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Donation brings comfort to Kramer Foundation dogs

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Bubba’s Beds for Shelter Friends surprise the Kramer Foundation with 50 new dog beds. Kelly Gampel / Staff Video

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Juli Lathrop thought she was only going to be checking out some new dog beds Monday.

Instead, Lathrop, who started Kramer Foundation to find homes for “unadoptable” dogs, was brought to tears when she found out that a truck load of special dog beds was a gift to her organization.

A not-for-profit group known as Bubba’s Beds for Shelter Pets is donating 50 orthopedic, chew-proof and easy to clean Kuranda beds to Kramer Foundation. Representatives from the organization, based in Whitesboro, New York, made the surprise presentation to Lathrop on Monday at the Chemung County Fairgrounds in Horseheads.

The donation was arranged by another dog rescuer — Christie Speciale, founder of the Corning-based organization Tanner’s P.A.W.S. (Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety).

Speciale arranged for delivery of eight beds for her dog-fostering organization, which in turn led to the donation to the Kramer Foundation.

“We saw their (Bubba’s Beds) Facebook page. They make donations to shelters,” Speciale said. “We went to them and made a request. They came through, and they also asked for the names of other organizations. They were phenomenal. I knew Juli needed a lot more beds than we did. Bubba’s Beds really came through and it was all a surprise.”

Bubba’s Beds is a volunteer-run organization that does fundraising to pay for the beds, and then orders and assembles them.

Delivering the finished product is the best part of the whole process, said Bubba’s Beds Vice President Matt Ambrose.

“My wife contacts every shelter, and tells them we’re trying to give you free beds,” Ambrose said. “We enjoy all aspects of it, but delivery days are great. Our mission is that every dog in New York state in a shelter will have a bed. It will take a while.”

The right bed can make a shelter dog happier and more comfortable, and therefore often easier to adopt, Ambrose said.

Finding homes for dogs that are difficult to adopt is exactly what the Kramer Foundation is all about.

Lathrop, a former Chemung County sheriff’s deputy, named the organization after her own dog and dedicates the group’s efforts to retraining dogs with problem behaviors and finding them new homes and new purposes.

Lathrop has always appreciated the durability of Kuranda dog beds and was hoping to buy more to add to the 10 or so she already has.

At the same time, Lathrop is also trying to raise funds for a new building for the Kramer Foundation, and she said the surprise donation from Bubba’s Beds is a godsend.

“This is close to $6,000 worth of dog beds for us. That money can now go into the building fund,” Lathrop said. “It’s also important for the comfort of the dogs. People don’t realize what it means for a dog to put it up off the floor in a shelter. We want to make them as comfortable as possible. To me it’s such a huge thing.

“I had heard of Bubba’s Beds. I’ve told people to support them,” she said. “To have that kind of gift here is just phenomenal. This is mind-boggling.”

Follow @SGJeffMurray on Twitter.

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