Interview With Brave Animal Rescue

From the Brave Animal Rescue website: “Founded in 2020 by a group of animal advocates in Lincoln, Nebraska, Brave Animal Rescue (BAR)  is a nonprofit 501(C)(3) volunteer-based animal welfare organization dedicated to rescuing homeless kittens, cats, dogs, and puppies. By working with a network of volunteer advocates, foster caregivers, local veterinarians, and shelters, Brave Animal Rescue is able to help hundreds of animals every year by pulling animals from high-kill shelters, by working hands-on rescuing orphaned kittens, by aiding in local Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) efforts, and by helping those who are no longer able to care for their pets.”

What follows is my interview with a Brave Animal Rescue spokesperson.

ALLISON: Why did Brave Animal Rescue start?

BRAVE: We (the founders of Brave) have been volunteering with local rescues for years. We’ve been in leadership positions and have been foster parents. We had always thrown around the idea of starting our own rescue, but it never felt like the right time. When the pandemic hit, we suddenly had extra time on our hands and decided to start our own nonprofit.

ALLISON: How are you different from other rescues?

BRAVE: Brave helps cats and dogs of all breeds, ages, and abilities. However, we have a special heart and expertise for kittens under 8 weeks old and pets with special needs. We know these are underserved populations and we do our best to support them.

ALLISON: What high-kill shelters do you pull from?

BRAVE: We support our local humane societies in addition to pulling from rural pounds in Southeast Kansas, Southeast Missouri, and Oklahoma.

ALLISON: How do you support local pet owners?

BRAVE: Our favorite way to support local pet owners is helping cover the costs of spays and neuters. We would love for all pets to be fixed  and we’re happy to financially help when we are able. We would rather invest in these procedures than be asked to take kittens a few months later.

ALLISON: What is your involvement with other kitten rescues?

BRAVE: We value collaboration over competition! We have worked closely with other organizations helping with hands-on rescue missions and Trap-Neuter-Return efforts. We are also happy to share surplus donations, too.

ALLISON: Share the major accomplishments you’re most proud of?

BRAVE: In our first year as a nonprofit, we rescued 327 animals. 231 of those were cats and kittens and a large majority were from the Lincoln area. The founders and directors of Brave are under 30 and lead busy work lives outside of rescue, which is entirely volunteer-based. We are very proud of the individual impact we have made on the pets and families we have helped, in addition to the community impact we’ve made in Lincoln and midwestern shelters.

ALLISON: How many volunteers do you have?

BRAVE: Brave has 40 foster homes with about half being active at any given time. We also have several volunteers who help with transports, social media, and fundraising.

ALLISON: How can the public help?

BRAVE: The biggest way the public can help the animal rescue effort is by choosing adoption and spaying and neutering pets, including community cats. Our hope is to one day no longer be needed! Until then, we rely on donations, volunteers, and adopters to keep Brave up and running. You can learn about getting involved here: https://www.brave-animal-rescue.org/volunteer

ALLISON: What have been some challenges?

BRAVE: Running a nonprofit is a full time job, and we already have full time jobs! Rescue never stops and we rarely have free time. We are continuously striving to find balance between work, Brave, and our family/social lives. If we’re to be a longstanding rescue in our community, we need to avoid burnout while continuing to rescue build a name for ourselves. It’s a balancing act, but one we’re honored to attempt. 

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