A Brief History Of Animal Outreach
While the saying “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animal are treated” is sometimes attributed to Gandhi, the beginnings of Animal Outreach grew from much more humble beginnings. In the late 1980’s a few women in El Dorado county felt they could do something for the many abandoned and unwanted cats in the county. It began in the back of a beauty shop and before too many years grew enough to relocate. In the beginning they were working with the Humane Society. Soon they decided they wanted to run their own rescue. They began in the back of a beauty shop but fairly quickly their need for space.
Their idea was so popular and needed by the community that it grew quickly, overwhelming the back of the small business where it began. They worked with several vets in those years. About 1990 they had the opportunity to move into a small space in an industrial neighborhood of Diamond Springs. Near that time, they began working with a local vet that was also ready for a change. The original two women combined with a veterinarian and a bookkeeper. Animal Outreach of the Mother Lode had a name and nonprofit status and a home. Shortly after another individual that is now our Board President joined them.
That space was usually overflowing with rescues, spay and neuter animals and more. The hallways were stacked and lined with carriers on surgery days. The litter and food were delivered on pallets and had to be kept with the cats in a small cattery. It was very tight but so successful for the community and continued there until late 2008. In late 2008 a few fans and benefactors recognized the efforts and offered to provide a discounted space and funding for a new facility.
We spent 6 months designing the space and setting up contractors and volunteers to transform an empty space four times the size of the current space, into a new facility. We gathered an architect, two carpenters, volunteer helpers (over 20 of them) and others and began construction in 2009. As moving day approached Disney came up with a program to provide one day pass to Disneyland in exchange for one day of volunteering with a nonprofit in the community.
With all the spaces completed, wiring installed, plumbing installed, cabinets installed and everything cleaned by a hoard of volunteers we made a move of all furniture, tables, chairs, boxes, file cabinets, computers, food, litter, cat trees, cats and cages in one day! We had several large pickups, a few trailers, and a few dozen cars that constantly went between the old location and the new location moving items big and small. It was amazing and rewarding to see the community at work for Animal Outreach. We were overjoyed to see the first cats and kittens released in the new cattery.
Since that date we have expanded exponentially. We have grown to one of the largest and most successful spay/neuter, recue, vaccine facilities in Norther California. We have offered new programs such as a month free feral day, a vaccine clinic, dog spay and neutering including large dogs. We have developed a top notch surgery facility with a fantastic head veterinarian and dedicated vet techs and assistants
To be more specific:
• A head Veterinarian and three part time veterinarians.
• Four full time employees.
• An Operations Manager
• Sixteen part time employees.
• From 100 to 300 volunteers depending on the time of year.
• We have been able to maintain a once a month free feral day for years.
• We have rescued from 1,400 to 2,000 felines per year and found forever homes for them.
• We are managed by a Board of Directors with over 80 years of experience with Animal Outreach.