By Emily Allgair
Since before 2018, Kaitlin Neal and her family have been saving pets and growing the foster-based nonprofit organization Rise Above Animal Sanctuary and Rescue in Millersville. What started as a single foster family has expanded into around 50 willing foster homes.
Neal and her associates have been planning to expand the organization and potentially open an adoption center in Pasadena to foster animals until they become healthy and available for adoption.
As a 501(c)(3) organization, Rise Above Animal Sanctuary and Rescue takes in animals that are strays, owner-surrenders, and those that have faced overcrowding in other shelters. Although the organization takes in more cats than other animals, they are not limited to felines. Neal estimates that only between 15 and 20 dogs are fostered each year whereas the organization helps 800 to 900 cats each year.
“We get them fully vetted if they have injuries or if they need surgeries, dentals, etc., and we find them homes once they’re healthy,” Neal said.
Still planning on utilizing its foster homes, Rise Above Animal Sanctuary and Rescue will continue to vet any animal that comes in before it is available for adoption.
In opening the new location, Rise Above Animal Sanctuary and Rescue looks forward to gaining more space and, therefore, more opportunities to save more animals.
“It will be an actual brick and mortar building where we have cats that people will come and visit and hang out with,” Neal said. “I feel like it will give them time to get to know the cat before they actually adopt them,” she added.
Not only will the adoption center benefit the animals, but Rise Above Animal Sanctuary and Rescue plans on hosting event nights, including paint nights, trick trainings, and educational speakers to make sure that the pets are happy in their forever homes.
One of Rise Above Animal Sanctuary and Rescue’s favorite success stories is that of Kiki, a rescue kitten with hydrocephalus that was 5 weeks old and a few ounces when they got her. Doctors said that Kiki probably would not make it past one year, but more than a year later, Kiki has been enjoying her life as the organization’s own cat mascot.
To make these plans a reality, Rise Above Animal Sanctuary and Rescue will need help from the community. Aside from the board of directors, Rise Above Animal Sanctuary and Rescue is fully staffed by volunteers and is currently looking to bring more into the organization.
Being a nonprofit, Rise Above Animal Sanctuary and Rescue is run completely off of donations – both funds and items. To increase both of these donations, there is an itemized wish list, as well as opportunities for business sponsorships in partnership with Rise Above Animal Sanctuary and Rescue’s new location and advertising.
Relating to business and volunteer opportunities, as well as donations, any questions, requests, and inquiries can be gathered by emailing [email protected]