Victoria De Shields is trying to bring her animal rescue to Kingston but she needs the community’s help to do that.
De Shields started out with Tri State Pet Rescue nine years ago and is currently running her rescue, Victoria’s Animal Sanctuary, in Blue Ridge but has purchased five and a half acres in Kingston.
“I have a 501c3 and I would love to be in the Rome community doing this work,” she said. “I lived in Rome before moving to Blue Ridge so that area is familiar to me. We needed something new that suited our needs and the property in Kingston is ideal. But we need some help getting it up and running.”
De Shields said her rescue currently cares for 38 dogs, some have been with her for years. Many are owner surrenders.
“Everyday someone calls me to take their dogs or puppies,” she said. “They call me to take horses. There’s such a big need for this.”
Having used loans and her personal finances thus far, De Shields said she’s hoping the Rome community can help by volunteering services or donating to the rescue.
She and dogs are moving from Blue Ridge to Kingston this weekend and she hopes to have some help getting the new property in the right shape do continue her rescue work.
“Land clearing needs to be done and the driveway needs attention,” she said. “We need some electrical work done, basically a general contractor. I’ve put loans and my personal funds into this project and there’s still so much to be done.”
Victoria’s Animal Sanctuary takes in animals and through online networking helps them find foster homes or permanent homes. But De Shields said she’d eventually like to expand into more than just rescuing.
“I’d love to be able to offer low-cost vaccines and spay/neuter services to the Rome and Kingston communities,” she said. “That’s something that’s sorely needed. I’d love to be able to start a dog food program where people who need some help with dog food can call me. I want to help the community care for its animals so they don’t end up abused or neglected.”
“These animals need us,” De Shields said. “They don’t have a voice. They’re abused and neglected every day. I was a nurse before I got into rescuing. When I started doing this I was in a bad place in my life. The dogs healed me and made me feel like I have a purpose.
“Every day I get up and I know I have a purpose because they need me. They need all of us.”