you put on someone’s face, or the opening of their heart.
Let’s consider the absence of a thank you for just a sec (but only for a sec because it’s yucky) … the impact is immediate. (I’ve already discovered the mathematical formula for this, but I don’t think you’d understand it. It’s really really advanced.) You let someone in front of you on the road and … no wave! What the …? You open the door for someone and … they whisk past you—all you’re left with is the smell of their stinky dryer sheet which probably causes cancer. Well F you, then. You buy your friend a beer and … not so much as a cheers! You’re so frickin’ rude, dude. The “thank you” absence births stress, anger, tongue biting, violent hand motions, squelched feelings, and it leaves you feeling less likely to do that lovely gesture for that lovely person in the future. Depending on what it is and the mood you’re in, the anti-thank you can ruin your day.
When you are grateful for the awesomeness of someone or something they did, you can participate and expand on that energy. Thank you, you are amazing for bringing my mail every day (even though it’s just a MINT magazine and a bill for the sewer)—you don’t have to mention that last part. Being appreciated truly energizes people. It’s encouraging to know you have purpose and that you are connected and that someone notices you. The young man at the grocery store took extra care with your produce … Thank you for doing a great job. I appreciate it. I kinda hate your haircut, but to each their own—again, maybe don’t mention that last part. A sincere thank you makes that baggerboy want to keep doing a good job. Your dog leaves you the last piece of pizza because he knows you’ve had a hard day at work. Thank you for thinking of me, Bingo, you’re very kind. Sometimes I think about what it would be like if we were boyfriend girlfriend—I really need to learn to just stop at the thank you part.
Thank you, rain. I mean it. I was feeling your absence.
Everything is connected.
As someone who is connected to some of the most self-less, big-hearted, seemingly-tireless-but-ever-tired animal rescue and advocacy human beings (some personally, some only on the Facebook), it seems like it could be lonely. It seems like it can be heart wrenching, emotionally and physically exhausting, and I see it can definitely be thank•less. It seems to also be rewarding and happy and victorious at times, but it’s never ending. It’s a passion and a calling and something you can’t just up and walk away from. Fuck it, I’m not doing this any more … doesn’t seem like an option (but a thought that I’m sure happens maybe daily?) There’s that big heart—I can see it glowing with goodness—it’s soft and mushy for suffering animals. They’re empathetic beyond what most people can imagine. I have a feeling those in the trenches of rescue physically hurt inside much of the time—mostly in that heart area, but a lot of the time in the stomach, too, because of the things they can’t do. I see them spend their own money even when they have none. They can’t turn their backs, it would go against everything in their being. They do things people say they wish they could do … I wish I could save that dog. These beings who are rescuers find a way to do it. I wish I could go to the shelter and help, but it’s too sad. These beings who are advocates go, because they don’t want to think about what happens if they don’t. They embody the strength and the forward motion for all of us.
Changing a situation for just one animal can take a chain of events and a slew of people—you are very likely one of them. Even sharing a post can have great impact that you may never know about. Thank you to all, I mean it.
Here is the gist of what I’m getting at today—let’s work on connection through thank you. Gratitude seems to be a buzz word right now, but I hope you’re not tired of hearing it. It’s the way to happiness, people. We are connected (if you don’t feel like it today, try doing something about it). We are a community. Animal lovers. Rescuers. People who want to help. People who do help.
A teeny-tiny act of kindness + gratitude is all it takes. This will take literally 5 minutes (unless you don’t have a piece of paper. Then you’ll have to go to the store—in that case, tack on 30 minutes—pick up envelopes and Doritos while you’re there.) Let’s go old school and write a thank you note today! Unleash Jacksonville has almost 2000 awesome followers … imagine the impact if even half participated in our “Hey, Thank You” exercise! This week, I’d like us to thank Fawns Small Dog Rescue, who often pulls older small dogs in need of medical care that are dumped at shelters. (They’ve got a lot of younger small dogs as well, so if you’re looking to adopt small—young or old, check them out.) If you follow them on Facebook, you will see some of the sweet dogs they’re working on saving and finding homes for. I’m going to suggest sending them a physical thank you note, even if you’re just learning of them today. If you love animals you can send them heartfelt thanks in an effort toward connecting. Think of the impact we can have as a group if we all send a thank you with a five-dollar-bill (or one dollar-bill or twenty-dollar bill or just a lovely simple thank you note!). Just a little somethin somethin for doing great work for our community.
Fawns doesn’t know we’re doing this—except tagging them may have tipped them off, I guess. I hope they’ll find at least a few thank you notes in their mailbox, and it will make them feel loved.
Fawns Small Dog Rescue
PO Box 2607
Orange Park, FL 32067
Hey! Thank you for reading. I mean it.
I first met Pat Delaney at her vet’s office as we were distributing an issue of Unleash Jacksonville. “My dog, Scarlet was in that magazine,” she proudly told us.“Well, before she was MY dog!” And then Pat went on to explain how this skinny, scared, almost-euthanized mama Pit bull came into her life, and the story is absolutely fantastic. We just had to share.
See Scarlet’s previous story in the UNFORGETTABLE issue:
If you were the judging-by-the-book-by-its-cover type (which you’re obviously not) you’d never in a million years see Pat Delaney as a woman who’d have a passion for the vilified Pit bull breed. But, joke’s on you! Pat has been rescuing female pit bull puppies for the past 35 years, and she has nothing but brilliant things to say about them. Her husband was a Navy pilot and deployed many times, “I needed to feel safe in my home with three little girls. Our first was Maggi, a black and white Pit bull puppy, who we rescued at 5 weeks old. She moved many times with us and was even the Commanding Officer’s dog at NAS Jacksonville for a time! She brought us such joy for 11 years. We went on to rescue Darcy, a black fawn Pit Bull, who was with us for 12 years, and then Lily, a chocolate-and-white Pit bull. Lily brought our family years of cheerful and devoted companionship. After losing my husband of 46 years to lung cancer two years ago, then last November, my Lily passed away from liver cancer, I was shattered. I was done and never wanted to be devastated again. The house was empty. And I didn’t plan on getting another dog.”
Then came Scarlet.
At 6 years old, Scarlet was dumped in a high-kill shelter in Orange County—underweight and pregnant. She was gentle and approachable … until she delivered her babies. Under the stress of being in the shelter, and also being a new mom, she became very protective of her babies. She didn’t want anyone to get near them. Any human mother can probably understand Scarlet’s mind set, but she was labeled as aggressive and placed in isolation. She was given a couple of days “deadline” to secure a rescue or else be euthanized, along with her babies.
Poochie’s Pet Rescue worked hard to make a miracle happen. They scrambled to find a foster for Scarlet and her puppies—and did so within just hours of them being killed. “Scarlet and her puppies were fostered by my daughter Kelly’s new neighbor,” recalls Pat. They were there for several months and Scarlet was able to relax and enjoy being a mom. Kelly fell in love with a sweet dog that needed a second chance after being bred so many times.”
When they were old enough, Scarlet’s puppies went to their forever homes, but no one came for Scarlet.
“Kelly begged me to take her for a few days. My brain didn’t want another dog, but apparently, my heart did. I took Scarlet on a trial basis and she never left. I really didn’t comprehend how much I needed her, or how much she needed me.”
If you’ve ever been curious what pure and unconditional love looks like, I’d invite you to spend some time with Scarlet and Pat. During our photoshoot for this story, the thing that stood out most was the beautiful bond these two amazing ladies share. They do everything together. “Scarlet is now my constant companion. She’ll get to be the puppy for the rest of her life instead of having puppies. All she has to do now is eat and play and be loved. Scarlet is so happy all the time, from her morning walk, to sleeping on the couch to exploring her half-acre yard through her own door. She brings me so much joy and makes me smile continuously.”
It’s clear that’s all Scarlet wants for Pat as well, after the losses she’s endured. Scarlet is filling up Pat’s formerly empty house with her huge smile and her open heart.
As a long-time Pit bull advocate, Pat would like people to know several things about the breed in general. “Pit bulls are so special! They bring such amazing love and companionship. They’re very loyal, powerful, and devoted. They are majestic animals that display their strength and grace with their every move. Pit bulls are incredibly intelligent, sensitive, and aware of their surroundings. They bond and are protective of their family.”
The smile on her adorable face says it all, Scarlet is safe and she is home—she has truly found her angel. But, according to Pat, “I didn’t rescue her—she rescued me.”