Registered Charity established in 2002 and helping animals in South Yorkshire – “Helping pets in crisis situations, primarily dogs at risk of being needlessly destroyed in stray & lost kennels, plus cats and kittens abandoned on the street”.
Rain Rescue was founded by Jacquie Neilson after she saw some lost and stray dogs in a Huddersfield council dog pound. Jacquie was horrified at the conditions these dogs had been kept in – and ultimately put to sleep from. A few had been saved by a lady and they had arrived at a local rescue centre where Jacquie volunteered. Once she realised that these dogs – who had done no wrong other than be in the wrong place at the wrong time were treated so terribly and then ultimately put to sleep – she decided to do something about it.
Over the next few years, Jacquie set up a voluntary group, dragging along some of her friends, whilst she passionately tried to make things better for the dogs in these pounds. When asked why she worked tirelessly to help them she said “Once you’ve felt the heartbreak of seeing dogs in some of these pounds – knowing you can only save a few of them never leaves you. Its with you every morning and every night as you go to sleep. To know that there are nice normal family pets – that just a few days ago had probably been sleeping on some old persons’ bed before they died or went into a residential home, or before a family had been evicted from their home, before they got out of a garden gate and ran away were now living in squalor, in kennels with no heating, sometimes with no bedding, on the cheapest food in the wettest conditions sitting waiting, hoping someone will come and take them back into a home – is something that never leaves me”
Not all pounds are as bad as the ones seen in Yorkshire. Some are decent, but the sad fact is that there are more dogs being bred than there are good homes for. Ultimately, the wastage at the end of the breeding line ends up on the streets, picked up as rubbish and nobody knows its there.
Jacquie founded Rain Rescue in 2002 and formed a registered Charity in 2006. During the last few years she and her husband Steve have saved the lives of thousands of dogs and cats. Forever short of money, with more animals to help than there are funds or people to help them, they still carry on. During 2010 having met Maggie Skinner, Rain Rescue now helps more cats and kittens from the local community – those that have literally been dumped on the streets that nobody wants. Maggie works tirelessly to help us raise funds and save the lives of these abandoned pets too.
During 2010, Sue (fondly known as Mrs Nix, the people person) has come on board with a nice friendly smile and a chat for everyone, Sue and her little sponsor dog Missy go out on the streets with collecting tin in hand and spread the word about the needless destruction and the work of the lovely volunteers at Rain Rescue. Sue has raised thousands of pounds during the last few years and her dedication and smile are endless.
Steve is our Dog Carer and cares for all the dogs that come into our care. Every dog receives at least a 1 mile walk every single day (as long as its fit and healthy) - some go on the mammoth walks with him, and can be gone for up to 3 hours. Although dogs may come into our care not getting on with other dogs – within a few days, they will be out walking together, and over the coming weeks - will be mixing and playing with other dogs. Its magic to see. Steve works tirelessly in all weathers from early mornings to late at night – every single day of the week and month of the year – to ensure the dogs are loved, fed and warm – and on their way to a new home.
Lisa and Clive, are two other dedicated volunteers who have helped Rain Rescue for many years with fostering and fundraising. Over the last few years, Clive has taken on board ‘THE CAR BOOTING’ for raising funds. In all weathers, and at all times of the day – Clive can be seen collecting everything and anything to help to keep raising more funds for us and usually has one of the Rain Rescue foster dogs in his van whilst on his merry way.
Rain Rescue prides itself in being a true community group. There are some lovely volunteers that are part of us, who lend a hand when they can – every little bit of work that anyone ever does – is always appreciated and welcomed. It continues to grow from strength to strength and welcome new and committed help from the community.
During 2011, Vickie has now come on board, and raised our profile – promoting and publicising the rescue in such a professional way. Our posters are fabulous and we look a really professional team - who would think how small we really are. Huge thanks for all the work that you put in Vickie for trying to help us.
We have to put in a HUGE thank you to Liam – our website guru. After years of struggle over getting a stable and supported website, becoming so depressed at not being able to showcase our dogs – Liam quietly and confidently created us this wonderful website. After adopting a dog from Rain Rescue, Liam has asked for no praise, he somehow manages to sort out all our questions and get the site to do what it should. Bring in donations and rehome our pets. Thank you Liam
During the last few months, we now have acquired our last 2 dedicated volunteers Becky and Claire – Claire has taken on managing the database and details of the dogs whilst Claire is owning updating the website. Gradually sharing the workload so that we can help to save more lives. We are a friendly team and always welcome along dedicated, reliable and responsible volunteers and thank everyone for all the help that they give to the rescue – to help us survive!
The usual pattern here at the rescue is that we go to local dog pounds where the pounds ask us to help them because they are full. When at the pound, we have to look at all the dogs that are over-due – those that
have been in the pound longer than their 7 day legal stay. Then they are free to be either euthanised, rehomed or let go to another centre. The pound we work with try not to have to put anything to sleep but when they are full and there are no more kennels for the next dumped dog, they have no choice, this is what we find heartbreaking.
However, we too only have enough kennels and enough resources to cope with just so many dogs. We used to care for between 5 and 10 dogs at a time, recently its more like 10 – 15 dogs. Some will be in local kennels and some will be with foster homes. ALL need veterinary assessment and usually treatment. ALL need to be vaccinated, microchipped, flead and wormed and the vet trips to get them checked over and neutered (if safe to do so), but most of all – all need to be assessed behaviourally. Here at the rescue we take each dog as we see it when it comes in, and through regular walks because each dog gets at least 1 mile walking – usually along with 3 or 4 more dogs, every day.
Once we feel the dogs are well enough, then we look for suitable homes for them. However, we want these dogs to go into the right homes. Very few of our dogs get returned due to the time and care that we put into each and every rehoming. We are there to always help our new owners as they settle their dogs in – however, once the dog has been adopted – it is the new owners total responsibility to get it insured, vet treatment and behavioural work with any problems that they may encounter. We can always offer advise and will always try to but we aren’t behaviourists and for that new owners must seek professional help.
For the cats that we take in – they are usually dumped and quite often pregnant. These are kept in local catteries or more often in our foster homes. Here again, they receive veterinary care and assessment before they are rehomed to very carefully selected new homes where we hope that they will be looked after and cared for for the rest of their days. Recently we have started to work with the Sheffield Cats Shelter because Rain doesn’t have any suitable places to care for the cats and ultimately rehome them from. The Cat Shelter is a brilliantly local charity and we hope we can manage to save more cats lives by working together. Magsie is just marvelous at this and is constantly networking to rehome these poor lost souls.
If you have enjoyed reading About Us – please consider helping us. We are desperately in need of regular financial support. Every month we run on a low budget with worries about if enough money is coming in. We can’t afford to set people on yet – but we would dearly love to – to take away the burden and pressure of the volunteers that work too hard. Please consider supporting us with any donation – large or small – it all helps us keep going.