Once upon a time, there were two girls that had a dream of starting a dog rescue. The problem was, both girls felt unsure about where to begin and felt overwhelmed by the thought of taking something like that on by themselves.
While the girls lived their separate lives (they had never met or even heard the others ones name), there was a dog, named Sam, that was spending his 3rd year in a row living his life in a mud pit, with no shelter, connected to a heavy chain. Sam’s “owner” decided Sam wasn’t worth keeping around so he posted Sam for sale on facebook.
As fate would have it, both the girls, one named “Donna” and the other “Brooke,” would see the post about Sam. They both felt drawn to this poor dog as the sadness and desperation in his eyes begged for help. Both girls commented on the post about Sam, which led these two complete strangers to begin communicating about how to save Sam.
The girls struggled to devise a solid plan in regards to Sam, but they knew they were running out of time. They agreed to meet and go get Sam off that chain. They would figure out the rest later.
And so on that fateful day about two and a half years ago, Donna, Brooke and Sam came together….all three of their lives were about to change in an amazing way.
Sam quickly learned how to love and be loved, ultimately leading him to be adopted by the most amazing family ever, The Abshers. Sam is living the good life, being spoiled by his parents and his human brother. His days are spent snuggled up with his two fur siblings, while his evenings are spent playing and being loved on by his family.
As for Donna and Brooke, it didn’t take long for them to realize that their dreams were the same. It was over those dreams, they bonded and became the very best of friends. Ironically, other than being passionate about rescue work, they couldn’t be more different individuals. In many ways, they were night and day. Nevertheless, they grew closer and closer.
Donna and Brooke began the long journey of making their shared dream a reality. They set out to explore their options and to begin learning all they could about the world of rescue. They volunteered with several different rescues, taking note of procedure and policies they liked and those they didn’t. They developed a relationship with the local animal control and built a relationship with a brilliant and caring local vet. They started forming friendships with others that shared their passion. And almost by accident, they started calling themselves “Wilkes Rescue Group” (it was only meant to be a temporary name while they decided on their official name, but in that process, Wilkes Rescue Group stuck and so it felt that it was best to just leave it alone).
Once the group was officially underway, the girls soon realized it was too much for just the two of them to handle. Several folks stepped up to help in one capacity or another, but two ladies in particular devoted themselves to the rescue and have continued to make it a priority in their very busy lives. Those two girls are named Jane and Julie.
It became clear that these four girls united would be unstoppable. They became fiercely dedicated to seeing Wilkes Rescue Group succeed, and more importantly, they were devoted to the many dogs in Wilkes county that needed someone to be their voice.
After a chance meeting with an incredible attorney (who insists on being anonymous), the actual process of becoming a licensed non profit was underway. The girls had no clue what a long road was ahead or all the legalities that becoming a non profit entailed. Nevertheless, they persevered, and was very blessed to be able to work underneath another wonderful rescue, Partners Canines, while they patiently waited for the green light to take off on their own.
Through many tears, disagreements, joyful moments, devastation, sleepless nights, meeting after meeting, laughter, stressful events, blessings, heart break, lunches, brunches and dinners, and everything in between, many many dogs were saved and many lessons were learned….all why waiting for our attorney to do his thing…..and do his thing he did….
We were very recently notified that we have received our articles of incorporation from the state of North Carolina, recognizing us as a non profit. A few days later, we received our state tax ID number, allowing donations we receive to be tax deductible. What once was a dream is now a reality. We have been anxiously awaiting our federal recognition as a licensed 501c3, and are pleased to announce that we are now a registered non profit organization! What a mighty God we serve! He was with us every step of the way!
We wish we could say that the hard work is behind us, but that would be a lie. We have put together our board of directors and are brainstorming fundraising ideas. Donna and Jane are looking into a variety of federal grants (how blessed are we to have, not one but TWO professional grant writers!!). We are reaching out to local businesses about setting up adoption fairs and are recruiting more fosters every chance we get (while ALWAYS sticking by our very high foster standards). Needless to say, much has been done, but there is still so much more to do.
For now, we will seek “sponsors” for each dog we rescue until we are more financially stable. We are in the process of trying to build up our supplies and have already been incredibly blessed. We expect that there will be many growing pains along the way, but ultimately they will only make us stronger. More than anything though, YOU, our supporters, are what makes us the strongest. Without you, we are nothing.
To all our fosters, thank you….you are the heart of this rescue. To our financial supporters, this absolutely would not be happening without you…whether you have donated money or supplies, we thank you. To all those that have shared our page or invited your friends to “like” our page, thank you too. The more followers we have, the more dogs we save. To our attorney, you sir are a class act and we are so thankful to have you in our corner. To our absolutely brilliant and beautiful veterinarian, Dr Royal, we are only here because of your support. Your generous spirit and big heart set you apart from so many others in your field. And to your amazing staff at Wilkes Veterinary Hospital, thank you! To our employers…well, thank you for not firing us yet! Your patience with us as we continually are distracted by rescue work, does not go unnoticed! Last but not least, thank you to our families who sacrafice a great deal while we devote so much of our time to the rescue.
Stay tuned friends…the best is yet to come❤
With Great Love & Gratitude,
Donna & Brooke (and, of course, Sam)