Today we’d like to introduce you to Janet Lewis.
Janet, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was one of three founding members of All Points West GSP Rescue back in September 2016. We all had a rescue background, collectively, 30 years of experience. We all had worked together in rescue prior to 2016 and thought we knew what it would take to run a successful rescue.
Dog rescue is not an easy thing, it requires passion, drive, and a desire to help save the breed we are so passionate about, German Shorthaired Pointers, Pointers, and Pointer mixes. Our 1st year, 2016, we rescued and placed four dogs and last year we rescued and placed more than 110 dogs, also expanding our rescue territory to include surrounding states that didn’t already have a recognized Pointer rescue. We are now successfully rescuing dogs in Colorado, as well as NM, AZ, MT, WY, WA, & OR.
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?
Starting a rescue came with many challenges. As a non-profit, we rely 100% on donations in order to rescue these beautiful dogs. When we started out we agreed to each contributes $500 of our own money to get it started. Well, in actuality we each contributed much more than that and so much more time, sweat and tears to establish ourselves and to become what we hoped would be one of the best rescues in Colorado! Saving dogs is the easy part. We knew we could to do that. Fundraising and getting our name out there was a challenge! We knew what we wanted to be. We wanted to be a rescue who was honest and transparent in everything we do from working with shelters, transporters, other rescues as well as our foster and adoptive families. We believe that placing the right dog to the right family is key and we worked together to accomplish that and being open and honest in the process.
Another big challenge is that its a very emotional business, you are talking about a living thing, man’s best friend! The emotional toll is a huge aspect of rescue. Whether you’re dealing with the shelter worker trying to get a dog off of death row, a family who’s life circumstances changed and can no longer care for their dog, or the family who wants nothing more than bring in a new four-footed family member into their home. The highs in rescue are SO high, but the lows are equally low! Rescuing means making heart-wrenching decisions and seeing some of the most desperate situations. The highs remind you that it’s all worth it! The text messages and pictures you’re sent from adopters and fosters remind us why we do what we do! The relationships forged in rescue with like-minded people is equally empowering. It shows us everyday that you can make a difference and it is worth it!
We’d love to hear more about your organization.
All Points West GSP Rescue is a volunteer-run, 501c3, non-profit organization helping GSP’s and Pointers in need. We provide rescue, safety, rehabilitation and placement of dogs in a loving forever home. We do not have a facility. We are completely foster-based which means each dog in our care is placed in a home and they receive the care and love needed during what must be a very confusing time for them. Every dog adopted through us will be vetted, vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and micro-chipped. Any medical issues will be identified and addressed prior to adoption. We rely 100% on donations from individuals, fundraising and donations we receive through adoptions. We set out to establish an honest and transparent rescue and I believe that is what sets us apart! We are passionate about the families we place dogs with as much as we are passionate about the breed we work so hard to rescue!
What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was sure I was going to be a veterinarian, of course! I always loved animals and my parents always had a dog. My Mom was probably my biggest influence when it came to loving a dog. The childhood dog we had was a mutt named Shadow and he was found dumped on the side of the highway, like a piece of trash. He was my mother’s “other” baby! As an adult once my husband and I owned our own home of course, I went out “adopted” 2 Weimaraners, littermates! Why Weimaraners, because they were skinny and sick and nobody else would adopt them! Well, we had no idea what having two hunting dogs was about much less what it would do to change our lives! They were difficult dogs! We were naive and knew nothing about the high demands this type of dog came with! They were not your family back yard pets! Such high energy, strong-willed dogs! There was a time early on where I thought to myself we had better figure out how to keep these dogs because there was no way anyone else would! Looking back, that was the probably the 1st sign of what would become a huge part of my life, rescue! That is a rescue, figuring out how to best care for a dog that has demanding needs.
Long story short, my husband and I moved to the country to give them the space they would need and they could bark as much as they wanted! Learning how to care for those 2 Weimaraners is very similar to what I now do in rescue for GSP’s & Pointers. Do what you have to do to help these dogs live their best lives! It’s easy for me to see why I got into rescue. Becoming an engineer just gives me the means to pursue my true passion! And I must give credit to my husband David. I couldn’t do this without his full support, he my rock!
- Website: https://www.allpointswestgsp.org/
- Phone: 303-507-1968
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: allpoinswestgsprescue
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/allpointswestgsp/
- Twitter: @apwgspr