Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristen Gottschalk.
Kristen is one of the Co-Founders of Fetching Tails Foundation and is the Marketing & Events Director. She has been a dog lover her whole life and is passionate about animal rescue. Some might say that she inherited that from her mother, who is also deeply involved with animal rescue and is the President of Fetching Tails Foundation. Kristen has always dreamed about teaming up with her Mom in animal rescue and was lucky enough to make her dream a reality.
Kristen – please share your story with us.
Thankfully I have a supportive husband who has allowed me to follow my dreams! For the last 10 years of my life I have been just a medical sales rep and volunteering here and there with another foundation.
So the first of the year in 2015 I sat with my mom Linda who is the president and a rescue friend Doreen to start a foundation we believed in, a foundation we can save many dogs needing us and a foundation that we can help our community in many different ways. People sometimes think “Oh you have a dog rescue” so you probably just go and save dogs from shelters right?! That is just a part of the puzzle in having a successful foundation.
The last 2 years of my life I have dedicated my life to this foundation and some can say it has a part of my heart. I never thought 10 years ago I would have my own foundation but here I am two years deep, we have rescued over 756 dogs and given them that second chance of the good life, have established some great relationships with supporters, have assisted in programs to better help our community and had two successful gala’s!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
A smooth road in dog rescue?! We have defiantly had some ups and downs. For instance, your working with a lot of passionate dog lovers with all different personalities and sometimes don’t understand how it works and unfortunately we can’t save every dog as much as we would love too. We have to be responsible on the dogs we choose to welcome into our program. Another struggle would be trying to juggle everything. Rescue is 24/7 literally. You have no days off. Even if you’re with family or on vacation I catch myself doing emails or responding to texts but thankfully everyone has understood and I’ve worked my butt off with my two fellow founders to get Fetching Tails Foundation where we want it to me.
I also foster dogs. Our organization is foster based. Although we do have a sweet transport van for “freedom rides” from the shelters, we have no facility. So all our dogs which is about 30-40 dogs are in foster homes. Which I like because we learn more about the dogs and fit them with the best family for that dog. My husband and I have fostered over 60 dogs within years. In the beginning, we fostered younger dogs but now since we have both have busy lifestyles and he is a firefighter who is on 24 hours and off 48 hours. So we now have a soft spot for fostering the older bigger type dogs.
Did I mention we also have two adopted labs? Oliver and Wrigley our adopted fur children! We adopted Wrigley when we first started dating in 2005 and Oliver back in 2010. Yes even though I do love all breeds and love on more of the big dog breeds my husband has turned me into a Labrador lover!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Fetching Tails Foundation story. Tell us more about the business.
Fetching Tails Foundation is a 501c3 Illinois based non-breed specific rescue committed to saving dogs regardless of breed, age, and physical ability. Our foundation is committed to lowering euthanasia rates by rescuing adoptable dogs from high kill-shelters and other animal intake facilities and placing them in approved adopted homes. We are dedicated to helping our community through educational programs and combined efforts for spay & neuter clinics.
Fetching Tails Foundation promotes the responsible rehoming of local homeless dogs. FTF follows through with steps in the adoption process, and takes time to consider the needs of both the family and the dog. There are no wrong animals, just wrong fits, and FTF will take as much time as is needed in order to understand what would make a good fit between a dog and adopter.
FTF strongly believes in the importance of spay and neuter of all pets. Spaying and neutering reduces the amount of animals that end up in shelters, and in turn reduces the number of animals that are euthanized by no fault of their own. Regardless of where a person has acquired a pet, FTF volunteers can offer suggestions and resources on how and where to get your/their pet spayed or neutered.
Fetching Tails Foundation promotes the health and safety of our dogs through the use of microchips and regular veterinary visits. Being up to date on vaccinations, having a microchip, and being spayed or neutered will keep animals safe in the community, as well as reducing the amount of strays, lost dogs, and unwanted puppies in shelters.
FTF encourages responsible pet ownership. Having a pet is a lifetime commitment. By adopting a pet, a person agrees to give the dog the training and medical attention that it may need throughout their life. Adopters should understand that all dogs need to be socialized, and will need their new owner to dedicate time to meet all of their needs.
In under two years not many rescues can say they have saved over 700 lives and some really needy dogs as well. But we have a great team of volunteers who showcase these dogs at the best of their ability.
What am I proud of? Every year I plan our gala for us and I love looking around the room and seeing all the people that support our foundation (200 plus guests!)
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I guess I would say I am lucky to work with two ladies my mom being one of them who we all help each other out when needed or need a vacation! We all have our strengths and weaknesses and thankfully it covers all angels to run a successful foundation.
- Adult Dogs $250 includes: All dog from Fetching Tails Foundation are spayed or neutered, microchipped, receive age-appropriate vaccinations, are de-wormed, heartworm tested, and given heartworm and flea and tick preventative.
- Puppies $350 includes: All dog from Fetching Tails Foundation are spayed or neutered, microchipped, receive age-appropriate vaccinations, are de-wormed, heartworm tested, and given heartworm and flea and tick preventative.
- Seniors $75 All dog from Fetching Tails Foundation are spayed or neutered, microchipped, receive age-appropriate vaccinations, are de-wormed, heartworm tested, and given heartworm and flea and tick preventative.
- Address: Po Box 463
Itasca, IL 60143
- Website: www.fetchingtailsfoundation.org
- Phone: 8478911599
- Email: Info@fetchingtailsfoundation.org
- Instagram: fetchingtailsfoundation
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/FetchingTailsFoundation/
- Twitter: Fetching_Tails