Herald Angel: Rainbow Rescue announces shelter closure due to lack of volunteers | local news

Roanoke Rapids – This year the Herald’s Angel chose the Rainbow Animal Rescue in North Carolina as it prepares to close its facilities due to a lack of volunteers.

The Herald Angel is an annual fundraiser to help raise money for a person, family, or organization through a series of articles.

Rainbow Animal Rescue was founded in 2007 as a non-profit adoption-based organization to help find adoptable dogs and cats.

Shelter president and director Edna Crouch said she joined the ship in July 2014 when the organization was bringing in 200 dogs and cats a year, an average of three to four dogs per week. Crouch said Petsines came to the area and helped pick up the cats they were taking in for adoption.

“It was hard for us to put the cats down,” she said. “With Petsense coming in, having an agreement with Petsense has given us a local outlet to adopt our cats. [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals] It was a lifesaver because they came in twice a month spayed and neutered. We can terminate the cats, pick them up, and get them out there.”

Crouch said a physical shelter needed to open to help more animals and was able to get a building across the county on Dogpound Road in Halifax. In 2015, the sanctuary opened, and more than 700 animals have passed through the organization during that year. Crouch said Rainbow Rescue originally started with four volunteers, but when she took over in 2019, they had nine members.

With the volunteers, the dogs were able to walk, clean the kennels, feed and transport the dogs, and other things.

Crouch said each volunteer has specific areas to work in, and works no more than three days a week. She said they lost volunteers over the next five years due to life changes such as marriage and moving. Others will develop health problems and even die, Crouch said, leaving four volunteers to work full time. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, Crouch said, volunteers began to dwindle due to adhering to guidelines such as social distancing.

“Our building is small, and social distancing is almost impossible,” she said. “And so the people who were volunteers stopped — Covid hit us, you know, hit us hard. People were staying at home and we started asking for more help. We need help. We need help.”

Crouch said they would ask people out one day and then they would never hear from them again.

In September, Crouch underwent a critical operation that left her needing more than four weeks of recovery.

Crouch said the workload for the other members who have adjusted their schedules from work and personal lives to help out at the shelter has been overwhelming. Being a licensed shelter, she said state law requires one person to have a certain number of dogs in the facility. Crouch said that if the shelter accommodated 40 dogs, she would need three to four people.

With no volunteers to step forward to help, Rainbow Rescue had to stop eating.

Crouch said she gets about five calls a day with people looking to drop off their dogs.

“The only thing I can tell people now is that if you have to let it go, it should go to animal control,” she said. “I have a woman who has been trying to turn over her dog for four months now. I don’t have the space for that. She says, ‘I’m going to be kicked out.’ I said to send him to animal control. ‘But I love him.’ I can’t help you, and no one can. If you go and look at the numbers, it’s just not We. It’s all over the country. Since Easter, there’s probably been this massive influx of dogs, and I’m talking about good dogs.”

Crouch said the organization has a good working relationship with Halifax County Animal Control with Animal Rescue.

“They either take them to animal control, where if we can’t get them out of animal control because we don’t have any spots, they’ll be euthanized,” she said.

Crouch said one of the dogs fell in love with an animal control officer.

“I thought I was going to lose him that day,” she said of the officer. “He got down on his knees, and I had no room for that. It broke his heart to have to euthanize that dog, and if I had room for that, I would have taken him.”

When asked if she feels people giving up or abandoning their animals really understand the emotional impact, Crouch replied.

“I think a lot of them don’t really care — it’s just a dog,” she said. “They don’t understand that dogs are, by and large, sentient beings. The reason I say they are sentient, intelligent, intelligent. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t have been trained to feel a seizure before it happens. We can’t, but this dog can tell you.” .

Crouch gave the example of a 10-year-old dog named Gran Princess who was found on Robinson Drive in Roanoke Rapids by someone who lived in the county. She said the person picked up the dog and went door to door until she found the owner. Crouch said the person found the owner, who in turn said he took the dog out because they no longer wanted her.

“And the woman says, ‘You’re kidding, I got that dog out,’ and he says, ‘She’s old, and I don’t want her anymore,'” she said, recalling the story. “And the door closed in her face. So I took her to the animal clinic and gave her a rabies shot and examined her and all this, and she called us, and we took the princess. That’s what I’m talking about – “I could have another one”. dont care. He put this little nine-pound Yorkie outside with his back to her. She doesn’t care if she gets hit by a big dog, she doesn’t care if she gets hit by a car, or if a hawk picks her up, or what. We see this.”

With a shortage of staff due to state law and the workload of existing members, Crouch said in a press release that they have made the decision to close the Rainbow Rescue facility and will close entry completely on December 31 after eight years.

“We will focus on treating more than 16 heartworm-infected dogs that were pulled from Halifax County Animal Control,” she said in a news release. “Yes, there is a lot because there are a lot of local people who are not giving enough care to their dogs. We will also be training these same dogs. Our plan is to have all the dogs put in place within the next 11 months.”

Crouch said the organization plans to remove everything from the shelter by December 31, 2023.

“We will continue to work with the amazing people of Halifax County Animal Control to help as many dogs as possible,” she said in a press release. “But it will be under the same plan we had before 2014 – communication/transfer to other rescues will be our primary goal. If we do feed, it will be on a foster basis for a maximum of two weeks quarantine prior to transfer – usually in the case of small, fearful dogs or puppies.” “Pups or pregnant dogs waiting to be transported. There are many who have given us financial support over the years. Many who have encouraged us with words of encouragement. We thank you for this from the bottom of our hearts.”

Crouch said the money raised from the Herald Angel effort will go toward medical bills, transportation and other fees to help adopt the remaining dogs.

Please donate to the Herald Angel Fund by bringing a check or cash to the Herald’s office, 1025 Roanoke Ave in Roanoke Rapids. Donations can be dropped into the mailbox located in the office. People can also mail a check to The Herald, 1025 Roanoke Ave., Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870, with the Herald Angel Fund in the memo line. Every contribution goes directly to the Herald Angel. Donors who give more than $5 have their generosity honored by having their name printed in The Herald. Donations can also be made anonymously.

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