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Meeting Feb. 2012

Attendees-Laurie Adkins, JL Clifton, Sunny Given, Nancy Maddalena, Jerri Sipe and Sherry Turner. Welcome to new members, Marcella Rexrode and Jamie Mauzy!

Minutes from Previous Meeting- Sunny moved that the minutes from the meeting of January 12 be approved with the amendment that Laurie had not yet given the keys to the Snowshoe donation boxes to Sherry and Jerri. Jerri seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Treasurer Report-Laurie reported that, as of January 31, we had $8,860.42 in our operating account and $629.45 in our Pampered Pets account. The current amount of our loan is $139,362.98. There were 4 cat spays, 4 cat neuters, 5 dog spays and 0 dog neuters for January. We have just paid $600 from our Paws and Pearls fundraiser toward the principal on our loan.

Donation Letter Update:We have taken in between $2800 and $2900 now in response to our donation request letter after sending out 1370 letters and more donations have come in. We sent 400 letters last year. JL requested that Laurie provide us with a tally at our next meeting.

Nancy moved that we accept the Treasurer's Report for January. Sunny seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Thank-yous:Nancy reported that she has 60 thank-you notes to write so far for donations from our request letter and asked for help. Several people volunteered to help write and address the notes.

Donation Cans:Laurie reported that the keys for the three donation cans in the Snowshoe area have been distributed to the people who will be making collections.

Old Business-Karen Bordonaro:Sunny and Nancy went to Lewisburg to meet with Karen Bordonaro on January 22. Sunny reported that Karen will help with grants but it comes with a price. She charges either $20 per hour or 5 percent of the grant if we receive the grant. Sunny said that this has motivated her to try to write grants. Nancy and Sunny both said that Karen gave them a lot of free information and suggestions and that she is very experienced. She has sent us a checklist of what information we would need to gather in order to write most grants.

Nancy has followed up on one of Karen's suggestions by ordering the quarterly publication, "Animal Sheltering," from the Humane Society of the United States. She put it in her own name and can be reimbursed $20 by the HSPC. This publication has lots of listings for available grants. She said that Karen has put her in touch with the Bissell Partners for Pets, which provides online help for fundraising, and the donation program, which provides medicines to shelter groups.

Sherry mentioned that the Career Center offers classes in grant writing from time to time. There is a fee. JL said that Kim went last year and that the fee may be wavered for non-profits. If anyone sees information about an upcoming class, we should look into it.

Sherry asked if any of the grants would ask for information about land we own. JL responded that our land, even though it has a mortgage, could serve as a contribution "in kind."

(From New Business)-Grants Needed:Further discussion about grants followed. JL said that he is in contact with Highrocks to see if we can partner with each other. He told them that we need members and help with grants, and they are very good at writing grants. Discussion followed about how we can help them in kind, maybe with activities, ours and theirs.

Old Business (Continued)-Rabies Clinic:Sunny reported that a rabies clinic that we promoted for Dr. Amy was held this past Saturday. Locations were Green Bank, Cass Intersection (Routes 92 and 66), Marlinton and three locations in Hillsboro. Sunny said she has not yet contacted Dr. Amy about the number of shots that were given. Sherry suggested that next time we hand out flyers about us at the clinics being held. Sunny responded that she is planning to contact other vets, including Dr. Pritt to help the northern part of the county.

Marcella suggested the use of the empty Durbin Clinic building for clinics. Nancy responded that she thought the building was structurally condemned. Other possible locations were discussed.

Roof for HSPC Building:Sunny said we have a bid from Glades on materials and that the prices are good for seven days, so a decision should be made at this meeting. It was noted that the only decision we need to make is on the color. Sunny showed us a light blue color that both Jane and Loretta had liked and which would match the awnings. Everyone agreed with the color. We do not know if David Smith has been told to proceed and Loretta will not be in town on Monday, so Sunny said she would call David Smith (we were not sure if his company is "Dream Builders," so she will ask him) and tell him we are ready to go, and she will call Chip to order the materials at the quoted price.

Volunteer Hours/Mileage:Nancy needs volunteer hours and mileage for 2011 from everyone. It was agreed they should all be turned in by March 1.

Website:Sherry said she has left a phone message for Phil Rolleston who helped create our database. (Nancy mentioned that there is a woman named Lois Airgood who also helped with the database and might be able to help us.) Phil created and pays the annual fee for our website. The website is very out-of-date, having only a few paragraphs describing us and, at the bottom, a place to logon to use our database. Marcella said that her sister in Elkins is very computer literate and can design websites. She is home all day and might be willing to help us. Marcella will talk with her.

Membership Drive:We are in critical need of new members and Sherry suggested that if we can get our website up to date, it would help. Laurie noted that we also have a Facebook account but it also needs someone to work on it. Chip is nominally in charge of putting entries into Facebook but has not had much input from any of us. Laurie said he would be willing to turn that duty over to someone else.

Pampered Pets:Electric Bill - Sunny said she talked with the power company about the high electric bills we have been receiving for the Pampered Pets building, even though it is not in use. The power was left on in order to heat the building to keep the water pipes from freezing, but they have froze and burst, anyway. She said that we have been billed using estimates based on past usage, and Laurie has had to call them up with an actual reading when we get a high bill, which they then lower. Sunny said that, as a one-time courtesy, the power company will switch us to being billed on an actual usage basis.

There is another problem, though. There seems to be a minimum charge of around $70 per month, perhaps because they are charging us a commercial rate, while our monthly bill for the building on Second Avenue is around $25-30 a month. Sunny said that she will call the power company and explain that we are a non-profit organization and are no longer using the Pampered Pets building for a business.

Water Pipes:Sunny reported that the water pipes at Pampered Pets burst, apparently around Christmas time when it was very cold, even though the building temperature was being maintained at 50 degrees. The pipes were bolted to the walls which were much colder than that and run above the suspended ceiling. The water dried up the spring that supplies water to Pampered Pets, Howard Lowe, and two other neighbors. Howard has the capability to turn off the water to Pampered Pets from his house, and did so. However, he did not notify us of the problem, and we don't know how long the water was running. The water at Pampered Pets has now been turned off. Chip will get us an estimate for repairs. Sunny said she will call Cathy Mossesso, our insurance agent, to see if she thinks it is worth our filing a claim. Laurie said that both Cathy and Ellen Galford, our other insurance agent, have said that a claim might not be honored for an empty building.

Rent Pampered Pets Building to Dr. Amy:Sunny said that Dr. Amy would be willing to sit down and discuss with us the possibilities of her renting the Pampered Pets building. Sunny added that Karen Bordonaro said operational grants are available if you have a vet using your facility. For instance, if we had a clinic room for veterinary use in our building, there are operational funds available.

New Business-Bank Fundraiser:Sunny said she had no progress to report yet but that she was planning to contact the banks about selling a representational cutout (of a dog, for example) for customers buy for a $1.00 donations The cutout with the buyer's name on it would be hung in the bank window for a month. Sunny will see which banks would be willing to participate and how often we could do it, maybe one or two months a year from each bank.

Partnering with Businesses:Sherry brought up the idea of partnering with businesses in the area for special days or events. Sunny suggested an event such as a cookout at the library. She said she has been on a trail ride event with a cookout dinner provided and that Mark Cain (East Fork Campground) might be interested partnering with us on something similar. Sunny said that fundraising needs to be an ongoing effort with more than one person involved. Sherry said she thought that once a month fundraising would be a good goal.

Fundraising Website:Jerri found a fundraising website and registered us. If anyone buys a magazine or anything on this site and specifies our organization, a percentage of that money will be donated to us. The organization sets a goal for earnings and the website will help us meet that goal. Jerri will send us the link and we will share it with as many people as possible.

Jerri also obtained a booklet called "Fundraising 101," which she gave to Sunny. Some of the ideas in that booklet were for selling things and there was discussion of what we could sell that would not deflect from sales sponsored by the schools. Sunny suggested that we sell such things in the summers when school is not in session.

A suggestion was made to have a quilt raffle of an animal quilt.

Voucher Amounts:Nancy said that Loretta has suggested that, since vet prices have gone up, we should increase our voucher amounts by $10 across the board, if we can afford it. This might encourage more people to spay and neuter their pets. A gross estimate is that it would cost us around $2,000 more per year. Everyone thought it was a good thing to do but that our finances were not stable enough to do it right now. Sunny moved that we table the issue until we get some fundraisers done for this year. Jerri seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. We will plan to revisit the issue.

Answering Machine vs. Answering Service:Sunny said that we have an answering machine at the building and a phone answering service provided by the phone company. If one of us is on the phone and someone calls in, the call is transferred to the answering service. However, Jane says that those messages are not being checked often enough. Whoever is working at the office needs to check both the answering machine and the phone company answering service.

After some discussion, Laurie moved that we go with the Frontier answering service only and turn off the phone answering machine. Sunny seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Sale of our Four Acres:We own the Pampered Pets building which sits on two acres of land; in addition we own an adjacent four acres of property where we plan to build a shelter. We have not been able to sell Pampered Pets so far so now the question is whether we should try to sell the four acres.

Sunny thinks that we should offer to sell the four acres to Howard Lowe (who lives next door and has shown an interest), pay off some of our mortgage and look for property somewhere else. We are not financially able to put a shelter on that property right now and there are also some drainage issues.

Sherry said that Commissioner Fleming seems to be OK with maybe donating land for a shelter.JL said that he felt that selling the four acres might hurt our efforts to sell Pampered Pets later and questioned whether the sale would significantly reduce our mortgage payments.

Other ideas for using the Pampered Pets building were discussed. Sunny suggested advertising on for someone who wants to retire here and run a part-time business. JL recommended that, until the bank forces us to sell the acreage, we should hold onto it.

It was agreed that fundraising and membership should be our main objectives right now, along with our spay and neuter efforts.

Animal Shelter Blueprint:Sherry and Jerri showed everyone the blueprint of a future shelter that they have had drawn up and said it is still being worked on. The plans included a grooming room which could be used by a groomer coming to the shelter rather than taking the animals to a groomer. Sunny said she would expand the offer on to include anyone wanting to start a veterinary office.