Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Paw Parade

March 25th, 2021

Rescue Village was invited to Chardon Healthcare Center yesterday to visit with the residents. To make it a safe visit during COVID, they requested a Paw Parade so that residents who weren’t able to come outside could see the dogs from their windows as the parade wrapped around the entire building.

Initially Chardon Healthcare Center wanted us to bring adoptable animals, however, Rescue Village works hard to ensure the dogs at the shelter stay stress-free, so Humane Educator, Nicole Latosky, arranged to bring the RV Ambassador dogs.

Rescue Village Ambassador dogs are trained and certified therapy dogs that go through training with their owner.  Therapy dogs are assessed and then trained to ensure that they can handle all different types of situations and remain calm. Trained therapy dogs are accustomed to large crowds, wheelchairs, strangers approaching and children that might tug on their fur or tail.

“The Ambassadors have not volunteered for Rescue Village in over a year due to COVID, and their owners were so excited to get the call to action,” said Nicole, who oversees the Ambassador program. “We know how important it is, especially during COVID, to bring these dogs out to meet people and give them comfort and joy. We aren’t sure who had more fun, the people or the dogs!”

The Ambassadors spent over an hour cheering up the residents and filling their hearts with fond, furry memories.

New Executive Director, Kenneth Clarke

March 18th, 2021


The Board of Trustees of Rescue Village is pleased to announce that Kenneth Clarke has been selected as its next Executive Director. Ken assumed his new position on March 16.

Ken has spent more than two decades in executive leadership positions at some of the Midwest’s leading nonprofit, educational, and cultural organizations, including the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, and the Shedd Aquarium, both in Chicago. Prior to that, he was a Director of Development at The Ohio State University. His most recent position was at VividFront, a Cleveland-based award-winning digital marketing agency, where he worked on a startup with the owner and other partners as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. Previously, he worked at JumpStart, Inc., where he served as Director of Strategic Initiatives. Ken has earned a reputation for leadership excellence and has demonstrated prowess in the areas of strategic vision, financial management, marketing, and fundraising.

Ken is a native of Northeast Ohio and currently lives in Bath with his wife, daughter, family rescue dog, and a small flock of backyard chickens. “I’m thrilled to join the mission of Rescue Village, a dynamic organization whose passionate people proactively care about the welfare of animals, and their humans, in Northeast Ohio.”

Board President Kathy Leavenworth reports that “Ken has a distinct blend of leadership skills, compassion and strategic vision that make him an ideal candidate to lead Rescue Village and we are delighted to have him join our team.”

We have great confidence that the important vision and mission of Rescue Village will continue to prosper and grow under Ken’s leadership.

Caring for our community kittens

January 27th, 2021

Rescue Village has made some important changes to how we manage the large number of calls we receive every year about what to do with orphaned, sick or injured kittens.

Every year hundreds upon hundreds of people call us wanting to bring in orphaned, sick or injured kittens they found under their porch or in their neighborhood. Because sick and injured animals take priority, in years’ past people calling to surrender outdoor, healthy kittens would go on a waiting list a mile long. To help manage the volume of calls received, Rescue Village recently added a Kitten Surrender Form to our website for people to fill out when they are unable to take in and care for kittens they find.

People who find kittens want immediate help, and anyone can understand why, especially in the winter when they are most vulnerable.  While we can’t take them all in immediately due to space and resources, many are willing to care for the kittens until we do have space. We provide the public with information on the homepage of our website for how to determine the kitten’s age, if they are truly orphaned and in distress, and how to care for neo-nates who need to be bottle fed. A great deal of what we do is having conversations with people about the best options in that urgent moment, and each case is different. We spend time having long discussions with people to ensure they fully understand their options and answer any questions they might have. We provide resources to ensure they are comfortable caring for the kittens temporarily until we have space available and give supplies to do so if necessary.

There are many, however, that understandably cannot care for these kittens until we have space available. In those cases, we will do our best to bring the kittens in as soon as possible and find foster placement for them. While we used to have what we term as “kitten season”, for the past few years it seems the season has turned into more of a year-round issue. The new form will allow our intake department to electronically track all of the inquiries for people looking for assistance and get them through the system more efficiently. It will also allow us to track the geographic areas we are seeing the greatest need for help and provide us with better statistics on exactly how many inquiries we received and were able to assist with and in what way.

“We feel that by using this new online form, we will be able to keep better track of who is out there in need of help and get them in quickly, thereby saving more lives and helping more people in our community,” said Dee Dee Dicesare, Intake Coordinator.

Along with the new form, our cat team will be more involved with kittens throughout the foster process by assigning staff members to kittens that need to go into foster as their Kitten Caseworker. This new role for members of our cat team not only frees up our foster care coordinator, it allows our cat department to be more involved and informed throughout the foster timeline and adoption process. Overall, this new role will have a greater impact on providing more immediate community assistance. By placing more kittens into foster homes with caseworkers, we can accept more kittens in a timely manner.

With so many processes having to go virtual in 2020, Rescue Village created and implemented other online forms, such as adoption applications for small, pocket pets and barn animals. With our workforce still under the norm due to COVID, these online forms help staff get all the information they need up front and tracked electronically for quick, easy reference and follow-up.

Changes were also made to our website. We’ve added links to our homepage for the most critical needs so that people don’t get discouraged by not being able to navigate properly or knowing where to find what they need. During COVID, and while our doors still remain closed to the general public, for those that aren’t computer savvy, or that might not have access to a computer, our Welcome Desk volunteers will fill out forms for callers over the phone.

With the help of so many new foster homes, new forms, new roles for staff, we are proud to stay innovative and change with the times to accommodate the needs of our community and the animals.

Shelter Update during COVID

December 9th, 2020

Like so many other organizations, businesses, and families that were profoundly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, so was Rescue Village. And still today the effects of this malicious virus continue to take a stronghold.

When the Ohio Stay at Home Order was initiated last March, Rescue Village had 77 animals in our care. The barn animals would stay, others were in foster, but 52 dogs and cats were living in our shelter and had to be relocated within hours. Staff worked swiftly to find temporary homes for all of them. And soon the shelter was empty and quiet. Nobody knew when we, the volunteers, or the animals, would be returning. We furloughed half of our staff and those remaining came in to deep clean the building, sort donations and care for the barn animals.

Fast forward two weeks. The animals and a few more staff returned. Procedures were quickly outlined for virtual adoptions, curbside TNR services and contact-less pet surrenders. As programs were reinvented the staff needed to operate those programs were brought back from furlough. Hours were cut and pay was decreased but there was work to do. Everyone was cross-trained and no job was the same as was before the onset of COVID-19.

Today we still have some staff members on furlough but there are only a couple of programs that are not currently operating; on-site education programs, summer and winter camps for kids, new volunteer recruitment and training, and our wonderful Pawsitive Steps program for young men serving time in the juvenile detention system. Most of the Rescue Village 2020 fundraising events were cancelled and others were made virtual or scaled back. This created our most significant loss of income.

What did happen is that our adoptions, intakes and spay/neuter surgeries not only were reinvented, but the number of people and animals that have been served is impressive, even by pandemic standards! We doubled the number of TNR days to handle the backlog created by our inability to perform these surgeries during quarantine. We worked harder to keep people and their pets together. We delivered pet food to existing food pantries across Geauga, Cuyahoga and Lake counties so that people did not have to worry about how they would feed their companion animals. We partnered with special donors with big hearts, Pet Wants Pet Food, churches, and even Adventure Subaru to distribute as much pet food as the community needed and to-date we have given away nearly 10,000 pounds of cat and dog food. Even our Humane Education program will soon have a full array of virtual and take-home educational activities for kids.

We still do not know what to expect in the coming months. Will people begin to surrender animals in record numbers due to illness, inability to care for them, and pending evictions? Will our small but mighty staff succumb to the spread of this virus forcing another complete shutdown? We don’t have the answers to these questions and so we stand ready for whatever comes. Meanwhile, our building doors remain closed to the public and our services are all being offered virtually or curbside. The shelter occupancy rate is being held down to 50%, and we still have only brought the most essential staff back to work. Our safety and cleaning protocols are rigid but for good reason.

Our leadership continues to monitor the situation and make adjustments as needed and are doing so with the health and safety of both animals and people at the top of mind. We are fully committed to taking this opportunity to look at new ways to continue to deliver services to the community that address its needs and keep people and their pets safe. Together we can do this!

Make a Dog’s Day ~ Virtual Showcase

November 1st, 2020

We held our first-ever virtual showcase event on 10/22/2020 in partnership with Adventure Subaru and the ASPCA.  Since our doors are still closed to the public, we were excited to be able to show our animals live so people could see them in real time. While our adoptions have been skyrocketing during COVID, it’s more difficult for adopters to make that connection, but the system we have in place is working and so many animals have been adopted. During the event, we took the opportunity to give everyone a better idea of who we are and what we do by having interviews with some of our key staff members, such as our Humane Agent, Christian Courtwright. In this virtual world, we wanted to connect with people and put faces to the names.

Thank you to Adventure Subaru of Painesville for helping with this video and spreading the word about our life-saving work for these rescues. You can view the video by clicking HERE!

Rescue Village Chosen for The Jackson Galaxy Project’s Life-Saving Cat Pawsitive Pro Program

January 29th, 2020

Rescue Village is selected by The Jackson Galaxy Project (JGP), a Signature Program of GreaterGood.org, to participate in the 2020 class of Cat Pawsitive Pro, a life-saving initiative that introduces advanced, positive-reinforcement-based behavior training and enrichment to shelter cats. Supported by the Petco Foundation, this innovative training program aims to increase feline adoption rates as well as empower shelter staff and volunteers to maintain and improve cat “mojo.”

Jackson Galaxy (star of the television show My Cat from Hell on Animal Planet, and founder of JGP) developed Cat Pawsitive Pro with a team of feline behavior experts. Highlights of the program include:

  • Improving cat “adoptability” and feline social skills, particularly for shy or fearful cats and long-term residents
  • Enriching day-to-day life for cats in shelters with physical and mental activity
  • Promoting the human-cat bond
  • Teaching and empowering animal shelter staff and volunteers

Cats who are exposed to the reward-based training methods of Cat Pawsitive Pro gain confidence, experience reduced stress level and build connections with staff, volunteers and potential adopters.  The program can help a shy cat learn to feel comfortable coming up to the front of her cage to meet an adopter, a feisty cat learn to play nice, and an outgoing kitty learn to give an endearing “high five” to his visitors to seal an adoption deal.

“As a shelter worker in the early 90s, I found myself frustrated by the lack of resources and know-how afforded to the cats in my care. Unsocialized cats, traumatized cats, adoptable cats whose spirits were dwindling from lack of stimulation – were all being euthanized. Dogs, however, were being saved thanks in part to burgeoning enrichment programs geared towards physical exercise, confidence-building and the bond created with the humans participating in these programs,” said Galaxy.  “With the help of a dog trainer, I adapted these clicker-based programs to cats – and the results were immediate and, at least in my eyes, profound. My overwhelming desire at the time was to bring the liberating effects of this approach to as many other shelters and rescues as I could, and in just 4 years we have already helped well over 1,200 cats in 174 shelters find their forever homes, with hundreds more receiving enriching training every day.”

A JGP feline behavior expert will lead the program for the shelter beginning February 2.  Throughout the Spring, staff and volunteers from Rescue Village will participate in weekly seminars with their expert and

will have direct access to the entire training team for specialized consultations about the cats in their care.

“We can’t wait to see the positive impact this training program has on our shelter cats,” says executive director of Rescue Village Hope Brustein. “The skills we will learn will be invaluable and will help us to connect with cats who are behaviorally challenged, especially the very shy cats.”

Since 2016, more than 1,200 cats have been adopted during Cat Pawsitive semesters, with hundreds of more cats benefitting from being in the program and continuing their training on the road to adoption. To date, a total of 174 animal welfare organizations have participated in Cat Pawsitive programs and conducted over 20,000 training sessions, with over 1,100 staff members and volunteers taking part in the training of thousands of cats.

Galaxy will be sharing highlights of the program on The Jackson Galaxy Project Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.


About Rescue Village

Rescue Village, formerly known as the Geauga Humane Society, has been saving animals from homelessness, harm and performing lifesaving work throughout Geauga County and Northeast Ohio for more than 30 years. Our mission is to bring together organizations, businesses, and individuals across Northeast Ohio to work toward our shared vision of a more humane community. The current 19,000 square foot center includes a full-service veterinary clinic, a state-of-the-art shelter, an outdoor barn and trails to exercise the animals in our care. We rely upon 100 percent philanthropic donations to serve our mission.  For more information visit rescuevillage.org.

About The Jackson Galaxy Project
The Jackson Galaxy Project is a Signature Program of GreaterGood.org, a public 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Founded in 2014 by leading animal advocate and cat wellness consultant, Jackson Galaxy, host and executive producer of Animal Planet‘s long running hit show “My Cat From Hell” and New York Times best-selling author, The Jackson Galaxy Project seeks to improve the lives of animals at risk and help the people who care for them through innovative programs that educate, inspire and empower staff, rescuers and adopters to continually raise the bar for  animals at risk and reduce the number of animals that end up in shelters. For more information, visit TheJacksonGalaxyProject.org.

About GreaterGood.org
GreaterGood.org is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that works to improve the health and well-being of people, pets, and the planet. Over the last 12 years, GreaterGood.org has given over $250 million in cash and in-kind grants to over 3,000 charitable partners worldwide. To learn more, visit GreaterGood.org or follow us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

About the Petco Foundation
At the Petco Foundation, we believe that every animal deserves to live its best life. Since 1999, we’ve invested more than $260 million in lifesaving animal welfare work to make that happen. With our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners, we inspire and empower communities to make a difference by investing in adoption and medical care programs, spay and neuter services, pet cancer research, service and therapy animals, and numerous other lifesaving initiatives. Through our Think Adoption First program, we partner with Petco stores and animal welfare organizations across the country to increase pet adoptions. So far, we’ve helped more than 6 million pets find their new loving families, and we’re just getting started. Visit petcofoundation.org to learn more about how you can get involved.

Cat Pawsitive Pro and Petco foundation logos

The 2019 Subaru Share the Love® Event

November 26th, 2019

Rescue Village is proud to partner with Adventure Subaru during the 2019 Subaru Share the Love Event!

Join us Saturday, December 7th from 12pm to 3pm for an adoption event at Adventure Subaru (1991 Mentor Ave, Painesville, OH 44077).  In addition to adoptions, this Celebration of Pets includes Pictures with Santa (for you and your pets), Face Painting and a meet and greet with Farrah Pawcett, Ohio’s Celebrity Sphynx.

Then through January 2, 2020, get a great vehicle and support a great cause. With every new Subaru purchased or leased, Adventure Subaru will donate $250 to your choice of charities*. Adventure Subaru will donate an additional $50 to Rescue Village here in our community, for each sold or leased vehicle. Additionally, for every Subaru vehicle routine service visit during the Subaru Share the Love Event Adventure Subaru will donate $5 to our Hometown Charity.

When you share the love, you change lives.

Over the last 11 years, through the Share the Love Event, Subaru of America and its participating retailers have donated more than $145 million to charity, with customers choosing between four national and over 1,170 hometown charities. In this, our 12th year, Subaru is on track to bring that total to over $170 million, proving there’s no limit to the amount of love we can all share.



Learn More About Short-Term Fostering

November 22nd, 2019


Not sure you are ready to adopt? Try fostering!

Rescue Village is thrilled to be participating in Maddie’s Fund Foster Express Challenge. With your help, we will coordinate at least 25 short-term foster care experiences for our adult dogs and cats during the challenge which launches Friday, November 22 and ends on Friday, January 10, 2020.

The Foster Express Challenge is designed to help shelters get more dogs and cats out of the shelter during the hectic holiday season, get them more exposure, as well as attract new foster caregivers. Throughout the holiday season Rescue Village will be encouraging all of our friends, supporters, volunteers and anyone who is curious about adopting, to try short-term foster care.  For the Foster Express Challenge, “short-term fostering” is defined as stays in foster care of more than two hours and less than two weeks.

What are examples of short-term foster care?

  • Stop by Rescue Village and take a pup for a winter walk at nearby West Woods or Affelder Park.
  • Take a dog or cat home with you for a sleepover or up to two weeks for a mini-vacation away from shelter living.*

This holiday season, give a homeless dog or cat a fun and loving experience away from the shelter and warm your heart and even your home as only a rescue can!

For more information or questions, please contact Andrea Giorgio at shelterprograms@resceuvillage.org or 440-338-4819 ext. 14

*Rescue Village will provide you with all of the supplies: food, toys, treats, bedding and tips for overnight care.


Tips for Cold Weather Community Cat Care

November 20th, 2019

The cold weather months are upon us and it is a great time to start thinking about the best way to care for community cats throughout the winter. Community cats are those who are feral, stray, and/or free-roaming without an indoor home.

When the cold winter months start approaching, caretakers from all over bundle up to brave the cold in order to care for these cats. The following tips will provide useful information to those who care for or come across community cats in need of a caretaker.

And don’t forget, community cats who have not been spayed or neutered can still be safely trapped throughout the winter months. This will aid in the prevention of homeless kittens being born come spring!


  • Feed the cats on a regular schedule. The cats will know when to come around, and both the food and the cats will spend less time exposed to the weather.
  • If you can keep it from freezing, feed wet food—it’s easier to digest, so cats save more energy for keeping warm. Consider warming canned food prior to feeding.
  • On average, you can expect an adult cat to eat roughly 5.5 ounces of wet (canned) cat food and 2 ounces of dry food daily in temperate weather (add a half cup to that amount if only feeding dry food). In colder weather, make sure to feed larger portions than you usually do for an extra caloric boost.
  • Since wet food is also quicker to freeze, make sure you put out dry food too, or if you think the food is very likely to freeze, you may want to feed only dry food.


  • Change a water bowl twice daily to keep water from freezing. Use deep bowls rather than wide ones. Avoid filling bowls with hot or warm water, as the water will evaporate more quickly from the steam.
  • Keep the water in the sun and use dark colored bowls that will absorb the sun’s heat.
  • Use double-layered bowls—they have an insulated air layer between the surface the water touches and the surface against the ground.
  • Shield the water dish from wind by placing it inside a small Styrofoam cooler or surround the top and sides of the feeding area with plexiglass to create a greenhouse environment for the water.
  • Add a pinch of sugar to the water to keep it from freezing as quickly and to provide an energy boost for the cats.


Rubbermaid has a website with instructions & discounts for a quick and easy shelter: https://www.erubbermaid.com/roughneck-homes

(Note: Make sure to use straw, NOT hay when building a shelter as hay will absorb water and freeze. See below for further info on insulation.)

Another great list of options can be found at: https://www.alleycat.org/ShelterGallery


  • Loose and dry insulating material works best for burrowing and will be the warmest!
  • Straw is best, while shredded newspaper will also work.
  • Avoid using blankets, towels or folded newspaper. The reason is because cats can only lie on top of these materials so they actually draw out body heat and defeat the purpose.
  • Avoid hay, because it’s moist, can become moldy and some cats are reportedly allergic to hay and can develop nasal sores.
  • Keep in mind, if you use insulating materials, you must be able to change them regularly in order to ensure they stay dry.

Winter Safety Tips

In addition to providing food, water, and shelter for cats in your neighborhood, observe these winter precautions to keep cats safe:

  • Before starting your car, give the hood a tap and check between the tires—cats will sometimes crawl into the engine or hide underneath the car for warmth.
  • Winter is also the time of year for antifreeze, which often tastes irresistible to cats and other animals, but is toxic and deadly. Keep it out of reach and clean up any spills!
  • Remember to shovel out cat shelters when you’re shoveling your own driveway. Cats in shelters can get snowed in, so keep entrances clear and shovel an exit for cats who may be taking refuge under bushes, porches, or other hiding spots.
  • Stay away from salt and chemical melting products. These products can be toxic to animals and harmful to their natural snowshoes—paws!

For information on our TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) program, please visit this link.

You can also e-mail Andrea Giorgio, Shelter Programs Coordinator, at shelterprograms@rescuevillage.org  or call her at 440-338-4819 ext. 14 for more information.

Did you know that Rescue Village relies 100 percent on philanthropic support to fund its mission? To support Rescue Village, click here. Thank you for helping us to serve our mission of a more humane world, starting right here in Northeast Ohio.

Rescue Village Launches a Vibrant New Look

October 29th, 2019

Today Rescue Village launched our vibrant new brand. Over the past nearly 30 years, we have grown to become one of the largest and most respected humane societies in the region. With more people involved in animal welfare than ever before – from being donors to adopting – it was time to update the brand to reflect this new momentum.

 “Rescue Village has grown in size and scope and has become a model for humane societies across the country,” said Executive Director Hope Brustein. “We are holistic in our approach to serve animals in need and our community at large. We are building a vibrant and humane society – one human and animal relationship at a time –  and we invite everyone in Northeast Ohio to join us in our effort.”

 The state-of-the-art village is located in Novelty, Ohio a short drive from downtown Cleveland. The campus consists of a 19,000-square foot facility that includes a full-service veterinary clinic; a limited admission, unlimited stay shelter; a community room for education and training; an onsite barn and barnyard and walking trails surrounding the 15-acre property to exercise the animals.

“It’s a fact that our relationships with animals can help us to be better human beings,” said Kathy Leavenworth. “Rescue Village demonstrates this every day in our humane education programs, our community outreach and one-on-one with our gifted and dedicated adoption counselors. It takes consistent compassion and professionalism to elevate our treatment of the animals and each other.”

The new logo was designed by Cleveland Institute of Art student Cassandra Harb who wanted this special relationship between humans and animals to start the moment someone looks at the logo. “When creating this logo, I wanted to find a way to integrate animals and letterforms to make a unique, modernized logo and I wanted the public to be able to instantly recognize what Rescue Village is all about.” 



More than 50 of Northeast Ohio’s most engaged animal advocates unveiled the new logo together in front of the main building. Rescue Village Staff and the Board of Directors were the first to see the new brand in the form of a giant sign that the community can see from Route 306/Chillicothe Road.

The community can be part of the more humane society celebration by donating to Rescue Village’s Project S.A.V.E. Some of the animals at Rescue Village need special medical tests, surgery or other care that goes above and beyond normal resources. Project S.A.V.E.—Saving Animals with Veterinary Emergencies—is a special fund that enables us to provide specialized care that we would not otherwise be able to provide that will help make an animal more adoptable. We are currently raising $15,000 – our fund is currently at zero and we have a number of animals that need medical care. To donate to Project S.A.V.E. visit rescuevillage.org.

About Rescue Village
Rescue Village, formerly known as the Geauga Humane Society, has been saving animals from homelessness, harm and performing lifesaving work throughout Geauga County and Northeast Ohio for more than 30 years. Our mission is to bring together organizations, businesses, and individuals across Northeast Ohio to work toward our shared vision of a more humane society. The current 19,000 square foot center includes a full-service veterinary clinic, a state-of-the-art shelter, an outdoor barn and trails to exercise the animals in our care. We rely upon 100 percent philanthropic donations to serve our mission.  For more information visit rescuevillage.org.

Rescue Village Will Open Late on 10/29/19

October 24th, 2019

Rescue Village will open one hour late on Tuesday, October 29. We will open our doors at 1 p.m. instead of Noon. The Board of Directors and Staff are launching the new brand this morning and we will need extra time to get ready to open to the public. Thank you for your understanding!


Happy Finds a Home with Ryan

October 4th, 2019

There are always celebrations when animals are adopted here at Rescue Village, but some joyful moments are truly bigger than others. And some celebrations are community-wide. This is one of those times.

Our beloved Happy has finally found her forever home. Ryan from Mentor came to Rescue Village in search of a companion. He originally had another dog in mind but after meeting Happy, she was all he could think about. Ryan wasted no time in getting permission from his condominium manager and in a few days he was back at Rescue Village to become a foster. As soon as Happy saw Ryan, she showered him with kisses and enthusiastic tail wags.

Once Ryan found out that Happy enjoyed things like sitting on the couch to watch a Browns game, well, it was a done deal. They also enjoy walks at the park, visits with friends and the two have become rather inseparable. It was time to make it official. Ryan brought Happy back to Rescue Village this week to complete the necessary paperwork to claim his new family member.

Ryan and Happy on their way to Rescue Village to fill out the adoption papers.

Let the HAPPY DANCES begin!

Happy’s quest for a home started in March. From her very first day at Rescue Village she was one of the friendliest, most outgoing, obedient, well-adjusted and well…happy adoptable animals. There was some interest in her, but there were no takers. Day after day, week after week, Happy watched other dogs come and go from the confines of her kennel. Staff got really creative with their outreach on behalf of this sweet pup: there were daily Happy Hours, many trips to local television stations, and countless meet and greets at local restaurants and events.

It was truly a community-wide effort to find Happy her person. There are so many people who helped in the search to find her a home, but we would like to thank especially WKYC Studios and Lisa Lowry, and Rachelle Hrusovsky.

One thing Ryan likes most about Happy: “She is so loving, she doesn’t want to leave my side.” Happy is just smitten and appreciates her new owner very much.

Endings like this truly make the journey to find forever homes worthwhile, even if it can take longer than we would like sometimes. Congratulations to our Rescue Village family members Ryan and Happy. You two make us…smile.

Gambit’s Story: It Took a Rescue Village

October 2nd, 2019

Gambit has a home!

Some dogs are more challenging than others, and lively Gambit was one of these pups. Rescue Village took him in December of 2018 and after careful evaluation it was determined that sweet Gambit needed lots of attention and training. He loved people and other dogs, but it quickly became clear that Gambit was far from ready for a home. Severe anxiety, destructive chewing, leash reactivity and no knowledge of basic obedience were just some of the important issues that the Rescue Village team had to address.

Training is all about communication and finding what motivates a dog. Equally important is repetition and consistency. After months of daily training sessions and plenty of exercise, Gambit showed signs of progress and knew how to sit, stay, wait and target. The next piece of the puzzle was finding Gambit a foster home to see if his training and new behaviors would continue with a foster home picking up his daily training and exercise regimen. The exciting news, it DID! A loving and attentive foster brought continued progress for sweet Gambit. And, just this weekend it was made official…Gambit found his forever home! His new owner is excited to have such a bright and loving dog as a companion. The training will continue in Gambit’s new home.

The Rescue Village team that worked tirelessly with him could not be more thrilled. Let’s just say when this happens, there are lots of high-fives and cheers. And now the awesome Rescue Village crew will focus on working with the next animals to help them find their forever homes. And that’s what it’s all about! What an awesome and gratifying effort. Thanks to our generous donors and supporters for making beautiful success stories like this possible.

To support Rescue Village’s animal care team, please click here.


Gambit with his new owner Taylor from Cleveland. Special thanks to Gambit’s foster, Kellie Chapman. It took a village…Rescue Village!

Woofstock Showcases What a More Humane Community Looks Like!

September 16th, 2019

Woofstock 2019 represented the best of Rescue Village’s mission: to act on behalf of animals to inspire a more humane community. The weather could not have been better to kick the day off…partly sunny with a cool breeze. People from near and far brought their well-behaved pups for a day of socializing, games and fun. For the humans, there were food trucks, live music and festival booths filled with tempting treats for people and dogs alike.

For the first time this year, we hosted Hoofstock and featured our adorable adoptable pigs to the delight of many. Here our barn program manager Adrianne Johnson talks with a local family about our adoptable pigs.


And as usual, the Canine Costume Contest was a huge hit and we were pleased to have esteemed local journalists as our panel of judges. The creativity was astounding!


We would like to thank our sponsors, our Board, our volunteers, the fundraising teams and our incredible employees for a wonderful Woofstock 2019 event. Pictured here are Sheila Simpson, Vice President Bruce Hartzmark, President Kathy Leavenworth and Steve Schneider.


Our fundraising teams have raised nearly $40,000 for Rescue Village’s animal care programs to date. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to donate today.  We are so grateful for the continued enthusiasm and compassion of our Rescue Village community!

Adopting a Dog and Making It Your Family

June 12th, 2019

Adopting a Dog and Making It Your Family


There’s no denying the joy and excitement induced by the idea of adopting a new furry friend. A pet will enrich your life in ways that no human can. The sense of fulfillment that you achieve from opening your home and heart to another creature is priceless.

In the flurry of enthusiasm around bringing a new pet home, we often forget that the pet is a living creature – not a toy or a houseplant.

You might have spent days or months convincing your family to adopt a dog, but did you really understand what an enormous commitment it is to be their guardian full-time?

Did you consider the amount of attention, energy, time, space, effort, and money you will need to invest in your new friend? Or, did you only think about the love that you would share with each other? If you thought this through – great! If not, you still have time.

Introducing a pet into your family and allowing both the family members and the pet to adjust to living with each other can be quite a challenging experience. The first few weeks are especially crucial, because this is the period when your dog might be scared and confused about its new surroundings.

If it’s a rescue dog, this period of adjustment is of paramount importance because the pet may well be hesitant about trusting its new guardians and the new environment. Your dog may be shy or lack confidence at first.

Bearing this in mind, you should set some ground-rules and structure, for both your family and your new dog so that the transition is smooth for all members of the household, including for the adopted pet.

Here are some basic things that you need to know before bringing a new dog into your life.

Responsible Ownership Starts Before Adoption

This is the single most important thing to do before you bring your furry friend home – think carefully about your current lifestyle. Take into account your schedule, future plans and commitments, and the values of your family and yourself.

Do you have the time or the scope to take care of another sentient being? A good understanding of all of these factors will allow you to choose the right kind of dog, and in the long run, will also enhance the compatibility between the pet, yourself, and your household.

We advise that you think about your own personality and living habits, then discuss your options with the adoption counselors at Rescue Village before you select a breed.

Each breed comes with its own unique characteristics. Knowing yourself well and understanding the nature of the breed or breed mix would facilitate the entire adoption process and allow you to create a good home for your new pet.

All in all, take the time to do research before and pick a dog that will complement your character and lifestyle. Please don’t make the mistake of choosing a dog only because you are attracted to its breed or the way it looks.

Would you pick your friends and family based on their external features? We’re sure you wouldn’t, so treat your new pet with the dignity that it rightfully deserves.

Turn Your Home into a Dog-Friendly One

Adopting a dog is akin to adopting a new member of the family, for life. Although your home might be a great living space for your family and yourself, is it a good space for a dog to thrive in?

Consider the floor space as well as the grounds in and around your house. Ensure that your landlord consents to you keeping a dog at home and that your family is open to the idea of cohabiting with another animal for its lifetime.

Consider the long-term changes that may occur in your life. Will you be moving home, will you be getting married and will your spouse be comfortable with sharing custody of your pet?

Whatever your living situation might be, pick a spot in your home where the dog will spend most of its time during the first few days with you. This is the time when your pet will be the most vulnerable and look for comfort in familiarity.

Think about where your dog will sleep, eat, go potty, and how you’d bathe it.

Make sure that you dog-proof your entire house, especially the room that is going to be its first habitat. Remove any chewable cords or electrical cables and tape them behind or above the cabinets, where the dog won’t be able to reach them.

De-clutter the floor space, store household chemicals and food away in locked shelves, remove flimsy houseplants and breakable knick-knacks, and if needed, use baby-gates.

Invest in the Right Products for Your New Family Member

Once you know the breed and the size of the dog you’re bringing home, buy a suitable dog-bed, which will keep your pet comfortable and cozy. Is it easy to wash?

Buy the essentials before bringing the pet home. A collar, leash, identity tag, food, some toys, dishes for food and water, and some grooming supplies like nail clippers, toothbrushes, combs, and cleaning products.

If you have a grueling schedule and want to take some stress off of managing the feeding time-table of your new pooch, invest in an automatic dog-feeder.

Once you’ve developed a routine with your dog, having an automatic feeder will ensure that it receives its sustenance on time every day.

Train Your Pooch Right and Have It Adhere to a Daily Routine

The key to rearing a happy dog is establishing clear boundaries and routines. Like humans, dogs respond to positive reinforcement rather than scolding or violence.

You should confer with the people in the shelter where you are adopting your pet from or previous owners regarding the training of your dog. Decide on a method before you bring the dog home and start setting rules and schedules from the moment the pooch enters its new abode.

This is crucial for having your dog behave and be house-trained.

Create a vocabulary list for you and your family to use when directing and training the dog. Schedule your dog’s feeds, toilet time, walks, and playtime in a manner that would allow you to stick to an identical routine every day. If that’s not possible, do the best you can.

Take your dog to the vet to have its physical and mental state assessed, and also vaccinate and de-bug the dog if required. Talk to your vet if you need added guidance regarding the food and exercise habits.


Remember, like any human family member, your new furry friend will also need an abundance of love, patience, compassion, and attention to help him or her flourish and make your family its own.

So, once you are ready to put in the effort and time, go ahead and adopt a furry friend that will love you for life. It’s totally worth the effort!

FIV Positive Cats

May 29th, 2019

The Truth About FIV Positive Cats

You may have seen the term “FIV” on an adoptable cat bio or on a cage card at Rescue Village. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) can sound scary. People equate it with HIV or AIDs in humans, but it poses NO danger to humans and shouldn’t stop
a responsible pet owner from considering adoption.

Here’s why:

  • FIV positive cats may not show symptoms until years after the initial infection occurred. It weakens the cat’s immune system which can make them susceptible to various secondary infections. However, infected cats kept in a stress-free, indoor environment can live relatively comfortable lives before the disease reaches its chronic stages.
  • FIV is passed from cat to cat mainly through deep bite wounds. This disease cannot be transmitted from cat to human or even to other cats unless there is an aggressive cat fight involving deep bites. While it

    is a personal choice as to whether or not an owner wants to introduce an FIV positive cat to an FIV negative cat, they are perfectly capable of cohabitating without spreading the disease.

  • While there is no antiviral treatment for FIV, cats can live with this virus a very long time before symptoms even appear. Veterinary treatment usually focuses on extending that asymptomatic period or, if symptoms have set in, easing the secondary effects of the virus.

Ludwig (pictured above), a 3-year-old handsome boy, came to Rescue Village FIV positive. Friendly to all, playful, and always sun bathing, he was recently adopted to wonderful owners who looked past this disease. We are so happy for Ludwig.

We currently have another FIV positive cat who is just like Ludwig except he hasn’t found his happy ending yet. Opie (pictured left) came to us as an owner surrender. He and his former owner had an extremely close bond and he followed her wherever she went.

Opie would like nothing more than to find another owner who can be his partner in crime. He’s very affectionate, sweet, playful, and quiet. You can learn more about him here.

Butter, Envy, and Gambit

May 21st, 2019

Dogs in our Adoption Rover Program are Still Waiting for Forever Homes


The Adoption Rover Program is a new and innovative foster to adoption program where fosters take adoptable adult dogs into their homes and help us find an adoptive family by promoting them to family and friends, on their social media sites, coming to the shelter for a few hours on weekends and during adoption events, and by attending our offsite adoption and pop-up events.

Currently, Rescue Village has three adult dogs in our Adoption Rover program that have been waiting for a very long time for a forever human. Learn more about each of these special dogs below.


Envy is our longest Adoption Rover and came to Rescue Village back in October of 2018. She was originally surrendered to us when her owner was unable to care for her anymore. She’s about 7-years-old and has a sweet smile that will melt your heart!

We have learned so much about Envy after placing her in a foster home! Envy does great with the other dogs in the home, but would prefer a home without cats or other small animals.

She is a cuddle bug and loves curling up next to her fosters on the couch or snuggling under the covers of a nice warm bed. Envy is a social and friendly girl who loves everyone she meets. She even does well with children! She’s calm, cool, and collected even when there is a lot going on around her and has done fantastic at some of our offsite adoption events.

If you are interested in scheduling a day and time to meet Envy at Rescue Village or wanting to learn more about her, please contact her foster parents directly. Their information can be found on Envy’s bio here.

Envy’s foster family has generously offered to pay her adoption fee to the family that adopts her.



Butter is a cute, energetic pup with the cutest ears! She originally came to us back in January as a transport from Mahoning County Dog Warden. Butter sat on the adoption floor for over a month but the shelter environment stressed her out and was just too much for her after a while. One of our rockstar fosters reached out and agreed to be an Adoption Rover for Butter.

Butter was a fan of her toys even at the shelter and would do just about anything for something squeaky. Her foster says that has only increased since she’s been in a home! She would play with her toys or chew on a kong all day long if it was up to her.

Butter would do best in a home without small children, cats, or other dogs. She likes to be the center of attention and thinks cats are just another toy for her to chase after. Her adoption fee has generously been sponsored and she would love to find a forever home soon! If you’re on Instagram, check out some behind the scenes snippets of Butter in her foster home.



This hound dog is ready to find his forever! Gambit was another dog who got very stressed in the shelter environment but is doing fantastic in his adoption rover home! He is an energetic 2-year-old with a goofy smile and floppy ears.

Gambit has tons of puppy energy and will need someone who is patient and willing to work with him on his training. He does great with other dogs and has a few doggy siblings in his foster home. He needs to go to a home without young kids or cats.

He’s ready to go on adventures and would make a great running or hiking partner! Interested in Gambit? Call Rescue Village to set up a time to meet him.


Want to be an adoption rover? Learn more and apply here. If you have questions about the program, please contact our Shelter Programs Coordinator at (440) 338-4819 x 14 or shelterprograms@rescuevillage.org.

If you are interested in any of these dogs, feel free to give us a call (440) 338-4819 x 43 or email our Dog Behavior Specialist at wzaslavsky@rescuevillage.org.

Woofstock 2019 – #GroovePlayFUNDRAISE!

March 21st, 2019

Let the party begin! Fundraise for #Woofstock2019!

Mark your calendars everyone! The biggest dog festival of the year will be Sunday, September 15, 2019 from 10 AM – 4 PM at the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field. But we need your help RIGHT NOW!

This year’s Woofstock event will be different than any other year before! Don’t worry, we’ll still have your favorite vendors, dog games, adoptable animals, family friendly activities, and the usual favorites of Woofstock but we’re also inviting you and your friends, family, and co-workers to start in on the fun right now! Become a part of the best village — Rescue Village — by joining together with your favorite animal lovers to start a fundraising team for Woofstock 2019!

Starting a Woofstock fundraising team is a great way to learn about the incredible work that we do, bond with your teammates, help support the animals of Rescue Village in a really impactful way, and of course, get some really cool prizes along the way. So, are you in?

Do you think you have what it takes to be a Very Important Pooch (V.I.P.)?

We’re excited to announce our first Very Important Pooch (V.I.P.) area at Woofstock 2019! This special area on event day will be exclusively for our most important people and pups who have shown their dedication for the homeless animals of Rescue Village. Only team captains, individuals who fundraise $1,000 or more, and teams who raise $5,000 or more will have access. The V.I.P. area will include special refreshments, an exclusive raffle for V.I.P.’s only, prizes for V.I.P.’s, a special t-shirt for each V.I.P., and so much more!

Plus: Prizes!

The top individual fundraiser this year will receive $500 in PetPeople gift cards.

The top fundraising team this year will receive a puppy party from Rescue Village. We will schedule a day to come out to a location of your choice with puppies for your entire team to play with!

There will also, of course, be premium items for individual fundraisers! We will be announcing these items very soon but they will be based on the following levels:

Level 1: $100-$249

Level 2: $250-$499

Level 3: $500-$999

Level 4: $1,000+

This year, Rescue Village hopes to raise $100,000 to help support the thousands of animals we rescue, rehabilitate and rehome every year and the tens of thousands more we help through our public programs and services. Rescue Village receives no government funding and we completely rely on the donations from our kind supporters. Learn what your donations will mean for animals in need by clicking here.

Ready to start fundraising? Head over to https://bit.ly/woofstock2019 to register as a fundraiser or create your fundraising team. We’ll be providing a ton of tips, tricks, and fun giveaways from now until Woofstock but feel free to read through our Woofstock Fundraising Tool Kit to get started!

Have questions about joining us for this fun, family and dog friendly event or about fundraising? Feel free to email our Events Coordinator at events@rescuevillage.org!

Thank you to US Storage Centers for their support of Rescue Village.

Zack and Zoey

February 4th, 2019

Zack and Zoey

Two senior cats looking for their forever home together!


Zack and Zoey are a bonded pair of senior cats who are looking for their forever home. These two sweet cats were surrendered to us when their owner could no longer care for them. They are both around 8-years-old and a little scared at first but once they warm up to you, they are very sweet and affectionate.

Seniors often need more care and TLC than other cats, which during kitten season can be hard to provide when there are so many cats coming and leaving through the doors. Many times they will be looked over for adoptions as they don’t always present well in a cage and require more experienced owners with quieter homes. Friendly, social kittens and young adults often find homes much quicker because they are at the front of the cage asking for attention.

Bonded senior cats (cats who have to go home with their siblings or housemates) have the hardest time finding forever homes. Being that they are seniors and there are two cats instead of one can be overwhelming for a lot of potential adopters. Most people think “double the cats, double the work”, which is not always true. Sure you may have to clean a litter box a little more often and there is a second mouth to feed, but in reality caring for two cats is generally as easy as caring for one. Also, one of the perks of having two instead of one is they usually end up depending on each other for comfort and play, which can make the transition into a home a lot easier on both them and their adopted family.

Shelters are a great temporary fix for a long term solution. We can provide all the enrichment and quiet comfort we want in a shelter, but the best place for a senior is in a warm, loving home cuddled with their family. If you have a calm or quiet home and a love for adult cats, please consider coming in and looking at one of our lovable seniors (or TWO like Zack and Zoey) and help them start their new chapter today!

Learn more about Zack and Zoey here: https://www.rescuevillage.org/adopt/adoptable-cats/



Cold Weather Care

January 29th, 2019

Cold Weather Safety Tips For Your Pets


Don’t forget to keep your furry friends warm and cozy this winter!  Here are a few helpful tips from Rescue Village to make sure the animals in your life stay safe and snuggly all through the winter months!

  • Bundle up! Create a cozy spot for them inside using bedding or blankets. Make sure it is away from drafty areas of your home. See if your pet will wear sweaters, coats, and/or booties when going outside! Not only will they be more comfortable, they will also look pretty adorable.
  • Puppy Pawdicures: If they have longer fur, you can reduce the amount of snow that collects between your pet’s toes by clipping the fur between toe pads. Also, be sure to rinse your pet’s paws with warm water and wipe them dry each time they come inside. Make sure wherever you are putting down salt, that it is the pet-safe kind.
  • Hey, More HAY! Make sure to have plenty of hay to eat and bedding for extra warmth for all of your barn critters! They will greatly appreciate a little extra lining in their stalls and in their bellies. Some of the adoptable pigs at Rescue Village really enjoy snuggling under big thick comforters and blankets that we place in their stalls.
  • Fresh never frozen: Make sure all of your animals have lots of fresh water (liquid not frozen) to drink, especially if they are outdoor animals. Use deeper containers and change the water frequently. If you are feeding an outdoor cat and can keep it from freezing, give it wet food. It is easier for them to digest so they can save more energy for keeping warm!
  • Pop your hood: Before starting your car, give the hood a tap and check between the tires. Believe it or not, cats will sometimes crawl into the engine or hide underneath the car for warmth.
  • Don’t forget the neighborhood stray! Stray cats need extra winter warmth too! Make a homemade cozy cat shelter by cutting a hole in a plastic container and a hole in a foam cooler, lining them with lots of hay for insulation, placing the cooler inside of the container and covering the container with its lid (See more detailed instructions here). While you’re at it don’t forget to check the stray cat for an ear tip and bring it into Rescue Village on a TNR day if it doesn’t have one!
  • When in doubt, keep them inside. Whenever possible, if the temperatures drop, keep your pets inside as much as possible. Quick poddy breaks if they have to go outside and then right back into the warmth! If you have an indoor/outdoor kitty, make sure to get them back inside until the temperatures go back up again. Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for them!

If you see an animal outside with no access to shelter at a time when you think it might be unsafe for them, please do not hesitate to contact our Humane Agent and report the situation. Stay safe and warm everyone!

Humane Law Enforcement

January 18th, 2019

Humane Law Enforcement Quick Facts


Rescue Village is a leading animal welfare organization in Northeast Ohio. The Rescue Village Team (including the Board of Trustees, donors, volunteers and staff) helps animals who need to be rescued, rehabilitated, and rehomed. We provide proper medical care, food and a loving home at Rescue Village until a forever home is found. Humans and animals have lived together as companions throughout history. Most of the time, this relationship is mutually respectful and rewarding but, unfortunately, not everyone properly cares for their animals. Here is what Rescue Village does to help animals who may be suffering gravely from cruelty or neglect from a human.


Humane Law Enforcement

  • A vital part of Rescue Village’s mission is to investigate reported cases of animal cruelty, abuse and neglect. These reports are made by other caring members of our community.
  • Governed by the laws of the State of Ohio, Rescue Village is the designated agency in Geauga County responsible to look into every report of alleged animal abuse and to enforce Ohio Humane Law Statutes. Rescue Village does not receive government funding for this service and, thanks to the generosity of our donors and volunteers, has saved Geauga County more than $2 million in the last decade.
  • To fulfill this part of its mission, Rescue Village has a Humane Law Enforcement Department led by Chief Humane Agent Christian Courtwright. Christian and his small team of agents are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week and work 365 days a year. They are some of the most dedicated, reliable and caring people in our community.

The Humane Agent

  • A humane agent is a first responder for domestic animals and, as such, receives intensive government-based training, is certified by the State of Ohio and the appointment of the humane agent is approved by the Geauga County Probate Court. Training classes include ethics and professionalism, legal issues, investigations, animal husbandry, animal health and wellness and report writing.
  • About 75% of a humane agent’s job is responding to reports of animal cruelty and neglect. The agent enforces State of Ohio animal cruelty laws and, when necessary, assists in prosecution of offenders. The Agent honors due process law and follows careful legal steps when it is necessary to safely remove an animal (or animals) from a home.
  • Equally important, an agent spends the other half of his or her time educating people about the humane treatment and care of animals and offering practical assistance. When needed and/or mandated by state law, the agent also involves social services to assist the owners.

The Humane Agent’s Process for Investigating a Reported Case of Animal Abuse

  • When Rescue Village receives a complaint from a member of the Geauga County community via our emergency line 440-338-4819 41 or the online form at rescuevillage.org,  it is assigned to one of our humane agents.
  • Within 24 hours, an agent attempts to contact the resident on their property, either in the yard or by knocking on an entry door.
  • If the agent is unable to make initial contact, he or she will leave a note letting the resident know that they stopped by with a number to call for follow-up.
  • If the resident is on property, the agent introduces him or herself, explains the service they provide to the community, briefly explains the complaint and states that they need to check on the animal(s).
  • The agent assesses the animal’s condition, fills out a report and may take pictures. If necessary, an agent can obtain a search warrant from a magistrate or judge.
  • If it is determined that an animal’s life is in danger, the agent may safely remove the animal(s) from the property to receive emergency care at Rescue Village.
  • If the investigation and evidence show violations of the law, extreme cruelty and neglect, failure to communicate and cooperate, the Agent, in consultation with humane society leadership and a prosecutor, may choose to bring charges against the owner(s).

The Humane Agent’s Work Informing the Public about Humane Treatment and Care of Animals

  • Through Rescue Village’s educational programs, we are a source of expert information and support, as well as a driving force behind creating a more humane world, for animals in Geauga County.
  • Our Humane Education Department provides a variety of programs and events for community members. We host tours of Rescue Village, visits from schools, are guest speakers at community group meetings and have information tables at community events. We invite you to learn more and take advantage of these opportunities and more by visiting rescuevillage.org. 

To Report a Suspected Case of Animal Abuse and Neglect:

Animals cannot speak for themselves. They rely on human beings who care about their well-being. Together, we can create a more humane world one human, one animal at a time.

Humane Law Enforcement

Good News for People and Their Animals in Ohio

January 9th, 2019

Note: Our Executive Director, Hope Brustein, sits on the Board of Directors of the new Ohio Animal Welfare Federation. 


Tootsie & Marley

January 7th, 2019


One home needed for two sweet dogs


What could be better than rescuing one dog in need of a forever home? How about rescuing TWO! Tootsie and Marley came in together as owner surrenders back in October. This bonded pair is hoping to find their forever home together soon. They’ve lived their whole lives together and really bring out the best in each other. When they were at their foster home together before they were available for adoption, neither had an accident in the house and they were inseparable! Each dog has a very different personality but together, they compliment each other so well.

Tootsie is the older of the two. She is a 10-year-old Shar-pei mix with a sweet wrinkled forehead and a calm personality. She’s a bit shy at first but once she warms up she is very easy going and would be a great companion. She’s polite, gentle, and easy to walk on a leash. Even though her muzzle is a little grey, she loves being outside and enjoys nice long walks with our volunteers.

Marley is 6-years-old and a bit more high energy than her sister Tootsie. She’s also a bit more anxious in new situations than Tootsie is but seems to be calmer if her sister is at her side. Marley LOVES chasing tennis balls and just the sight of one has her tail wagging and little Marley jumping up and down with excitement. Because new situations frighten them both a bit, Marley and Tootsie would do best in a home with no young children and an owner who is patient with them as they settle into their new environment.

Interested in adopting Tootsie and Marley as a bonded pair? Stop by Rescue Village during our open hours and ask to meet them!



Ohio Animal Action Alert!

December 4th, 2018

Ohio Animal Action Alert!


A bill, House Bill 552, which passed the Ohio House in June would ban gas chamber euthanasia for companion animals in shelters. 

The bill is currently in the Ohio Senate and has received a first hearing in the Senate Agriculture Committee. The bill must pass 

successfully out of this committee and then be voted on by the full Senate and signed by the Governor by the end of this year in order to become law.
We have our work cut out for us but if we all pull together we can make it happen! Here’s where you are needed:


Stop Gas Chamber Euthanasia

1) Use this easy online form to send an email message to your Ohio state Senator asking her/him to support HB 552.

2) When you are done sending your email, please make sure to also call their office and leave a message. Not sure who to call? Use this link to find your Ohio Senator.

Every action taken can make a difference.

Fix It In The Farmland

November 15th, 2018

Do you know?

Veterinarians with dogs

Rescue Village offers the only low-cost spay neuter program to an Amish community in the United States. Right here in Geauga County, Fix It In The Farmland has spayed or neutered 2,492 dogs and cats since 2011. This is a very significant number considering we service a rural area.

Over time we have built friendships and trust. Our clients have learned that while the program is low-cost it is definitely high-quality. They have experienced that their love and concern for their pets is match by Rescue Village and the staff of Petfix which provides the surgeries themselves.

For more information, contact the Fix It Coordinator, Joan Lax at 440.338.4819 x 21


Wrapping Our Arms Around Greyhounds

November 7th, 2018

Wrapping Our Arms Around Greyhounds – Florida’s Brand New Law

On November 6th, 2018 Florida voters wrapped their arms around greyhounds on election night. Voters overwhelmingly supported an amendment that bans commercial dog racing. Amendment 13 won approval from roughly 5.4 million Floridians with a 69% to 31% victory.

The Committee to Protect Dogs, which lobbied for the racing ban, called the vote “a knock-out blow to a cruel industry that has been hurting and killing dogs for nearly a century.” Florida is the site of 13 of the nation’s 17 dog tracks. Amendment 13’s implementation means that the industry will basically be wiped out by the end of 2021.

The “sport” of dog racing has been rife with drugging of dogs, abuse, and the abandonment of thousands of greyhounds. Dogs were often kept in cages for 23 hours a day and lived in deplorable conditions. Greyhound rescues exist around the country to address the need for rescuing and rehoming these animals.

Yes, greyhound racing is big business and opponents of the amendment argued that ending commercial dog racing would cost the state tens of millions in money from gambling. As commercial racing ends there will be thousands of dogs that need homes. So far, all parties concerned have promised to help the dogs get happy endings. There will be challenges. But, wonderfully, doing the right thing by the dogs won the hearts, minds, and votes of millions of Floridians.

Outdoor Cat Shelters

November 6th, 2018

Affordable Winter Shelter for Stray/Outdoor Cats


Easy to build with affordable materials and easy to clean and maintain!


Materials Needed:

– A large Rubbermaid storage bin w/lid

– An 8’ x 2’ sheet of one-inch thick, hard Styrofoam

– A yardstick

– An ink marker (such as a Sharpie) -A box cutter or utility knife

– Straw, shredded newspaper or other insulating material

– Catnip



Assemble as follows:

1. Cut a doorway 6” x 6” in one of the long sides of the storage bin towards the corner. Cut the opening so the bottom is several inches above the bottom of the bin to prevent flooding in the bin.

2. Using the yardstick and box cutter to measure and cut out the piece, line the floor of the bin with a piece of Styrofoam.

3. When proceeding to cut the side pieces of Styrofoam, remember, those finished side pieces should not go up to the top of the bin. Cut each of the 4 interior wall pieces to stop at least 3” from the upper edge of the bin. This will allow room for an interior Styrofoam ‘roof’ to fit on top of the side pieces.

4. Cut the doorway in the Styrofoam where it is lined up with the doorway you cut earlier in the bin. Trace the outline of the door on the Styrofoam before cutting.

5. Stuff the bottom of the bin with straw, shredded paper or your choice of insulating material for bedding and to hold the Styrofoam interior wall pieces in place.

6. Cut the Styrofoam ‘roof’ to rest on top of the interior Styrofoam wall pieces.

7. Sprinkle catnip inside to entice your tenant!

8. Cover the bin with its lid! COZY kitty cats!


The Tide is Turning – Towards Adoption

October 28th, 2018

The Tide is Turning – Towards Adoption

In 2007 only 14% of pets were adopted from shelters or rescues.

In 2017-2018, 44% of dogs and 47% of cats were adopted from shelters or rescues. 

These figures were gathered by Shelter Animals Count and represent a tremendous change in awareness about the need to save homeless animals and the joy of rehoming animals.

The growth in adoption is also part of dramatically lowering the euthanasia of friendly and healthy animals in US shelters. Just imagine the millions of happy ending stories that surround these statistics. WOW!

The animals are our heroes AND SO ARE THE ADOPTERS!!

Letter From Our Executive Director

October 23rd, 2018

Welcome to www.rescuevillage.org!


If you’ve made it to our new blog, Village Voices, then you’re already starting to experience our brand new website www.rescuevillage.org. Welcome to our humane community of friends as we blog about all things animal welfare and pets. Here you will find tips for you and your pets; stay up-to-date about advocacy and what’s happening at the Ohio statehouse and nationally; read Rescue Village in the news; hear heart-warming success stories about life-saving and insights with plenty of humor and warmth. 

The new website will give “live” profiles of animals available for adoption. Forms will now be available for filling out and submitting online. Fetching information and learning about all of Rescue Village’s programs and services will be so much easier. And, beyond being oh so purrty, the new site will make it easier to volunteer, make donations, and find our events. 

Sign up to be on our “E-mail list” and be sure to come back often! We believe that “the best shelter is a humane community.” We invite you to interact, leave comments, ask questions, and support the cause!



Hope Brustein, Executive Director, CAWA

Ohio’s New Puppy Mill Legislation Upgrades Standards of Care

October 23rd, 2018

We at Rescue Village believe that puppy mills should be banned altogether. However, Ohio’s new puppy mill law, which was enacted last month, upgrades standards of care for dogs kept in breeding kennels that churn out large numbers of puppies, also called puppy mills.


“Commercial breeders in Ohio can no longer cram dogs into cages that are stacked on top of each other and deprive animals of basic necessities, like space to move, exercise and access to veterinary care. Under the new law, each dog must be given daily exercise that allows the animal to extend to full stride, play and engage in other types of mentally stimulating and social behaviors, receive an annual veterinary exam, and be housed with other dogs in temperature-regulated kennels, among other reforms. The law also mandates that only healthy dogs can be bred, and limits the number of times a female dog can be bred. It requires retailers selling puppies in Ohio to acquire animals solely from breeders who meet these standards, regardless of what state they are in…”

Humane Society of the United States


We encourage you to throw your support to the ongoing efforts to ban puppy mills in Ohio.

What you can do:

  1. Adopt your next pet
  2. Don’t buy a puppy online or from a pet store unless they offer rescued animals
  3. Take action against pet stores that sell dogs supplied by puppy mills
  4. Support legislation that regulates and reduces breeding of animals
  5. Become an expert on the subject
  6. Know the existing laws.

Click here to learn more.

Cold Weather Safety Tips

October 19th, 2018

As the temperatures drop in Northeast Ohio, be sure to keep your pet safe and warm! Check out some of these helpful tips for the winter. Exposure to winter’s colder temperatures, dry air, and snowy weather can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin. To help prevent these cold weather dangers, please read the following tips:

  • Keep the air from getting when they are inside. Make sure to keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he or she comes inside. This will help to prevent itchy, flakey skin as the air outside becomes dry in the winter. Also, pay special attention to feet and in between their toes and make sure to remove any snow balls from in between the toes.
  • Keep them warm! Never shave your dog’s (or cat’s) fur in the winter. Longer coats provide more warmth. If your dog is long-haired, you can trim the fur to prevent clinging ice balls. Make sure to trim the hair between their toes too! For dogs with shorter hair, consider getting him or her a coat or a sweater for more warmth when they are outside.
  • Bathe your pets as little as possible during the winter. Washing too often can remove the essential oils and increase the chances of dry, flaky skin. If they absolutely need to be bathed, find a moisturizing shampoo or rinse.
  • Keep their paws from cracking. Massaging petroleum jelly or other paw protectants into the paw pads before going outside can help prevent from salt and chemical agents. Booties provide even more coverage and can also prevent salt and chemicals from getting stuck in between their toes and causing irritation. Use pet-friendly ice melts on your own property whenever possible.
  • Keep chemicals where they can’t get to them. Antifreeze is a lethal poison for both dogs and cats. Thoroughly clean any spills from your vehicle.
  • Feed them more. Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in the wintertime. Feeding them a bit more during cold weather months can provide the extra calories they need.
  • Provide shelter! Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep. If you have an outdoor cat, consider making or buying them a special shelter. Inside pets should have a warm place to sleep off of the floor and away from drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed is a great option!
  • If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet! Keep them inside. If left outdoors for too long, pets can freeze, become disoriented, injured, or even killed. Don’t leave cars alone in a car during winter months either! They can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and can even cause animals to freeze to death.

All You Have to Be is Humane.

October 16th, 2018

All You Have to Be is Humane.


The RV barn program, headquartered at Billie’s Barn (named after major funder Billie Howland Steffee), has saved 65 horses since 2005 when the barn was built. While we provide education and assistance to owners, our court certified humane agent has the authority, with a court issued warrant, to take animals into our protective custody if laws have been broken and, without intervention, they are acutely suffering or in danger of dying.

This is difficult work. It is not a given that a starving horse, for example, can be saved. But Rescue Village is willing to spend thousands of dollars (that will never be made up by adoption fees) on their care, rehabilitation, and rehoming. We are required to enforce the law and we believe all animals deserve our moral concern.

Rockette at intake

Geauga County is a center for the horse industry in Ohio. It is not surprising that, while most horse owners take decent care of their equines, there are a few owners who allow their horses to dangerously decline in health and well-being. Rescue Village works closely with qualified veterinarians to make medical evaluations. In fact, we encourage owners who are unable to properly care for their horses to contact Rescue Village for assistance before the situation becomes critical.

The myth that humane societies, like Rescue Village, save horses in order to sell them at a profit could not be farther from the truth. Rescue Village picks up the entire cost of humane law enforcement in Geauga County – we receive no government funding. We enforce the laws pertaining to dogs, cats, horses, and farm animals. The barn program exists to carry out this responsibility. You can imagine the heartbreak when a normally 1,100 pound horse comes to us weighing 800 pounds.

It takes months to successfully bring an abused or neglected horse back to health and even more time to rehabilitate and rehome them. Community members who donate to or volunteer with the barn

program get tremendous satisfaction helping to bring dignity, better health, and safety to these animals. This, not financial gain, is the reward. Watching a horse regain his/her health, “brightness,” spirit, trust, playfulness, and movement is worth every dollar we spend. The cost of the RV barn program is approximately $120,000 annually. In 2017, we received $2,500 in adoption fees for all barn animals.

The RV barn program is a friend to the people, horses, and farm animals of Geauga County. This service continues with the support of the community. Ending cruelty and neglect – it is the law AND it is the right thing to do! We (and, most importantly, they) thank you. ■

Rockette after months of care at Rescue Village