This Organization Saves Dogs and the People Who Love Them

Maria O’Brien, a Make Your Idea Happen contest runner-up, and her brother, Shawn, were the type of children who were always bringing home birds, kittens and other animals in distress. “It was a constant in our life to have animals,” she says. Five years ago, the siblings used that passion for helping animals to start Rainbow Rescues, a non-profit foster-based rescue organization in Granville, MA.

We caught up with Maria to learn more about how her organization makes more happen for animals in need and for the greater community.

What does Rainbow Rescues do?

We try to match the personality of the dog with the best family environment for them. We take in so many dogs that would otherwise be euthanized. But our mission is to rehabilitate the animals that come into our care and help the community in general to rehabilitate and learn about loving animals. A lot of the training that takes place is focused on socializing the dogs that have been through tough times. Those dogs really need a lot of work to get them able to go into a new home.

What kind of team do you have?

We have a fantastic amount of volunteers and foster homes. If it was just me, this wouldn’t exist. But what we do with the community is the heart of what we do. Having veterans and foster children come in to work with the dogs or placing a dog with them is just amazing. These dogs bring out the thing they’ve lost in life. It really warms your heart and your soul.

How would you define success?

What I’m most excited about with Rainbow Rescues is that we could make our goals happen, and actually have that shelter that we’ve been dreaming about to help the community.

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