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Business of the Year 2014 Finalists

1. Petsway

Pet Warehouse

Petsway (formerly Pet Warehouse) is a locally owned company who has really put their stamp on animal welfare in Missouri. They dedicate their time, money, and resources with many organizations throughout our area – not just one. Petsway hosts various adoption events to help support local rescue groups and the importance of adoption. They sponsor, donate, and are involved with many events such as Republic Paw Pantry’s annual dinner auction, Dogfest, Pets & Pumpkins, Wags to Riches Casino Night, and Project Puppy. They’re also very involved as supporters of the Cruse Dog Park, Dog Swim, community blood drives, and lots more. Petsway is all about getting involved with their local community and getting to know their customers. They do it because they want to and genuinely care about the people/animals they support. Even though Petsway has a new name – they have the same commitment and passion for pets as well as their community.

2. EntreMANURE K9 Waste Removal


I would like to nominate EntreMANURE K-9 Waste Removal LLC for “Business of the Year.”  EntreMANURE is founded, owned and operated by Victor Grosso.  Victor was an aircrewman and Navy rescue swimmer that served his country for 12 years.  His intentions were to retire from the service as he LOVED his job helping people.  However, his career was cut short due to an injury suffered when his helicopter was shot down while performing a mission in Beirut.  When Victor returned stateside he tried many different careers but had trouble finding something he could do that didn’t aggravate his injuries.  One day he was driving in the car and an idea popped into his head – “I can help people by taking away the one chore that most dog lovers hate to do!  I can pick up poop for a living.”  Of course his friends and family thought he was crazy but he researched, investigated, and explored the idea.  He learned that there are many busy families, families with small children, elderly, and disabled people that love their dogs and are unable to clean up after them so in 1999 he “launched” EntreMANURE.  Victor has picked up after hundreds of dogs in three states and finally decided to settle down here in Missouri after meeting his wife Karen through an internet dating site. 
Victor enjoys his business because he likes to help people while setting his own hours, enjoying   the outdoors, and playing with the loveable dogs!  Sometimes he gets down on himself thinking that his business isn’t very important, he is certainly not changing the world by picking up dog poop.  But then his sense of humor returns and he remembers that he is helping to keep the Ozarks “poop free one yard at a time.”  He says, “It may be just dog waste to you but it’s our bread and butter.”  Victor also says, “We hire the most patient people around because we take crap daily.”  His goal is to be #1 in the #2 business.  
Vic’s business is important to the community because he is helping to remove most chances of Salmonella, tape, round and hook worms, as well as rodents, rats, and snakes from the yard.  He is reminded that his service helps the environment because uncollected feces contributes to water pollution.  But most of all he enjoys the fact that he is able to give back to families by providing them quality time to spend together as he remembers how valuable that time can be.  Vic also tries to give back to the community by donating 10% of his profits to those “not for profit” organizations that he has partnered with that contribute to the ever growing pet needs of the Ozarks.       

3. Happy Tails

Happy Tails

Happy Tails Doggie Daycare and Boarding is a locally owned company dedicated to providing top service for their clients. They know all their dogs and enjoy spending time with their clients/owners. Happy Tails has fostered for local rescue groups when they need another foster and a home is not available. This has been a great resource to many as Happy Tails provides a wonderful opportunity for socializing new rescues, learning manners, interacting with a variety of breeds/sizes/ages of other dogs, and Happy Tails’ team also works hard with the dog on basic commands etc. So often people only think of fosters as a family home, but Happy Tails has offered an outside the box solution to provide another avenue of saving dogs in our community. They are also involved and sponsor local events.

Volunteer of the Year 2014 Finalists...

Kristy Ritter

I would humbly like to nominate Kristy Ritter for Volunteer of the Year. Each year, 3-4 million animals are euthanized in shelters and animal control facilities.  That number is staggering.  It’s hard to believe that any one person can make a difference. But they can.
Five years ago, Kristy Ritter decided to make a difference. Her passion for animals combined with her warrior spirit, sparked a fire in her soul and she committed to saving the lives of every animal that walked through the doors of Springfield, Missouri Animal Control. This was no small task as their intake averages 20-30 dogs per week. Fast forward to the present day.
In 2014, Springfield, Missouri Animal Control celebrated their third consecutive year in which they have not had to euthanize any adoptable dogs. If that isn’t amazing enough, Kristy and her team of volunteers have now expanded to helping both Republic Animal Control and Taney County Animal.

In addition to finding rescues and forever homes for the dogs that find themselves in an animal control facility, Kristy works endlessly to help breeder-releases. For the past two years, Kristy has assumed the mantle of Transport Coordinator for the Rescue Road Warriors, which is an organization that, in five short years, has helped safely transport 8,000+ dogs to life-saving rescues across the country. The vast majority of those dogs are dogs that found rescue-placement through Kristy and her team of volunteers. Kristy loves and cherishes each life so much that the journey does not end for her when the dogs reach their rescues – she watches for updates and shares them with everyone involved in each life that was saved.

Finally, Kristy helped design and implement the PAW-It-Forward program, which was established to assist low-income owners (on a sliding-fee scale) pay the cost of the impound fee so that they could be reunited with their pets.  This is a program that is supported by donations.   Accidents can happen, animals can get loose and more and more families are falling on hard times – this program helps to keep families together.

If all of that isn’t enough to keep Kristy busy, she also works full-time and most people will be surprised to know she doesn’t even live in the same geographic area of the facilities that she’s supporting – she lives in St. Louis.   
Kristy is humble and will be the first to tell you what she does means nothing without the rescues and the transporters, but that’s not true.  Her strength and tenacity have helped to form a community, where at the very core, lays her beautiful heart and soul.  Kristy gives all that she
is to rescue and for that reason, I am nominating Kristy Ritter for Volunteer of the Year. 

Jerry Zimmerman with HFLCS

Jerry puts the rescue before herself.  She does the job of 10 people.  She works full time at a daytime job, then comes home and spends countless hours being the problem solver for this group.  No one knows what she does and is capable of because she never brags or complains.  To her it is not about the acknowledgement, but simply about the animals.  Not many people do what she does without needing a pat on the back.

Cathy Elmore

Most people don't know the silent rescuer that is in the background doing the hardest part of rescue - fostering.  Cathy Elmore is one of those people, who sits back quietly and fosters for so many of us.  Cathy is a special foster though because she takes on the tough cases.   She has been fostering for 2 years both animals and wildlife.   She sits up many long nights nursing the sick back to health, bottle feeding babies who have lost their mothers, sings them songs, plays games with them, even goes as far as cooking chicken and dumplings for those that just won't eat the stuff from a box.   Cathy's compassion and caring is more appreciated that she may know/even hear from all of us that she helps.  I am nominating Cathy for volunteer of the year because without the fosters who are the heart and soul of rescue there wouldn't be the special kids getting a second chance that she gives them.

Veterinary Office of the Year 2014 Finalists...  

1. Fanning Family Pet Care in Republic

The 2 doctors here have the most concerned manner of each pet that walks through that door.  Doctors NEVER rush through appointments.  They are very good at thoroughly explaining everything.  You get so much of their time and attention at the most affordable cost.  These people are angels.

2. Cobblestone Vet Hospital

Dr. Paul Robertson of Cobblestone Vet. Dr. Robertson was first located on Main Street in Nixa. That is where I first met him during the Puppy Mill campaign. In his window at that office was a hand written notice. "IF YOU DON'T VOTE FOR THE PUPPIES MILL BILL, THEN YOU CAN HELP FIND A HOME FOR THIS DOG".  Then there would be photos of dogs that someone had dumped.  He openly supported this bill knowing full well what puppy mills were all about and he shared that with his clients. He is the Vet who helps pull the dogs from the Nixa pound and always works with For The Love Of K9's in Nixa to help affordably get the animals up to date on necessary proceedures and gets them ready for transport.  His front counter is full of fund-raising items that a patient has made and coin boxes for the rescue group. Dr. Robertson has been supportive on many of the Animal campaigns that I have been involved in putting out flyers on different subject matters, and works with the SNAP low cost spay neuter program. He has donated to various groups his services and once I was able to bid on an alteration that he had donated to C.E.R.T. In which I used for a little rescue. His bulletin board is always full of lost/found and his new clinic is a go to place when someone has lost or found an animal.  His staff at the front desk is truely supportive of animals in need always taking little critters home to care for their special needs. Dr. Robertson is an example of what a vet should stand for: truely caring for animals over profit.

3. Divine Veterinary Clinic

Divine Vet

Divine Veterinary Clinic run by Dr. Divine deserves the award of Veterinary Clinic of the year. Dr. Divine consistently expresses an unwavering commitment to his clients, goes above and beyond to help people in the community who bring rescue dogs to him as well as the high quality of care each and every dog receives.  He is willing to work with each client and dog on a case by case basis to meet the needs of both the animal he is caring for and the owner.  He not only practices with a high level of knowledge and education, but is able to provide emotional support to his clients when dealing with challenging cases and decisions. He is the type of vet that makes you feel your dog is the only dog he is treating. He personally comes out of the exam room and greets you and your dog in the waiting room. It is important to him to develop trust with the animals he is treating. He takes the extra minute to help the dog/cat relax and feel safe. His staff is equally as personable and supportive. They all are open and available to trouble shoot over the phone as well as in person. They understand not only physical issues, but have a very strong supportive base to deal with behavioral issues of their canine clients. I feel at times it is a one stop shop. Dr. Divine is also a vet who consistently increases his knowledge and skill base and is open to whatever it will take to improve the health of his clients. Please give the Divine Veterinary Clinic the recognition they deserve and vote for them to be Killuminati's Veterinary Clinic of the year.

Rescue Story of the Year for 2014 Finalists...

1. Meet Timber

Timber's story isn't your normal story but the perfect match made with Gods help.  Timber was saved from Springfield Animal Control the morning he was due to be euthanized. A great rescue in Colorado offered to save him.  During his time with the rescue he went through two fosters and an adopter who loved him, but Timber had separation anxiety and broke out of his adopters 3rd story window and traveled over 20 miles looking for her. The hardest day of their lives was bringing him back to the rescue who asked us if we would take Timber back and find him the right match.  We absolutely agreed and Timber came back to Missouri.  After being with us for just over 2 months, we had a special request from a volunteer that transports for Rescue Road Warriors wanting a special friend for a special man.  I shared Timber's picture and info and the rest was magic.  He was in love and wanted to adopt Timber, love at first picture.   Timber was transported out to his new adopters home by the Rescue Road Warriors on a Saturday morning and arrived to his new person on Sunday.  Again it was love at first site.  Timber was headed for the good life and was going to have people with him 24/7.  You see Timber was being adopted by Father Steve, the pastor of a local church and he would be coming to work with him everyday.   Timber did great his first few days and even sneaked away from the office staff while Father Steve had to go next door to say mass. Timber somehow opened the door to the office went next door to the church, got in the back door to the vesting room and went to mass! He went around and greeted everyone and then settled in front of the alter until Father was done. Little did we know Father Steve's life background until later (he is a very private person), but we received this message from his friend who helped him adopt Timber: 

"See it is very special to Father Steve. He was a Navy Chaplain stationed in Landstahl Germany. That is the military hospital that all the worst cases from Afghanastan go to. He was there for three very hard years. He came back with PTSD. He took 2 years sabbatical to get his clinical degree to work with PTSD vets. He is doing much better now and really needed the companionship and comfort and Timber realized this right away. Father said he is so affectionate and gentle. And he loves how Timber wants to be close. So again thank you for helping us match Father Steve with him, it is so good to see true happiness in Fathers eyes again."

Timber now lives the life he was meant to live and it truly is a match made in heaven.

2. Willow

Willow came into rescue with Paws and Hands United at 8 weeks old with a severely broken jaw. Her jaw was broken in five places and some of the fragments were completely shattered. It was one of the worst our vet had ever seen. Willow was unable to move her mouth or eat.  She had to have endured some severe trauma for it to happen. It was very likely that someone had done this intentionally to her with the way the jaw was broken.  It took 2 surgeries and 2 weeks hospitalized to get her healthy enough to function and be able to live in a foster home with a lot of TLC. Willow spent months being treated for infection and healing that was required due to the severity of her injury.  Willow is now missing part of her lower mandible, so she is also missing several teeth due to that. Due to the mandible being partially gone she has a bit of a crooked smile, but we like to say it adds character and makes her even more special! Thanks to the help of Killuminati and several donors we were able to give her all the medical care she needed. Willow was also diagnosed with mange while in rescue, but that was an easy fix compared to her jaw repair. Through it all she was one of the sweetest most loving little girls. Our vet said she was pretty amazing for what she went through. Willow was adopted into a great home with a lot of room to run and dog friends to play with! Willow had such a great spirit about her and despite all her pain she endured she only wanted love and affection from people. Willow is a true example of what rescue dogs are like and why rescues do what they do!

3. Samson

Samson came into rescue with Paws and Hands United after living his life on a chain. We spent a year trying to convince the owner to let him go and we finally reached a breaking point when we went for a visit and he was coughing and the chain was literally cutting into his neck. The property where he was living was abandoned and he was surrounded by trash with nothing but a worn out old doghouse to give him shelter.  The owner finally said we could have him. We had no place for him, but we had to get him out of there. We suspected he had heartworms due to his cough and also due the fact that we pulled other dogs from this same owner off this property that were also heartworm positive. Samson indeed had heartworms and was loaded with parasites. The day we got Samson home and gave him a bath he looked like a totally different dog. The chain was gone and the look of relief on his face was priceless. Samson had some issues with other dogs due to being chained and never socialized properly.  Samson was treated for heartworm disease. We were able to get financial help through Killuminati and also Dogs Deserve Better. He also won the hearts of a lot of people. We had donations come in from everywhere to help us save him. Samson can also be seen featured in the 2014 Dogs Deserve Better Calendar! Samson has been such a trooper and such a loving boy. Samson recently started visiting a local nursing home where we take the rescue dogs to.  He loves getting petted by the residents and they love seeing him and watching him be goofy. The residents there always comment on how beautiful he is and how nice of a dog he is. The fact that he is a pitbull doesn’t even affect them. Samson was also put through training recently and earned his Canine Good Citizen Certification. He overcame a lot in training and we helped him work through some of his personal issues. He has done amazing for what he came from and also being an older dog. He is now 7 and it’s true you can teach an old dog new tricks! Samson continues to amaze us with how resilient he is. Samson is still looking for his forever home and someone to call his own.





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