Monday, October 3, 2011

Behind the Scenes at BRAT

I have heard it said, "If you want something done, ask a busy person."  BRAT has hundreds of volunteers, however many are less frequently called on to provide services while others are busy on a daily basis.  The busiest people are, of course, the ones who live where there are lots of rescues needing help.  Tonya and Walt Ahrens in Missouri,  a puppy mill state, always have a house full of fosters, many who are receiving long term rehabilitation in order to help them become adoptable.  Tonya coordinates all of the dogs they foster and many others who are fostered in other homes in Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas. 

 Another District Coordinator in a puppy mill state, Richard Reinhold, likes to bring new basenjis to his Texas home if possible so he can personally evaluate them for a few days to be certain he does not pass a biter to another foster.

 Suzanne Sarlls-Hartwell, having a kennel attached to her Michigan home, always has a few extra basenjis hanging out while waiting for transport to other foster homes or adopters.  Suzanne, constantly on the go planning and driving BUR runs, is also co-chairman of the 2012 BRAT convention which will be held in Indianapolis next June.  Tania Doran, another busy foster volunteer, lives in Indiana and is the other co-chair for convention.

 Jacque Holdaway, from Oklahoma, is another busy foster volunteer.  Like, Tonya and Walt, Suzanne and numerous others, I can't recall a time when Jacque has had fewer than three to five foster basenjis.  Even with all the work of taking care of and coordinating numerous basenjis, Jac makes time each year to produce the BRAT calendar.  The calendar, which will be taken to the printer this week, is BRAT's biggest annual fund-raiser.  We should be ready to take orders by mid-October.
 The record holder for number of fosters at one time is certain to be Pam Hamilton who still has a few Wimauma Field basenjis hanging out in her Florida home.  The time she has spent socializing them was apparent at the 2011 Convention where the many WF basenjis present displayed perfect basenji manners!

 BRAT has three Regional Coordinators counting me.  Oren Will and Roberta Kosek also frequently have fosters in their home and coordinate many basenjis each month placing them in carefully chosen forever homes.  Oren is currently coordinating the six Las Vegas pups and I am certain his in-box must be over-flowing with applications.

 Behind the scenes numerous BRAT devotees perform administrative duties on a daily basis.  Debbi Johnson, BRAT treasurer, assures the bills are paid and the books balanced, seldom taking a day off from checking email and responding to the vetting requests.  Pat Dukes, B Ann Hageman and Chey Miller also volunteer on a daily basis to respond to volunteers, add basenjis to the spreadsheet, manage the paper files, issue tags and keep track of where each rescued basenji is living.  Jackie Kuhwarth, answers BRAT's 800 number responding immediately whenever a lost basenji is found.  Jackie and her husband, Don, provide the server and maintenance for BRAT's web site.  Linda Siegel, posts the rescues to the web, an important step in the re-homing process.  Lori King does her best to find rescuers and homes for as many basenji mixes as possible.

 It is amazing that BRAT is fully staffed solely with volunteers who give so much time and effort to help our favorite breed.  I am profoundly proud to be a part of this wonderful organization.

 Liz Newton

No comments:

Post a Comment