Where We Came From and How We Got Here
The Golden Retriever Senior Rescue Sanctuary and Education Center (GRSRSEC) is the result of a group of like-minded Golden Retriever and animal lovers putting their minds and resources together. Here’s the story of how it happened:
For more than 25 years, Cindy Bent and Sandy Tremblay have been breeding, training, and showing their Golden Retrievers as well as providing boarding, grooming and day care services exclusively for Goldens at their pastoral Profile Goldens in Barrington, NH. In addition to a herd of Alpacas, miniature goats, turkeys, pigs, and chickens, the farm is also a safe and caring refuge for two rescue donkeys and a
In 2011, they contacted Joan Puglia to discuss their desire to do something special for senior rescue Goldens in loving memory of their sweet “Flurry” (Ch. Profile’s Winter Storm, CD). Joan is a co-founder of the Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue and served as its President/Program Director for 24 years until her retirement in 2008. Her extensive experience in rescue enabled her to develop a comprehensive program to serve senior/hospice rescue Goldens in a Sanctuary designed to meet their multiple, complex life- long needs. With the help of Debbie Crocker, Secretary and Kathy Levasseur, Treasurer, the organization obtained its Massachusetts Charitable Non-Profit Organization designation and became the Golden Retriever Senior Rescue Sanctuary and Educational Center, Inc. Then it applied for its 501(c)(3) status which is presently pending.
Community shelters, already overcrowded, provide few options for senior dogs, so they are typically euthanized, and rescue groups, especially those in the Northeast Corridor, are overrun with senior dogs. The need for GRSRSEC was, and
When Joan presented the program to Sandy and Cindy, they quickly responded by looking for ways to help it become a reality. They offered to donate a five- acre parcel of land at the edge of their farm as a site on which to build the Sanctuary. Unfortunately, the costs required to modify the land and road to comply with building regulations were prohibitive.
Exercising due diligence, the search was on for an appropriate site for the Sanctuary. We explored numerous boarding facilities in Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire, but rental fees exceeded our projected budget, and facilities were unable to provide a homelike, less restrictive atmosphere for senior rescue Goldens. Additionally, renting space in a boarding kennel raised liability issues and negated the ability for our volunteers to care for these dogs, providing the physical therapy and round-the-clock care that is often required. No facility we investigated met the criteria we needed to provide optimum care for our Goldens, many of which have significant health and mobility issues, at a cost we could afford. We had already exhausted the possibility of building due to zoning challenges and costs.
In the spring of 2012, Cindy and Sandy decided to put an addition onto their existing kennel building to expand their day care program and develop a boarding section for future use by their long-term boarders, elderly boarders and those with mobility issues. During the design process, they contacted Joan to see if the GRSRSEC would be interested in helping to design part of the expansion in order to meet the special needs of the Sanctuary residents. This boarding space would then be available to the Sanctuary residents. The offer was not for their personal gain. They offered a reasonable boarding fee and the ability for our volunteers to meet the physical and emotional needs of senior rescue Goldens. It was truly an exciting thought and quickly became the focus of the program’s development. (See “Quest for a Home for the Sanctuary” for more specific information.)
Groundbreaking for this expansion at Profile Goldens will occur in the spring of 2013. The program goal is to have at least one year’s expenses in the bank to ensure the smooth functioning of the Sanctuary for its first challenging year
of operations. Based on the construction time table and a successful fundraising drive, GRSRSEC expects to able to admit senior rescue Goldens in need soon after construction is completed.
The Sanctuary is NOT a full service rescue program. It is an added resource for any Golden rescue program nationwide. The GRSRSEC was founded to provide life-long care for senior rescue Goldens, especially those with special needs including hospice care. Accepting senior rescue Goldens from other rescue groups will serve to mitigate the shortage of foster homes used by so many programs, enabling them to bring in more Goldens in need to their local programs. Seniors will be transferred to the Sanctuary using a network of volunteers and will live out their days surrounded by loving volunteers.
Quest for a Home for the Sanctuary
When the GRSRSEC Board of Directors realized that Profile Goldens’ generous offer of a donation of land on which to build the specialized Sanctuary facility was not possible, we contemplated starting a capital campaign to raise funds to purchase land and build the Sanctuary. However, the time frame to achieve such a goal would be long, and the need for Sanctuary services is urgent.
The following criteria were developed when we realized that an appropriate boarding facility to house the Sanctuary’s lifetime care residents needed to be found. Multiple New England boarding facilities were reviewed, and none was found that met this criteria:
1. Home-like atmosphere.
2. Communal appropriate indoor space available for the dogs.
3. Volunteers’ ability to have direct dog contact.
4. Medications and treatment delivery provided at minimum cost.
5. Therapists’ ability to provide scheduled treatments on site.
6. Care for Goldens requiring hospice care and those with orthopedic and mobility issues provided 24 x 7.
7. Least restrictive setting possible.
8. No chain link indoor runs.
9. Lifetime placement available.
10. Grooming available on site to reduce stress.
11. Care provided for dogs that use adaptive equipment such as, but not limited to: mobility carts, support harness for walking.
12. Direct scheduled admissions possible during day via Rescue Transportation Services.
13. Multiple sources of natural light in the living areas.
14. Space for hydrotherapy unit and cold laser unit.
15. Competitive market boarding rates.
This new expansion contains a modified, specialized boarding unit.
The Golden Retriever Senior Rescue Sanctuary and Educational Center has been truly blessed. This boarding facility at Profile will
meet every area of our boarding care criteria, and we will also have input on the adaptive design features.
Now we are moving forward, and with the help of Golden lovers everywhere, we will successfully fundraise, and this income will allow us to admit the first Sanctuary Golden Residents in the fall of 2013.