Spring is here, and with it comes transformations and new beginnings. A budding new beginning is the partnership between Giving Bark™ and St. Croix Animal Friends, which happens to be our second local shelter.  As the snow melts, St. Croix Animal Friends is buzzing about their big transformation- a new shelter and education center!

In 2005, a group of animal lovers with a similar passion and vision came together and founded St. Croix Animal Friends, purchased 6.5 acers of land and have worked hard since to gain support and the funds to build a shelter.

During my frequent drives between my home-town and my college campus, I always noticed a small old building on a beautiful piece of property on a country back road in River Falls, Wisconsin. I often wondered when the building would be transformed and daydreamed about what it would look like. Seasons changed, and years passed. Fast forward to March 28, 2018 the headline for St. Croix Animal Friends news reads, Exciting News: St. Croix Animal Friends met last night with Scott Builders. It's real and we are moving forward. The designing has begun! Say what? It’s finally happening!

 

While designing the building has begun and the lot is being cleared, St. Croix Animal Friends still has a long way to go. They are still in need of donations to bring their dreams and vision to life for their new building. Not only does a new building allow for more animals in need to receive help and care from St. Croix Animal Friends, the new building will also include a hands-on education center.

The education center is a big focus during the design process.  A vital part of St. Croix Animal Friend’s mission is to educate kids, families, and the community. The education center will offer hands-on learning and host passionate speakers to bring awareness around pet care and safety, to appreciate the role animals play in our lives, to realize the importance of animal-related businesses in our communities, pets co-existing, adding additional pets, and to help each person in the community understand his or her impact on the welfare of animals. They even envision having local sheriffs and K9 officers, with their dogs, give presentations. Have you ever seen K9 officers working with their canines on skills and techniques? It’s fascinating!

Being without a shelter has not slowed St. Croix Animal Friends down by any means! This organization hosts many events within neighboring communities and has placed many animals into well fitted homes.

A recent heartwarming adoption story involves a young man named Adam and a border collie named Bella. Have you ever walked into a shelter or adoption event just to look and give attention to some animals needing a home, telling yourself and those around you that you were not bringing one home, just looking? That’s what happened to Adam.

 After losing his border collie/farmhand/sidekick, Adam wasn’t ready to bring home a new dog; their 14-year bond still needed time to heal. That is until Bella spotted him and picked him to be her person. It was like a scene from a movie. Adam spotted 7-month-old Bella, and she spotted him. She pawed for his attention, rested her head on his chest, giving Adam what she knew he needed, and within minutes Adam was filling out the adoption paperwork. 

 

It took time and dedication to train Bella to be a farm hand and learn that the big cows didn’t have to be scary. After developing trust in Adam she soon began to trust her surroundings and learned the ropes and routines of the farm.

It’s stories like this that drive the St. Croix Animals Friends team to push on and continue to seek donations to build a new building and education center. After 13 years, the time has come, and a new building is in the works. Bella the border collie learned the ropes, Adam has a new companion, families grew by adopting and fostering through St. Croix Animal Friends, and many more animals continue to receive love and support from this crew.

We look forward to attending their annual Animal Walk at the end of June in Hudson, Wisconsin along the beautiful St. Croix River, as they continue to gain awareness and support from their community.

Welcome, St. Croix Animal Friends! 

To see their new building efforts click here!