The Sugarbelle Foundation was established on December 29, 2011 and received its 501(c)(3) status in April of 2013. The foundation’s president, Jana Budoff Maynard, created the foundation when she recognized the need to help people and the animals they love. Originally, Jana's mother, Roz, created the Sugarfoot Foundation. This was named after a wonderful cat named Sugarfoot. The foundation dissolved after Roz moved away. Sugarfoot was a very special black cat who came to the family injured after being found in Mobile, Alabama. After her hip surgery, she became a full-time resident at the Budoff home. She was very loving and befriended all of the other animals in her home. She sadly passed away a number of years ago and has been missed dearly. Belle is the middle name for Holly Belle, Jana's 17 1/2-year-old black shaggy terrier mix. She was found in December of 1996 in a school parking lot. Attempts to find her "owner" did not pan out, so she became a family member as well. She was a great dog with so much love to give. Hence, the name Sugarbelle is synonymous with giving and love.
Although relatively new, the Sugarbelle Foundation has made a solid impact on the community by helping owners keep their pets. Help comes in the form of food, vetting, spay/neuter, and sometimes just connecting the person to the right resources. The foundation has a small staff and is limited in funds, meaning it works with people on a case-by-case basis. With so many animals being given up because owners fall on hard times, the Sugarbelle Foundation steps in to help with food and other necessities. The foundation is not a traditional ‘rescue’ group. Its goal is to prevent families from having to make the difficult decision to surrender pets to overcrowded and under-resourced animal shelters. Sugarbelle Foundation has several hard-working volunteers who help out at different times for a variety of events. That includes being a short-term foster parent while the owner gets back on their feet. The goal in the near future is to work with local women’s shelters to set up a fund for women leaving the shelter to help them with their pets. This dream is in the early stages and there is plenty of leg work to do to make that become a reality. Contact the Sugarbelle Foundation if you are interested in helping out in that project or anything else connected with the group.
Holly Belle is pictured above at her 17th birthday party at the beach with family members. Holly Belle passed away in February of 2013.
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