In 2004 Donna and Jenifer started Autumn Acres Animal Rescue. Both women were aware of the plight of dogs in area shelters and the neglect and abuse many dogs face every day. Instead of standing along the sidelines they decided to become involved.
Both had previously volunteered with other organizations. Donna had been highly involved in volunteer transports including numerous cross country transports and Jenifer had volunteered with several animal organizations.
When starting Autumn Acres Animal Rescue Donna had a very strong love of the Newfoundland dog breed and her focus was on those special dogs. With her leadership our rescue pulled many newfies from puppy mill auctions, shelters, breeder releases and even handled owner surrenders. In those early years there weren’t many groups around helping out Newfoundlands. The NCA club had such strict requirements that many of our owner surrendered newfies had been turned down by the NCA breed club rescues. As time went on…more and more rescues started focusing on giant breeds and the need for us to have the Newfie Division wasn’t there anymore.
Jenifer’s focus when starting Autumn Acres Animal Rescue continues to this day. She has always focused on the dogs the other rescues ignored. The ones who trembled in fear, who growled, who refused to make eye contact…the ones that needed extra time due to their fear, heartbreak, illnesses, or special needs. Those are the dogs she’s always had a need to help. Many times she had to fight with shelters to get those dogs released. Most shelters refused to allow a dog who was scared and may possibly defend themselves if pressed in corner to be released. Things have changed so much since those beginning days. More dogs are given a chance…but one thing that hasn’t changed? There are still very few rescues willing to give those dogs the time and chance they need.
In 2018 Autumn Acres Animal Rescue was finally able to take in their first rescue horses. We had become aware of the horrible things that happen to horses about 4 years ago but we didn’t have a chance to become involved until this past year. We are working with a kill lot in Kansas and we hope to help even more horses that were slaughter bound in the coming years! “Horses are pets too!” is the name we’ve given this program. If you haven’t been around horses you need to schedule a time to meet ours. Horses give love, affection, and their all for their people. They are loyal and they have hearts and feelings too. These animals are not meant to be used as a machine then thrown away. They don’t deserve the pain and heartbreak they experience on the way to the slaughterhouse. They deserve so much more.