What We Do

Rain Rescue are a Registered Charity (1115089) founded in 2002.  Rain Rescue has saved the lives of thousands of dogs and cats from crisis situations in and around Yorkshire. Primarily savings dogs due to be put to sleep in the stray kennels and cats abandoned on the street who have no one else to care for them.

Rain Rescue are full members of The Association Of Dogs and Cats Homes. In 2013 Jacquie Neilson our founder was voted onto the board of elected officers and committee of the ADCH.


Rain Rescue is dedicated to supporting the community, by ensuring the provision of a reputable Rescue Centre to help pets in true crisis. Promoting responsible pet ownership and raising awareness of the plight of abandoned animals.


Our work is at the coal face of rescue. We pride ourselves on being there for those who have no one else and are facing an uncertain future – the ones in true crisis. Most of the animals who enter our care do so either from local authority stray kennels where they are due to be put to sleep, from the streets where they have been abandoned or from homes where they can no longer stay as the owners find themselves in circumstances where they are no longer able to care for their pet any longer.


When an animal enters our care the aim is always to find a loving new home for them. Our rehabilitation process starts with assessing the animal’s needs and then giving them the appropriate care. As well as the standard veterinary treatments given to all the animals who enter our care in preparation for their new homes i.e; health check, neutering, vaccinations, microchipping and flea and worming, we also provide treatments for any ongoing illness or ailments. Our vets fees in 2016 were more than £29,000 caring for the most sick and neglected animals. Many animals entering our care also come with some behavioural issues such as stress or seperation anxiety. Through assessment and behavioural programs as well as providing enrichment we look to help these animals find their way back to living happy healthy lives providing ongoing support for anyone who rehomes a pet from us.

Tia the Doberman, [L] saved by Rain Rescue as she was due to be euthanised in the pound, treated for a severe case of mange, and [R] how she looks today. 


We find homes for unwanted pets across the UK. Although we operate primarily in the South Yorkshire region we rehome animals far and wide. Some adopters travel to our centre in Rotherham from as far as Cornwall and Scotland after either seeing the perfect pet for them or due to our good reputation. We also work closely alongside a number of other charities known as our Pawsome Partners to secure rehoming spaces for animals in need such as Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Blue Cross and Cats Protection.


We also provide help within our local community, providing veterinary treatments such as flea and worming treatments for stray and feral cats. We also take part in a Trap, Neuter, Release program for feral cats in South Yorkshire.

Our charity shop in Arbourthorne is a hub within the local community not only raising vital funds for the work we do but also providing a lifeline to our customers.

We also take part in a scheme in partnership with Sheffield Sheltered Housing to help tackle loneliness in sheltered accommodation residents by visiting with a dog. Many residents have had to leave pets behind and find the visits extremely rewarding.


Trustee Shelley Richmond pictured visiting a local Sheltered Housing scheme in December 2016 with rescue dog Autumn.



Rain Rescue started as a small voluntary group in 2002, helping animals in and around Yorkshire. Rain Rescue became a registered charity in 2006.

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.  She decided to do something about it. Working passionately for years trying to make things better for the dogs in these pounds, saving as many as possible. Rain Rescue exists to be here for pets with no one else to care for them.

When dogs are abandoned or thrown out on the streets, the dog wardens have a duty to pick up strays.  By law, they have to be held in council stray kennels where the council will pay for their keep for 7 days.  At the end of that time, there is nobody to pay for them anymore and they legally belong to the council who can do a number of things.  a) sell b) euthanise or c)  pass to a rescue if they can find one. Rain is one of those few rescues that will take in dogs from the local pounds. Visiting local dogs pounds on a weekly basis, Rain Rescue takes out as many as they can manage to save.  The pounds are always full and rescue spaces are so desperately needed.

Each year we save around 450 animals, bringing them into our care, providing them with whatever care they may need in order to find them loving new homes.


Rain Rescue receives no government or lottery funding, that means we rely solely on the generosity of the public to keep on doing our work.

We raise funds in a number of ways :

  • One off or regular donations from our kind supporters.

  • Sales from our charity shop, eBay shop and online auctions.

  • Street collections.

  • Fundraising events, like our Annual Dog Show.

  • Sponsored events such as marathons.

  • People leaving us legacies in their Wills.

  • Companies sponsoring our work.

  • Trusts and grants for specific areas of our work.



Our Core Values

At Rain Rescue we are guided in our work by the following core values:

Quality of care

We seek to provide our animals with the best quality of care available within our resources. We aim to ensure each animal has their emotional and physical wellbeing met through; a suitable environment; a suitable diet; providing the ability to exhibit normal behaviour patterns; and protecting them from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

Finding the right home for the right animal

Each animal is assessed and each home evaluated on their individual circumstances to ensure the right match. We aim to avoid blanket rehoming polices as far as possible to ensure a flexible approach to adoption.

Compassion for both animals and people

We show compassion for both the animals in our care and the people we deal with whatever their circumstances for using our services.


We do not discriminate against the animals we help based on their breed, age or medical condition. No adoptable animal is unnecessarily euthanised due to lack of space or time constraints. No animal is euthanised except in case of serious illness or injury under the advice of a qualified vet and also where it present any unreasonable risk to humans or to other animals.

Respect and Value

We respect and value our staff, volunteers, partners and supporters.

Strategic approach

We do not just deal with the problems caused by poor animal welfare, but actively seek to tackle the root causes and work towards being part of the solution.

Transparency and accountability

We strive to work in a way that is open, honest, and transparent and is accountable to our stakeholders.