dogs forever

Nonprofit of the Month: Dogs Forever

With a commitment to saving the lives of hard-to-place and homeless dogs, Cedar Rapids-based Dogs Forever is an Adoption Guarantee shelter. Here, Lisa Carrara, secretary, and Joyce Thompson, president, discuss how the pandemic has altered Dogs Forever’s day-to-day, the nonprofit’s goals for 2021 and various fundraising events that locals can enjoy this month.

What prompted the start of the nonprofit? Dogs Forever was founded to rescue homeless, abused and neglected dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages with special emphasis on seniors and those deemed hard-to-place.

What is the greatest reward in being involved with Dogs Forever? The greatest reward is making a significant difference in and around our community. We primarily find forever homes for homeless dogs but whenever we are able, we also help re-home dogs whose owners are no longer able to care for them due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g. terminal illness, job loss, death).

What is the biggest challenge the nonprofit faces? As an Adoption Guarantee shelter, all dogs stay in our care until we have found their forever homes. Consequently, we must continually generate income to cover our shelter and veterinary expenses by conducting fundraisers year-round.

In what ways, if any, has the pandemic affected Dogs Forever? At the height of the pandemic, our shelter was closed to the public. Additionally, meet-and-greets were held outdoors, and home visits were conducted virtually. Financially speaking, we canceled our brick-and-mortar fundraisers and instead held an online auction. We relied heavily on the generosity of our donors and supporters.

What are your goals for 2021? Our goals for the remainder of the year include erecting an outdoor storage shed, adding a new play/exercise/training area, and finding the very best forever homes for as many dogs as we possibly can!

How can readers help? Readers can help by making a donation of any amount and/or becoming a volunteer. We offer both hands-on and behind-the-scenes volunteering opportunities from interacting directly with the shelter dogs to assisting with fundraising events, one-and-done projects, creating raffle baskets and much more. We also offer sponsorship opportunities to businesses or individuals.

Does the foundation have any events or fundraisers on the horizon? 

August 7: Granger House Open Air Market in Marion, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

August 28: Critter Crusaders-sponsored pub crawl in Cedar Rapids, noon to 4 p.m.

Sept .19: Barks ‘n Bubbles Car Wash, at Canine Corner & Cats too, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Watch our Facebook page for more fundraising events throughout the year.

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