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Starting Over Animal Refuge Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Wildlife Preservation & Protection

Mission: Canine rescue, rehabilitation and adoptions. all adults are saved from high kill shelters off of Deathrow. Our puppies come from all over but mostly stem from our very popular S.N.A.P program that offers a free spay on momma dogs that belong to the general public when they surrender their entire litter to our program. This gives puppies a chance to get the RIGHT start in life and be able to protect them for life. Helping decrease the numbers of unwanted pets in the US

Target demographics: Save hundreds of unwanted animals a year from death row , Craigslist and off some of the cruelest streets in the United States

Direct beneficiaries per year: Krewe de rescue , Dallas RRR (our dowdy ferry rd mission) we have worked with South Bark on rehabbing aggressive dogs and several shelters across the southern states

Geographic areas served: Ocala FL on a serene 10 acre ranch open to healing the broken and changing lives

Programs: Adoptions , rehabilitation and our famous S.N.A.P program that provides free spaying and neutering for owners who turn over their entire litter of puppies to help stop the cycle of unwanted animals and protect those puppies for life with lifelong contracts and monitored forever homes

Community Stories

242 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

7 Kristy26

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Melissa reached out to me about a month ago she offered me a service dog fo she offered me a service dog free of charge. My daughter which is 9 years old was being bullied in school everyda my daughter which is 9 years old was being bullied in school every day and was coming home crying and sad and didn't understand why she was being bullied. Melissa message me and said that she had a service dog that she would like me to take for my daughter to help her get through the emotional state she was in. Just her reaching out I'm in a lot to the family. Right now we are unable to have another dog so we were not able to accept her offer. But I would like to thank her for reaching out in a time of need. I have seen her rescue hundreds of puppies and get them adopted out adult dogs also. She goes above and beyond for her rescue.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted our handsome puppy in August 2018. I was very impressed with Melissa and Brittany's flexibility in working with our timing to get our pup adopted as we could only come later in the day and needed to waited a week before picking him up (unique circumstances). I was very impressed with her knowledge of, love for, and ability to care for these pups and dogs the way she does. I would adopt from her again.

I was also glad to see that she had separate enclosements for each age/size of dogs. Each kennel had a concrete flooring and also some soft ground for them to play on. And, they were visibly well fed and watered. It is a beautiful place for these pups as it is also a refuge for horses and has a beautiful green pasture directly across from the dogs.

Our pup did have worms when he was examined by the vet, but this was not Melissa's fault. Melissa gave our pup his first de-worming medicine in front of us, and she gave him his first round of vaccines that week while she had him. The fact that he had worms did not anger me because most pups are born with some form of worms and must be treated. It was likely he would have them since he was so young and had only been with Melissa a week; that's not nearly long enough for her to administer the needed number of treatments in order to get rid of the worms completely. Therefore, the presence of worms was due to our timing in adopting him.

Amy Branz C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted Riley from Starting Over Animal Refuge on 12/31/2018. Melissa was very prompt in answering the phone and all questions I had. My kids and I drove an hour and a half and met our newest family member. The puppies we all well taken care of and seemed very happy while waiting to find the forever homes. She has followed up with us to make sure Riley is adjusting and doing well since brining her home. If you’re looking for your newest family member contact Melissa.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found SOAR through adopt a pet.com. I found a couple pictures online of some adorable puppies and there seem to be a variety. The ranch was about an hour and a half from my house. I called and made an appointment to come see the puppies and Melissa was prompt to answer and respond to my communication. I drove to the ranch and there was plenty of space for all the puppies. They all had food and water available and it seemed most of them had just been bathed. The facility was quite clean. The young lady Britney who was tending to all the puppies seemed to spend a lot of time with them and was knowledgeable on where the came from. Our particular puppy (and the litter) was relinquished by the owners. One group of puppies we looked at was just brought in from a high kill shelter. I was pleased with the transaction and my puppy. My puppy did have worms when Melissa received her but she dewormed her and gave her her first round of vaccines. Melissa requires you to see a vet within 72 hours and our check up went well. She had some residual worms but we got her medicated. This is to be expected when puppies are retrieved from neglectful owners or found dogs. We had our puppy delivered b SOAR to our house 1.5 hours away) on Christmas Eve and she’s very happy and so is our family. Our previous dog is warming up to her slowly. I think it’s great what she’s doing for these dogs and not everybody can save dozens of dogs at a time so I am grateful for places like this who have big hearts for animals.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted this beautiful boy on 11/11/18. Melissa was great. She accommodated us at the last minute, scheduled our appointment and then was very patient while we met all the puppies, and made our decision.
We were impressed by how clean her facilities are and how well these puppies are cared for. We named our boy Duke and are so grateful for Melissa and Starting Over Animal Refuge.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I worked at starting over and adopted from there and loved it and adopted the best dog I’d ever had! Definitely recommend adopting from starting over!!

8

Client Served

Rating: 1

I just wanted to bring to your attention that this "organization" is a scam.
Starting Over Animal Refuge Inc.
This woman is a puppy flipper. She purchases puppies in bulk off of Craigslist and re sells them individually for a mark up. She claims that she is a non-profit and yet she charges $400 cash only as an "adoption" fee. She has a very convincing story of where the puppies come from, but in reality she has no idea. She claims that the puppies come 100% vaccinated and that is a lie. When I brought my puppy to the vet they said that he was NEVER administered any vaccines and that he tested positive for tapeworms, hookworms and roundworms which was not brought to my attention at the time of the adoption. When my veterinarian contacted the "shelter" owner to send over proof of vaccinations, the owner became irate and started yelling at the Vet.
I do not believe that she has the right intentions for her animals and she is scamming those of us who want to provide good homes for these puppies.
I specifically this site because I did not want to get my dog from a breeder. I have been waiting for almost 2 years for the perfect puppy to show up in my email and when I found him and "adopted" him I find out that I was scammed out of $400 and another $82 for veterinary costs.
I would strongly advise you look into this "rescue" and take down any animals she has up for adoption in the mean time so that no one else can be taken advantage of.

10

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

This is not a bona fide rescue I do not understand how they have nonprofit status.

I tried to buy a dog off of Craigslist from a woman who was selling Anatolian Shepherd cross with English lab puppies. She informed me that the puppies were all sold to one person who said they were for mobility assistance dogs.

I figured maybe that person would sell me one of the puppies. I found out that this so-called rescue had purchased the whole litter under the claim they were for mobility assistance prospects But now they are selling them as 8 week old rescue puppies.

When I try to buy the puppy from the original owner it was $50 now they want $400 for the exact same puppy a week later who has not even seen a vet is not spayed or neutered like you would expect to be from a rescue. People are out to make money I get that, but these people are giving rescues a bad name and should be shut down.



1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Adopted our furbaby (Willow - lab/shepherd mix) a few days ago and she just had her 1st puppy checkup. Vet was impressed with how healthy she is- no issues. She's a happy puppy just full of energy.


Thank you Melissa

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Just adopted my Anatolian x lab - happy little girl - picked her up shortly after Melissa rescued them. Full of worms but not due to Melissa; she wouldn't release the puppy until she'd gotten her shots and parasite meds. Melissa's adoption process is no nonsense and simple. Her fees are not much different from other rescues, and she has a much better selection. Would definitely adopt from her again and/or recommend her. My daughter got her puppy from Melissa the week before me. We live in Orlando (almost 2 hours from Melissa) and she was worth the 3 trips we took up there.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I just adopted my puppy from Melissa and I have absolutely nothing but great things to say about the experience. All the puppies I saw were in great health and were extremely friendly. Melissa is very knowledgeable about canines and, clearly, took very good care of her rescues. Even after the adoption, I felt comfortable asking her about my puppy. These photos were taken the day I brought him home. We were so happy with the whole process that my mom went back and adopted another puppy from Melissa!

1 Taylor B.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is not only and Amazing Aminal Refuge but its run by one dynamite person.
When you show up and see all the animals its spotless, like no joke! If she sees one of the dogs pooping while showing you around shes on top of it cleaning it up. You can tell the amount of pride and passion she has for what she does. You can also tell she spends a lot of time with all her animals... literally the animals swiper... she calls or walks over and they all flock to her. These animals are well taken care of and for. If your in the search for a new furry family member I highly recommend getting one from her rescue.

8

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

Beware this is no rescue this is a Puppy flipper...you will see my puppies $400 each.

She came to buy my litter of puppies $500 for 7..Im not greedy..she sells them $400 each NO SPAY NO NEUTERING etc...said for mobility assistance dogs, she shorted me $100 drove off when told her she owes $100 more! Shes a THIEF a CROOK steer clear!

So I looked her up shes a puppy flipper my puppies didnt need RESCUING I put them for sale $50 and $100..
Anatolianxmaremma x English Lab. I dont breed dogs, mistake breeding by 9 month old male who is now neutered.

She threatened to report me for neglect and here are the puppies with my daughter few weeks ago.

She robbed me drove off after telling her she owed me $100 more then calls me a narcissist and threatens me lol

Steer clear of this fraudulent rescue...shes no more than a puppy flipper. I didnt research her until she kept texting me acting like a nut case...

FOLLOW YOUR GUT DONT DEAL WITH THIS FAKE RESCUE. She shorted me $100 hauled ass like a thief and now wants to say my dogs are neglected lol

She mentioned shes no puppy flipper..what do you call selling puppies for $400 with no spaying neutering upon "sale"..rescues push nuetering spaying...not this one

Review from Guidestar

Marsha22

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I visited Starting Over and met Melissa. She has endless love and energy for family and animals. The amount of time and patience that she spends taking care of and cleaning after the animals is endless. I spent over 4 hours there and she did over 8 hours worth of work. I got tired just watching her go from one pen to another, one dog to another. LOL In my book----she is the best.

Previous Stories
1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING THIS PAGE FOR A LONG TIME. A LOT OF LOVE AND CARE GOES INTO THE CARE THAT THE ANIMALS GET. LOT OF POSITIVE RESPONSES FROM ADOPTERS.

2 Lindsay S.6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We adopted our catahoula mix puppy, Gemma, in June. We could not have had a better experience, I would highly reccomend! Gemma had a perfect first vet visit and is a healthy 7 months old this week. Thank you for the opportunity to adopt such a sweet pup!

12

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Questionable that this place is a 'rescue' let alone 'responsible' rescue. What kind of rescue adopts, or probably more accurately sells, dogs that are not microchipped, not spayed/neutered, and have 5 different parasites? They probably don't want the dogs they sell to be tracked back to them when the dogs end up in a kill-facility. And, don't fix the dogs? Great way to add to the overpopulation.

There are plenty of great responsible rescues out there that actually care about and vet the dogs before they are adopted out. Stay away from this place if you want a healthy dog. Likely a puppy mill.

Review from Guidestar

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Starting Over Animal Refuge is a great place to find your new pet. We called Melissa and she arranged for us to be able to come look at all her pets that day. The girl who assisted us was very friendly. It was interesting to hear the different stories of each pet. We could tell they were being well cared for. We adopted a precious 9 week old husky mix. She is so sweet. We just love her. We highly recommend this organization for anyone looking for a new pet. Thanks again for all the help and love you give to those pets in need of a second chance and forever home!

Karen Clemens K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted a beautiful boxer/ catahoula mix puppy. She is strong, healthy and smart. Starting Over Animal Refuge is a great place to find the perfect addition to your family. The animals are all treated with love and care.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted a 10 week old 1/2 Lab and 1/2 Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy. I called Melissa and let her know that I was looking for a dog that I can take to my classroom everyday. I also want to train him to be a therapy dog for children's hospitals and elderly centers. She said that she had a couple that would meet my needs. I ended up adopting Toby my precious baby that same day. The kennels were very clean. Melissa was super nice and very helpful. I took her recommended puppy and he is an amazing puppy. He is really calm considering he is a puppy. He gets along with my other dog and cats. Melissa's recommendation was spot on. He does have intestinal worms, but most puppies do. I would recommend SOAR for your next adoption!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The owner Melissa was super nice and answered all our questions.
Melissa whent out of her way to answer questions even after the adoption was finalized and continued to support the transition to adjust to wonderful “hope” are new four legged friend!!!!

Thank you so much Melissa you have made this experience a joy!!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great experience for us. We adopted Ryder on May 9th. He saw the vet two days later and the vet was impressed at his health especially after hearing he had several types of worms and coccidia when he was given to the rescue. He has continued to thrive these last few weeks and acclimated quickly to the baby and the other dogs in our family. He saw the vet again today for his third set of vaccines and he's in perfect health.

Melissa took time with us and also gave us space and time to play with him while we were there making the decision. ALL of the animals that we saw on her property looked and acted healthy and the puppies were all active and in large CLEAN kennels with plenty of space, water, and shelter. We saw no cages and the few adult dogs she had were out in the yard running around. I would not hesitate to recommend Starting Over Animal Refuge and would definitely consider future adoptions from her.