Ranch & Coast Magazine

December 2022

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the nonprofit's mission to provide for the San Diego community as a whole. "For us as ECS, we serve everybody regardless of what religion they come from, our staff is very diverse, and I think for us, our big message is how we can connect on the same core values that we're really focused on: inclusion, making everyone feel welcome, and making sure everyone gets the services that they need," he says. "In the churches, they say 'All are welcome,' and I think that's a perfect summation of what ECS is: All are welcome into our community." ecscalifornia.org Frosted Faces ough as the saying goes, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks," it's never too late to show them love. For Kelly and Andy Smíšek, it's that belief that prompted them to create Frosted Faces Foundation, a rescue and adoption organization for dogs (and cats!) in their twilight years. Based in Ramona, FFF places an average of 500 senior pets per year into new, loving homes after being rescued, transferred from overcrowded shelters, or relinquished by owners whose circumstances offer no other option. e animals generally spend one to three months in the care of FFF (the length of time tends to directly correlate with the size of the dog) as they await adoption. at time is filled with receiving quality medical care and plenty of enrichment and engagement through community events, weekly hikes, volunteer visits, short-term foster stays called "Frosted Flings," and weekend getaways with volunteers called "Frosted Field Trips." e organization has more than 5,000 registered volunteers, four kennel managers including Kelly, a veterinarian, and three veterinary technicians on staff. Once an animal is adopted, FFF continues to cover veterinary care for the balance of its life. "We have found that people actually do want to adopt seniors, really good people who would do it again and again if it weren't for the inevitable financial burden," says Kelly. Filling that gap comes at a hefty price; Kelly estimates their monthly veterinary expenses at about $83,000. But it's the emotional cost that weighs most on her. "e hardest part of operating Frosted Faces Foundation is accepting circumstances and decisions made for animals that we cannot change, while realizing our own capacity for care where the need is overwhelming," she says. No matter how great the capacity in the Smíšeks' hearts is for the lovable seniors in their care, they stay focused on FFF's main objective: adoption. "Although we love all of the Frosted Faces as our own and FFF is a beautiful space that provides a quality life, our mission is clear that we are not a sanctuary," she says. "e ultimate goal has always been and still is to find all Frosted Faces families of their own who will author their last chapters as love stories." frostedfacesfoundation.org ranchandcoast.com @ranchandcoast RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2022 45 Kelly Smíšek with Brodie PHOTO COURTESY OF FROSTED FACES FOUNDATION

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