To our community,
In its early years, the Chicago Puppy Patrol (CPP) served as a then-rare example of an active pup community with a tight knit group of friends. As the pup community grew, so did the CPP. Unfortunately, no organization deals well when the foundation they established with friends growing at the pace the CPP has. The past several years have been challenging as boards, the current board included, continued to operate the club as it had been when it was a group of 25-50, when its collective community had grown to 200+.
This year is the first year that CPP has had a solid plan to incorporate and become a legal entity, as limits in held-cash and spending have proved to be severely hobbling in being able to provide meaningful social and community building events for our members. Providing those opportunities HAS to be our focus.
To that end, the 2018 CPP Board and Directors are proud to announce: we are legally incorpoated as a 501(c)(7) non-profit! While that is an exciting thing, it’s a start. We still have much to do!
Per the CPP Bylaws: “The Chicago Puppy Patrol is a community-based social group for pups, trainers, handlers, and those interested in exploring pet play. CPP is committed to the following purposes and activities: promoting a safe and secure environment in which handlers, pups and friends can come together to play, learn and grow; organizing educational events and social gatherings to expose the greater community to our interest and to foster acceptance of alternative lifestyles; and giving back to the community that supports us by coordinating with community organizations to promote participation and community activism.”
Have we fully hit those marks? While we’ve tried, we have realized that we need more help, outside viewpoints, and actionable feedback.
And that’s where you come in. There have been a number of conversations that have been had recently at IPAHW, in our Telegram chat, and through emails received by our Board. We need that feedback in order to accomplish what you want out of the CPP. Based on that feedback, we’ve adopted the following priorities:
Make use of broader channels of contact, and adopt formal methods of communication to communicate with all Members via email so any legal compliance measures (like Liability Waivers) can be effectively disseminated
Continue to pursue partnerships/communication with a variety of play spaces to offer multiple options to our community
Make a concerted effort to reach out to communities that may not be in our normal sphere of reach through other pet play groups and munches, primarily through FetLife
Focus less on what the CPP Board thinks the community wants and broadcast a wider acceptance of feedback/suggestions through more channels than just contacting a single Board Member
Provide more CPP Board accountability through internal task/responsibility tracking and external action and priority communication
Maintain year-over-year documentation of processes so future CPP Boards are not left with a handicap to provide the same or better level of service to our community than the year previous
We want our Members and our community to understand that we are serving with readied hands not hidden agendas. We want to become the pet and handler organization that Chicago needs. We need your help and feedback to do that. We are here for you.
It's been brought to the Board’s attention that a Chicago Pup and Handler (CHI-PAH) group is in the process of being created. While we are very much proponents of there being a wide variety of social groups to accomplish all interests in our greater community, we think it prudent to pose the question: Will multiple groups for the same purpose will accomplish the goals of connecting people?
In some circumstances, this becomes necessary, as some differences, are irreconcilable. That is not how we would like to view this situation though. We would appreciate the opportunity to speak with whomever is seeking to create a Chicago Pup and Handler group. We want to work with you and build a stronger Chicagoland community.
All of that said, we are very excited to be driving this process for our membership and greater community. While we would like to say we can do everything, we will always need help, and we will always need feedback. Please, don’t hesitate to reach out to the whole board at Feedback@ChicagoPuppyPatrol.org.
Yours in Service,
The 2018 Chicago Puppy Patrol Board