In an ideal world, every homeless animal will have a forever home and all animals would live out their lives free from abuse and neglect. There are hundreds of organizations and tens of thousands of people making a difference for animals that need a home to live where they feel safe. Here are a few of their stories…..
Muttsville Senior Dog Rescue
Located in San Francisco CA, the shelter rescues senior dogs directly from high-kill shelters including those with special needs. They rescue an average of 1000 dogs per year since its inception in 2007. What makes them extraordinary is that they also offer humane end-of-life care for dogs that are not adoptable. The shelter rescues dogs in California and places them in homes state-wide.
Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue
Located in Texas, this San Angelo rescue provides much needed services for donkeys in need. As of 2020, they have provided a safe and loving home to over 15,000 domestic donkeys that have been neglected, abandoned or abused. In addition, they capture and render humane placement of burros under the threat of destruction. Because of the extreme need, PVDR assists in the care of donkeys that live in the Caribbean. These animals are completely without an advocate, are underfunded and under-appreciated. Executive Director Mark Meyers gives a voice to these under-appreciated animals and in 2019 was selected as a Top Ten CNN Hero.
Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary
This rescue built their first sanctuary to care for cats that other shelters had deemed un-adoptable and were slated to be euthanized just because they were blind. They are not an adoption facility, but rather a lifetime home for blind cats who have ended up in shelters, sometimes more than once. After their first sanctuary for blind cats, they built another one specifically for those diagnosed with FIV and FeLV, two diseases that often reduces the lifespan of most cats. They also work to educate people about the misconceptions of these diseases so that more of these cats will get adopted.
Austin Pets Alive!
Located in Austin TX, a group of dog advocates realized that the average live rate at the Austin city shelter was only about 50%. To close this gap, Austin Pets Alive! created out of the box rescue program that focus on animals that might otherwise be euthanized. Programs include a parvo puppy ICU to treat puppies and dogs with parvovirus, as well as a fun dog behavior program that supports dogs that require additional behavioral attention. This ‘Dogs Play For Life” behavior program has been so successful, many organizations pay to have an instructor teach them so they can use it in their organization. WildLifeRx owner Rosalind Haley has participated in 100's of ‘Dogs Play For Life’ playgroups at OCAC in Tustin, CA.
Angels Among Us
Located in Atlanta GA, this massive group of dedicated volunteers focus on the daily rescue of as many cats and dogs as possible from high-kill shelters. This group operates 98% through a network of fosters, who are ready and willing to take in animals sometimes in the middle of the night. As of last year, they helped over 15,000 animals avoid euthanasia and find forever homes.
The New York Bully Crew
New York Bully Crew is on a mission to change the reputation of the bully breed. The Long Island-based program specializes in rescuing and rehabilitating pitbulls from around the nation and while the program was founded to help save pitbulls, they won’t turn away any dog that needs help. The program also raises awareness about the cruelties of dog fighting, abuse, and neglect, and runs a text-and-email hotline for reporting these issues.
New Life Animal Sanctuary
In Elsinore CA, New Life Animal Sanctuary takes retired animals from laboratories, offering them respite prior to placing them in their forever home. The sanctuary has fought to save a variety of laboratory animals including pigeons, rats, goats, mice, dogs and even a llama. What makes them extraordinary is this grassroots group also works with researchers and students to lobby for alternatives to animal testing, and the right to life for the animals involved after experimentation.
Fast Friends Greyhound Adoption
Fast Friends Greyhound Adoption is dedicated to finding kind, loving homes for every greyhound retiring from the Caliente Race Track in Tijuana, Mexico. They have a single purpose - to “adopt” racing greyhounds when their track careers are finished and find each one a loving home. While many may think of greyhounds primarily as athletic dogs meant for racing, they are very friendly, non-confrontational, and adapt well to the more laidback, post-racing lifestyle. Since its inception, they have found homes for over 4000 retired greyhounds.
Exotic Feline Rescue Center
Located in Center Point, IN this 260-acre sanctuary is home to several cat species all which have lost their homes either through neglect, abuse or the owners inability to provide adequate care. They do not buy or sell the cats that come into their rescue and currently are the forever home to tigers, leopards, ocelots, cougars, lions, bobcats, and exotic domesticated cats. EFRC has cared for over a dozen different species throughout the years. It is safe to say that if you visit their website, you will be mesmerized by the beauty of these animals. All of them have names and come with a story. They offer tours and their dedicated team of 15 are always available to provide a tour to anyone who desires to learn more.
National Mill Dog Rescue
When it comes to puppy mills, many focus on the puppies and forget about the adult dogs that are forced to continuously breed litters. These dogs are often confined in cages for years without kindness or adequate medical care. Based in Peyton CO, the organization was founded to rescue, rehabilitate, and re-home “retired” breeding dogs. What makes this rescue extraordinary is that many of these dogs have never been socialized and often come with extreme medical needs. To start off their new lives, every dog is placed into a loving home where it receives gentle socialization, pampering, and allowed ample time to adjust to life without anxiety prior to finding them forever homes.