Woman devoted to saving disabled dogs on the brink of losing it all

By: Megan Peterson Email
By: Megan Peterson Email

A woman devoted to saving disabled dogs is on the brink of losing it all. Her goal is to teach others how to care for deaf or blind dogs, but the economy is putting that goal out of reach.

That’s why Jan MacCartney is putting a call out for help.

"I have 11. Not all of them are deaf. About half are, and I have one that's deaf and blind," Jan MacCartney of Ridgeland said.

Jan MacCartney and her dogs are best buds living out the Dunn County countryside. She calls it a dog sanctuary, Gilligan's Place to be exact.

"They're trained to use either American Sign Language signals or dog training signals where you can use hand signals," MacCartney said.

While her plans to expand and share her knowledge and training of disabled dogs with the community are still strong, the income to make that work is gone.

“For the first year we were doing okay and then I had a fellow that was supposed to build a barn and he took the money and never put the barn up. It's just kind of been one problem after another," MacCartney explained.

With her home in foreclosure and set to go to the sheriff's sale on December 22nd, she says she needs help, whether it's donations or great ideas to make Gilligan’s Place succeed.

"The most helpful thing I was hoping to get done was to go ahead and maybe tap into some of the businesses. If I could get a pledge for example of $10 a month, from about 200 businesses," she said.

MacCartney says she'll keep trying to find a way to stay where she’s at and show disabled dogs can be a man's best friend too.

"This is a situation I know a lot of people are in in this country and it's very severe and if we can somehow kind of band together to try to get each other out of it, especially in the communities," she said.

If you're interested in helping Jan in any way she says you can call her at 715-203-0076 or email her at janmac3@gmail.com. She’s asking for any creative ideas, suggestions, or donations.

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  • by catherine Location: eauclaire on Dec 14, 2010 at 12:16 AM
    I saw a quick min.of this story today,came here to read more about a careing,HUMANE person that is left in this world simply asking for ideas to help her and her dogs.Im TOTALY disgusted at some of the comments i have read here!I work in rescue and the ignorance of many are being shown here in comments.No we cant save everything and everyone sadly, but we can start to open our hearts and become a more compassionate society.Most of you have probally not even seen what happens to creatures like this lady is careing for.Some end up as bait dogs in a fighting ring defenceless,or are tossed away like trash,abused.We here in midwest Wis.seem deaf ourselves as to what realy happens to thousands of animals each and every day in this country.I applaud this lady who has a heart and a compassionate soul to devote herself to help the disabled.My best friends DO WALK ON FOUR LEGS!What has happened to being a HUMANE SOCIETY?I see less compassion everyday.Who are you to judge the heart of another?
  • by anonymous on Dec 9, 2010 at 08:17 AM
    Wow, Joe. You just made a fool of yourself.
  • by MC on Dec 7, 2010 at 02:11 PM
    Jan - Thank you for answering some of the questions asked on this comment board. I, for one, appreciate it. I do hope you are able to find sustainable resources. Have you checked into area colleges/vet/psychology programs on setting up a clinical/internship site where services and training are provided? Also, at times, the university extension program will help with grant-writing to see if there are grants available for your work. They may even assign a student to work with you on this. To my knowledge the psych students from UWEC do this for some shelters at no cost. For the individual that commented to have the dogs "put down" - I hope and pray that you don't have children. You sound like the type of person that would have the same mindset towards a child with special needs.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 7, 2010 at 12:41 PM
    Teri- Quit being ignorant oh fountain of truth. And please, I don't want your love! There is a lot positive to this story, you are choosing to assume that it's a scam when that may or may not be true. Don't you remember 1st grade, you know what "assuming" does, right? This article was about getting a helping hand to feed her animals. PERIOD. No where in the article does it state "to pay her mortgage." You just seem to love inserting that part to push your agenda that this is a scam, which you do not know for a fact it is. If it makes you uncomfortable, FINE! Then don't donate. But just because you say "it's a scam" doesn't make it the solid truth since you do not know this woman or her situation personally. What do you do to positively contribute to society besides sit behind a computer and post negative comments? At least she's trying to do something positive. I'd hate to be around you for the holidays as you seem to forget what this season is about: Helping others. What a grinch!
  • by Anon on Dec 7, 2010 at 09:58 AM
    There's no such thing as a free lunch. Reality.
  • by cindy on Dec 6, 2010 at 09:56 PM
    Wow I've read just about every comment and most of you sound cold & heartless & I would be ashamed to know you! Most of you have two incomes in your home..this lady is doing& has been doing this her own! And people who comment on putting an animal down or making her give them up...who the heck do you think u are?! I could lower myself and degrade you for the cold heartless person that you are...but this isn't a comment war ..this is a lady with a BIG HEART asking for a hand! And I don't see why any of u are saying its fishy or watch out its a scam...I'd like to see each & everyone who commented that to do one day what this woman has been doing for years!! Animals have hearts they feel pain..they want to be loved and cared for the same as we do but just cause there handicapped or different they don't deserve that?! Well I think she should get support & help!! It's cruel cold hearted people like you who are putting this lady down and degrading her for such an amazing thing she's doing and trying to save! people like you are what makes this world a bad place ! Have a friken heart! My gosh!! Can even believe there are people out there so cold hearted! Ya I'd be anonymous if I were u also !! Pathetic! I think what your doing is great & it makes me happy to know there are some caring people left in the world that just don't think of themselves or a dollar if its gna help someone or something to better a life no matter human or animal!
  • by Anon on Dec 6, 2010 at 03:19 PM
    Whether this is a scam or not I do not know but after reading the original piece (sept 09) and MacCartney'c comments her poor business practice is obvious. Lost a home in another state, failed to hire a reputable carpenter, bought an uneccessarily large property (near 60 acre) without the income to support it, acquired 11 dogs (half of them disabled) and refuses to part with any of them...those are stated facts. I will donate my usual amount to Clark County Humane Society where it will be used wisely..for the animals.
  • by Anonymous Location: Osseo on Dec 6, 2010 at 11:38 AM
    If you can't afford something - get rid of it. There are homeless starving children right here in our townships, don't ask for money to feed animals or pay for your house.
  • by Anon on Dec 6, 2010 at 09:43 AM
    We just added another dog to our home AFTER long thought of how it would effect the other dog and FULLY considering the monetary obligations. This is what responsible people do. Now if something unforeseen occurred we would look for good homes..take second jobs..sell off assets. We would not expect others to see us as a victim and bail our butts out.
  • by Anonymous Location: EC on Dec 6, 2010 at 07:30 AM
    While I commend you for your work... Just put the dogs down and use your time and effort to help a human being. We have too many animals in this world and you effort could be more productive.
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