BOARDMAN – Every Dog Matters Rescue is 5 years old and thriving in its shelter which opened its doors three years ago.
The nonprofit rescue group began as a hospitality-only organization for its first two years.
“We ended up paying to board six dogs at $25 per day per dog. At that point, we realized having our own facility was cheaper,” spokeswoman Amanda Hamilton said.
The organization obtained part of a building at 6329 Market St. and has since worked to place dogs in permanent homes while continuing a foster program. Hamilton said the pandemic has actually helped the rescue with adoptions as more individuals and families choose to add a four-legged friend to their family.
“COVID has been a blessing to our shelter,” Hamilton said. “We were able to adopt dogs that we had had for almost a year, and they stayed.”
She said people who adopted Every Dog Matters Rescue during the pandemic were very happy with their new friend and none wanted to give them back.
The Boardman Shelter has also been very active during the pandemic. He received donations to buy dog and cat food and bought some with monetary donations. This food was given to pet owners who had trouble feeding their pets.
“Blackwood from Lisbon donated four pallets of food to evacuate, and people were dropping food donations,” Hamilton said. “We didn’t ask for names or information, we just gave each person a bag of food, no questions asked.”
She said when the word got out, cars lined up from Southern Boulevard to Market Street.
While the shelter has weathered the pandemic and remained strong, it now faces a different challenge.
“In today’s economy, nobody adopts dogs,” Hamilton said. “Every shelter is full, and there are more every day.”
She said many realize the cost of a dog can be high. For those who want a dog and feel they can’t afford one, Every Dog Matters has a program that’s perfectly suited.
“Our foster program is a great way to own a dog,” Hamilton said. “We pay all the medical costs for the dog and we provide the food. All a person has to do is provide a loving home and companionship.
She said a person can literally have a dog at no extra cost. For those wishing to adopt a dog, the shelter also offers great deals.
One dog Every Dog Matters has for adoption is a senior dog pulled from the Mahoning County pound, which the shelter regularly works with. The dog’s name is Ronan, and when he arrived at the shelter two years ago he had a heartworm and a yeast infection all over his body. These issues were eventually resolved with the treatment. Another problem for Ronan was the fact that he had to undergo a $7,000 operation to remove an abscess around his prostate.
Just when things started looking up for Ronan, the playful decided to chew and eat an entire toy. It gave him another trip to an Akron veterinary center for a $6,000 operation to remove the toy.
“In total, we invested $15,000 in Ronan,” Hamilton said. “Because he is a senior dog, his adoption fee is only $150. It’s a small sum for such an expensive dog.
To remain financially strong, Every Dog Matters Rescue depends on donations and extensive fundraising.
“We hold bake sales, dances, garage sales and shoe drives as ways to raise funds,” spokeswoman Renee Hibbard said. “We sold popcorn and we will start yoga classes soon.”
She said a recent adoption was by a local yoga instructor. After adopting the dog, the person felt the need to give back to help other dogs waiting in a home. This person decided to give yoga classes at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday of every month at the Mystic Salon on Raccoon Road in Austintown. The course fee is $12 per month, with all proceeds going to Every Dog Matters Rescue.
The organization will also set up shop at the Austintown Farmers Market on June 29 at Austintown Township Park on Kirk Road.
Another event scheduled for this year will be August 25 when Birdfish Brewery, 140 East Park Ave. at Columbiana, will host “Dog Daze” as a fundraiser. The event will feature live music and will have raffles, 50-50 and the sale of dog bandanas.
“We will be sharing proceeds from the bandanas with Columbiana Dog Park,” Hibbard said.
Although funds are needed for the operation and services of the shelter, Hamilton said there is also a huge need for volunteers, even if it is only for a two-hour shift per week. She said the house hours are split into three two-hour sessions a day to feed, walk and play with the dogs.
We also need people to help with fundraising and various events. Anyone interested in volunteering or getting additional information can visit www.everydogmattersrescue.com
“We won’t turn down any offers of help,” Hamilton said.
Looking ahead, Hamilton and Hibbard agree that the problem of overcrowding is not going away. Hamilton said she still receives an average of three calls a week from people wanting to give up their dogs.
A 2-year-old rescue named Jameson was dumped at the shelter and left in a wire cage outside overnight. Hamilton said people were calling Boardman police saying the shelter housed animals outside, but Hamilton said none of the shelter’s dogs were ever allowed outside.
She said the crate had a note attached saying the dog’s name is Jameson and he is in good health. No other information was provided. The dog was rescued and found well cared for and in good health.
Today, Jameson is up for adoption and to prevent this kind of fall from happening again, the shelter has installed a camera system.