What does Great River Rescue do?

What does Great River Rescue do?

by Brandon Mustful

One of the biggest reasons we wanted to change the name of our organization, was to help clarify exactly what our organization does.  Many people seem to have misconceptions about the services we do and don’t provide.  Sometimes, people even get upset when we inform them that we don’t do something they think we should be doing.  Therefore, I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you what we do and don’t do, from my perspective.

First of all, what Great River Rescue does and doesn’t do is open for discussion.  We are a private organization, but at the same time we  are a community organization.  We are governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, and about 60% of our funding comes directly from the community.  That means our livelihood is directly connected to the people who support us.  We hold monthly Board meetings that are open to the public, and we are always trying to listen to what the community has to say.  Over the last 38 years the stewards of the organization have worked hard to listen to the needs of the community, while balancing our own needs and access to resources.  Today, a lot of what we do is based on what we can do.  We have learned from our past that if we try to do more than we can manage, the animals suffer, and they are the most important thing to us.

Things we do…

Great River Rescue takes in stray, unwanted, abandoned, and otherwise homeless dogs and cats.

Great River Rescue provides for the basic needs of animals such as adequate food, water and exercise.

Great River Rescue provides adequate facilities for our animals.  Shelter animals all have adequate living spaces including blankets, toys, and outdoor spaces.

Great River Rescue provides preventative medical care including vaccines, blood tests, flea/tick medicine, dewormers, and spay/neuter surgeries.

Great River Rescue provides veterinary care as needed including emergency veterinary care.  We take our animals to the vet if the animal has a medical issue that we can’t care for on our own.  We often give medicines to our animals as prescribed by our veterinarian.

Great River Rescue provides socialization and behavior modification for pets.  With the help of our volunteers, every animal gets personal care and training.

Great River Rescue provides minimal grooming as necessary for our pets.

Great River Rescue provides microchipping services.

Great River Rescue provides volunteer opportunities to the community.

Great River Rescue provides educational programs for the community including tours and presentations.

Great River Rescue matches great pets with great people!

Great River Rescue partners with local businesses, nonprofits, and citizens to improve the quality of life in our community.

Great River Rescue participates in community events and hosts various events such as the Furr Bowl, Walk for Animals and Fall Harvest Dinner.

Great River Rescue fosters animals when they are too young to adopt or when it is otherwise in the best interest of the animal.

Great River Rescue provides lost/found pet resources.

Great River Rescue provides advice and access to other resources for pet owners.

Great River Rescue hosts wellness and spay/neuter clinics.

Things we don’t do…

Great River Rescue does not provide animal control services.  We do not go out and pick-up stray animals- this is the responsibility of local governments.

Great River Rescue does not investigate reports of animal cruelty, but will report it to the proper authorities.  Although we feel strongly about preventing abuse of animals, we do not currently have the knowledge, expertise or resources to directly deal with this issue.

Great River Rescue does not take in every animal every time someone requests.  Taking in every animal without considering the consequences would be irresponsible and would greatly threaten our long-term ability to survive.

Great River Rescue does not provide veterinary care for the pets of pet owners.  We do not have a veterinarian on staff nor do we have a license to provide veterinary services.

Great River Rescue does not provide boarding, grooming, or other similar services for pet owners.


In summary, Great River Rescue takes-in, cares for, and finds quality homes for homeless pets.  Please note that the lists above are not meant to be complete and comprehensive, but should give you a pretty good idea of what we do and don’t do.  I encourage anyone who cares about the welfare of animals in our community to contact us and see how you can get involved.  Our most valuable resource is people!  We can only continue to do what we do with the support of our community.  We hope to continue to have an even greater impact on our community and can only do that with your help.  Feel free to email me at director@greatriverrescue.com to see how you can get involved.


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