BY KATIE MATTESON
When Lynn Nielsen-Eeg, the founder of H.O.P.E. (Helping Orphan Pets through Education) Safehouse, died in September 2018, some people thought her 30-year dream died too. Not so.
The dream lives on through the volunteers who worked with her and have made a fresh start at new offices located at 1234 Lathrop Ave. The former location was on Taylor Avenue.
Leading the refreshed 501(c)(3) organization is Samantha Kupper, who has been a volunteer for HOPE for 20 years – starting at the age of 13. She took on the role of president and will be assisted by Tina Anchondo as vice president, Kathy Ginther as secretary and Vicki Baclawski as treasurer.
According to the Critter Quarterly, the organization’s newsletter, Anchondo has been a volunteer for HOPE for 28 years, runs her own pet sitting business called Woofs and teaches trick dog training classes for Cudahy Kennel Club.
Ginther is a longtime volunteer and adopter for HOPE. She’s retired from Racine Unified School District and also volunteers for Meals on Wheels.
Baclawski started with HOPE during the organization’s huge Hurricane Katrina rescue and has many years of financial experience. She previously served as the secretary.
Kupper’s day job is as one of the managers at The Woof doggie daycare and boarding in Racine.
Other members of the Board of Directors include: Lori Jensen, Sharon Johnson, Dave Braun, and Mike Balcer.
The organization receives veterinary assistance from For Pet’s Sake Veterinary Clinic, North Shore Animal Hospital, Magnolia Springs Veterinary Center and The Animal ER of Racine/Kenosha.
The officers, along with dozens of other volunteers who help staff the office, foster the dogs at their homes and help take care of the cats in the office, will continue Nielsen-Eeg’s mission:
“Dedicated to the care and re-socialization of lost, injured, neglected and abandoned pets. Through education and example, we extend the qualities of safety, shelter and compassion to all animals under our care”
As the group gets settled into its new digs, Kupper said they need additional help with data entry to help transfer all of Nielsen-Eeg’s paper files to the organization’s new computer system. They also need help socializing cats, as well as donations for scoopable cat litter and martingale dog collars.
Those interested in adopting a dog or cat should visit HOPE’s website (hopesafehouse.org) to see the pets currently available for adoption.
The adoption fee is $58 for cats and $128 for dogs. The fee includes:
- Vet check
- 30-day health guarantee
- Spay/neuter surgery
- Leash and collar
- New Pet Packet with food, coupons, toys and treats
- Training classes
- Lifetime subscription to Critter Quarterly newsletter
For more information, call (262) 634-4571 or check out the organization’s website or Facebook page.