WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAVE MAKES!
An important personal message from Adopt-A-Pet’s President.
Dear Animal Lovers and Adopt-A-Pet Supporters,
A dear friend of mine, and a dearer friend to Adopt-A-Pet, as many of you know him “Dave from Wilmette Pet”, has been diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. ALS is a devastating type of motor-neuron disease that causes progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain. Eventually ALS affects control of the muscles needed to move, speak, eat and breathe.
Last year, I asked some of you to support the team “Dave’s Fight Club” in The Walk For Life event sponsored by the Les Turner ALS Foundation, which has greatly helped Dave navigate through a maze of insurance issues, doctors, therapies, and access to medical equipment and communication devices. I know some of you have already donated to and are planning to participate in this year’s upcoming walk 9/23. (Email me for details if you are interested in going).
But this year, right now, there’s a greater URGENT cause that I’m going to ask those of you who can to PLEASE help Dave personally overcome. Dave has been so charitable and self-sacrificing over all of these years. It is now time for Adopt-A-Pet and its supporters, and all animal lovers, to step up and show our love and appreciation in a BIG way.
For those of you who have followed the story of Dave and Adopt-A-Pet’s long journey together, you know how generous and selfless a person he has been in supporting Adopt-A-Pet, other shelters, and all shelter animals.
For those of you who don’t know, a synopsis: In 2007, Dave purchased Wilmette Pet. Until this time the store’s main profitability was selling puppies and kittens. Dave hated knowing the store was contributing to a cruel problem, and his goal in buying the store was to reimagine the store with a new focus that didn’t rely on puppy and kitten sales. He wanted to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Dave approached Adopt-A-Pet and asked for our help. We understood the challenges of a business losing its main source of income, but together came up with a plan to progressively overtake the puppy pens and fill them with our shelter dogs and cats. One by one, we transitioned each pen to a shelter animal, while Dave improved and expanded the store’s pet supply offerings and services in an effort to build a larger customer base to keep the store afloat. Eventually, we filled every pen with a shelter animal. Adopt-A-Pet now had its own little satellite adoption center within Wilmette Pet!
Soon after, Dave donated even more valuable store space to us to build a little cat room, so the cats would now not have to be caged and the public could come in and visit and interact with the cats. He enabled us to take in and save the lives of thousands of more animals over the years. Many of you reading this might be cuddling on the couch with one of those animals right now!
Wilmette Pet Center, thanks to Dave, became the first pet store in Illinois, if not the nation, to transition its business model from selling puppies and kittens to shelter adoption only. Wilmette Pet became a safe place to meet and fall in love with homeless dogs and cats. All adoption fees went to Adopt-A-Pet. Dave wouldn’t allow us to pay him any kind of rent or commission. Dave donated his paid staff’s time to care for the animals, medicate them, clean their living spaces, walk the dogs. Sure, we had volunteers that supplemented, but the lion’s share was done by Dave and his staff. He donated medicines, food, litter, toys, and whatever else was needed to make the animals comfortable and would never accept a penny from us.
Dave took a HUGE financial hit at the start, and it took him an extensive time to recover, many times not even paying himself a salary. In his eyes, the animals always came first. He was in it for the love of the game, never the money.
If anyone on this earth doesn’t deserve the ALS fate that life has dealt him, it’s Dave. As he has told me, it’s changed his goals and dreams overnight. But even as he faces this mountain of struggle, it hasn’t changed his real life story, the story of who he is. He’s still the same big-hearted Dave we all know and love, always being the one offering his help to any person or creature in need. A TRUE HERO to the animals.
SO NOW, Dave's condition has progressed, and as some of you already know, he is now in the process of having to give up his business that he worked so hard to build. Dave is now non-ambulatory, having just finished his final fitting for an electric wheelchair to get around easier and more comfortably. Though the ALS Foundation has been able to help him in this and a vast number of ways, what they are not able to do is to provide a wheelchair-accessible vehicle.
Dave and his lifelong partner Ken have researched grants and organizations to help offset the cost but have found nothing that can help them. Dave’s sister has started a GoFundMe which has raised some money, but not enough. Accessible vans are very expensive, even used ones.
As family and friends watch Dave face and power through all of the new obstacles of ALS, we often feel powerless and at a loss of what to do for our dear friend or family member. Our wish, our goal, for Dave is that we can give Dave as much independence as possible by giving him a vehicle that will assist him in visiting family, friends, doctors and support groups, or as simple as being able to take a drive with Ken to enjoy the outdoors, go out to dinner, attend a concert, or anything else they want to do. We want Dave to have a quality of life for as long as possible.
With this in mind, I am asking for you to use your power to assist in getting Dave that wheelchair-accessible van as quickly as possible so that Dave can have a feeling of independence.
All donations made to Adopt-A-Pet through the end of September will be MATCHED by an anonymous supporter and donated towards getting a van for Dave. Please friends, if there ever was a time, now’s the time to step up. Even if you’ve already donated to the ALS Foundation, can you dig a little deeper – just this one time, for Dave? We need lots of thousands of dollars! But no donation is too small. I’m keeping the faith that the collective power of our awesome supporters will make this happen!
I know some folks are averse to GoFundMe’s because of their fees and their history of censorship. Here’s your chance to support Dave through a different avenue.
When you make a donation now to Adopt-A-Pet:
- There are NO fees taken out, whether you:
~ Send a check: PO Box 408, Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
~ Utilize Zelle from your bank account. Send to: email@example.com
~ Go through our Paypal Giving Fund page
- Your donation will be DOUBLED.
- Your donation is tax-deductible and you will get a receipt sent to you.
- We take donations from anyone – we are neutral and non-political!
Please do it now, while you’re thinking about it. And when you send your donation, please let us know if you would like your name (first name/last initial or full name) written on the card that we will present to him, or if you prefer to remain anonymous.
As a devoted member of Dave's Fight Club, I thank you for ANY contribution you’re able to make to help us turn this into a reality. It won’t mend my broken heart, but it will lift Dave up (pardon the pun) and make his life so much easier. It took a village to turn Dave’s dream of transitioning his store from puppy sales to puppy adoptions into a reality, and it will truly take a village to now get Dave personally on that road to more independence.
Please spread this email to anyone else that you know that might be inclined to help!
Lastly, I will be selling one of my personal cars, a 1999 classic Mazda Miata MX-5 convertible, and donating the entire proceeds towards this cause. Dave needs a van way more than I need a sports car!
Only 42,000 miles. 2-seater. Excellent, clean condition. Garage kept all of its life. No winter driving, no damage, no accidents. Auto trans. Pwr windows. AM/FM/CD player. Airbags. AC. Zingy engine. Stable, smooth ride. Hugs the road as it zips around corners. Great on gas. LOTS of fun to drive! Email with any other questions or to set up meeting. Best offer over $11,000. You get a fun sports car – Dave gets an accessible van. It’s a win-win! Feel free to pass along to anyone else that you think may be interested.
And lastly lastly, if anyone knows of a nice pre-owned accessible van that may be for sale, please let me know. We’ve located a few options, but are open to looking at whatever else may be out there.
With much gratefulness to all of you that will help make this happen,
Thank you for reading this.
On behalf of Dave and Ken,
Randy Barinholtz, President, Adopt-A-Pet, Inc.
Our adoptable animals are all in private foster homes. If you are looking to adopt, please check for available animals under the Adopt tab. The site is updated whenever new animals are available.
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