SPOKANE, Wash - Five years after beginning a mission to rescue more dogs in the Inland Northwest, animal rescue group Rescue 4 All is ready to expand and help more dogs in our community.
Jamie McAtee started Rescue 4 All in her home with a simple mission: to rescue the dogs other shelters couldn't often take. Those dogs often have medical issues or need more behavioral training before they can be placed in their forever homes.
Over the years, Rescue 4 All has helped find homes for 340 dogs, not including two litters of puppies currently in their care. The group doesn't get grants and relies instead on public donations and the support of local foster homes and veterinarians.
But, Rescue 4 All needs more space to continue its mission.
"I've been looking for property for two years," McAtee said. "Just trying to find proximity to Spokane, trying to find somewhere with suitable acreage."
She kept getting outbid, but finally found a space west of Spokane that has everything she needs: a 4,000 square-foot shop, plenty of space for the dogs to run and play and a home on-site where she can live and keep an eye on the dogs.
McAtee bought the property and work is now underway to transform it into heaven on earth for dogs.
"It's something I never would have envisioned," McAtee said of the growth of her organization. "If someone told me this was going to happen, I would not have believed them."
It happened because she believed in that mission and because so many people believed in her. The Rescue4All social media pages tell the stories of dogs who often were on their last chance, finding forever homes. Those volunteers and adoptive owners have now become a network of support for this organization.
Finding the property is just the beginning, though. It needs a lot of work, including new siding, complete fencing and a transformation of the shop into a safe facility for the animals.
They're getting help from the carpentry class of the Association of General Contractors. Students in the apprenticeship program put up the fencing and are now framing the shop for the new kennels and two mom and puppy rooms.
They're getting hands-on experience for their future careers, and they're also getting paid in daily visits from a litter of puppies currently under Rescue4All's care.
"Anytime we can get out and do something like this rather than build something in the shop... it saves a lot of resources," said Matthew Cottam, AGC instructor. "What's really special about it is the puppies."
This expansion helps McAtee continue the mission she started five years ago.
"It will never be a shelter," she said. "It will just be a nice, safe place to have dogs come in and have the community connect with what we do and who we are."
It's all proof of what can happen when you believe in your mission and rally a community behind it.
A community, committed to saving lives, one adorable dog at a time.
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