A year in Review - 2017
What a Year!!
We were recently asked "what was 2017 for Hero Pups?" It got us thinking - it was a great year of foundation work and growth...and 13 rescue dogs! This has been, and will ALWAYS be about helping our heroes - not salaries or dog bone shaped swimming pools, but a realistic approach to helping those who have stepped up to serve our communities and nation. In the process we get to give a dog or pup a second chance by using rescues and shelter dogs.
As many of you already know, we got our nonprofit status in July of 2016. That same month we were catapulted into the spotlight. The media embraced us and ran stories on multiple television stations, social media, newspapers and I am not even sure how many nationwide magazine interviews we did.
When 2017 hit, we started the year with a clear understanding that we needed to catch up to the buzz we had been given. The opportunity to become a benchmark for this type of nonprofit service was evident and we wanted to make sure we had a good framework under us for a long future. With that in mind, we set out to make 2017 the year of structure, to make a blueprint of sorts... and of course, place some rescues with heroes.
As we closed out 2017, we are pleased to say that we are all volunteers who pulled together to help a hero and a pup get a second chance. There were lots of things that didn't make this list from placements, seminars, interviews, legal framework, documents, but we thought we wanted to touch on some of the special things that happened.
Do you have an event idea? We'd love to hear from you. Whether it's a visit or a fundraiser, we believe we reach more of our heroes when we all work together. And you get to be part of something that will change the way you look at our nations heroes.
We have accomplished great things together as a team and we know all this prep work will pay off to make our process even better. If you have ever thought about getting involved, now is the time to be part of a fantastic year ahead!
A simple "thank you" is not enough, but it is heartfelt.
We will try to do this chronologically, but there are many overlaps so please bear with us :)
Dogs in Training We continued working with some of last year's pups to bring them to the point they could get their certifications and ready to go home with their hero. There is nothing like watching a hero meet their dog for the first time :)))
Jack Arrives A lab puppy was donated by a veteran family. He trained like a pro and was super lovable. His personality was in instant match with his hero.
Social Media Aids We welcomed Kenzie and Selena to help with the social media. One is a social media icon and another is a photographer with many accomplishments. Their team spirit is contagious and grounding. One prime time actress follows us in all our escapades and is a constant source humor as well as humility.
New Housing Kennel Our new Kennel was completed with the final push coming in the form of a donation from LTC Partners for our heater! It was a long, but well planned process to be sure our pups could be comfy when they are "at rest". It did present a new project.....
Kennel Fencing Throughout the year we did fundraisers so they we could install secure fencing for our pups. We enlarged and replaced the dilapidated fencing we were using the first year. It is secure and user friendly now and allows for a larger quarantine area.
WMUR Spotlight We were featured on WMURs nonprofit spotlight where we got to share our story... and Jack! (PS we owe interviewer Cherise Leclerc a pair of shoes :)
New Life Dog Training We teamed up with a professional dog behaviorist and trainer to solidify a training program for puppy basic obedience. By having everyone training the same way it makes it easier for everyone including the dog. His expertise in dog behavior has taught us all.
Jon Morton An entrepreneur who embraced our program and started making connections that would prove beneficial to all involved. His cause marketing approach has been instrumental in bringing mindful people into the Hero Pups fold. We were then happy to welcome him to the board of directors.
National Magazine A national magazine did a story about how dogs can benefit our first responders that live with PTSD. It was an article about bringing new treatment options to the forefront for those that protect us every day. It started a wave of interest across the country. Some of the links are on our website.
Memorial Day Parade One of our board members helped out a friend with the memorial day parade to create a moving tribute to our fallen veterans. It moved her to tears when during the speech the Colonel included Hero Pups as one of the two organizations in New Hampshire that is making a real difference for our veterans.
New Puppies A litter of four puppies came to us in the early summer. They immediately started training, going to events and learning the ropes. They needed bottles so feeding every 2 hours proved daunting, but we all took turns so they could go on to help a Hero.
NH Gives Day We were featured in a live interview at the NH Center for Nonprofits. We got to talk with other nonprofits doing different, but important work.
British Beer Company LobHopster Fest The newest puppies accompanied us to the British Beer Company event in Portsmouth, NH. This event was done to break the world record for the longest lobster roll... they finished at 159.6 feet! They sold sections of the lobster roll and the money was donated to Hero Pups. Portsmouth Police Department officiated, and the City of Portsmouth allowed us to close down a street to have this event. Thousands of people attended and everyone had a great time. Jimmy Kimmel even mentioned it on his show.
Videographer We had a great guy, Joey Corso, start recording at the BBC event. It was the beginning of a long term recording project that will capture the real impact on our heroes and the pups we rescue. He has been with us on numerous events since.
WalMart We were excited to have Walmart come on as our dog food sponsor. With their help we are able to provide quality food and treats to our pups, and we often have enough to share with shelters and other rescues.
Motorcycle Ride The American Legion Riders did a motorcycle ride for us. It was not good weather, but that didn't stop everyone from having a great time. The ride was a beautiful tour including 2 other Legion post stops. It ended with sun at the Raymond Post #90 with a BBQ.
Pet Smart We have been provided loads of supplies for our kennel. From leashes, collars, bedding, doggie beds, toys, and training treats, they have been very helpful in keeping our budget on track. One of us can often be found in a local store with a pup in training.
Google We applied for and were granted $10,000 a month in an ads grant from Google. We will be able to use it once our web re-design is done.
Digital Prospectors We had a surprise visit from a representative of Digital Prospectors in Exeter. They wanted to help with our fencing project and generously donated $1,000!
Lexi Leddy, Realtor from Bean Group In June we got a visit from an angel - her name is Lexi and she contacted us out of the blue to inquire about making a donation. Turns out, she donates money from every real estate sale and she chose us! A gift of $2,000 was made, but more importantly, a new friend was made.
Service Award from White House Presidents White House award for helping veterans and their families presented to our founder.
Washington DC: our Board President's Trip Keeping it REALLY short, it was an informative trip, connections were made, and facts were provided. The Department of Veterans Affairs and members of congress were very interested in the ways dogs can help our veterans. This type of exposure and connections will allow us to continue to become more and more accessible to those who need the types of services we provide.
ABC/Good Morning America We made it to the finals in an ABC event, and although we couldn't beat out the other "competitors", we were happy to lose so others devastated by disaster were able to receive some media exposure and donations for Texas
National Magazine An article in FireRescue 1, a national magazine for municipalities, published an article written by Sarah Calams. It was our story of a Hero who renewed our energy and gave a deep perspective on how much a dog can mean. It is a story of hope. Hope is such a small word, but until you have none, you don't realize how big it is.
Certified Public Accountant We had a wonderful CPA reach out and help us prepare for the IRS portion of the nonprofit. Her time and skills were desperately needed and she didn't hesitate to step right in.
Grant writing Since grant writing is a needed and elusive talent that is hard to find, our president took a class and wrote her first grant. We are happy to say, we got that grant! If you want to help out with others, please reach out - the more the merrier :)
Texas Relief - Finders Keepers Partnership We partnered with a shop in Exeter called Finders Keepers to get emergency supplies to Texas. We started out sending supplies to animal shelters in affected areas, but quickly found that there were so many people who wanted to help and we were able to use our network of supporters to help with distribution and logistics. We managed to deliver 160,000 pounds! While we did not set out to run the NH logistics, but it was a task we were given and happy to help with. Police and Fire departments from around the state of NH, and even the National Guard, were instrumental in the collection process. Catholic Charities, AT&T, BCB transport, police departments, and Atlus distributed the supplies in Texas. It was a lot of work, but to see so many people come together to help others was heartwarming.
Duracell This amazing donation of batteries was sent to disaster areas. It also provided us the opportunity to meet a creative and forward thinking company with amazing employees. One of their employees is a veteran that plays guitar and we are hoping you will see him in the near future... *hint *hint
VFW A NH VFW did a fundraiser and we got a surprise check in the mail! At the same time another VFW was doing supply drives for us. It means a lot that other veterans service organizations are helping us.
Paws for a cause In September we were the beneficiary of Paws for a Cause in Concord NH. About 40 vendors came out to show their support. It was a fun day of shopping, dogs, and New Life Dog Training did a seminar on behavioral issues.
New Puppies 5 new rescues show up :) These are smaller breeds and very portable!
Portsmouth Brewery with Black Ale Project In October, Portsmouth Brewery in partnership with the Black Ale Project, launched a beer with a portion of proceeds going towards our program. We even got to meet the master brewers. The tour of the facility was impressive, we all joked at the launch event about how no matter what's happening, 4 tiny puppies (weighing a total of 14 pounds altogether) can always steal the show.
Chronicle The same week as the launch event, we filmed the WMUR Chronicle interview. The producer, Karen Myers, and her camera man visited and then went to visit one of our heroes that has a dog from us. We were so incredibly touched by Jeff's willingness to be part of that interview so that we can reach more heroes that may benefit from one of our dogs. We are please to say that when the segment aired in November, the response was immediate. Karen did an awesome job fitting a lot of information into just a few minutes.
Tractor Supply - Halloween We attended three Halloween events including a day at Tractor Supply. It was fun for us to see the smiles the puppies created as soon as people walked in the door.
Title 1 Boxing They did a raffle event for us that brought in many fabulous raffle prizes and made some money for our program. Dozens of Concord businesses donated items and gift certificates to show their support.
Portsmouth Rotary We spoke at the Portsmouth rotary just before Veterans Day. It was set at the beautiful Portsmouth Country Club with roughly 150 people attending. The puppies enjoyed all the hugs and attention.
Chamber of Commerce Hero Pups joined the Concord Chamber of Commerce with Jon Morton being our area point person and media representative. We look forward to connecting with many more members of this outstanding organization.
Special Gift We were thankful to get donations in memory of Christine Kramer. She was an avid supporter of our veterans and loved dogs. With the donations came a large concrete dog statue that we will proudly place at our housing kennel in the spring. She will be remembered fondly.
Recycling Fundraiser We finished our recycling drive that, in true Hero Pups fashion, blew old records away by delivering 24,000 pounds that raised over $4,000. It also got us written up in their national press release.
Doctor on the team We were contacted by a doctor of psychology that has a background working with post traumatic stress. His knowledge and experience will prove monumental in our program and we are so happy he chose us to share his time with.
Holiday Enrichment We were a part of toy distribution efforts to various NH nonprofits and law enforcement units throughout NH. We were able to collect over 18,000 toys thanks to our wonderful network of volunteers and supporters.
Swag We made our first round of sweatshirts that were really cool... so cool in fact that they sold out within 6 days! We hope to make more soon!
Grant We received our first grant! The vonWeber Trust provided our first grant to the new training program. It will help streamline the training while providing volunteers efficient and consistent support to enrich the dogs abilities and comforts - thereby enabling us to reach more heroes.
General Contractor Ken Barker from Barker Backhoe is not just a board member's husband, but he has acted a general contractor on our large kennel and fencing projects. He and his team worked tirelessly to get the projects done and completed so we could work more efficiently. The access to trucks, backhoes and material hauling he donated meant we could buy more fencing and make the dollars go further. And there were several points he jumped in to help out with puppy wrangling too :)
Finders Keepers This is a charity shop in Exeter that sells donated new and used items to raise funds for NH nonprofits. They have been extremely supportive throughout the year in not only providing money, but also sponsoring monthly meds, heart worm protection, vests, and acting as a drop off location. And they also provide the coolest raffle items :) The ladies there often have one of our pups at the store to help socialize them.
NEW WEBSITE !!!!! And as if our year couldn't get better - it did! Kyle from NH Strategic Marketing got involved with our website. He is going to take our archaic, simple website and make it more user friendly. His vast knowledge is just was we needed to make our website easier to navigate for both heroes and those looking to volunteer. We look forward to launching it in early 2018.
But the true highlights of the year were the teams we created! It is an honor and privilege to watch the magic happen when a hero leaves with his/her pup. It is an overwhelmingly emotional time to know WE got to play a role in making someone's life a little better - and save a dog in the process.
Together, think of all we can accomplish in 2018!
11/30/17 Hero Pups has teamed up with several agencies, nonprofits and groups to distribute toys to area children. With the help of our volunteers and sponsors we have been able to collect thousands of toys during the year. Watch for more pics and info!
We were invited to the Portsmouth Rotary on 11/2/2017. The pups got lots of cuddles as we shared our story at the beautiful Portsmouth Country Club.
On October 11 we had a launch party for O'DARK HUNDRED at the Portsmouth Brewery. We had a great time and the pups brought lots of smiles. This special beer from the Black Ale Project is available for sale or in the restaurant and $1 from every sale helps our program.
Check out our facebook page for pictures from this event.
We had a nice visit at WMUR to do our nonprofit spotlight. Cherise and Jack were instant friends.
Newest update :) LTC Partners stepped up and covered the cost of the heat unit!!! The company and their employees came together to help our pups and the heroes. Thank you, THANK YOU!!!
Updated ! It may look like "just a building" but it will allow for great strides for Hero Pups. We still need to raise more money for the heat and insulation so any contribution would be greatly appreciated. Please see the "How to Help" tab for more info.
In November, 2016 we were offered a brand new building to use FREE OF CHARGE as long as we can cover the cost to insulate and put a heater in it. This will be a great space that will make the pups more comfortable and allow easier care by the volunteers. We need to raise about $3,500 to cover the heat and insulation costs. Contractors, business and individuals are welcome to make a donation in any amount to help make this happen. (photo is a sample photo)
Some of the pups got to visit their first fire house in Epping. One lucky girl even got to meet her new family there.
Sunday, June 18th, 2017 (Fathers Day) come join us for LobHopster Fest! For a $10 donation you can get part of the record breaking 150 foot lobster roll, see a bunch of different beer vendors, listen to great music and of course, see the pups! All the proceeds goes to benefit Hero Pups so bring the family to be a part of something really cool. They are even closing down part of the street for this event. Follow us on facebook for the latest info and pictures.
Saturday, June 24, 2017 was the first annual ride to benefit Hero Pups. We are so thankful the American Legion Riders chose us as their recipient so we can help more heroes and more pups. Thank you to all who helped and contributed a raffle item. The 2018 ride is already being planned. Reach out to Shawn, the Ride Captain if you would like to be involved.
Thank you Officer Page from Exeter Police Department for helping out our heroes! It was a fun visit and Officer Page was so patient while the younger pups got ready for the photos. :) No one can resist puppy kisses.
We are fortunate enough to have a matching donor so each town we get photos with earns us a donation go to the care of our rescues!
In October 2016 we started "Hero Pups on Tour". Photos of a hero pup with a first responder will get us a donation for each town by a sponsor. The great guys at Manchester Police Dept were first and we are getting more every week...stay turned for photos :) And feel free to reach out if you would like your town to participate. 603-397-7444
Join Us & BOX For Hero Pups!
Sunday, October 1st
9:30am - BOX75 - With Coach A-Bomb
Stop by now 9/18/2017 though 10/1 to purchase raffle tickets for all the amazing prizes. Winners will be drawn 10/1/2017. Lots of local business' have donated great items and gift cards.
We will be raising money to help support the Hero Pups program! There will be raffles out & Donations will be accepted! ALL Are Welcome to attend!
10/28/2017 We will be at Tractor Supply on 125 in Brentwood. Stop by from 10-2 to meet the newest pups and say hi to some of the Hero Pups team.
We were in Condord on 9/2/2017. This is a fast growing event and we are thrilled these vendors have pick us as their charity.
Come be a vendor or do some Holiday shopping at this fun event. We will also have some of the pups and team there to answer questions. We will even have a special guest there fresh off the Dr. Oz show :)
The Pet Ranch
Come down to Dog Days at the Corn Maze to meet the newest puppies! There will be local foods and crafts as well as rescue groups and special dog themed vendors. You can also pick your pupmkin after you go through the HUGE corn maze... a great time for all ages :)
Saturday 9/30/2017 from 10-2
Located at Scamman Farm 69 Portsmouth Ave Stratham NH 03885