Love Promise Story Challenge

 

FITZGERALD SUBARU BRINGING PETS & PEOPLE TOGETHER - Laura S

Dottie Fitzgerald has long been passionate about creating change in her community. From her position as Vice President of Fitzgerald Auto Mall, which represents multiple dealerships across three states, Dottie is a dedicated advocate for many causes, including animal welfare. Since 2013, Fitzgerald has partnered with the Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA) to promote adoptions and raise money and support for our critical programs and services, and to date, HRA has received more than $275,000 through these campaigns. 

Last year was an exceptional year and the Fitzgerald team stepped up in more ways than ever! When the pandemic hit, the Fitzgerald team delivered two Subaru vehicles packed with pet food, supplies, and toys to our adoption center. The donation helped keep our animals enriched as we sadly had to close our doors to the public. During the 2019 Subaru Share the Love Drive, Dottie and the team at Fitzgerald Subaru raised an incredible $38,000 for HRA animals. While we couldn't be together in person, we were thrilled to connect for a virtual conversation and check presentation between Dottie and Lisa LaFontaine, HRA's President and CEO. The Subaru Loves Pets event was a fantastic opportunity for HRA and our animals to interact with the community. For the first time since March, we were finally able to have an in-person (outdoor) adoption event again. 

Through this partnership, we were able to show people that despite these difficult times, we are still working tirelessly to help communities and bring joy to them. People were beyond excited to meet their new best friends. Seeing families grow is genuinely heartwarming. All animals, who otherwise would have had to stay in a shelter, went home to live their best lives. The team pulled out all the stops to make this a safe, physically distant event. We heard from a family who adopted a cat from HRA over three years ago who joined their two 20-year old beloved cats, becoming one big happy family. Sadly, their dear senior cats passed away earlier this year, leaving the family heartbroken. At this adoption event, the family welcomed two new cats (now named Eleanor and Martha) who have brought much joy and happiness into their home. They have bonded well with their adopted HRA alum, who are now all friends. "It's been such a smooth transition, and their presence has really helped my husband, and I heal from the loss of our elderly cats, who we miss very much. And when I need to buy a new car, I will absolutely purchase the car from that Subaru dealership!". 

In October, the team invited HRA's senior dog, Ladybell, to be the star of their "Make A Dog's Day" commercial highlighting the plight of senior dogs. Ladybell's story is remarkable. We got a call last July about a dog who was so weak she couldn't stand. When our team arrived at the Fort Totten Metro tracks, they were heartbroken by what they found. This sweet dog was desperately injured and emaciated. She was covered in blood and parasites. Our officers picked her up gently and transported her to the hospital to try and save her life. When she arrived, it was even worse than we thought. She has what appear to be stab wounds on her face and the back of her head. There are many other unidentified wounds on her back. One of her eyes was infested with thousands of maggots, and a wound on the back of her head was so violently deep it fractured her skull. Ladybell was in immense pain, and she was terrified. It brings us great joy to share that today our beloved Ladybell is making great strides and is on the road to recovery. Ladybell is gaining confidence and learning to walk independently after an HRA staff member welcomed Ladybell into her loving home. She is now getting round-the-clock care from one of our most experienced families! 

The Fitzgerald team also supported and sponsored HRA's 2021 pet calendar contest. Several associates entered their pets into the calendar and upvoted each other with multiple four-figure gifts! The calendar fundraiser was followed by Fitzgerald's sponsorship of our annual gala, Bark Ball Reimagined, which went virtual last year. As she always does, Dottie made a personal contribution and even entered into a bidding war for one of our most popular items! 

And it doesn't end here. The team once again hosted two outdoor adoption events in December for Subaru Shares the Love that culminated in 72 animals finding their forever homes in 2020! Thank you, Dottie and the entire Fitzgerald team! We couldn't do what we do without you!