Off the Rocks Rescue is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) animal welfare organization dedicated to the aid of homeless cats and dogs by providing education and advocacy as well as hands on rescue. Based in St. Thomas, USVI and Boston, Massachusetts, we bring adoptive cats and dogs from areas of high population and facilitate their adoption into loving homes in New England. As a volunteer organization, we rely entirely on support and funds from individuals, businesses and foundations.
Although the founders of OTR have both done animal rescue work for years, our organization was borne out of the hurricane season of 2017 which devastated the Virgin Islands and nearby areas. In the disaster conditions that were the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Irma, animals were filling the streets, abandoned and hungry. Local USVI animal shelters that emptied out after an aid evacuation would be filled to capacity again in two days. Although this particular situation has been extreme, the USVI has long struggled with dog and cat overpopulation due to factors including the warm climate with year-round births, the preponderance of outdoor unfixed pets and wild bush dogs/cats, and the difficulty in transporting animals off island.
Off the Rocks has two locations, one in St. Thomas and one in the Boston, Massachusetts area. This gives us continuity of care: we can identity and prepare adoptable animals in the USVI for transport to New England where they can adjust and move on to adoption. We collaborate with other USVI island rescue organizations such as the Animal Care Center of St. John and Lucky Paws Foundation. We support the spay/neuter efforts that are essential in controlling the dog and cat population. In the USVI we directly participate in the TNR protocol of trapping, fixing and returning feral cats back into the wild near a steady food source. At the same time, we look for adoptable dogs and cats to transport off island: while the people of the USVI provide thousands of loving homes for stray animals, they are well outnumbered by the volume of cats and dogs needing adoption.
At OTR/MA we use our own quarantine and rescue space along with a network of foster homes to socialize and find suitable homes for transported dogs and cats. We participate in community service and local youth education programs which bring teens and young adults together with dogs and cats and increase stray pet awareness.
Kelsey Wyrick is a vet tech and animal rescuer from Bend Oregon, who has made St. Thomas home since 2016. She heads up OTR/USVI and is often seen monitoring the dumpster sites on island, taking in homeless dogs and cats to socialize and get healthy. She most recently has also worked at Canines Cats and Critters on island.
Dawn Balcazar is a psychologist and animal rescuer from Wellesley, Massachusetts. She heads up OTR/MA and is often seen driving to local airports to pick up animals arriving from the islands. Her professional work is with teens and young adults, whom she enjoys involving in direct animal care at OTR/MA through community service and other volunteer programs.
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Address: 17 Cottage St. Wellesley, MA 02482
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© 2018 Off the Rocks Animal Rescue | Off the Rocks Animal Rescue is a 501(c)(3) non-profit registered in the U.S. under EIN: 82-4438918.