By Erin Statter
It all started with one phone call. We had just moved from Israel to Fort Collins, CO and in the flurry of trying to find our way, I decided another rescue dog was in our future. Rosie, our current rescue dog from Jerusalem, couldn’t have disagreed more. She was getting used to the quiet evenings, snowy winters and a new baby. Another pup was the last thing on her mind.
I called BDAR and spoke to Britney. We had an immediate connection. She was nice, clear and capable. And she had the cute white dog that I fell in love with online. We talked about adopting. I told her about Rosie and how finding a match might take some time. But I was hopeful. We talked about a dog meetup in the next week or so and hung up.
Several weeks later, we reconnected and that cute white dog was no longer available. I was heartbroken but it probably was for the better. Out of the blue I asked Britney if she needed any help with BDAR. I told her what skills I had and how much time I could give. She said yes. At that time Britney was working full time during the day, running BDAR at night, and balancing a newborn and family. She did not get paid; indeed, she started BDAR because it is her passion.
Those were the early days, before BDAR was a 501(c)3. I started writing plans. I was on the board. I did a strategic planning session. I left the board. I wrote more plans. I talked with Britney a lot (about dogs, life, work, goals, dreams and plans). I got back on the board. I did marketing and newsletters. I loved every minute and when it was clear that my time was up, I gracefully (I hope) left the board and stayed connected. If Britney needed a second set of eyes on a grant, I said yes. A direct mail letter, of course! Or just a cup of coffee, I couldn't say no.
When I was asked to write about BDAR on its ten year anniversary, I choked up a little. It is hard to believe that it has been a decade. I love this organization and to see how far it has come is truly amazing. Britney has proven that she is everything I thought she was on our first phone call. And more. I admire her tenacity and vision. Her strength and honesty. The animal welfare world is lucky to have her as a leader.
Over the last ten years, Britney has never wavered from her dedication to saving pets and finding solutions for pet owners. She has shown compassion and respect for both the people and pups that have been lucky enough pass through BDAR. And during these last ten years, she has become a recognized leader in Wyoming, completed her MA in Nonprofit Leadership, is raising an amazing kiddo and is a dedicated friend and family member, all while saving the lives of abandoned and neglected dogs in Wyoming. In ten years, both Britney and BDAR have truly come into their own - from a part time, unpaid, executive director and an all-volunteer organization to an accomplished nonprofit professional and the leading animal rescue in the state (maybe even the country!).
I feel honored to have worked alongside her for many years. Thank you Britney for allowing me to catch a glimpse of BDAR’s journey. And I have BDAR to thank for my crazy little rescue dog, Sir Doobie T Rex Patchkin. He reminds me every day of why the work that BDAR does is so important. The animals are in good hands. Congratulations and mazal tov on ten years, BDAR! I can't wait to see your success in the next ten.