A voice for the voiceless. It’s a simple yet effective tagline for an organization that is focused on saving animals in the community. DeSoto Animal Rescue Society isn’t a shelter. It doesn’t have a building. DeSoto Animal Rescue Society is a group of volunteers that fosters animals, provides for their care and works to find a loving home for all. “DeSoto Animal Rescue Society is a nonprofit organization that’s dedicated to the rescue, care, rehabilitation and placement of unwanted, abandoned and abused pets, giving them a second chance at a forever home.”
“We’re 100 percent volunteers,” says Kerri Reece, fundraising coordinator for the DeSoto County-based organization. “We foster animals out of our homes. It teaches them how to live in a home instead of in a shelter. Many shelters also have groups of volunteers that might be a ‘friends of’ that does fostering for a shelter. And there are breed-specific groups. Years ago, shelters were sometimes just there to pick up nuisance animals. DeSoto Animal Rescue Society started because they saw a gap between what was going on and what needed to go on. We’re unique. We host fundraisers and write grants. We spend a lot of money out of our own pockets. Almost 100 percent of our money goes into vet bills for animals. We all pay for our own food and supplies.” The organization works hard to make sure its volunteers don’t burn out with too many animals in their home.
When someone wants to adopt a pet, one way is to visit an animal shelter where an adopter can see and interact with a potential pet before making a decision. But with a rescue society like DeSoto Animal Rescue Society, there isn’t a facility to view pets. All rescue pets live in volunteers’ homes, where they receive care and love until the ideal adopted family is matched. All prospective homes are fully evaluated through an adoption application process. DeSoto Animal Rescue Society has a phone number that goes to a voice mail that it monitors daily. Many times individuals who come across abandoned cats or dogs will call that number.
Every animal that DeSoto Animal Rescue Society’s volunteers take in receive all the necessary medical care, including heartworm testing and treatment as well as routine vaccinations. In addition, all animals are spayed or neutered prior to adoption. All of that care has a price tag. There are many ways the community can help DeSoto Animal Rescue Society. “One of the ways people can help us is with your time,” Reece says. “We have volunteer lawyers, a volunteer graphic artist, volunteer accountant. We have a nurse who was in charge of our medical protocols. We have about 46 regular volunteers.” When the organization holds events it has many other volunteers step in to help. It welcomes school and community groups. The organization’s website, desotoanimalrescue.org, provides ways to donate, a list of events and an Amazon wish list of necessary items. There also is information and applications for those individuals who are interested in fostering.
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