Mary Ann Minick’s Christmas card from 2010 is a beautiful picture of her, her husband and their nine dogs.
Minick is the founder of the All Pets Wellness Foundation, which provides funds to care for sick and injured pets to owners who cannot afford it.
When asked how the foundation started, Minick told me the story of when she rescued a German Shepherd in 2004. The German Shepherd died seven months after Minick and her husband got her, but Minick took notice of how the dog went from being underweight and severely depressed to a glowing and self assured animal.
“We [Minick and her husband] knew she was happy and she knew she was loved when she died. And we didn’t do anything special. We allowed her to be a dog and we were a family,” she said.
Shortly after, Minick realized that helping senior dogs was what she wanted to do.
“Everybody has their thing in life that they want to concentrate on and everyone has to find a way to give back, so our way was going to be rescuing the seniors,” she said.
After adopting three more seniors, Minick noticed that the dogs had some conditions that needed treatment, and that not everybody could afford to pay for them. She couldn’t imagine having to give up your pet just because you can’t afford treatments that could save their life.
The ideafor the foundation was just that. To insure that other people won’t have to say goodbye and either give up their pets or euthanize them just because they can’t afford treatments.
By the end of 2009 the foundation officially got their 501C3, which states that the foundation is a non-for profit organization and if you contribute you can get a tax deduction.
The foundation is entirely “grass roots”, but has grown and been very active in the last year. At the moment everything is done by volunteers and is funded all by personal donations.
The main goal of the foundation is to educate pet owners to make sure they know what they can do and what’s available to them.
“There’s so much out there that people just don’t know. We [the foundation] hope by educating people and by getting them the information that they need they can arm themselves because no matter what, pet ownership is a huge responsibility,” Minick said.
The foundation informs people about pet trusts, care credit, and pet insurance so pet owners won’t get to the point where they need help from the foundation or any organization.
Minick explained how she never says ‘no I can’t help you’ and leaves it at that. She tries to funnel people to other organizations, so even though the help may not come directly from the foundation, they’re getting people the help they need.
In the future, Minick and her crew are working on the Companion Animal of the Year Award, where stories of how veteran’s and active duty military’s pets have influenced or saved their lives. The award would honor both human and animal heroes.
When asked if the foundation affected her life in any way, Minick immediately answered yes. The biggest thing she’s learned is patience followed by being honest.
“It’s taught me patience that no amount of book reading or talking to me would have taught me,” Minick said.
Minick’s friend and secretary of the foundation, Linda Czuba, considers her a hero and finds her an inspiring individual.
“She finds the good in people and knows that people are good at heart. She is incredibly hardworking and I feel fortunate to not only work with her but to be her friend,” Czuba said.
Before she dies, Minick wants to build a sanctuary where senior animals can come and live the rest of their lives being loved and happy. She wants to work with homeless, veterans, and battered women’s organizations. They would get housing and in turn would take care of the animals, and ultimately they would help each other heal.
“The one thing I’d like to leave with everybody is it doesn’t necessarily matter what it is, but think about something that you can do to help somebody or something, and if we all do that, the world would be a better place,” Minick said.
If you would like more information or are interested in donating, please visit www.allpetswellnessfoundation.org.