AHeinz57 Begins Capital Campaign.
Like a lot of creative business ideas, this one started in a garage. And for the last eight years, AHeinz57 Pet Rescue has been steadily outgrowing one space after another. Now this group of volunteers, who’ve helped find homes for nearly 4,000 animals, is in need of help for a home of its own.
A Growing Need
The first year after Amy Heinz opened AHeinz57, she found homes for 100 homeless dogs, operating mostly out of her garage.
In the nearly 10 years since, the operation has grown to include over 700 volunteers. “Our current facility has been remodeled repeatedly to fit our needs,” says Heinz. “But we just can’t work efficiently here anymore.”
A former vet clinic, the existing AHeinz57 building is a pieced-together arrangement that includes a small medical suite, run-down outdoor spaces, and poorly situated kennels. “We’re one of the fastest-growing no-kill rescues in the state,” Heinz says. “Our accommodations have been made to keep up with increased demands, despite the fact that they’re inadequate.”
In addition to the awkward, chopped-up layout, the facility does not provide adequate space to care for sick dogs or for delivery of puppies.
She adds, “There are a host of issues we have to deal with, from holding volunteer meetings off-site to cleaning transport kennels in borrowed garages, because we’ve outgrown absolutely everything.”
A Worthy Goal
To remedy the situation, AHeinz57 has begun a capital campaign to raise money for a new facility that will be located just a few blocks from the current site.
“We want to replace our small, insufficient adoption area with a new, inviting, and family-friendly facility where we can significantly increase adoptions and where our dogs, volunteers, and visitors are safe,” Heinz explains.
AHeinz57 has already purchased the land and plans to break ground this summer. “Our concept is unique,” Heinz says. “We plan to build two buildings: one to house the homeless dogs and one to serve as a staffed boarding facility.”
With this arrangement, the boarding facility, which will be owned by AHeinz57 and overseen by the AHeinz57 board of directors, will create income to help support both the boarding operation and the rescue operation.
The rescue building will include more than a dozen indoor kennels directly connected to outdoor runs. It will also house a medical suite, training center, adoption area, and additional kennels for strays. With its ventilation and water-powered cleaning system and a wash bay for transport vehicles, the building is designed to prevent the spread of disease and protect both the dogs and the guests.
“It’s a design that more than meets our needs now so we can continue to grow,” Heinz says. “But it’s a huge goal for us.”
The cost to construct the two buildings is estimated at $1.25 million.
A Way to Help
“We don’t know how long it will take,” Heinz says. “We know we shouldn’t start construction until we have the funds raised, so we’re just hoping to get things moving as soon as possible.”
Even before the capital campaign kicked off, AHeinz57 had several fund-raising events scheduled. “We have several cocktail parties and wine tastings planned and a silent auction,” Heinz explains. “We also plan to have a picnic at the new property so people can get a sense of what we’re doing.”
Some of the fund-raising events are by invitation only, but Heinz says many of them will be public and held throughout the metro area so they can reach the entire region AHeinz57 serves. “We’re also hoping to have builders and subcontractors get involved,” says Heinz. “We’d love to have professionals donate their time or materials; all of these contributions reduce the amount of money we have to raise.”
Heinz envisions hosting work days during which crews can come to help with framing or installation work or professionals oversee a crew of volunteers to assist with the project. “We’ve never done anything like this before. But we know how to work. We’d just like to get people involved. We’ll put your name on the wall, name a room after you, whatever it takes,” she says.
Raising more than a million dollars seems like an immense undertaking. But Amy Heinz is approaching that worthy goal the same way she’s approached the rescue business in general—one need at a time.
And pretty soon, AHeinz57 will have a home of its own.
AHeinz57 Capital Campaign
The new facility will allow AHeinz57 to:
- Increase the number of adoptions
- Prevent disease and illness in the animals cared for
- Reduce stress to animals
- Create a warm and welcome space for potential adopters
- Create a pleasant and improved work space
- Offer education and training to prevent abuse, homelessness, and abandonment
- Offer low-cost spay and neuter clinics for the community
- Offer a senior program for fixed-income seniors and senior dogs
- Become a community resource
Interested in donating or leading a work crew? Contact Amy Heinz (AHeinz57.com) for more information or to find out how your business can help AHeinz57 build a home of its own.