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This letter was sent to me by my friend/colleague, fellow-pet-book author Jenny Pavlovic. It not only presents good info about an animal rescue organization worth knowing about, it also offers great ideas for how you can contribute to this or a similar organization in your geographic area. Please consider giving of your time and talents in some small way to save animals in desperate need of homes.—Sid

Dear friends,

In December I was fortunate to meet Brandi Tracy and Robin Romano of Braveheart Rescue Inc. in Hastings, MN, an all breed dog rescue ( I even got to meet Braveheart himself, Brandi’s inspiration for deciding to rescue and rehabilitate dogs full time ( I hadn’t been aware of Braveheart Rescue before, but they are practically in my own backyard. In the past month they’ve stepped up to help three cattle dogs that likely wouldn’t have had another chance, Journey (formerly Pilgrim) the blue female from Kentucky, Bernie the blue heartworm+ male from Louisiana (who arrives today!), and a male from Alabama (yet to arrive). When I delivered Journey to Braveheart, I had the opportunity to see the facility and meet the wonderful dogs in their care.

Brandi is truly a dog whisperer, who lets the dogs learn to be dogs again. She socializes them together and rehabilitates them. They each have their own kennel space and get to run and play with other dogs during the day. They get the veterinary care they need, and are spayed or neutered. Braveheart adopts them out to wonderful new homes (see adoptable pet list at

Robin Romano adopted a dog from Braveheart and was so impressed that she decided to help. She is now heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of Braveheart and is Brandi’s biggest supporter. I was so impressed with Braveheart that I decided to get involved too.

Brandi used to run a boarding kennel, but followed her heart into rescuing and rehabilitating dogs. She formally started full-time in rescue in January of 2008, although she combined rescue with boarding even before that. Braveheart’s 501(c)(3) status was approved in the fall of 2008. To date, Brandi has rescued 240+ dogs who might not have had another chance, from Minnesota and as far away as New Mexico and Louisiana. 223 have been adopted out, 17+ are in the rescue right now, and 6 are considered permanent residents.

Braveheart is a unique place that truly makes a difference for dogs who might not have had another chance. Brandi has gone to great personal risk to found Braveheart and keep it running smoothly. She needs our support to help Braveheart grow, so they can help many more dogs have a chance at a wonderful new life. I think this is Brandi’s true calling and I’m seeking support for Braveheart Rescue in the following forms:

Volunteers…to help on a regular basis with any or all of the following:

Take care of the dogs: Take them outside, clean kennels, pick up poop outside, give meds, help take stitches out, set up vet appointments and transport to and from. Help with the dogs is needed from 8 am to noon on a regular basis.

New dogs: Arrange to take dogs from their current locations (shelter, animal control, etc), help coordinate transport (often the sending shelter or rescue volunteers will do this), call sending vet to arrange for health certificate vaccinations (so the dog can be transported to Braveheart), pick up new dogs from transports

Home visits: Perform home visits to check out new homes, as needed (information will be provided)

Adoption events: Help take dogs to and from adoption events and volunteer at events (currently on weekends at, coordinate Petco and other adoption events i.e.: 2nd St. Marketplace

Training: Help positively train dogs, to make them more easily adoptable and help train people to work well with dogs

Supplies and laundry: Help with daily laundry, keep track of and order medications and vet supplies, order pet supplies, pick up and transport food, bedding, donated items, ink and office paper, cleaning supplies, chairs, straw to Braveheart

Administrative: Answer phones, answer questions about dogs, answer emails, set up and staff and appointments for meet and greets (when people come out to meet the dogs), complete paperwork for adoption applications, connect with other rescues re: placing dogs, post dogs and make calls for dogs we can’t take

Advertising and Publicity: TV, radio, newspapers (“Dog of the Week ” ), Chamber email blasts, signs, advertising, videos, photo shoots, post flyers, newsletter, create online site email blasts re: events and send, in general help get the word out about Braveheart

Financial support: Give and/or seek cash donations, make connections with corporations who may provide financial support, volunteer with Braveheart and seek matching grant from your corporation, seek potential donors

Funding Resources: Help write grant applications (experience preferred), apply for contests, apply for free pet food to shelters, help find more funding sources

Fundraiser/Event support: Help plan, organize, and run events, find venues, seek donated items for events, create online fliers, create and distribute paper fliers, seek donated items for silent auctions and raffles, book bands – coordinate with venue, help with food and drinks, staff the Braveheart booth, find volunteers for events (upcoming events include February 5th, March 12th and 13th, and more—see this page for more info

Website: Keep current, add and change events, move dogs who’ve been adopted, take photos (crop and resize), write bios, upload to website, upload to Petfinder, 800 save a pet and Pet Portal, manage online sites, post to Facebook daily

Dog Records: Help maintain Excel spreadsheet database for dog records, organize computer files of scanned dog/vet records for current residents and dogs who have been adopted out (and reference file names in Excel file)

Bookwork and Financial Recordkeeping: General help with financial records and banking (experience preferred)

Maintenance: Purchase necessary supplies, paint and maintain bus, help as needed with washer and dryer, furnace, A.C., computers, phones, fencing, kennels, etc.

Donate: Cash or items as needed (see wish list at the bottom of this page

Volunteers: Recruit more volunteers

Surely you have talents that would be helpful to Braveheart Rescue. Please contact Brandi at 612-382-4234 if you will help with any of the above, if you’d like to visit Braveheart, and if you have any other ideas to help Braveheart. Please also feel free to reply to me with any questions. We appreciate your support! Thank you!

Jenny Pavlovic

8 State Kate Press, LLC

Cultivating animal well-being and positive human-animal bonds





Today—Nov. 16, 2010—is Give to the Max Day. Donate to your favorite nonprofit and your funds will be matched! GIVE, GIVE, GIVE!!! Because I pledge to donate $2 from each copy of my book, “Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss,” I sell online and in person to several animal-related charities, I save it all up and donate today to double my donations to The Wildcat Sanctuary, Pet Haven, Small Dog Rescue of MN, Animal Ark, Feline Rescue and The Pet Project (actually, I just threw in that last one because I wanted to support it, too). Pick your own favorite nonprofit organization and pledge what you can. Please do it NOW!!—Sid

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