SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — B-Squad Dog Rescue is a volunteer animal rescue operation based in South Dakota. Recent events have left them reeling.
On September 27, 2023, Daryl Haase died of a heart attack at the age of 56. His death was sudden and tragic, and it impacted not only his family, but the B-Squad operation as well.
Daryl was the husband of Mandi Haase, the director of B-Squad Dog Rescue.
“It threw our organization into chaos,” Haase said, speaking with KELOLAND News. “I was not able to function in the capacity that I normally had been.”
When somebody passes away, life doesn’t stop, reflected Haase. “At the time that [Daryl] passed, we had close to 100 dogs in rescue in different foster homes — we had different rescue operations that were in progress — one of those situations was a large neglect case out of Brookings.”
“We had received the first six dogs from that release the day before [Daryl] passed,” said Haase. “We did end up taking the remaining 34 dogs out of that case in the next week or two.”
Luckily, B-Squad had a community of foster homes and other rescue outfits to lean on who help ease the load, but the actual dogs themselves are just one aspect of running a volunteer rescue.
Haase says that B-Squad’s vet bills tend to lie between $3,500 to $5,000 a week. “During the time that I was struggling (with the loss of her husband) we were racking those bills up and not functioning at a level where we were fundraising,” she said. “Our only income is adoption fees and fundraising.”
In addition to these standard bills are a variety of incidental bills, such as those for emergency procedures.
Currently, Haase says that B-Squad is looking to raise around $30,000 to make up for what was missed in the last month and a half when they weren’t fundraising.
Adding to the funding issue is that adoptions also slowed during this time thanks to a software crash. “I was personally struggling and still am,” Haase said.
Haase has not been without support through all this. She highlighted that role that B-Squad’s foster network, their vet partner, her volunteers and other partner rescue operations all played in keeping things moving.
Haase explained that after her husband passed away, she struggled with a sense of resentment she felt for the rescue operation “for the time that was lost with my family that I can’t get back,” she explained, her voice breaking as she uttered the words. “I was really struggling the last few months to just function — to keep afloat — with rescue, I didn’t care — I didn’t have the energy to be able to function.”
In this time, Haase understandably dedicated her time to her family. Despite the validity of this, she disclosed that she does feel some guilt over it. “I was really worried about myself — wondering if I would care about things like I did before,” she said.
What has helped to draw Haase back into the world of rescue is a need that came up recently from the Humane Society. A set of neonate bottle-baby puppies.
“Neonates are kind of my specialty,” Haase explained. “It was kind of the calling to get me out of being stuck.”
Now, as the rescue works to get back on its feet, Haase has words of gratitude.
“I’d just like to thank everybody. This was not something anyone plans for and our veterinary partners and our foster base have been patient and stepping up to help out where things are needed — I’m just really grateful for that and the community support.”