Another Wilson County animal rescue group will be relocating to the former Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary facility at Mt. Juliet to pursue her own mission of animal welfare.
True Rescue, a non-profit group, works in Lebanon under the direction of Executive Director Amy Simcik. The group recently purchased the Old Friends building on Lebanon Road from Michael and Zina Goodin, who moved their operations to a new, multi-million dollar facility nearby on Nonaville Road.
The target opening date at True Rescue’s new mount. Juliette’s location is August 15.
“Zina and I are very happy that True Rescue continues our legacy of saving animals of all kinds,” said Michael Goodin. “It’s a wonderful organization and we hope to help each other in the future.”
Simcik said his group was “ecstatic” about the move which will triple its space, giving it the option to accommodate more animals.
“Our rescue efforts are quite young,” said Simcik, a Lebanese resident and mother of two adult sons. “We opened in May 2020 in the midst of a pandemic on Carver Lane in Lebanon. The place had been flooded. We wanted to buy it and the owners didn’t want to sell it to us. Then we heard the Goodins were leaving their location and we knew it was perfect for us.
“It has always been a dream of mine. I just knew I could take the experience I gained with other animal rescue organizations and make a difference in Wilson County.
During the last decade before opening True Rescue, Simcik worked and volunteered for a number of animal rescue groups. The two most notable were the Humane Society of the United States and the American Humane Association.
“I knew something more had to happen for the dogs, cats and other animals in need in our county,” said Simcik, owner of eight cats and five dogs on his 15-acre property in Lebanon. “Here, and in the surrounding areas, animal controls are limited to house them.”
Currently, True Rescue is home to 150 cats and kittens. He had to slow down the acceptance of dogs and puppies due to a space issue – there are currently six puppies and two adult dogs at the facility. One of the specialties of True Rescue is saving newborn kittens. Simcik said when the weather gets warmer it is referred to as “kitten season”.
“Their mothers (of kittens) get sick or kill themselves. Many are homeless and their babies have breathing problems and end up with pneumonia, ”said Simcik.
True Rescue is also receiving calls about kittens thrown in garbage cans, dumpsters and streams.
Since opening in May 2020, True Rescue has adopted 800 animals and has 12-20 foster families to rely on.
The new facility will have the space to open a sterilization and sterilization clinic. This service is integrated with the current adoption fees which range from $ 75 to $ 125.
There has been a deep cleaning, painting and a lot of teardown inside the new building because True Rescue will be a cage-free environment. Another addition will be a retail space to sell pet related gifts such as their branded items, t-shirts and more.
Besides Simcik, the other members of the staff are: Kristin Condit (director of operations); Sandy Moyer (reception and adoption coordinator); and Kelley Winzek (manager of the shelter). Simcik is likely to add three more positions in the near future and a group of volunteers. She will also hire a full-time veterinarian for on-site care.
Condit works on fundraising and gets grants to make the group work even further.
“Having been involved in the initial development, planning, and launch of True Rescue, I can’t say how excited I am for our move.” she said. “We’ve seen it time and time again, the more we lean into saying ‘yes’ and helping as many animals as possible, we are rewarded with opportunities we never imagined. “