Hero Highlights

We agree! If you're reading this, you're helping to make a difference. Whether you donate; volunteer at events; come to fundraisers; read our newsletter; follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter; or in some other way help spread the word... YOU are keeping families together by saving their pets' lives! Celebrate with us some highlights of the heroes and events that keep pets and people together.
November 23, 2021

Fairmont High School

Hero Highlight, Tony Ranieri

Solar is Freedom


A huge shout out goes to the AMAZINGLY GENEROUS students at Fairmont High School who raised $10,000 for Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund during Spirit Chain, an annual competition against Centerville High to raise funds for local nonprofits. This year Fairmont kicked butt—and pet loving families in our communities reaped the benefits through the students’ incredible fundraising success!

Greyson Osterfeld summed it up well. “In school sometimes we only think about our people friends. It is important to not forget about man’s best friend and the important connection pets provide. We love having the opportunity to support Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund and keeping pets and families together.”

(leave this paragraph out if this seems too long)

And it gets even better! Fairmont Students are also providing an additional $10,000 challenge grant for #GivingTuesday. From now until midnight, November 30th they will double your one-time donation so together you & they can keep twice as many families together by saving their pets’ lives!

If you want even more bang for your buck, you can save even more families by starting a new monthly Faithful Friends subscription and saving 6x as many lives!

Let’s use the photo with the challenge grant sign.



All of us at ERDF are thrilled to welcome Solar Is Freedom as a Corporate Partner!  As I researched the best company to install solar on my residence, SIF kept coming to the forefront. It wasn’t until after I had had an excellent experience myself with them that I learned of Tony’s love of and commitment to companion animals. I am extremely grateful both for the help in taking my home solar (helping me to save cash as I do my part for the planet) and for the opportunity to partner with such a generous corporate sponsor. Thank you Tony!

July 26, 2021

Roy LeMaster & Bill Yowler

Roy LeMaster & Bill Yowler

Solar is Freedom

My husband Bill and I live an environmentally-friendly life. We recycle, have two compost bins and have two rain barrels to use considerably less water so going solar was just the next step for us. Solar is Freedom, the solar company we got our solar panels from, is not only the number one solar company in Ohio,  but also a corporate sponsor of Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund.  

We have two Miniature Schnauzers that are our world. We can’t imagine how devastating it would be if one of them needed emergency medical attention that we couldn’t afford to provide. We are so thankful that our community has this Fund and we feel really good supporting it.

Excuse me if this sounds like a commercial but we found Solar Is Freedom to be a stand up company with a moral compass that guides them to be fair in business, along with having a great product. Plus they donate to causes supporting pets. When we told them we heard about them from ERDF’s Director, they told us about their referral program that included an extra donation of $250 to Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund to keep even more families together with their fur babies. Couldn’t be a better win-win!

We’re proud to be partnered with Solar Is Freedom and we want to sincerely thank Roy & Bill, and Solar Is Freedom for keeping more families together by saving their pets’ lives! 

–Juli Burnell, Executive Director

March 23, 2021

Tony Ranieri

Hero Highlight, Tony Ranieri

Solar is Freedom

What do you do in the midst of a pandemic when you hear that a kitty is going to be put to sleep because the family who adores her can’t afford her emergency surgery?

If you’re Tony Ranieri you ask “how much is needed?” and make the donation that saves her life! Tony thought about how often that happens and imagined what it would be like if it was his furry family member. And he said, “my corporation wants to help! Every month we want to help keep a family together by saving their pet’s life.”

Tony has always had a passion to be a good steward of our planet. For him that means preserving our precious resources, including our relationships with other species. Those connections for him run very deep. On his very first sales call in home improvement, a tiny kitten crawled into his bag & fell asleep. Tony, not a cat person at the time, agreed to take the kitten (Tootie) if his customers made the purchase. He credits Tootie with modeling for him the perseverance to figure out what he loved and then create something from nothing to support it. The rest, as they say, is history.

Fast forward to 2016, Tony founded Solar Is Freedom on the premise that every homeowner should have the opportunity to take control of their energy future. This mission has led the company to tremendous growth and expansion into Ohio and Kentucky with future growth and expansion anticipated in 2021 and beyond. By leading the way in a path to clean, sustainable solar energy, while providing every customer with an outstanding experience, Solar Is Freedom has earned recognition as the top rated Solar Installation Company in both Ohio and Kentucky.

I believe it’s vital to protect the things that improve our quality of life and give us joy. Without the beauty of nature and the creatures with whom we share it, life would be so much less satisfying. Solar Is Freedom is proud to be a corporate sponsor of Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund through the Faithful Friends program. Every month we know we are helping families in our community. Nothing is more important than family and our pets are such an integral part of each of our families. Unfortunately, sometimes our pets have unanticipated medical needs that can create a financial crisis, or worse, can put a family in the devastating position of being unable to afford the needed care required for their pet. At SIF we are thrilled to partner with ERDF and, in our own small way, to be a part of the solution for families in need during these critical times.



All of us at ERDF are thrilled to welcome Solar Is Freedom as a Corporate Partner!  As I researched the best company to install solar on my residence, SIF kept coming to the forefront. It wasn’t until after I had had an excellent experience myself with them that I learned of Tony’s love of and commitment to companion animals. I am extremely grateful both for the help in taking my home solar (helping me to save cash as I do my part for the planet) and for the opportunity to partner with such a generous corporate sponsor. Thank you Tony!

March 22, 2021

Kevin Lively

Kevin Lively

In 2018, Kevin Lively’s family came home to find their beloved Beauceron, Cheick, disoriented and unresponsive. They were shocked to discover he had a rare calcium deficiency disorder that would have killed him, if not for the generosity of ERDF donors who made it possible for him to remain in the ICU until he was stabilized.

Now Kevin is matching that generosity by doing the David Goggin 4x4x48 Fitness Challenge with a goal to raise $750 for the next family that needs emergency veterinary treatment.

He said,
“I want to take on this personal challenge for myself and to benefit other pet-loving families in our community. I know the desperation of not being able to afford the emergency care your furry family member needs to survive. Though Cheick is no longer with us, doing this challenge for Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund keeps his memory alive through all the families that are yet to be helped.”

Kevin, you are amazing! You have such a big heart to want to Pay It Forward! Thank you, for putting yourself to the test as a way to help keep other families together by saving their fur kids’ lives.

January 22, 2020

Pat Smith

Pat Smith

We’d like to introduce you to Pat Smith, a resident of Cleveland who grew up here in Dayton. She’s a big time cat lover who knows firsthand the power of the bond we build with our furry family members.

Pat recently changed her giving status and became a supporter through our Faithful Friends program. Faithful Friends offers you the opportunity to set up monthly giving as an easy, budget-friendly way to keep families together by saving their pets.

When asked what motivated her to help pets and people she doesn’t even know, she said:

“Two years ago, I lost my baby, Striker.  She was such a part of me, it was devastating and something I don’t wish anyone else to go through.  I know eventually it happens to all of us, but I wouldn’t want someone to face it sooner than they should.  ERDF spoke to me, and the fact the funds stay local appeals to me to keep families together. It feels good to know that by having set it up to give a little every month, I am always helping. “

Thank you, Pat! Your generosity and compassion for your distant neighbors, both four-footed and two, is truly inspirational!

October 21, 2019

Sarah, Jean & Kris


It’s been a busy month for folks who enjoyed celebrating their birthdays by raising money to keep families together by saving their pets’ lives! THANK YOU to Sarah, Jean & Kris for doing Facebook Fundraisers on your birthdays. Your hearts are amazing!

Sarah Losie

I choose to do Facebook Fundraisers for Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund because it’s a simple way to help out an organization that is close to my heart. As a Registered Technician at Bigger Road Veterinary Center I have personally seen the incredible impact that ERDF has had on many families in our community. From single-parent families with unexpected pet emergencies, to senior citizens with fixed incomes needing help caring for their only companion, ERDF has kept countless families together that would otherwise be torn apart.

Jean Berry

I have 5 dogs and 5 cats of my own, as well as running a local pet care business, jeanspupkit.com  My commitment to Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund comes from my own experience with an injured animal, before I knew about this option for support. Friends came together to help my bloodhound get the surgery he needed. And it meant the world to me. ERDF’s mission is like a friend to those of us who love our animals and want the best care even when our resources are limited!! I will continue to donate in support of those families who need help!!

Kris Sees

I love all my animals very much and it would break my heart if I had to put them down or surrender them because I couldn’t provide emergency care for them. I did my birthday fundraiser and I volunteer for ERDF so no one will have to make that choice.

September 18, 2019

The Borealis Press


We’d like to give a shout out to the animal lovers who run borealispress.net.

If you’ve never seen their lines of cards, you’re missing out! To me, they strike just the right balance of simple, meaningful, and profound.

I reached out to them to let them know how much they mean to our recipients whose furry family members cross the rainbow bridge. They responded by providing us with a stock of pet sympathy cards!

When I wrote to thank them, they responded that no particular thanks were necessary. They said they love animals, wanted to support our amazing work and said “No need to thank us: we made those cards for the very purpose you are using them for.”

Thank you Mark, and all the folks at Borealis Press! Your company is as generous of heart as your cards are!

Maybe put in a box:

I hope you’ll visit their website and support this gem of an independent company.

If you decide to place an order, first contact dede@borealispress.net for a special offer as an ERDF supporter.

Is there any way to make one of their cards the photo with this? In case not, or if you think it’s cuter, I’m attaching a photo they sent me of their office dog, Mali, shepherding the lamb Dennis who stayed at the office while being bottlefed.

We’d need to add a paragraph right before “thank you mark”… like:

The photo seen here came with Borealis’ first email to me. It’s their their (now passed) office dog, Mali, shepherding the lamb Dennis who stayed at the office while being bottlefed. Now THAT’S an animal-friendly office!


August 27, 2019

Camilla Ferguson

Camilla Ferguson

We offer our gratitude to two amazing individuals. The first we don’t even know. But we want to say a huge thank you to the anonymous donor who gave ERDF $15,000 through the Charity Navigator website. Your generosity has resulted in keeping eight families together by saving their pets’ lives!

Another big shout out goes to Camilla Ferguson. She is a master of support on our Facebook page. She never misses a post, and by “loving, commenting, and sharing”, she signals Facebook that our posts are valuable, which in turn gets them included on many more people’s news feeds. I used to think that if I followed or friended someone, that I would see all their posts. Camilla taught me that that isn’t true and showed me how to express value for the groups and people who mean the most to me, so that I wouldn’t miss their posts and neither would other interested folks. She gives that extra time to look for what we’ve put out and to respond to it. When asked why she does it, she said,

“I can’t say enough about Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund and what a blessing all of the donors are to saving an important part of many families. We had our last cat for 15 1/2 years and I still tear up thinking about when we lost her. I now have a grand-dog and 2 grand-cats that my grandchildren love a lot! I enjoy all the stories and posts on the ERDF page: some touching stories, some just for fun. I try to be supportive by sometimes sharing the posts, sometimes sending posts for ERDF to share. Besides donations, I am supportive with my actions on the Page. I choose something other than just “Liking” a post because that has minimal, if any, impact on boosting posts. I may” love” or “laugh” at a post because those are stronger, but the most strength in the ways FB figures out what posts people like comes from actual comments. So any comment on a post is another way I can support ERDF and help get the word out about this great Non-profit group and the mission of helping families save their loved furry family members. That way the post, and the group, will be seen by more and more!”

Thank you Camilla, for helping us spread the message! I hope you’re enjoying your generous volunteering as our Number One Facebook Fan!

July 24, 2019

The Staff at Bigger Road Veterinary Center

The Staff at Bigger Road Veterinary Center

Please join us in sharing some love for the staff at Bigger Road Veterinary Center, most of whom have chosen to designate Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund to receive the benefits of their purchases on Amazon Smile. 

Beth Anticoli from Bigger Road says “I use Amazon Smile for Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund, because it is an easy, convenient way for a percentage of my purchase amount to go back to a charity that is close to my heart. Every penny makes a difference in the lives of pets that need it the most.”

THANK YOU Beth & everyone else who uses this as a way to keep more families together by saving their pets’ lives! Want to help? 


June 19, 2019

Alan & Tammy Collins

Alan & Tammy Collins

This month we’d like to say a HUGE thank you to Alan & Tammy Collins for their faithful financial support. They were one of our first monthly donors, making it possible for us to KNOW we can count on having the funds available to help save the lives of companion animals like Lily.

When asked why they feel it’s important to make these donations, Alan & Tammy said,

“Because no pet should suffer or die for an inability to pay for treatment.”

We so agree! Thank you Alan & Tammy for making it possible for kids to keep their fur buddies in their lives. Because of you, adults have a means to provide the care they so desperately want to give. The two-hundred-plus families who have benefited, thanks in part to your generous support, are extremely grateful. We are honored to partner with you to keep families together by saving their pets’ lives.

Readers: Would you consider joining them as a recurring contributor? Even a small monthly contribution will really add up! Click here to become one of Ellie’s Angels and know that you are making a difference to a family and their furry member right here in our community.

May 29, 2019

Kerry Corthell

Kerry Corthell

A BIG shout out to ERDF volunteer Kerry Corthell who says:

“I don’t have a lot of money to give to non-profits, so I like to make my dollars count. I love supporting Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund because I know how important my dog is to me and cannot imagine having to say no to critical vet procedures because I could not afford the fees. So, buying Dragons tickets in support of the fund and giving them to foster parents and their kids gives me a bigger bang for my bucks. I have great respect for anyone who fosters – what a hard job! Just knowing I am doing two good things in one action makes me feel like I am doing my little part to make this world a tiny bit better. Hey, anyone else care to join me in buying a block of tickets?”

Thank you, Kerry, for helping families of both pets and kids in need!  Your heart is amazing!

March 27, 2019

Hayley Botkin

Hayley Botkin 

We want to thank Hayley Botkin for doing a Facebook fundraiser for Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund in memory of her beloved miniature dachshund, Phoebe. She was a hound dog through and through, chasing every yard intruder out with fury. But her sweet, soulful eyes and snuggly demeanor won over everyone she encountered. She brought her family endless laughter and joy, and was especially close to her litter mate brother, Zeke, who is still wondering where his lifelong playmate and security blanket went.

Phoebe recently died after a 7-month battle with Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA), a devastating autoimmune disease in which the body attacks and destroys its own red blood cells. It is an extremely complicated, merciless and costly disease to treat, often requiring hospitalization, extensive lab work, blood transfusions and costly medications.

“Even though it was a tremendous hardship and the outcome was not what we so hoped for, I am very grateful that we were able to make the choice to give her the best chance possible to beat this disease. Many families faced with critical diagnoses like IMHA have to make the alternate choice to immediately euthanize their beloved pet as initial treatment costs are high.  Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund strives to prevent families from being forced into that decision. We feel compelled to help other families to stay together through saving their pets’ lives as an ongoing way to honor and remember Phoebe.”

For more information on IMHA, visit:

Canine Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia: Management Challenges
Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia in Dogs (IMHA) Facebook Group


Photo caption (if needed): Moira and her beloved canine sister, Phoebe, after undergoing spleen removal surgery, which is sometimes a treatment option for IMHA.

February 27, 2019

Paul Moyer

Paul Moyer

What a wonderful way to celebrate turning 50! To KNOW that you have helped a family to get the emergency treatment needed to keep their beloved dog in their family. We want to offer our sincere thanks to Paul Moyer who asked that in lieu of gifts, his family and friends make donations to Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund.

Paul said, “I was 35 years old when we brought Toby home. He was my first dog. Since then I cannot see myself without a pet in my life. Now we have Spencer, a six-month-old Miniature Schnauzer with boundless energy and personality. There is so much joy, fun, and companionship received from our animals that I want to do whatever I can to support other pet-human families especially when their beloved pet is ill. Many thanks to my friends and family for helping me celebrate my fiftieth and for supporting Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund.”

Thank you, Paul! I hope your day was made more special by knowing that you, your family and friends kept a family together by saving their pet’s life!

January 27, 2019

Travis & Michael Wheeler

Travis & Michael Wheeler

This month we give a shout out to Travis & Michael Wheeler who celebrated their wedding by donating to ERDF in lieu of giving favors at their reception.

We gave to Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund wanting to highlight the special place our dogs hold in our hearts on our wedding day, especially our beloved Mona, lost too soon from illness. We know the financial challenge brought by unexpected vet bills, and love that ERDF makes those hard situations easier for families.

Travis & Michael

The placards adorning each table celebrating their big day read, “Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund celebrates the love Michael & Travis have for each other ! for their departed fur baby, Mona the Superdog. Their donation in lieu of table favors makes them and all of you in attendance heroes by keeping families together as you save their pets’ lives.”

Thank you, Michael & Travis! May you and whatever furry companions become a part of your family have much happiness together.

October 31, 2018

Linda Stephens

There are SO many ways to help Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund to keep families together by saving their pets’ lives. Linda Stephens has been involved in almost ALL of them! She has spent hours tying ribbons for our Holiday Paw Painting Ornaments, faithfully liking and sharing our Facebook posts to keep getting the word out, reading and providing feedback on our newsletters, addressing mail to donors, attending and volunteering at events by greeting people as they arrive. And the list goes on. When asked why she’s chosen to gift ERDF with her time and many talents, this is what she said…

Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund is such a great cause. I love volunteering at the fundraiser events seeing all the pets with their families and experiencing the love that bonds them.

Thank you, Linda, from the bottom of our hearts. ERDF would truly not be able to help as many families or save as many lives without you!

September 30, 2018

Kris Sees

Kris Sees contacted ERDF three years ago when we were just getting started. She said she loved what we were doing for pets and wanted to help however she could. We officially had our first volunteer! Here are just some of the ways Kris has helped us since then.

  • She’s purchased and donated hundreds of tennis balls and toys to give out at our events.
  • She’s spent countless hours at our tent telling visitors what we do.
  • She’s been covered in paint and kisses creating “Pawprints for the Cause.”
  • She’s given us a new furry face—our mascot ERF.
  • She even crocheted an afghan to help raise money to save more pets. 

We thanked Kris for her amazing help and dedication recently, and her response was:

I volunteer because of my obvious love for animals and a chance to make a difference. As Winston Churchill said, ‘You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.’


Well Kris, we’re thankful to be a part of the life you’re making, and for all the animals lives you’re saving as you do!

September 30, 2018

Monica, Megan, Christine & Margaret

A HUGE thank you and wishes for the happiest of birthdays this September to: Monica SakamotoMegan FurdererChristine Lilly, and Margaret Sorg who created Facebook fundraisers to invite their friends to help them celebrate by supporting their love for companion animals.

As Monica said,

Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund is a legacy of love!

We’d love to celebrate a special event with you too! Let us show you how.

August 2, 2018

Dayton Kennel Club

We’d like to give a big shout out to the members of the Dayton Kennel Club, who recently made a $1,000 contribution to help area dogs regain their health. , said

The Dayton Kennel Club was incorporated in 1938 and holds two all-breed shows and a puppy match annually. We give to several charities each year and were pleased to select Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund because it is a local group assisting Miami Valley families to provide medical care for their canine pets.

Sandy Combs, Charity Committee Chairman

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to Miami Valley’s dogs, and for entrusting us to support that mission!

August 2, 2018

Darlene Miller

Darlene Miller

Who says one person can’t make a difference? Meet Darlene Miller. Ever since their family/her dog Lucy received our assistance in 2016, she’s been sending a small check EVERY month! Boy, has that added up! Plus, her family comes to every event we hold, and she sends out our event announcements to all her friends. When I asked her about it, she said 

We support Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund because of the help we received from you in giving our Lucy a second chance at health and a good life when we otherwise could not afford it. We believe in your mission, and we want to pay your cause forward for others who find themselves in a financial burden, preventing them from being able to provide the care their beloved pet needs and deserves. We hope others will see the same value and importance of Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund that we have experienced and support their cause.


Thank you, Darlene! We don’t know what we’d do without you!

July 2, 2018

Meghan Nicole Fridley

Meghan Nicole Fridley is a professional photographer and dog mom to 4 of her own and 18 fosters over the last two years. Meghan shot amazing dog portraits at our 2018 Summer Art Paw-ty. They were free of charge for anyone who was interested. Check them out!

Meghan invited people to make a donation to ERDF in lieu of payment to her. You can set up a private session with her (for pets &/or people). By being at the event, she added a wonderful opportunity to have another forever memory of people’s pets. 

I loved capturing the personality of each pet at the Summer Art Paw-ty! Each dog was so cute!!! This is such a great charity because I personally know how expensive vet bills can be and will do anything to keep my dogs healthy!


July 2, 2018

Kristin Bailey

Kristin Bailey is an instructor at Decoy Art Center and our caricature artist extraordinaire. Decoy hosted our 2018 Summer Art Paw-ty where Kristin spent all day outside in the heat doing fantastic drawings of our dogs. She donated 100% of her earnings to ERDF! After hearing our gratitude, Kristin responded…

I just adopted my little furbaby off the street in our neighborhood and know how expensive vet bills can be, so when doing the caricatures last Saturday I wanted all donations and tips to go directly to the cause! Our animals are family, and nobody should have to be without their family over a vet bill. Not to mention, I got to meet a bunch of super photogenic pups!

Amazing! And, the great news is that you can register for private painting & drawing lessons (kids & adults). If you can draw a stick figure, she can teach you to paint or draw.

July 2, 2018

Tabitha Guidone

Tabitha Guidone is the owner of Decoy Art Center where we held our Summer Art Paw-ty in 2018. Tabitha planned the entire event! She set up the vendors, brought in extra staff, and even secured publicity on radio and TV. When we told her how wonderful we think she is, she said…

Our mission at Decoy is to help grassroots efforts that support our community directly and ERDF does exactly that. Having been in a few emergency situations for my own pets, I understand the heartache of having to make hard decisions based on monetary funds. What ERDF does for families and pets is invaluable and we’re glad we can help.


June 20, 2018

Amber Pfeifer

Amber Pfeifer

You’ve probably heard of “jeans” day at work. Everyone likes the chance to dress comfortably while paying a few bucks for a good cause. At Reynolds & Reynolds they sponsor “Casual for a Cause” by asking their associates to nominate non-profit beneficiaries.

We want to give a huge shout out to Amber Pfeifer for nominating Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund! Because of her nomination and the generosity of her colleagues, ERDF now has $4500 to put toward keeping families together by saving their pets’ lives.

Thank you, Amber!

May 22, 2018

Silver Friends and Golden Paws

Silver Friends and Golden Paws

Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund would like to express our appreciation to the “Silver Friends and Golden PawsEndowment Fund through Greene Giving for the $1000 awarded to keep seniors and their pets in need of veterinary care together. This funding helped Toby and his grandma to remain together as a family!