Local Organization Finds Forever Homes For Neglected Animals

Photographer: Michael Durr

For as long as she can remember, Amanda Ryan has been involved in animal advocacy.

After working for years in the nonprofit field, including the Humane Society for Hamilton County, she realized to continue on that path, she needed to have a career that gave her both the income and flexibility to do so.

She went back to school to get her realtor’s license and then became the executive director of another animal rescue organization.

“I was following everyone’s footsteps, but I wanted to follow my own,” she says.

At the encouragement of family and friends, in January 2018, Ryan founded and became president of Redemption Rescue, Inc. Redemption is a non-profit foster-based rescue in Indianapolis whose two main goals are to save and prevent.

They exist to save forgotten, abandoned, sick and injured animals while helping to prevent unwanted litters.

In the six short months that they have been in operation, they have already exceeded their goal of saving 30 animals by doubling it. Ryan is joined by three other women who call themselves the Dog Lady Tribe, all of whom volunteer their time as well: Stephanie Hall, vice-president and secretary, Katy Patterson, treasurer, Aimee Ziehl and Lindsay Powell committee members and volunteers.

What They Do

  • Pull the most urgent dogs and cats from Indiana-based shelters into foster care and then adoption.
  • Offer behavioral and medical assistance.
  • Advocate for all breeds.
  • Educate the community on the necessity of spaying, neutering and pet care.
  • Work with other local rescues.
  • Help pet owners who are struggling financially so they don’t have to take their pets to a shelter. Redemption can help with vaccines, food or even sometimes spaying and neutering services.

How They Do It

Ryan plans ahead so that she has the resources for animal rescues.

“My motto is I raise the money, and I can pull the animal based on the money I have,” she says. “Then when I pull the animal, I fundraise for that animal for the next animal. You pad the bank account for the disaster before the disaster happens.”

She can pull only as many animals as she has available foster homes.

About 80 percent of fundraising is done through their Facebook page. Local businesses help, such as a brewery and their “Pints for Pups” event. Ryan also generously donates 50 percent of her realtor commissions to animal advocacy.

In fact, she finds that her work as a realtor and as an animal advocate help each other. Ninety percent of her clients are animal lovers who sometimes even adopt an animal from Redemption.

Redemption accepts animals only from Indiana shelters, not from owners. The process of “pulling” a dog or cat from a shelter varies depending on each situation.

  • Behavioral Issues: Animals with behavioral issues go into a foster home with a person who is skilled in behavioral retraining. The trainer works to rebuild the animal’s confidence while determining underlying behavioral triggers. After a successful retraining, the animal is ready to be adopted.
  • Sick or injured animals: Ryan searches for a veterinarian willing to work with her based on the needs of the animal. She must determine the cost of the care. For example, a puppy who has Parvo (which can be prevented by a $12 vaccine) will rack up $4,000 in treatment. After the medical care is completed, the animal is placed in foster care until it is healed and ready for adoption.

Depending upon circumstances, a dog or cat can be in foster care anywhere from two weeks to several months.

How You Can Help Redemption Rescue

  • Foster care. By far, the biggest need is for people to foster animals. Redemption pays all the costs of the animal during this time and provides for the needs. They will also work with the foster family on any scheduling issues/vacations to make it as easy as possible.
  • Adoption. Provide a dog or cat with a forever home.
  • Volunteers. Volunteers are needed for everything from driving animals to doctor appointments to writing thank you notes to making pet gift baskets. To volunteer, fill out the contact form on the website and let them know you are interested in general volunteering.
  • Donations. Donations are accepted at redemptionrescueinc.com
  • Supply list on Amazon. You can find a list of their supply needs at redemptionrescueinc.com

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