Ruff Start Rescue is a 501c3 nonprofit foster-based animal rescue based in central Minnesota. Since 2010 we have rescued and housed almost 12,000 animals. A majority of them had a truly rough start, coming from situations of neglect or abandonment. We also help animals that are strays or owner surrenders. All receive proper veterinary care and are housed in foster homes throughout the state of Minnesota as they wait for their forever home.
pet supplies shared with the community
children educated through education program
Ruff Start Rescue is dedicated to saving the lives of at-risk animals. We also collaborate, communicate, and educate about the importance of animal rescue and welfare.
We strive for a world where every companion animal has a safe and loving forever home.
Each pet in our care is provided with routine vaccinations, spay/neuter procedures, microchipped, given internal and external parasite preventatives, and tested for common blood borne pathogens such as heartworm and feline leukemia. Advanced veterinary care is provided to any animal that requires such services.
Ruff Start Rescue is committed to ensuring that all healthy and treatable animals leave our rescue alive. We believe every animal deserves a chance to find a loving home, and we do everything possible to treat the animals in our care and try to save them regardless of their age or the expense associated. Learn more about our no-kill initiative.
We are committed to providing refuge to pets through a home-based foster model, relying on volunteers to offer their homes as a temporary safe place for animals in need of rescue. We believe this is the most beneficial model for the animal’s safety, security, and health while they await their forever family. At this time, we have over 400 active foster families. Learn more about becoming a foster.
Our education program was established in 2013 with the mission to help children and young adults become responsible, compassionate, and empathetic pet owners by educating them on pet care, adoption, and safety. Since the inception of our education program, our message has reached more than 5,000 individuals throughout the entire state of Minnesota. Learn more about our education program.
We are committed to helping local animals first and foremost, but we are also keenly aware of the dire situation concerning pet overpopulation and abandonment in the southern states. For this reason, we transport animals from high-kill shelters in the south back to Minnesota, where there is a much higher rate of adoption. Learn more about out-of-state intake.
Lone Star to North Star™
This unique out-of-state intake program focuses on making a significant long-term impact in Texas, a state where even healthy and behaviorally-sound animals are at risk and over 114,000 pets were euthanized this past year. The transporting of these animals is a cause we deeply care about. Learn more about the Lone Star to North Star effort.