Growing pains: Animal adoption groups find the Internet is a double-edged fund-raising tool

GENESEE COUNTY, MI — The wide-open nature of Michigan's animal rescue business gave newcomer Phil Hogendyk his opportunity to start Bruised But Not Broken Canine Rescue in Grand Blanc Township without a track record, a license or even the money to pay for it.

With a non-profit IRS designation, a sharp logo and some heart-warming photos, Hogendyk used email and Facebook appeals to help pay Bruised Not Broken's bills for several years.

But just this week, the group made a decision “that will either make us or break us,” choosing to slow down online appeals for money as Hogendyk, the group's director and co-founder, tries to walk the fine line between raising enough money to support a good cause and bothering the donors he's appealing to.

“We are no longer asking for donations to cover our weekly expenses,” the group posted on its Facebook page Monday, Feb. 4. “Many people (not everyone) seem to think that their donations or the fact that we accept donations gives them a say in how we operate our organization. Guess what, it does not.”

Hogendyk helped to start Bruised But Not Broken in 2009 as a means of coping with issues in his own life, including being a recovering alcoholic. He developed his own training techniques and beliefs about rehabilitating troubled dogs, working with those “nobody else will take.”

But now, Hogendyk said the fund-raising has become more trouble than it's worth, never covering the rescue's expenses, annoying some donors and creating a fresh set of problems when working to get dogs adopted is trouble enough.

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7 years ago

I find constant pleas from rescues very troublesome. If they can’t afford to run their operation day to day with out crying poverty, or need help for every hard luck case they take in, I can’t help but question the quality of care being provided. Maybe that is my prejudiced showing, but I’ve seen too many “rescues” really end up being hoarding situations and rescuers doing damage to their own financial lives which does no one any good. I wish Bruised but not Broken all the best, and hope they are able to continue to take in the funds necessary… Read more »