Renovating Shelters Is Job #1 For Rescue Rebuild

For more than a decade, the crew of Rescue Rebuild have been crisscrossing the country, making lives better for shelter animals from coast to coast.  Though you may not have heard of them, they are one of the best friends that animals in need, and the shelter teams who love them, could ever have.


Happy animals are more adoptable, and the Rescue Rebuild crew and founder Bryna Donnelly are focused on doing everything they can to get more animals into loving homes.  After identifying a shelter or rescue in need of building repairs and improvements, additional exercise yards, cat enrichment areas, meet-n-greet rooms, etc., the team actually goes to each site and repairs, improves, and beautifies the shelter and grounds, thereby improving the lives of the adoptable pets, shelter staff and volunteers.  All work is completed by Rescue Rebuild and community volunteers, with some financial assistance through public donations and corporate sponsors.


This past week they were in Tucson, AZ, where their crew joined forces with 450 associates from MARS‘ Petcare division.  The MARS team was in town for their annual sales meeting, and, as part of their team-building tradition of community service, MARS and Rescue Resource spent the day building places for pets to play at the Pima County Animal Shelter and Christopher Columbus dog park.



They assembled agility equipment for the play yards, put down new turf, painted, baked tasty treats for the residents, and made new cat scratchers.

The Care Center Director said,

“Every project they’re doing directly impacts the dogs and cats at our shelter (and) are going to be used for many years to come.”


That same week, Rescue Rebuild was in Nashville, TN, building 50 feral cat feeding stations and 50 cat shelters with the city’s Pet Community Center and local MARS volunteers.  Nashville’s Pet Community Center works towards ending the pet overpopulation problem by offering free or low-cost spay/neuter, rabies shots, and Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) services to their community.  The feeding stations and shelters were placed in established cat colonies that were already s/n.



This year, Rescue Rebuild was also in Houston, helping out the animals at the Special Pals Shelter with a new Pooch Palace and CattyShack, as well as in Longview, WA, where they worked together with Red Rover on their first women’s shelter project.


Women in abusive situations may feel they have nowhere to turn, especially when there are pets involved.  They refuse to leave their pets behind, and not every city has pet-friendly women’s shelters. For the Longview project, the construction engineers handily converted three spaces into welcoming, pet-friendly rooms, complete with outdoor runs, in a women’s shelter. By creating spaces where they could live together in an existing shelter, women in that city are now able to leave abusive situations without fear of what might happen to their pets.



100 shelter renovations in 48 states in 10 years deserves a big WOW! ‘Duke’, Rescue Rebuild’s all-purpose tool transport vehicle, has been a trooper, racking up the miles.  But it’s time for Duke to be retired, and, in order for Rescue Rebuild to be able to continue transporting their tools of the trade to help the nation’s shelters, they need to find a replacement.  If the truck dies, the work stops.  If you can help them reach their goal, you’ll be helping animals around the country as well. Please click on this link if you can help in any way.


Rescue Rebuild  is a volunteer and community-driven nonprofit program of and The Animal Rescue Site.   Are you a shelter in need of assistance from Rescue Rebuild? Perhaps you’d like to volunteer your services or would like to participate in a team-building experience.  This link will take you to all the resources on Rescue Rebuild’s website.


Like that?  Check out’s newest episode here, or click here and learn about how to safely organize a doggie play group in a shelter!  And don’t forget to subscribe!

Lisa Blanck

Writing articles about animals for more than 22 years, she dove into the rescue world with the onset of Hurricane Katrina. As an outspoken advocate for animals, she's covered everything from paws to hooves, fins to feathers. She was the Orlando Animal Rescue and Worldwide Animal Issues Examiner for seven years. She's always thinking pawsitive, looking for ways to improve the lives of animals. She lives with one dog, one cat and one patient human. She welcomes your suggestions and is thrilled to be part of the family!


  1. Mongoose218 says:

    Great group of people!

  2. TMichelle says:

    My husband and I have almost the same situation as Debbie in previous comment. Husband is a disabled veteran and we do what we can but our kennels need help. There isn’t animal control where we live in Webster Parish, LA.. So we live down a pretty little country road by a military base and people sneak their animals in and drop them here. We’ve adopted out many and put up cameras and privacy gates. This stopped the dumping for the most part. Now the dogs that we have are all adults that have been with us for the majority of or whole lives (ages 3 to 10 yrs of age now). The very limited number of rescues here are always overcrowded and simply aren’t able to help. We need fencing and kennel repairs that we cannot afford at this time. It’s just us two and we have gone without food and donated plasma many times so our dogs could eat and be safe. Is there any way that we could get help? We don’t want anything for free but we do need help.

    1. Lisa Blanck says:

      Thank you for doing what you can for the animals. Here’s the link to contact Rescue Rebuild. I saw that there was a contact form on that page. Please consider contacting them directly. Perhaps you can also contact your neighborhood shelter and see if you can speak with the volunteers there, in case they can help you out.

  3. Debbie rivas says:

    I dont run a rescue but people r always dropping off there pets at my doorstep.A few yrs ago a big shepard with a tirn off rope was waiting at my doorstep..i turned him in to humane society,Found a home in a week.
    But thru how the yrs as of rite now i have 10 dogs..only 4 were mine to begin with.Any suggestions..i dont want to turn them over to pound.😟from LADY BLUE

    1. Lisa Blanck says:

      If there are rescues in your area, perhaps ask them to courtesy post your animals on their page… or see if you can attend a rescue event with them. Just stay off craigslist, as I”m sure you know…..

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