We could never have imagined a year that has been filled with such challenges could be ending with an opportunity that we had only dared to dream of, a chance for a forever home.
For more than 15 years, Coastal has been rescuing dogs, and this year we started like any other, rescuing dogs. And then COVID hit. We were no longer able to have our adoption events on the weekends. We were no longer able to go in our normal groups to walk the dogs at the kennel. And we weren’t allowed in the shelters to help the dogs who were waiting for their only chance, dogs who had been deemed “rescue only”, but we couldn’t get to them. Almost ready to give up, we remembered our often joke amongst ourselves, that we are like the breed we rescue. We are loyal to those we love, we don’t leave them behind, and we will find a way.
And find a way we did. We were determined to continue rescuing dogs. Even though the shelters didn’t want to let us in, we weren’t beyond begging. They could see that we were willing to do whatever it would take, and they began to work with us and let us in. We began to schedule our adoptions by appointments only. It meant the volunteers had to work longer hours, but the reward was the wagging tail and the smile on the families’ faces as we watched each dog go to their forever home.
And then, as if COVID weren’t enough, we were watching as the kennel that had been like our family for more than 15 years, the one that been so generous to allow us to board our dogs at a discounted rate, the kennel was being squeezed by developers. No one had any idea what the future held and we had no idea where we would go, if we lost the kennel, how we would ever find another place to board our dogs, how we would continue to rescue, whether we could even continue to rescue.
If only we had a place of our own.
Those were words we had often thought to ourselves, even dared to speak aloud at times. Suddenly, as if a prayer had been answered, a miracle, a kennel was for sale and a very generous donor offered to help us purchase it. We started the process, all the while sitting on pins and needles, waiting for the rug to be pulled from under our feet. How could we ever be so lucky? We don’t know how we were so lucky, but we were. As the days passed, things began to fall into place and on November 1st, we closed escrow. Coastal German Shepherd Rescue has a place of its own, Coastal K9 Ranch.
When some supporters got word of our plight, they were so happy that we had found our place but knew that there was a lot that had to be done to make it livable for the dogs. From their support comes this year’s matching fund. They have offered up $75,000 to be matched dollar for dollar, through January 1st.
What does this matching fund mean? It means we can make the necessary repairs to make our new kennel functional.
What does our matching fund mean for the dogs?
There is an empty field in our new place, a field full of dead grass, weeds, and dirt. Imagine in a short time, that field will be the home of not one Coastal Alley, not two, not even three, but four, complete with turf for the dogs to run and play. The matching fund and some hard work from our volunteers will turn that empty field of dreams into a field of hope where the dogs will be able to run and play. Our dogs will no longer have to worry about the heat of the summer or the chill of the winter. The kennels we will upgrade have air conditioning. The matching fund this year will be used to buy the turf, the fencing for the alleys, washer, dryer, trees for shade, a new roof for the kennel and the house, and many other things.
What does having our own kennel mean? Our dogs will have Coastal care 24 hours a day. We will be able to stay with them if they are sick, comfort them if they are afraid. We will be able to work with them throughout the day. They will be able to run and play. For our dogs to be able to chase a ball and then relax under the shade of a tree and watch as the sun goes down, before being tucked in at night, having our dogs feel like they are in a home while they are waiting for their forever home, that is our dream come true.
What year end could be complete without a trip down memory lane. From the dogs of the past, the dogs of the future, and all of us, a very big thank you.
Dogs Available for Adoption