The Morning Journal ...
LORAIN — Avid animal lover Donna Rickard is making it her personal mission to rescue dogs throughout Lorain County. Launching her small rescue agency, Little Yorkie Rescue, in her home this past summer, the 50-year-old Lorain resident said she started the organization as a means of honoring her late Yorkshire Terrier, Sophie.
" I began the rescue in memory of my Sophie who died after being hit by a car some time ago, " Richard said. "She brought so much joy to my life and I wanted to share that feeling with other in the community. Yorkies have such wonderful personalities and their love for life is what prompted me to start Little Yorkie Rescue."
With Sophie as her inspiration, Rickard began fostering “yorkies” and other small dogs in her home, shortly launching her own website to post pictures and help find the dogs their forever homes. “Most of the dogs that come through my agency come directly from breeders so when actually I get them, they are always pretty scared, but as time goes on, they loosen up, find their personalities, and blossom after realizing it’s okay for them to be just a pet,” she said. Prior to starting her own small-breed rescue agency, Rickard worked for Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue and Live Love Rescue in Cleveland.
Privately fostering dogs for over a decade now, Rickard said the agency has made her effort official and has allowed her to connect misplaced dogs to loving owners. “My favorite part about this rescue is finding the dogs their forever home,” said Rickard. “Nearly all the people who have adopted through Little Yorkie Rescue have kept in touch and sent us updates on their rescues. It’s wonderful seeing the dogs again and knowing they are getting a second chance at being happy and loved.” The rescue only accepts Yorkshire Terriers and other small breeds at this time, but Rickard remains hopeful that the nonprofit will expand to take in larger breed dogs in the near future. “We have a 100 percent success rate right now so I’m very optimistic about the future of Little Yorkie Rescue,” she added. “For the meantime, we look to rescue as many small breeds as we can, but our overall mission is to help find loving homes for dogs all over the county.”
Partnering with Petfinder.com and 4 Pets Clinic in Avon, Rickard said she has so far been able to take in, treat, and find homes for over a dozen dogs. “We have provided basic vet care for Little Yorkie Rescue over the last couple months and so far things have been great,” 4 Pets Clinic Owner David McClelland said. “Donna’s a very caring individual and people throughout the county have grown really appreciative of all she’s doing for the local animal community.”
We have provided basic vet care for Little Yorkie Rescue over the last couple months and so far things have been great,” 4 Pets Clinic Owner David McClelland said. “Donna’s a very caring individual and people throughout the county have grown really appreciative of all she’s doing for the local animal community.” With so many purebreds currently sitting in shelters and rescue agencies like Little Yorkie Rescue, Rickard said she wants to challenge residents to adopt rather than shop at their local pet shop if they are considering buying a dog. “A lot of people don’t realize that when they buy a dog at a shop they are actually supporting puppy mills everywhere,” said Rickard. “They’re perfectly lovable purebred dogs currently sitting in shelters right now so I want to encourage people to adopt rather than shop if they are thinking about buying a dog. There are so many advantages to adoption and not only will the shelter or rescue agencies appreciate it, but the dogs themselves will pay you back for it unconditional love and life-long companionship.”
Moving forward, Rickard said she hopes to collect enough donations from people in the community to establish her agency as an official nonprofit. “There’s not a lot of money in nonprofits so Little Yorkie Rescue relies heavily on donations from the community,” she said. “My short-term goal is to raise enough money to become an official nonprofit agency and eventually open up a larger space where I can take foster, rehabilitate, and adopt out dogs of all shapes and sizes.” For more information about Little Yorkie Rescue or to get an adoption application, visit their site or e-mail Rickard.
By Adriana Adkins, The Morning Journal
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