Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary provides a no kill/animals alive option to Hawaii County residents. They are home to 400 cats and 65 dogs at any one time. They assist in alleviating the animal abandonment and overpopulation issues facing the island, as well as promoting the social, emotional and health benefits of animal companionship. Their services include educating the public on responsible pet ownership, spay/neuter clinics, rescuing, fostering, provision of food, medical care and safe sheltering of these animals until they can be permanently placed into caring and responsible homes. Some special cases allow them to live out their lives at the Sanctuary or foster locations or return them to their companions. Their mantra is People Helping Animals - Animals Helping People.
The Grey Muzzle grant for Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary (RFAS) will support their existing program of providing dental/medical and rehabilitation care to senior dogs currently housed at the sanctuary, in foster care, and future intakes. The funding will also provide medical treatment for older dogs that remain with their low-income owners, with the owners able to come to RFAS for help when their dogs are sick or injured or experience additional hardship, such as the lava flows of 2018. Support from Grey Muzzle allows RFAS to care for dogs like Elsie. A ten-year-old terrier mix, Elsie is one of the residents at Rainbow Friends. She was adopted many years ago but returned two years ago when her people moved off island. In the past several days, she suddenly experienced a bulging disk and is unable to use her rear legs. She has been to the vet and is now on several expensive medications. Time will tell if she will be able to walk again, but in the meantime, she has the TLC of RFAS staff and volunteers.