Originally published in the Daily Iowegian newspaper in March of 2017
A group of residents from across Appanoose County have come together to organize Furever Friends Rescue of Appanoose, Inc., a not-for-profit animal shelter. When operational the organization will provide a range of services for lost, abused or abandoned dogs and cats in Appanoose County.
Tammy Cassady of Numa, a long-time animal welfare advocate and Furever Friends Rescue’s board president, said, “The services of a well-organized animal shelter are sorely needed right here, in our own county.”
Recently, Appanoose County approved subsidizing the cost of transporting and sheltering a limited number of its rescued dogs at Heartland Humane Society in Ottumwa. There are currently no services provided for Appanoose County’s cats.
“The County’s support is a good start, but we need to do so much more. Furever Friends Rescue plans to serve both dogs and cats with shelter, adoptions, spay/neuter programs, community education and other programs,” Cassady says.
Through Indian Hills Community College’s “Building Rural Business Connections” project, which is funded by a $40,820 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Furever Friends Rescue has gained free access to business consultants who are helping the group develop sound business plans and strategies.
“This intense planning will provide a roadmap for everything that has to happen in order to build and operate a high-quality, successful shelter,” said Cassady. “But the board can’t do this alone. It has to be a community project. The shelter will initially be supported solely through donations from the community, grants and many, many volunteers. We need everyone to get involved and help.”
Initial donations will enable Furever Friends Rescue to pay fees associated with applying for tax-free 501(c)(3) status from the I.R.S. Once that has been done, donations will be directed toward building and operational expenses. Donations may be sent to: Furever Friends Rescue of Appanoose, c/o Tammy Cassady, president, 15401 Hwy J46, Numa, IA 52544.
Volunteers are currently being recruited to serve on the following committees: Facility Planning, Membership & Fundraising, Grants, and Marketing & Communications. If you have skills in any of these areas and would like to participate, please contact: Sabrina Wells, volunteer coordinator, at 641-895-3711 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.