Rescue One, a nonprofit animal rescue organization based in Springfield, has helped save thousands of dogs and cats since it was formed in 2013.
Rescue One is not an animal shelter — all of the animals in Rescue One’s care live in foster homes until they are adopted.
But Rescue One’s mission goes beyond finding forever homes for homeless dogs and cats.
“Our main goal is to educate the community and provide resources for them to be able to care for their animals,” said Rebekah Redwing, finance officer for Rescue One. “We can keep picking up animals and rescuing them, but if we don’t teach our community how to properly care for them and why spaying and neutering is important, then there’s still going to be an overpopulation of neglected and feral animals out there that will always need to be rescued.”
With that mission at heart, Rescue One started offering resources like low-cost vaccination clinics open to anyone in the community.
“I want more people to realize how much we can offer to help out the community and for people to take advantage of those resources,” Redwing said.
As Rescue One expands and grows the services it offers, the nonprofit is planning to build a 14,000-square-foot facility that would house both the Rescue One Center and a low-cost community veterinary clinic.
“This will not be an animal shelter and we have no intentions of ever becoming one,” the group said in a recent Facebook post about the plans. “Warehousing animals is not the solution. Education, assistance, and spay and neuter is.”
Rescue One found a four-acre piece of property in northwest Springfield and is currently raising money to purchase it.
Redwing expects the building project to cost anywhere from $3.5 million to $4 million.
To help fund building the new facility, Rescue One is among the three local nonprofit organizations participating in the Gannett Foundation’s 2021 A Community Thrives program.
A Community Thrives is a $2.3 million initiative sponsored by Gannett, the News-Leader’s parent company, and is marking its fifth year supporting groups that address social issues.
Last month, organizations applied to raise money for specific projects and will first raise money on their own through crowdfunding campaigns. Then, they will be eligible for one of 15 national grants of up to $100,000.
About the planned facility
Currently, Rescue One operates out of two small, rented spaces: an office that is used for storage and donations and an internal veterinary clinic.
When the new facility is complete, it will have two sides: the Rescue One Center and the low-cost community vet clinic.
The Rescue One Center side will have 10 emergency boarding kennels to be used primarily for assisting law enforcement.
“Over the years, we’ve worked with law enforcement and surrounding communities that don’t have animal control,” Redwing explained. “A lot of times, if there is an injured or abandoned dog — instead of having to kill them like they used to — they call us and we go get them.
“Sometimes it’s 2 or 3 in the morning, and we don’t always have fosters that are available to open their home at that time,” she said. “These emergency kennels would assist us with being able to take them in.”
Those kennels will also be used for Rescue One’s partnership with local domestic violence shelters.
The Rescue One Center side of the building will also have five larger and heavier boarding kennels for dogs that are hard to place or feral and just “need a little time to decompress” before going to a foster home.
There will be meet-and-greet rooms for people who want to spend some time with a particular dog or cat before pursuing an adoption.
Plans also call for a space
for adoption events and dog training, as well as a room for sick and injured cats.
The low-cost community vet clinic will be able to help those who can not afford to take their sick or well animals to receive vet care or spay/neuter. The clinic will give Rescue One five times more space to hospitalize unowned pets or animals in its care.
To donate to Rescue One’s A Community Thrives crowdfunding campaign, visit acommunitythrives.mightycause.com/organization/Rescue-One.
Foster homes needed for animals in Rescue One’s care
Rescue One currently has about 260 animals in its care and only about 150 foster homes, which means some fosters have multiple animals.
“We always have a waiting list, and we always have emergency situations,” Redwing said. “And it’s so hard to say no. They are like, ‘This dog just got hit. It’s been abandoned and starved.’ So we can’t really say no and we take them.”
It doesn’t cost a penny to foster an animal, Redwing said. Rescue One pays for everything: food, supplies, vet care. Rescue One has volunteers that will help with training and behavioral issues, if needed.
“There’s volunteers and other fosters that help. If you need to go out of town, they will watch them,” she said. “It’s really just a place for the dog to sleep and eat and be cared for until they get adopted. And that can be as short as a couple days or few weeks.”
If you are interested in fostering for Rescue One, donating, adopting an animal or helping in some other way, visit rescueonespringfield.com.
Read More:Rescue One fundraising for facility that would include vet clinic