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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Raccoon Valley Animal Sanctuary & Rescue

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: WHO WE ARE Raccoon Valley Animal Sanctuary & Rescue is a state licensed, 501(C)3 non-profit, charitable and educational animal welfare organization. RVAS does not receive any government funding and relies solely on the contributions of public donors. Our Mission: To eliminate the neglect, abuse and abandonment of companion animals caused by human ignorance, intolerance and indifference. And to celebrate the joys created by the human-animal bond by education and example.

Results: RVAS has saved over 15,000 lives since it's establishment in 1994 and is one of Iowa's leading no-kill animal welfare organizations.

Target demographics: Animals in need

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2,500+

Geographic areas served: Iowa and surrounding states

Programs: Rehome/Rehabilitation Services, Animal Rescue Services, Behavior Consultation, Food & Medical Assistance.

Donor & Volunteer Advisory

This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Community Stories

26 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Dianna9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Have worked with this org on and off for years. Supporting legitimate Rescues (as they all aren't legit) is so important for the animals.
Thank you for your dedication with the animals and for also supporting other reputable Rescues like you have with ours, we appreciate that and you.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This might seem strange to some, but I wanted to send out a special thanks to RVAS for helping us find our Gabby. We contacted them after our cat, Stuben passed away at 16 years old. We were devastated, but knew our home needed another companion.

The representative told us all about their special needs cats, but we were looking for something else. They didn't have anything that fit our needs. They could have just let us go walk away and search elsewhere but they didn't. They recommended another organization and even contacted that organization notifying them what we were looking for.

We feel so blessed to have adopted Gabby. Thank you to all the people at Raccoon Valley for making that happen...they really DO put animals first.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wanting to "rescue" an animal was a dream, but when we found ourselves with an adopted companion that wasn't right for us, we contacted this shelter for help. Even though we did not adopt from this organization, they offered to help us keep our beloved Charlie by coming to our home and working with us so that we could keep him.

We are so grateful for all the time and effort they gave us and are proud to report that Charlie and his humans are now better educated and doing fine together! Thank YOU for helping us keep our beloved companion.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

In 2005 I walked into the shelter with a broken heart. I had just lost our beloved Lady after 13 years and I wanted to donate her bed and other items to the shelter. I was not interested in loving again. A kind woman accepted my donation, and listened while I stumbled to find the words of how heartbroken I was. She asked me to wait a minute while she got my receipt.

She left the room. When she returned, she had a dog by her side. She asked if I would hold her leash while she completed the receipt. I reluctantly agreed.

The little dog leaped onto my lap and just stared at me. It's soulful eyes went right to my heart, and I kept looking away only to be drawn back into her stare as if she was saying...I know you hurt, but I really can help heal your heart if you'll let me.

I sat with her for about 30 minutes, and then asked the woman what her story was. Her reply: "She's waiting for you to fill out adoption papers." I said, "no no...what's her story? Why is she here."? She replied, "She's lonely and needs a home." That was enough for me.

That was 11 years ago. Sunny is still with me today. Thank you for "just knowing".

1 JKAM

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have fostered for this rescue for over 10 years. Miu, a special needs kitty, was one of our favorites that ended up staying with us until her death from cancer at the age of 10. RVAS was there to support us and Miu. We also adopted Watson, another kitty, who has been with us for 11 years now. When you adopt from them they're there for you for the life of that animal. They stand behind their adoptions and that's what makes them the best.

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rvaspets 05/06/2016

Thank you for your kind words, but more importantly for opening your home and heart to so many in need that would never have a chance without you.

Previous Stories
5

Client Served

Rating: 5

It's about what's best for both the adoptee and the adopters. They make sure the match is right for everyone so it's forever. They also provide support to the adopters and the animals they adopt for the life of that animal. They find solutions and make you part of that solution. They also provide help that keeps dogs & cats in the home which leaves more room in shelters for those that are in immediate need. I'll always support them.

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rvaspets 10/25/2015

Thank you for your thoughtful words. We take pride in always putting the animals needs first, both physically and psychologically. We hope to continue to lead by example so that other shelters/rescues will follow suit...that no animal should ever be just a number.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer for animals for several years and while I have had mostly positive experiences with most of the organizations I've been involved with, Raccoon Valley has been my favorite by far. They are so much more than an animal rescue. They bring much needed education to the community regarding all aspects of animal welfare, from neglect, abuse, legislation and of course the warm fuzzy stories of adoption. And they are heads above any organization I've ever been a part of when it comes to helping their peers. I have been a part of transporting animals, supplies to other organizations as well as, helped with tabling events promoting not ONLY their animals, but other organizations who needs a little extra "push" and exposure to get their organizations/animals noticed. And not to continue the glowing review, but the people are some of the kindest and most dedicated people I know. Love these guys and the work they do!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have known and worked with all of the members of their board of directors for over 6 years and their commitment to the animal community is second to none. They not only are concerned with helping find suitable homes for displaced animals but they also understand the need for educating the general public on the issues of animal care and welfare. I recommend this organization for all questions and concerns related to the human-animal bond.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization with amazing leaders and volunteers who truly care about helping animals in need. I was drawn to them many years ago as a volunteer and donor because they are a no-kill organization. They are dedicated to their mission and care about the life of every animal. They do amazing work!

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have worked with Raccoon Valley since 2008 on various projects starting with Randolph, IA when we were trying to establish a properly organized Trap Neuter Return feral cat program for the city. I worked with them again during the flooding along the Missouri River to establish a food pantry for rescue groups affected by the flooding. They have assisted us in arranging transport for cats to other no kill shelters. They provide a great service to their community and deserve the support of the community to allow them to continue the good work they do.

Lawrence Shackman
President Feline Friendz in Nebraska

5 julez_schmidt

Client Served

Rating: 5

I wish I could give these folks more stars!! They are, without question, the most incredible rescue I've ever had the honor of working with. They work to find solutions instead of contributing to the problem. Once you adopt through them, they are "yours" for life. A wealth of knowledge, support, and networking-in a word, incredible!

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9

Client Served

Rating: 5

These guys are the real deal! Not only do they want to get companion animals, they are committed to assisting pet parents keep their companions in their homes by problem solving. They recognize that companion animals are not expendable "things," but sentient beings with feelings.

They not only match people with companions, they make sure that applicants are appropriate guardians, and don't just adopt to any warm-blooded human on the street. They are true advocates for those without a voice and want to improve the lives of all animals in their care!

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rvaspets 10/25/2015

Thank you for your support and kind words. You are one of those special souls that reached out for a forgotten senior, who only wanted to be loved. The miracle that you and Bailey connected keeps us all believing that miracles DO happen!

5 Tammy110

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Raccoon Valley Animal Sanctuary has been doing GREAT work in their community and, often far beyond, for many years! They often take animals no one else wants, Raccoon Valley Animal Sanctuary has been doing GREAT work for many years! They often take animals no one else wants. They don't give up on any animal! They will take animals in, get them healthy and/or behaviorally rehabilitated, no matter what the cost, and then adopt them out to the right family.
I have had the privilege of knowing, and working with, one of the staff members and Raccoon Valley Animal Sanctuary FAR exceeds what the 'average' shelter will do for any animal in need.

Previous Stories
7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Raccoon Valley Animal Sanctuary has been doing GREAT work for many years! They often take animals no one else wants, gets them healthy and/or behaviorally rehabilitated and, adopts them out to the right family. They don't give up on any animal!

Comments ( 1 )

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rvaspets 10/26/2015

Thank you for your great support and kind words!

3

Donor

Rating: 5

An organization that truly cares about the animals welfare and never compromises an animals needs to meet the goals and needs of adopters, fosters or businesses who support them. One of the very few organizations I have found to lead by example their true mission.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We foster for this great organization and are so proud to be a part of saving lives! They are the real deal when it comes to being a no-kill and never let animals suffer or become stressed in any situation. We are proud to have found a place where our love for animals is not only appreciated, but welcomed! Thank you to all the staff and volunteers for letting us be a part through your foster program.

3 cj__2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am so honored to have worked with this non-profit for over 10 years to help pets and their humans. The Executive director, Linda Blakley and I came together to help problem dogs on a yahoo email list that served over 25,000 from around the world, who came in solved their problem and left, ~ and still today currently has over 3,000 members.

This agency's unique approach, of helping pets to stay in their homes instead of the traditional method of waiting for them to be homeless makes them one of Iowa's most valuable non-profits. We are so grateful for the international support that has saved so many lives that this excellent stand for and does!

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rvaspets 04/12/2016

Thank you CJ. We know you do wonderful work in Arizona with your organization as well! We will forever be connected through our voices for the animals!

Previous Stories
5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

AS shelters do, this one is a leader in the US that I would give anything to have duplicated across the United States! The ability to deal with the challenging situations that pets and their owners sometimes have has been demonstrated well over ten years of service to the Iowa community. Further, we were blessed to have Linda Blakely, the President of this shelter, join our yahoo problem dog email list that grew to service over 25,000 people and still is at 3,000 people with problem dogs now.
She quickly rose to the top managing that email list when the owner had a stroke, helping people online line around the world and joining/managing the 59 person leadership lkst that grew out of the basic group!
Her insights have helped thousands of people with their pets when their owners were about to give up their pets.
Please TAKE A MOMENT TO join donate a few dollars to this outstanding animal sactuary or even join their Facebook here to share their posts!
https://www.facebook.com/RVASPets

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rvaspets 10/26/2015

Thank YOU for creating a group where people could share their experiences, expertise and love for dogs. We are proud to be a member of your forum and look forward to many more years of helping dogs.

4 Shannon U.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful non-profit with a genuine interest is doing what is right for animals. Proud to be a volunteer with them!

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We have fostered both a senior dog and now a senior cat from RVAS. These animals would have perished but RVAS never gave up on searching for someone to love and care for them. We are so lucky they found us, because we felt like they have been a part of our world our entire lives. Thank you RVAS...for never giving up.

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rvaspets 10/25/2015

The thanks goes to your family for helping us...save them.

4 Chelsi W.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked along side Racoon Valley for many years in the Animal Care Industry. I have seen their true passion for rescue, education and animal welfare.

Comments ( 1 )

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rvaspets 10/25/2015

We are proud to know you and the dogs are lucky to have you on their side!

4

Donor

Rating: 5

Good works by caring, knowledgeable people. I know my donations will be used to help give rescued animals a chance for a new life.

Comments ( 1 )

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rvaspets 10/25/2015

Thank you for your support. We couldn't save lives without loving souls like yours!

3 Laurel12

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is one of the most caring places i know of. They spend countless hours helping people and animals alike. Doing council work and helping animals find forever homes.

Comments ( 1 )

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rvaspets 10/25/2015

Thank you for your kind words. We couldn't save lives without the kindness of people like you!

6 V-Van-V

Client Served

Rating: 5

Four years ago my brother called and asked if I was ready for another cat, since my most senior cat had passed a couple of years earlier. After seeing a picture of a beautiful DLH cat with the most beautiful china-blue eyes, I knew she was coming home with me. The problem: I had another senior cat at home who was still missing her late snuggle-buddy. To the rescue was RVAS, who armed me with baby gates (for introducing the girls) and bolstered my patience. It was along road, but eventually they were able to share their human. Without RVAS, I probably would have given up on the process long before I got to the end of the tunnel. Since the elder of these two has since passed, I'm starting to consider adopting another cat, and I know RVAS will be there to support me in the process of introductions and integration, once again.

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rvaspets 10/25/2015

We pride ourselves in never giving up on anyone who wants to love and keep their pets for life! And of course we LOVE multi-pet homes, especially kitty ones. Thank you for opening your heart and home to the homeless...we'll be here for you for life.