History of Wish Bone Canine Rescue
Wish Bone Canine Rescue began its journey in May, 2009 as Veterinary Rescue Associates. The goal then, as it is now, was to be one of the finest rescue organizations in central Illinois, helping to end the plight of homeless animals killed in animal control facilities. We started as a small, dedicated group of about ten volunteers, rescuing dogs and cats. Our President and Founder, Lisa Kitchens, used her home as our base of operations. In our first year, 68 companion animals found new hope and new homes because of our rescue efforts. While we were proud of our work, we understood that our successes were relatively small compared to the number of animals needing help. Still, we had made a difference - and that felt good. After reviewing our efforts, it was felt we could be most effective by focusing on dogs. Lisa Kitchens had just lost her precious canine companion, Wish, so we chose to become Wish Bone Rescue in her memory.
In 2011, our name was again changed, this time to Wish Bone Canine Rescue in keeping with our decision to be a canine only rescue. We had a record 227 adoptions take place that year, our foster home base had grown to nearly 60 homes and our volunteer base was over 200. With such rapid growth, the decision was made to hire a full time director and locate a facility that would enable us to continue to grow. To this point, all of our rescue efforts had been made possible by the use of dedicated volunteers, foster homes and special veterinary services arrangements.
In March 2012, Lisa Kitchens was hired as our full time Shelter Director. In June, 2012, Wish Bone Canine Rescue moved into its newly leased facility at 1303 Morrissey, Bloomington, IL. Extensive remodeling was undertaken. By the end of 2012, we had achieved 647 adoptions for the year, with another 35 rescued and in foster homes awaiting adoption. Our foster homes had grown to over 80 and our volunteer base was over 300. In 2013, there were 703 adoptions.
In the future we hope to cultivate additional foster homes, as it is only through them that we are able to save the lives of the many dogs in need. We will focus on our mission and also educate the public as to becoming a no-kill community with the help of Nathan Winograd’s vision. We couldn’t have come this far without all of our devoted volunteers, foster homes, adopters, and donors.
Our first major milestone as an organization came in the beginning of 2010, when we gained 501(c) (3) non-profit status. As a non-profit, all donations became tax deductible, and that gave even more incentive to donate to our mission. In 2010, 126 dogs found their forever home.