How did your organization get started?
We started in April, 2005. We volunteered for several shelters and other rescue groups and decided that we wanted control over who adopted the dogs. It’s been a rough road as we are small and rely on volunteers. Raising money and finding fosters is the hardest part of rescuing. If we don’t have one or the other or both, we can’t save anyone.
What is your mission?
Mission statement: Rainbow Animal Rescue, Inc. is a non-profit, all volunteer organization, established to rescue and place unwanted animals in qualified, loving homes. Through education, we seek to create an animal-friendly community in the Tidewater area.
How do most of your animals find their way to you?
We take most of them from the various animal control shelters in the Hampton Roads area. Some of them are owner surrenders.
What happens to the animals once they are in your care?
They are taken to one of our vets and given the appropriate vaccinations and examinations. If there are any health concerns we address those. They are also microchipped and spayed/neutered if not already.
Tell us about a particularly compelling animal or inspiring rescue.
In February, 2007, we took a seven-year-old blind lab out of animal control. She was malnourished and had heartworm. We had her treated for the heartworm since it was advanced case. We put her on high-quality food to put some weight on.
In August, 2007, we had her eyes evaluated by an animal opthomologist. He diagnosed her with juvenile cataracts. The retina in the right eye was totally detached meaning that she was permanently blind in that eye. She couldn’t see out of the left eye but the retina wasn’t detached and he said there was a small chance that he may be able to restore some vision.
We collected enough money to have the surgery in that eye. It restored some vision. She could see shadows and forms at approximately three feet. The problem after that was to find a home for her. She didn’t like other animals in her face so she had to go to a home with no other animals. It took 22 months, but we found her the perfect home. The couple who adopted her in November, 2008, wanted a blind dog because they had two ducks who couldn’t fly. They have property in the country and fenced in one pasture with a pond for her. She loves to run and swim. She is truly a happy girl.