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2014 News and Events

Achieving Tax-Exempt Status
Happy New Year 2014! On January 2nd, we finally heard from the IRS… we’d been granted tax-exempt status… WolfStone Ranch officially became a 501(c)(3) organization in March… hooray!

Placing Our Adoptable Animals
In May, Best Friends Animal Society (“Best Friends”) agreed to take most of our already-adoptable dogs and cats… which meant that they took 4 dogs and 10 cats! This year we also adopted out 2 dogs and 2 cats on our own… people have begun finding us on our petfinder.com page! Bill Splitter, a Volunteer Extraordinaire for Best Friends for the past ten years, transported the dogs to Best Friends (in Kanab, Utah) in late May, at his own expense! Bill and another Best Friends volunteer, Veronica Winterscheidt, transported the cats in early June, on Bill again! (As of the end of 2014, all 4 dogs and 4 of the 10 cats had been adopted out to wonderful homes.)

Still Rescuing Animals In Need
Though 2014 was more about moving animals out of WolfStone Ranch, we did still take in 2 dogs and 2 cats this year. All 4 animals would have died had we not rescued them. And all 4 animals are very sweet, friendly… and highly adoptable! Annabelle, Jada and Shadoe are ready to go, whenever someone falls in love with them. Duke is still recovering from heartworms. Although he has finished his treatment, protocol dictates that he must be crated 24/7 (and walked slowly only on a leash several times a day) until mid-May… otherwise, he could die from “worm clots”. So he’ll remain here until he’s totally heartworm-free… and it’s finally safe for him to run and play like the fun-loving, high-energy Lab “pup” he is!

Setting Up A TNR Program For Community Cats
Laura Weston, who used to work at Farmington Pet Adoption Center, is now coordinating a Trap, Neuter, Return (or Relocate) program for us. Laura and friends are trapping not only in Farmington, but also throughout the Mineral Area… in our efforts to help reduce the population of unwanted feral cats. When the cats cannot be released back into their original territories, Laura finds people with barns needing mousers, and relocates the cats to these new, compassionate homes. And Dr. Comte (of Heartland Veterinary Center) is able to give us a generous reduction in the price of the neutering surgeries, due to our tax-exempt status.

Acquiring An Exceptional Volunteer
Bill Splitter was so impressed with WolfStone Ranch, calling it a “little Best Friends” because of the high quality in which it has been designed and developed, that he has become a devoted volunteer down here, too. Bill makes the 90-minute drive from St. Louis, where he lives, to Farmington a couple of times a week to help out. He is also a Rescue Road Warrior, transporting dogs from Missouri to Indiana, where they are picked up by other volunteer transporters and taken East, to states who need pets. What passion and commitment!!

Engaging A Wonderful Intern From Mineral Area College
In September I had approached Mineral Area College about setting up an internship… and in December we engaged a fantastic student, Brittany Fillippi, who will be helping out for 6 hours a week this coming semester (January through May 2015)!! Brittany wants to be a Missouri State Park Ranger, so she’s going for a double major in Agri-Biz and Law Enforcement. And I’ve already learned that she’s very responsible and dependable, as well as professional in her attitude and work habits… AND she’s got innate talent with animals… not to mention she’s delightful!

Receiving “Doggon’ Wheels” For One Of Our Special-Needs Dogs
Phoenix was only 8 years old when I rescued him back in 2010. I couldn’t find anyone to adopt him because he was considered too old and also because he had a “bum” leg. The DVM said he’d probably been hit by a car years ago, which is why his leg was broken in several places. He looked crippled, because his injuries had gone untreated… but he wasn’t in any pain and the injured leg didn’t slow him down one bit! But now, at 12, he’s got serious arthritis and his back leg muscles are growing weak. Other than that, however, he seems to be in excellent health. So in early December I asked Laura Weston about “doggie wheelchairs”, because she has a dog who uses one… And long story short, Laura and Lisa quickly found a woman in Florida who has donated a cart that’s the perfect size for Phoenix! Over the Christmas holidays Lisa helped me to fit the harness to Phoenix and taught me the tricks of getting Phoenix to be comfortable using his new wheels. So when this sweet old Boxer can no longer get around on his own, I don’t have to “put him down” but instead will be able to strap him in and let him “do his business” and enjoy tooling around the front yard… Talk about a wonderful Christmas present!!

2013 News and Events

Animal Care Facility License
On 31 January 2013 the State of Missouri, Department of Agriculture, Division of Animal Health, Animal Care Facility Program issued WolfStone Ranch its first annual Animal Care Facility License #RQ-8681 making it legal for us to rescue and adopt out animals. Hooray!

Certificate of Incorporation, Missouri NonProfit
On 22 March 2013, Secretary of State for the State of Missouri, Jason Kander, filed the Articles of Incorporation for WolfStone Ranch, Inc. #N01301409. Hooray!

501(c)(3) Application for Tax-Exempt Status with the IRS
Took me a couple months just to find the right attorney, but she was so worth waiting for! Pfau Englund Nonprofit Law, founded by Sandy Pfau Englund, Esq. Sandy and her team did a fantastic job of helping me put together WolfStone Ranch’s Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and IRS Form 1023 (application for tax-exempt status). As a matter of fact, I thought it was so well written, that I’m including herewith the following salient excerpt:

IRS Form 1023, Part IV — Narrative Description of Activities
WolfStone Ranch, Inc. (WSR) is dedicated to the prevention of cruelty to animals. Specifically, WSR operates a shelter that rescues and rehabilitates “unadoptable” animals by providing compassionate treatment and community education. Unadoptable animals include those that have emotional and behavioral issues – thus reducing their chances of adoption. WSR's primary activity involves rescuing these animals from no-kill pet shelters, with the goal of providing shelter, medical treatment and/or behavioral therapy for these animals, and then placing them with adoptive families where they may thrive and succeed.

The activities of WSR include:
* Using a “force free” behavior-modification animal trainer to rehabilitate dogs and cats with behavioral issues so that they may become adoptable;
* Providing shelter and feeding for “unadoptable” animals rescued from no-kill shelters;
* Promoting and speaking at events to raise public awareness regarding the issues “unadoptable” animals face;
* Raising funds to support the foregoing activities.

The income of the organization is derived through contributions and fundraising activities. All funds are expended for the organization’s programs. The activities of WSR are overseen by an independent, volunteer board of directors.

On 21 June 2013, WolfStone Ranch received a letter from the IRS confirming receipt of our application and informing us that we will receive further word from them within 90 days. Sandy had told me that the average time to receive a determination from the IRS has grown to a patience-testing 13 months! Still, she said that a few applications are able to be processed much more quickly, so stay tuned for further developments… sometime in September!

New Quarantine Kennel

Basement flooding being repaired by Woods Basement Systems

French Drain being installed in the front yard

Radon Mitigation System being installed

New Quarantine Kennel
Finished building my first “emergency holding pen” the day before the July 4th holiday back in 2011, a cheap and flimsy thing requiring multiple emergency repairs over the last couple of years. (And wasn’t I relieved to have it up and ready when the day following completion I found three precious little puppies who’d just been dumped down at Syenite, the public access to the St. Francois River behind WolfStone Ranch?!) But this spring, we finally turned that rickety old pen into a real “quarantine kennel”. We covered the wooden barn wall with metal siding, and replaced the dirt floor with a concrete pad… nonporous materials (metal and concrete) that permit us to not just clean but truly disinfect the pen. Now I can worry much less about bringing in parvo-virus or giardia… hooray!

Basement Leak Repairs (including Dry Track and French Drain)
Bought and moved into this charming but neglected little 5-acre place that has become WolfStone Ranch in April 2010… which must’ve been a relatively dry spring and summer, because I didn’t have any basement flooding until March 2011. That spring wasn’t too bad, really, but last year (2012) the basement floor was covered in water 75% of the time during all of March and April. Thought it might be an anomaly, but then the flooding started in February of this year, and was getting worse by the day.

So I called in Woods Basement Specialists. Took them nearly three months and several trips down from St. Louis to get it right, but get it right they did, thank goodness! We wanted to put in a Water Guard® system, but my basement construction wouldn’t allow it; so instead Woods put in a Dry Track® system that isn’t as elegant, but installed properly is just as effective. Woods also put in a “French drain” in the front yard, to reduce the amount of runoff hitting the west wall of the house in the first place.

You may ask, who cares about the basement, but what you don’t know is this… except for the dogs (my personal pets) who sleep in the living room, all of the other dogs here at WolfStone Ranch sleep in their own personal crates in the basement! Which means they spend at least half their lives down there, so it needs to be clean and dry for the sake of their health.

Radon Mitigation System
When I bought the place, I received some information from my mortgage holder about the dangers of radon. So I tested the basement and found that the radon levels were indeed high enough to pose a health risk, especially since the animals spend so much time down there.

I happened to discover this danger during the time that Woods Basement Systems was here dealing with the basement flooding issue. I also learned at the same time that they happen to install radon mitigation systems, so… I had them put one of those in, too, since they were here already!

Creation of Our Website
Just like the search for my attorney, it took me several months to find just the right web builder, but was he ever worth waiting for! Denny Henke (MacProductive) is not only a technological wizard, he is also very artistically creative and a very good listener. Over and over, he has understood what I was going for and given me just what I wanted... and more. On top of that, he has offered to be WolfStone Ranch's Web Master... and what a treasured addition to Pack WolfStone he is!