By: Kristen Hegel
After moving to York County from New York, Janet Richardson worked for multiple animal agencies until she decided to start a non-profit animal rescue in May of 2003. Today, Richardson Rescue has evolved into one of the biggest animal rescues in York County.
“Basically, Richardson Rescue is a non-profit rescue, dedicated to spaying and neutering, animal cruelty prevention, rescue and education. We work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the dogs always have to be taken care of. It’s not the kind of thing where you can punch out at five,” Richardson said. Richardson Rescue offers adoptions and has a low cost spay and neuter program. They are also involved with the Committee for Responsible Pet ownership whose goals are to improve animal rights laws, code enforcement, licensing and animal control procedures.
When asked why people should adopt, Richardson replied, “When you adopt from a reputable rescue, meds are done, that’s something you don’t have to be concerned with. Many of these dogs just need love. When a dog comes here, they’re either headed to the pound, abused, thrown on the side of the road or owners had to release them. The benefits of adopting from Richardson Rescue are the high quality of care, and for every dog that gets adopted, we are able to take another in.” If adopting is not for you, the rescue still needs volunteers to help manage and take care of the 100 plus animals they have, which includes cats and dogs. According to Richardson, volunteers will spend hours with one dog which is important for socialization. Volunteers usually walk, brush, feed and clean the animals. “If we didn’t have volunteers, these dogs wouldn’t be able to survive on just us alone. The more volunteers, the better results you get,” Ashley Guy, a kennel and office assistant, stated.
Richardson Rescue recently took in 23 poodles that were abused in a puppy mill. The rescued dogs have put pressure on the rescue, “It does put stress on the rescue itself as far as keeping everybody clean,” Richardson said. In order for the dogs to be adopted, they need their dental care, grooming, heartworm testing, to be spayed or neutered, heartworm and flea prevention, and parvo tests. Fortunately, Palmetto Veterinary and Surgery will take care of each of the dogs’ needs at the small price of $210 per dog. The rescue is asking the public for donations in order to pay the bills and sponsors for the dogs. “We have an electric bill; we have a phone bill, and a transport van,” Richardson explained. “Donations don’t need to be monetary, but monetary donations are tax deductible. We need bleach, paper towels, cleaners and canned foods.”
“Dogs are like people, they want the same love and affection,” Guy said. If you are interested in helping Richardson Rescue, whether adopting, volunteering or donating, visit their website at richardsonrescue.org for more information.