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Labor of love: Faithful Friends works to put animals’ best interests first

Faithful Friends partners with student volunteers

Mamma dog with forever adopter Mom

Mamma dog with forever adopter Mom

Kyndall Moore and Mary Padavick point to one animal rescue earlier this year that’s the perfect example of the community working together.

West Rowan Middle School is just one of many school that Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary partners with for student volunteers.

“A lot of schools select us as the beneficiary for their fundraising projects,” Moore adds.

Students and teachers at the school had noticed a homeless dog that frequented campus. She’d had at least two litters of puppies during her time there, and was so emaciated that her ribs were clearly delineated.

In January, a group of teachers decided to take action. A representative from the Rowan County Animal Shelter went under one of the outbuildings on campus and rescued the dog. Staff members had already braved the snowy conditions and frozen ground to rescue the two surviving puppies.

The dog and puppies were transferred to Faithful Friends, where they received care before for several weeks being adopted.

“When she first came to Faithful Friends,” Moore says, “this dog would not make eye contact. In the picture of her being adopted, she’s looking into her new owner’s eyes. That’s huge.”

Additionally, West Middle’s students raised more than $300 and donated 150 pounds of dog food, as well as blankets and towels, to help the organization that was helping the dogs they rescued.

By Susan Shinn
For the Salisbury Post

As Kyndall Moore wraps up her first year as president of the board of Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary, she admits it wasn’t a role she sought, but instead accepted out of great need.

“My job is really demanding,” says Moore, a registered sales assistant for F&M Investments. “But our culture supports the community service work that I do. My boss, Jason Holt, is extremely supportive.”

So Moore couldn’t really say no to leading the board.

Moore says she’s always been a pet lover. She and her husband, Sandy, have three dogs, Gibson, a 12-year-old black Lab, Marley, a 4-year-old Golden Retriever, and Koufax, an 11-month-old Blue Heeler-Lab mix. The latter two are rescue dogs from Faithful Friends.

Moore joined the board three years ago, and since then has helped the organization move through a period of transition.

“Relationships are built from the ground up,” Moore explains. “Trust and respect are earned.”

The sanctuary opened its facility on Grace Church Road in 2012, and Moore has worked to strengthen its infrastructure, in both personnel, and within the facility.

“A lot of those relationships have to happen organically,” she says. “Once you have that internally, you can take on outside initiatives.”

Serving with Moore on the board are Nancy Kraupf, Dan Fortner, Julie Pinkston, and Katie Matthews.

“We are small but mighty,” Moore notes. “With a smaller board, you can be more nimble and more responsive. We’ve had tough issues to tackle. We were turning the ship.”

Moore also notes that it costs $10 per day per animal for the shelter to operate.

“Most of our animals come from disadvantaged backgrounds,” she says. “Our adoptions process is rigorous — and rightfully so. We want documentation and we want historical pet ownership. We want complete ownership records. We do home visits.”

Once a potential owner completes an application, they do a meet and greet with the animal they’d like to adopt, followed by a home visit, followed by a final decision by Faithful Friends.

“We need to meet every member of the household, two-legged and four-legged,” Moore says. “Once we accept an animal, it’s for the duration of their lives.”

This process has culminated in a strong record of successful adoptions, Moore says. “When an animal is returned, that animal is broken. We want stability for these animals.”

Moore says that Faithful Friends is undergoing a rebranding period since its founding in 2007. “Who we are in 2016 is very different. We are regulated by the N.C. Department of Agriculture. We are licensed under Dr. Charles Steinman.”

The longtime local veterinarian sees all animals that come to Faithful Friends.

Strays are accepted, but after a two-week hold period by the person who found them.

“That’s North Carolina law,” Moore says.

Faithful Friends can hold up to 40 dogs and 40 cats. Moore says that donations have been down this year. “We need to share with the community how much it costs for us to operate.”

Faithful Friends works with Petfinder and facebook to place animals, as well as a number of breed-specific rescue groups.

As its signature fundraiser, Faithful Friends hosts the Pawbrokers jewelry party, recently held at the St. Luke’s Parish Hall.

Roxanne Blake is the owner of Paw Brokers, and a friend of the Fortners. She receives, cleans, appraises and sells gently used and unused jewelry, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to participating organizations. The show in early December raised $10,500 in sales and sponsorships for Faithful Friends.

“It really went well,” says Pinkston, who headed the effort for the second year. “We had some estate jewelry and some better costume jewelry. One customer purchased a $1,200 double gold chain.”

She adds, “Pawbrokers is really a labor of love, and we’d like more people to hear about it and have more participation next year in this signature event.”

Pinkston has been board member for three years and has been active with Faithful Friends since it began.

“I’m just an animal lover,” she says. She and her daughter, Alex Kenny, have fostered dogs.

Pinkston and her husband, Ott, are the owners of Princess, a 7-year-old Boston terrier, and Oscar, 2, a rescue cat “who just showed up.”

“Faithful Friends is a wonderful place,” Pinkston says, “but the expenses are never-ending.”

Mary Padavick, director of Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary, says she appreciates the partnerships the group is building with other local organizations that help animals.

“We can all rescue,” she says, ‘but if we can’t spay and neuter and work together, shame on us all.”

Padavick says that Faithful Friends is now better aligned with the Rowan County Humane Society, a group that’s expert at providing low-cost spaying and neutering services.

Faithful Friends is also working with the Rowan County Commissioners to update animal ordinances, therefore giving the animal shelter better tools and strengthening that relationship.

“We are trying to be a support to Bob Pendergrass, the director, and vice versa,” she says.

Padavick praises Moore’s work this year.

“She’s been a powerhouse to this organization,” Padavick says. “She’s not afraid of hard work, and she’s not afraid to make tough decisions. She’s propelled us forward.”

Looking to 2017, Moore wants to improve the organization’s volunteer training program, continue the monthly open houses started this year, and grow the Pawbrokers annual sale.

“We always strive to increase the number of animals we serve,” she says. “In 2015, we served 237 animals. We always want to be growing that number.”

For more information about Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary, visit www.faithfulfriendsnc.org or find them on facebook.

Freelance writer Susan Shinn lives in Salisbury.

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