Rescue Rabun

Campaign Created by: Michele Whitman
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The funds from this campaign will be received by Rescue Rabun Animal Sanctuary.

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Goal : $25,000

Raised : $260

Givers : 4

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Like many Christians I have always loved God's creation and His creatures and also am the type of person to intervene when I see lost, neglected or abandoned animals. In my adult life I have taken in countless stray dogs, sometimes taking them off busy roads or even buying them off owners who were not interested in providing adequate food, water or shelter.  In every instance, I have either kept them, re-homed them or even driven to different states to ensure they were admitted to no-kill shelters so they could (hopefully!) find forever homes. When I moved to Rabun County in the Northeast Georgia mountains 5 years ago I considered myself a dog person with no real interest in cats. However, God changed my perspective while on a walk with my old redbone hound one day about four years ago. During the walk, I found a kitten on the sidewalk so pathetic and small I didn't even realize what it was. I thought it was a rodent, but it started dragging itself towards me, mewing loudly. Every possible inch of his skin was covered in fleas, his ears were black from mites and he had an injured, bleeding leg. The kitten weighed less than a pound and I cuddled it against my chest all the way home.  With a few baths (those were a challenge as he was a spunky little guy) consistent meaty meals, a warm bed and lots of love and prayer, Samson was saved and I was transformed into a crazy cat (and dog!) lady.  I've been rescuing cats in the downtown Clayton area ever since as the town is unfortunately populated by many who don't think twice about abandoning their animals or neglecting to even feed or shelter them. I have spent countless hours and energy getting the cats fixed,  rehabilitating them and rehoming them for the past four years. I have been helped with the cost of spaying and neutering by a feral program sponsored by our local no-kill shelter which covers the spay or neuter and a rabies vaccination for the ferals. The cats that I could not adopt out, I kept and paid for their "fixing" on my own.

All these years I have covered the cost  for feeding the ferals from my own pocket. I made it a point to collect scraps at restaurants where I have worked to help feed them. I am dedicated to their care and have made shelters, provided bedding  and made sure they are fed; rain or shine or snow.  I have only missed two days in the entire time due to circumstances beyond my control.. 

Although this community has a local no-kill shelter, it is always at maximum capacity and can no longer take in cats or dogs, and this is an ongoing, consistent concern which leads to even more people abandoning their animals, especially in light of the Covid crisis.  My goal is to find a sanctuary, a piece of property outside of the city limits, for difficult to adopt  dogs and cats, with separate areas for the feral cats, the elderly or infirm animals. I know this is a dream many animal lovers share, but I also know God has equipped me for the project and placed me in an area where there is still affordable land. I also am very dedicated,  organized, faithful, resourceful and honest. This endeavor will be blessed. 

With Covid, my income from restaurant work has disappeared and as a single  woman in her mid50s, I have not been able to secure work for months, losing opportunities to younger candidates.  I have tried transitioning into other work, but the economy is stagnant here and I am having trouble keeping up with the 25+ dogs and cats, both at home and in the community, that I am feeding daily.  I simply need help. The campaign would also help me to eventually build a non-profit that would allow me to provide benefactors with tax-deductible donations. Currently, I easily spend five hours a day caring for this number of animals. The sanctuary would be full-time and may even open up the opportunity for part-time work for others.

Most importantly, as it grows, it would provide basic needs to countless dogs and cats and also act as a way of bringing people together with these little beings that just need to be loved and to give love in return. God instructs us to feed the hungry, not specifically just people. I do believe people first, animals second. . . Right? Even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the children's table.  God is able to provide for all, no matter what the future brings.

As a Christian-based organization, Rescue Rabun will also be an opportunity to share the gospel to those coming and going at the sanctuary as well as all those who become benefactors. So, as we give, we are sharing the love of Christ. Thank you for caring and my heartfelt thanks for any gift.. May God bless you and keep you and may He  shine His face upon you. May He look upon you kindly and give you peace. May He also protect you and yours always. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Michele Whitman
 

UPDATES

Meet Noah
December 13, 2020
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Rescue Rabun's next project is Noah a beautiful young male cat. He is white with crystal blue eyes, much like a Siamese. He has a black striped tail and gray ears and some gray in his paws I am guessing he is about 9 months old and he was rescued from our local McDonald's after several people expressed concern on Facebook that he was hanging out in the parking lot trying to beg chicken nuggets while dodging tires. Probably not a great lifestyle for longevity purposes.. I have since trapped him and he has been with me now over one month. He has gone from literally climbing the walls to get out of the "rescue room" to loving being on my lap. So far, is not doing well with my current cats, but is fine with my two small indoor dogs. He is getting extremely bonded to me since I've been the only one with him for one month I have great hopes that he will make a wonderful pet for a single person or a quiet famiy. He is very intelligent and active and strong. 

Noah is scheduled this week to lose his own nuggets (sorry Noah) and then he will be ready to go to a forever home!  Prayers for his forever owner to be found soon.  Thank you so much! God is blessing this: effort with open doors to place many cats in wonderful homes.

Maya and Nina Adopted!
November 20, 2020
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Maya and Nina, two female former ferals have been adopted by Mary and Stewart of Tiger, Georgia. So happy that they were adopted together as these two "sisters" have been with me for almost three month getting fixed, vaccinated, wormed and most importantly, used to human touch and interaction. Both left as effective and willing lap warmers, just in time for winter 2020. These small success stories make this labor of love worth the effort. Thank you Mary and Stewart, wishing you years of happiness with your new feline friends. 

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