After over 25 years of considerable joy, miracles and heartwarming successes, triumph, trials, feelings of failure, and tears – it has come time for Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services to ramp down its active rescue services.
As of January 1st, 2021 – BHRR will be permanently closed to the intake of further new general rescue canines into our programs. We remain open for special requests! We also remain fully committed to the current dogs in our care, our fosters, and our adopted homes and appreciate that there shall continue to be special consideration exceptions.
The dogs that are currently up for adoption (or working towards that!) will remain as part of our adoption program. The haven dogs will continue to live out their days in absolute quality and happiness at our location as well as in their wonderful perma-foster homes. Our adopters will always have our support – we are closing our doors over the next decade, not our hearts! We remain committed to them for their lives – which is also clearly noted in our adoption contract. Additionally – we will of course happily honour any outstanding plus future commitments we have to you – auction items, dog dates, cottage cabin wins, etc. until we completely shut our doors.
We still have many dogs to support that will be in our care for years to come – the youngest of which are currently not even 1 year of age. As such – it will be years – ~10 – before our complete closure and the animals still very much need their BHRR family.
As we will continue to support the dogs we have – we would sincerely appreciate plus feel humbled for your continued support in this transition to our eventual full closure. In the meantime – nothing significantly changes other than the intake of new general request additions. We still have enormous vet bills and food requirements – we go through almost 120 pounds of food daily. We remain in need of our strong links in our BHRR ‘CHAIN OF SUCCESS’ village to keep helping the animals. We will continue to fundraise as needed and as we can.
Our Volunteer Facebook network group shall remain active until eventual full closure as we will still have requests and questions plus share adoption successes updates etc. yet, our Rescue Facebook page shall be permanently de-activated and shut down as of January 2nd, 2021. All updates, fundraisers, etc. will continue to be made on our home website – www.birchhaven.org
We shall continue to network requests that come our way and assist where we can with transport, and freely share our vast knowledge, experience, education, etc. with others.
The only other exception to the no further intake is honouring the requests made to date over the years of those homes, friends, family, and supporters to take in their cherished pet(s) should anything happen to them or their life circumstances have changed. Per the above, along with our signed adoption contracts for our adoptive homes, we will always take back one of our own dogs. There ‘may be’ the rare exception during this time for intake based upon the highly specialised focus of our Rescue and that most other groups cannot or will not be able to assist.
The timing of this transition is driven by several factors – there was always an eventual exit strategy in the background as time passed. We have posted this annually for quite a few years now – concerning transitioning almost exclusively to a Haven Program to the then eventual permanent intake door closure.
With 2021 marking the 25th anniversary of our inception, it is an amazing unbelievable milestone and the time is here to take this next transitional step.
Covid has taken a considerable devastating financial toll on our ability to fundraise in 2020, and to keep our doors open to active participation – this has significantly impacted our operations. As mentioned to people plus posted throughout 2020, we knew this was not a sustainable path as we strongly believe in quality over quantity. We understood that we’d likely be making this announcement sometime during the first quarter of 2021 – and here we are.
Disturbingly – there has also been a trend over the years to more and more aggressive armchair quarterbacks lobbing hand grenades from the sidelines, including fraudulent claims and malicious postings and reports.
Our quality of life matters as well – we will not apologize for that. We have sacrificed much over the years, more than most will ever understand or appreciate – oh, the stories we could tell. That commitment should have mattered more to those who simply want to take pot-shots. We’re not perfect, no group or people are – but our motivation and proven intent has always been in the best interests of the animals.
Rescue workers are one of the largest groups of people that have had an alarming increase in emotional breakdowns, compassion fatigue, and sadly suicide rates. The vast majority of rescue workers are volunteers who knowingly accept the mental toll of dealing with rescue activities and everything that we witness, experience plus endure. What rescue workers do not sign up, nor deserve is the larger portion of mental stress being now driven by abusive armchair quarterbacks. We have watched co-rescuers, friends, and volunteers of so many groups are beaten down and broken due to such cruelty and cyber-bullying. It’s not just real, it is a monster that does have very tangible effects on the victims, and serious legal consequences on the perpetrators.
It is with mixed emotions that we make this transition announcement. We stand proud of the number of dogs we’ve been able to save, assist, and place in forever-loving homes over the years. We will be forever saddened by those we were unable to assist, or whose ultimate outcome was not what we had hoped for. And we remain disappointed and angered by those who choose to bully and judge from the sidelines without ever seeking to understand or to know. We have had our lives, family and home openly scrutinized for 25 years and willingly have done so to remain transparent and to always make sure the dogs were the top priority.
We have a 26+ year long-standing as a high standard, integrity-filled Rescue program that never cut corners, never did retail rescue, and never flipped dogs. The animals never lacked for anything, we went up and beyond on all Vet care and training plus emotional and behavioural Rehabilitation.
Each and every approved adoption was about the right matched personality fit placements. We did not rush, we were not desperate and we were patient. Our adoption success rates are not matched by any other. 100% in over 10 years of operating and now almost 99% as we head into year 25.
There are simply no words to express how grateful we are to all of those who have volunteered with us, believed in our much-needed work, and supported us extremely generously plus kindly over the years. We have folks that have been with us since day 1. We have homes that have adopted up to five times from us to date. You have laughed, rejoiced, cried, and despaired with us through the good, the great, the bad, and the ugly. We have made incredible lifelong friends that we now consider true family.
There is no way this ever could have been created and sustained without your unbelievable support and contributions. Over 26+ years of rescue activities as of 2022 have shown us the worst in people and the best in people. Thank you for sharing the incredible depth of human compassion we have witnessed over the years and we truly hope that you will remain by our sides as we write these final what we plan are wonderful chapters to one of the best of the best out there in organizations, Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services, a name that we shall retain the copyright patent on.
We look forward to continuing to work with you as we slowly transition through this next and to our final closing chapter for Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services.
Sean/Gwen & The BHRR Team