and then I met Sid, our founder and director. She gets more done in a day than I thought humanly possible.
I am convinced Sid can do this because, for her, NOT doing the work is NOT an option. Her work saves the lives of cats and dogs. Every single day there is a critical situation to handle because that is just how the rescue world is. Sid is completely committed to this cause and will save as many as she possibly can.
It is truly inspiring (and fun!) to work with someone who knows how to get shit done in epic proportions.
I wanted to give you some insight to Sid's schedule for a few reasons:
To remind you your donated dollars go a LONG way.
To help people understand why Sid can't answer every text, call, Facebook message, and email immediately.
To show our supporters our need for volunteer dog-walkers as we get ready to open the dog building!
Also just to give you some behind-the-scenes info about what goes into running Smiley's Rescues and how Sid and her family make it all work.
Sid does not get paid for her work at Smiley's Rescues. At all. She and her immediate family have arranged their lives so this work can be done. They live simply so that more animals can simply live.
We are 100% donor-supported (and 100% volunteer-run). Because Sid doesn't take a wage/salary at all, donations we receive go overwhelmingly to direct animal care. (We do have some other bills to pay: legal fees, accounting help, etc. - but we work REALLY hard to make sure those are GOOD choices for the long-term survival of the rescue.)
When I categorize our expenses in Quickbooks, I 'count' all of the following as 'direct animal care', because without it the animals would not get care:
- Vet Visits and Spay/Neuter Appointments
- All supplies: food, litter, cleaning supplies, and medical supplies (medical stuff is a HUGE list all by itself).
- Gas to get to appointments and buy supplies. Within the next 6 months this needs to be mileage reimbursement instead of just gas money. Sid is putting on 5000+ miles/month on her personal vehicle to get animals to appointments, foster homes, and adoption events.
- Propane for heating the rescue buildings.
- Note to self: we gotta figure out the electric bill for the rescue buildings, I think Sid and Jordan are still paying for 100% of that. I would put this in 'direct animal care' also!
Please see our latest financials below. Almost 100% of our donor dollars would be going towards direct animal care, but the cat and dog building had to get built first! Those are necessary for us to be able to take in animals of course!
Sid's Response Time
I am hoping that looking at how many hours Sid is working per day explains why sometimes she doesn't get right back to all calls, emails, texts, and FB messages. Emergencies are her first priority, followed by any urgent medical needs of the animals, followed by potential adopters. Please be patient if you don't hear right back from her - you will, she keeps good track of all that. Email is the best way to contact her: email@example.com.
As you will see from her schedule, Sid is already working too much and the dog facility isn't even open yet. Our biggest needs for volunteers at the facility are:
- Sunday 9AM deep cleaning help - about 2 hours.
- Dog walkers 6:30/7AM and 6:30/7PM daily - about 1 hour.
What exactly does Sid do all day?
Well, everything the animals need. Which is a lot. And is different every day.
Let's start with Cat Care (3 hrs.): this is the basic cleaning, feeding, watering, and medicating. Sid does 1.5 hours in the morning and the same again at night: feeding, washing food and water dishes, and scooping litter. There is some cat socialization in here, but it isn't the focus. Also this isn't a DEEP CLEAN of the rescue or kennels - just upkeep.
Once the dog facility opens there will be Dog Care (4 hrs): just like the Cat Care, this is the basic cleaning, feeding, washing dishes, and scooping poop. There will be fewer dogs and kennels to clean but the dogs need WALKS! This care will also be divided: 2 hours in the morning and 2 at night. Volunteers are needed for dog walking!
Sid's Spay/Neuter Days are LONG! That is because she has to get regular animal care done, then pack up the animals that are being spayed/neutered, get them to their appointments early in the morning, and then wait until the end of the day to pick up those animals, return to the rescue to do the regular evening animal care and get the animals that were fixed all settled in.
When I say Sid 'waits' until the end of the day to pick up those animals on Spay/Neuter Days here is what she is doing in the meantime - there are zero minutes of down-time:
- Teaching Yoga
- Taking other animals to the vet, or transporting animals to fosters/adopters
- Buying rescue supplies
- Meeting with other rescues, donors, potential donors, me (yay!), or any number of other people (think lawyers, county officials, volunteers, non-profit consultant, marketing group).
- Taking care of phone calls, social media, and emails.
- These days, she is bottle feeding kittens throughout the day as well!
On her Tues, Wed, Thurs, and Sundays Sid spends most of her day at the rescue with her daughter. Together they work on things like social media, taking animals to the vet, running other necessary rescue errands, talking with potential adopters, record keeping and other paperwork, and socializing animals. Of course that is in addition to the regular cleaning and care the animals need! If you follow Smiley's Rescues on Facebook, often you'll see Sid on a live these days. Also these are the days we usually have adoption and fundraising events - those are extra long days!
Fridays are Sid's day 'off right' now! Of course the animals all still need to be fed and cleaning has to happen. So Sid gets no days off. Every great once in a while she can get away with the help of some awesome volunteers who can take care of the animals! On her last trip for 'fun', (which was actually to attend a dog walk so we can learn how to run one and maybe have a booth there next year), she had bottle-fed kittens with her.
Speaking of those bottle-fed kittens, who are of course ADORABLE, Sid's schedule revolves around the animals. If baby kittens need feeding, or an animal is sick, Sid is up at any hour needed.
I love that Sid has Friday set aside for her family, but her family is also a huge part of her day every day, and I think that is one reason Sid can make this schedule work for her. Lillian does everything with Sid (as a former teacher, I can't tell you how GREAT this is for her learning!!). Jordan is working hard on the dog building and is Sid's number one supporter. Sid's whole family works together every single day to save as many cats and dogs as they possibly can, which I think is about the most amazing thing I have ever seen.