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Local non-profit provides sanctuary for animals in need

A pack of K9s available at Rescue D.O.G. & End of Life Sanctuary pose for a photo last year. Operated by Melissa Gentry, the facility strives to rehabilitate and re-home as many animals as possible. Online photo.

By Veronica Burniston
Freelance Writer

For twenty-one years, Rescue D.O.G. & End of Life Sanctuary has fought to save abused, abandoned, and unwanted animals in Johnson County. Receiving neither government nor local funding, Rescue D.O.G. is a non-profit organization, which operates solely on donations. In addition to rescuing and catching animals, the organization pulls from “kill shelters before euthanasia” and strives to rehabilitate and re-home as many animals as possible.

“Our goal is for no animal to feel hunger or never to be loved,” Melissa Gentry, the head of Rescue D.O.G. & End of Life Sanctuary, said. “Growing up, my family always taught me to keep Christ first, and He is the center of this rescue. We are Rescue D.O.G., which is Dependent on God, for without Him we would have nothing.”

Since 2000, Rescue D.O.G. has helped over 16,500 animals in Johnson County. It has provided countless vaccinations, dewormings, spaying and neutering, and surgeries for the animals in its care. These costs come in addition to the price of maintaining the Rescue D.O.G. barn’s heating, electricity, water, and supplies. Everything is “out of pocket.” Donations of blankets, towels, sheets, paper towels, cleaning supplies, and pet food are always needed.

Along with the non-profit’s rescue services, it also operates as an End of Life Sanctuary for elderly pets who are abandoned or unwanted. 

“Our favorite intakes are the seniors,” Melissa said, “because they truly know when they are loved. That is why we started the End of Life Sanctuary.”

Rescue D.O.G. encourages pet owners to spay and neuter their pets, not only to “aid in the overpopulation of animals” but also for the pet’s “overall well-being.”

“We can’t do it without fosters, volunteers, transport drivers, and adopters,” Melissa said. “Together, we make the team.”

If interested in donating pet food, cleaning supplies, or money to aid with veterinary costs, please take all donations to Mountain City Antiques & Collectibles at 101 South Church Street. Please make checks payable to Rescue D.O.G. & End of Life Sanctuary. For more information on the non-profit organization, visit its website or on Facebook. If interested in volunteering with Rescue D.O.G., contact the organization at [email protected]