I have been a part of VOCAL from the beginning when they just started doing their fundraising. Their concept was so new and refreshing from other rescues I had to be a part of it. All of the people are kind and friendly and I really enjoy being hands on with the animals.
It’s exciting to see how just a little of your time can positively impact an animal’s life. They don’t just house the dogs they give them a quality of life through their Shelter Buddy Program and Saturday Night Group Walks the dogs are consistently socialized and played with. These programs keep the dogs happy, hopeful and looking forward to visitors. Moreover, it helps keep the dogs trained for when prospective families come to see them.
Additionally, their low-or no-cost spaying & neutering, trap/neuter & return programs are a priceless service to the community. The numbers of unwanted animals that are saved due to these services are astronomical. And they will soon offer these services in their beautiful new clinic. I cannot wait to volunteer in the new clinic once it opens. They have worked so hard to achieve their private clinic. What a miracle that will be for the animals.
VOCAL has also rescued many human and pet lives with their Chewy assisted food bank. When humans feel the stress of not having the funds to feed their animals those pets usually end up abandoned on the streets. Since VOCAL has partnered with Chewy to create the food bank thousands of animals are being fed in private homes and rescues. I’ve seen the appreciation in the family’s eyes when they are given that bag of food and they know they can keep their fur-babies and feed them. That is love and VOCAL gives them that security.
The impact VOCAL has made on our community for a small donation only rescue that just started out is amazing! I cannot wait to see what they do in the future and to be a part of it!
The little white kitten pictured is my first rescue with VOCAL and he is thriving.
Need I say more? Yes! VOCAL rescued this boy, brought him back from the brink, fostered him, and trusted him to us. He is happy, healthy, loved! This is only the tip of the iceberg of what VOCAL is to our communities.
I've been in the dog/pet care community for many years and I have to say VOCAL is a top notch rescue in every way. It takes a lot of time and dedication to rescue animals and the founders of VOCAL are smart to have a long term vision and plan for the success of the organization to continue into the future. I'm beyond excited to be involved with this incredible group of volunteers.
I've been a volunteer from the beginning. I am constantly amazed at the personal sacrifices the founders make for the welfare of our dogs and cats - and not always just in Marion County. They work hard every single day to make things better for them. They are definitely a class act. I am very proud to be a VOCAL transporter and to volunteer in the warehouse sorting the chewy orders. If I didn't totally believe in the integrity of this rescue, I would not spend my precious personal time volunteering for them.
I’m a new volunteer with VOCAL during my “snowbird” months. The founders and organizers of this non-profit are the most dedicated and welcoming people I’ve known in my many years. The good work they do for the animals, youth and yes the volunteers in the community is so wonderful. This group really listens to what you want your volunteer experience to be and makes it happen! I look forward to seeing everyone this winter.
I have volunteered with VOCAL for nearly two years and I can’t say enough about this wonderful organization! The founders amaze me with their dedication and commitment to the animals and are such great leaders and resources for the volunteers. I love the time I spend there walking the dogs. My family also adopted our beautiful, sweet dog from VOCAL and she couldn’t be more perfect!
I have volunteered with Vocal for near 4 yrs now...…..Many of their virtues and good works are well documented and articulated by others here...…...I agree 1000 percent with all of them..
I have been involved with other animal rescues but I found them
unorganized and unwelcoming. VOCAl instead greets, welcomes and appreciates everyone!! Over and over again! Plus the activities and assistance they provide.....not just for the animals but for the community is priceless. From having teenagers involved in drawing beautiful murals, training dogs......some with a specialist that need a little more support, assisting other shelters during times of need ( taking in dogs when a hurricane is approaching from animal services), inspiring volunteers to help walk, promote, take to vet visits....it’s truly remarkable. And with practically ONLY volunteers. They even provide food for the community and other rescues with the wonderful help of Chewy and about 8 dedicated volunteers who unpack hundreds of bags of dog and cat food in the blistering Florida heat.
No rescue can ever live up to VOCAL.
My daughter and I found out about VOCAL soon after they had formed in our community. We were looking for a place to volunteer as my daughter needed community service hours for her middle school program. That was almost four years ago and I can't believe the impact VOCAL has had on both of our lives.
VOCAL is an amazing group of selfless, compassionate people, consisting mainly of volunteers, that work endlessly to help the cats, dogs and the people of Marion County. I have witnessed the good that VOCAL spreads in the community with their programs: cat and dog adoptions, low-or no-cost spaying and neutering, the pet food bank, trap/neuter/return program, a doggie diplomat program, a youth program, and soon the much-needed wellness clinic! These programs show the impact that this group is making in this community and others.
When there is a problem, VOCAL is finding a way to solve it. One example among many would be the Chewy/VOCAL food bank which distributes thousands of pounds of pet food and needed items to our community and others in need weekly. Volunteers meet regularly in the heat of Florida to unload and load donated (slightly damaged) items from Chewy. If it wasn't for the good work of VOCAL, this beneficial program would not have formed.
VOCAL also realizes the importance of educating children and, with my daughter, the Youth Council was started. It gives teens a platform to speak and educate the young and old on responsible pet ownership, animal empathy, and the importance of spaying and neutering your pet. When I think of VOCAL, the quote from Margaret Mead comes to mind. "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
We have fostered and volunteered with VOCAL for the past several years. We have ended up deciding to adopt 2 of our fosters over that time; Jackie, a one eyed cat, and Izzy, a cleft palate pup. There have also been lots of animals we have not kept, because VOCAL found amazing adopters for them; Pepper, a puppy who was burned in a house fire and then abandoned, Bo, an underweight dog with mangy fur, sleeping on the side of the road in a neighborhood where drugs and crime are the norm, litters of orphaned bottle feeders, discarded momma dogs who are no longer useful for breeders... These animals speak to the kind of work VOCAL does in the community. They take on the hard cases where success isn't a guarantee. They work with the county shelter to transfer animals who slip through the cracks of an overwhelmed community. They work hand in hand with local politicians to pass legislature that is in the best interest of animals, such as the no-tethering ordinance. They have a thriving community outreach program that TNR's cats. They partnered with CHEWY to run a successful pet food bank that provides many rescues in the state with food for their shelter animals. All this while maintaining a shelter of their own, screening adopters, following up on adoptions to ensure things are going well and sending a behaviorist/trainer out to consult as needed. And did I mention they just finished construction on a building where they will soon be opening a low cost community vet clinic to address the needs of low-income pets in our community and provide affordable spay and neuter? I couldn't say enough good things about VOCAL or the small army of caring volunteers that make up its heart. The founders of this organization sacrifice of themselves daily in order to keep pushing forward with their mission- solving the homeless pet problem in Marion County!