With a strong passion for furry friends who offer such healing love and companionship of their own, Angels to the Animals — a 501(c)(3) animal rescue organization — is a local non-profit group first inspired by “lead angel,” Mickey Mack.
“First and foremost, our inspiration came from Mickey — a gentle, kind, and humble man who felt called upon to help all animals,” says Melissa Lang, President of Angels to the Animals. “A small group of residents started helping him feed and care for neglected and chained animals in the Stanley and Lincolnton areas. Mickey had been using his own funds for years, but we joined his mission just under two years ago and, as people heard about us, they wanted to contribute to our efforts.”
Angels to the Animals bases their work on three core values: compassion, integrity, and dedication, with a mission to keep animals free from hunger, malnutrition, thirst, fear, distress, pain, injury, disease, and discomfort. The ultimate goal is for every animal to be free to love and be loved!
Melissa says personally, her inspiration comes from seeing the faces of grateful animals.
“Their body language that changes from fearful to trusting, their downward-looking faces that finally gaze upward with soulful eyes, and the pure joyful displays when we visit them,” she explains.
Angels to the Animals currently has approximately 40 volunteers who assist in varying ways, including on-site care for providing food and water, shelter (including housing, tarps, and straw), cleaning soiled areas, and applying flea and tick treatments. Volunteers also transport dogs and cats for spay and neutering, or medical appointments, and also assist with website and graphics design, social media, or help with fundraising and adoption events. Helpers may also be involved with bathing dogs, walking, training, or taking pups for outings to a nearby park or store.
Melissa says the group is alerted to potentially harmful situations primarily from community members, but also from other community organizations such as Helping Animals to Survive (HATS) and Heart of the Carolina’s who build fences to get dogs off chains. Their name has become fairly well known, and as word spreads, neighbors feel comfortable contacting the group directly.
“We do an initial drive-by assessment and, if we feel it is warranted, we approach the owner to see how we can help,” Melissa explains.
The group also partners with several wonderful veterinarians in the area, primarily Westshore Animal Hospital, East Catawba Animal Clinic, Cherryville Animal Hospital, and Denver Animal Emergency for the most severe cases. For spay and neutering, the group partners with other amazing local groups such as Gastonia Low Cost Spay/Neuter, Stand For Animals in Mooresville, and the Charlotte Humane Society.
“While our primary area is Lincoln County, we have helped animals in Gastonia, Catawba, Iredell County, Morganton, and Concord (Cabarrus County),” says Melissa. “Due to geographic convenience, we try to remain within Lincoln County, but we are here to help all the animals who need us — in whatever way possible!”
Angels to the Animals differs from other local groups in that they provide frequent on-site care. Their mission is to educate the owners, whenever possible, and if they are doing the best they can and truly want to keep their pet, the group makes sure the animal is up-to-date on vaccines, and provides whatever is needed to make the pet comfortable and healthy, including spay and neutering.
“If we feel the pet is too neglected or in harm’s way, or that the homeowner isn’t trying to improve, even with our help, we work to persuade them to allow us to re-home the pet,” Melissa explains. “Sometimes that’s easy, other times it’s not, but we do have a good success rate. Our efforts help ease the burden on the county animal shelter that is often full to capacity and whose hands are often tied due to the limiting county ordinances.”
And they want you to spread the word! Please visit this compassionate group of volunteers at angelstotheanimals.org , where you can contact them about volunteering, fostering, adopting, or donating, and to keep up with their special events. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, and follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/angelstotheanimals/ and Instagram @angelstotheanimalsinc.