Elizabeth McCabe, Stroll Gates Mills, July 2023, print
Rescue Village: Helping Furry Friends Find their FURever Homes! (strollmag.com)
Gates Mills resident Karen Morse has a nonprofit near and dear to her heart, Rescue Village. Not only did she nominate them for this month’s Making A Difference article, she is an avid supporter of this renowned humane society that has been providing shelter, medical care, and adoption services to homeless animals since 1974. Located in Novelty, Rescue Village is a haven for dogs, cats, small critters, and domesticated barn animals in need of a loving home and compassionate care.
Rescue Village operates out of a 19,000-square-foot facility with housing for homeless pets, a state-of-the-art veterinary clinic, and a barn, all on a 14-acre campus with paths in the woods for dog walkers!
Executive Director Kenneth Clarke comments, “Rescue Village has space for more than 75 cats and 53 dogs, five barn stalls, and four coops for birds. We also have space for rabbits, guinea pigs, and the occasional sugar glider.”
The primary mission of Rescue Village is to rescue and rehabilitate animals that have been abandoned, neglected, or abused. The dedicated staff and volunteers work tirelessly to ensure that each animal receives the attention and care it deserves, with the ultimate goal of finding them forever homes where they are loved and thriving. Through their commitment, Rescue Village has made a significant difference in the lives of countless animals and the communities they serve. Lisa Ishee, External Affairs Director of Rescue Village, explains, “Rescue Village has adopted out more than 9,000 animals in the past 5 years.”
Kenneth is passionate about helping four-legged friends. He reflects, “As long as there are people, pets and barn animals, the need for service is not going away.” He also appreciates the role of law enforcement in enforcing Ohio’s laws against animal cruelty. By collaborating with local law enforcement, Rescue Village actively contributes to the protection and welfare of animals in local communities. Kenneth also has a heart of gratitude for the people who adopt Rescue Village’s animals, the generous donors, the staff, and the volunteers at Rescue Village, and beyond.
The range of services offered by Rescue Village is comprehensive and designed to meet the various needs of the animals in their care. In addition to providing care for cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs and horses, they also care for feathered friends. With coops for birds, they can be restored and rehabilitated. The compassionate staff at Rescue Village recognizes that all animals, regardless of their size or species, deserve a safe and nurturing environment.
Rescue Village also emphasizes the importance of population control. They provide dedicated spay and neuter services for feral and outdoor felines, actively working to prevent the proliferation of homeless animals and promote responsible pet ownership. By addressing the root causes of animal overpopulation, Rescue Village takes a proactive approach towards building a more compassionate and sustainable community.
One notable event organized by Rescue Village is Woofstock. Lisa comments, “Woofstock is the largest dog festival in Northeast Ohio.” This annual celebration brings together animal lovers and their furry companions for a day of fun-filled activities, including live music, pet-friendly vendors, and adoption opportunities. Woofstock not only raises awareness about the importance of pet adoption but also serves as a major fundraising event for Rescue Village, supporting their ongoing efforts to provide care to animals in need.
For the past 20 years, Jenny Campbell, a nationally syndicated cartoonist published daily in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, has also served as Rescue Village’s cartoonist-in-residence. Recently, Rescue Village published 20 years’ worth of Jenny’s original Rescue Village cartoons in the 208-page book titled “The Cartoons of Rescue Village.” Kenneth comments, “Over the years, these cartoons have helped Rescue Village to fundraise and to tell important stories about our rescue work, and now they are published in a beautiful hardcover book for everyone to read, learn from and enjoy!” Visit www.rescuevillage.org/cartoons for more information.
All animals deserve a happy ending. Volunteers and the dedicated staff at Rescue Village give precious pets a second chance. Kenneth shares one recent success story of Hank, a homeless senior Pitbull mix dog, who came to Rescue Village with a torn ACL.
“He could barely walk,” says Kenneth. “Rescue Village provided his knee surgery and other medical care in its clinic through its veterinary staff. The animal care staff provided training so Hank could learn new tricks so he would be more adoptable and more polite. After a long wait, he was finally adopted by a caring man who specifically adopts hard-to-place senior dogs like Hank. These stories make all the effort worth it for all the animals at Rescue Village.”
Each success story, whether it involves a senior dog finding a loving home or a horse overcoming adversity, highlights the transformative power of compassion and the profound impact Rescue Village has on both animals and their adoptive families.
To continue their vital work, Rescue Village relies on the support and involvement of the community. There are numerous ways for individuals to get involved and make a difference. People can adopt animals from Rescue Village, providing a loving home and a brighter future for a homeless pet. Donations of bedding and food are also greatly appreciated, especially since they do not receive government funds. Additionally, Rescue Village offers volunteer opportunities for those who want to lend a helping hand. (Check out www.rescuevillage.org/volunteer for more information.)
Rescue Village stands as a beacon of hope and compassion for homeless animals in Northeast Ohio. Their tireless efforts in providing shelter, medical care, and adoption services have transformed the lives of numerous animals and touched the hearts of countless individuals.
Through their commitment to animal welfare, Rescue Village not only brings joy and happiness to the animals they rescue but also enriches the lives of those who open their hearts and homes to these deserving creatures.
Thank you, Karen Morse, for nominating Rescue Village for this month’s Making A Difference article!