RANSON— Lucky’s Legacy Rescue, a newly formed nonprofit, is a life-saving organization when it comes to cats, dogs and other animals who need homes.
The situation for these animals, especially cats, is dire in Jefferson County. Many no-kill shelters in the area are full when it comes to cats. There’s no room at the inn, to use a phrase associated with the Christmas season. However, that’s not the case for those who come to D.J. Stouffer, the Hagerstown man who created Lucky’s Legacy Rescue in April last year.
Stouffer, 42, spends several weekends a month at area Petco, Petsmart and Pet Value stores when they have adoption events. He recently had several cats, a dog and hamsters available for adoption at the Ranson Petco at 217 Oak Lee Dr.
“We’re a foster based rescue of volunteers,” Stouffer said. “I have about 15 people in the foster staff. They take care of the animals until we find homes for them. When dogs and cats are brought to us, we get them the vaccinations they need then have a veterinarian spay or neuter them before they can be adopted.”
The adoption fee for cats is $60 while dogs can be adopted for $200.
Dogs and cats aren’t the only animals Stouffer handles.
“I’ve had snakes and other reptiles. We take care of small animals, not horses or cows,” Stouffer said.
Stouffer also operates a transport service to get dogs and cats from kill shelters in places like Texas and North Carolina. He’s in the process of developing another nonprofit organization to help other rescue operations with spaying, neutering and vaccination costs called The Cat’s Voice.
Cats in need of adoption are the animals Stouffer sees the most.
“I had a boy come in with a box of five kittens. They were barely weaned,” Stouffer said. “We fed them a special mixture of kitten milk and wet food.”
Stouffer also participates in efforts to save eight cats who were dropped off at the Antietam Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Md.
“We’ve caught two so far,” Stouffer said.
Stouffer’s busy life involves more than working with animals. For 26 years, he has been the senior director for youth development at the Hagerstown YMCA. However, he also worked for the Washington County Humane Society for 12 years, which spurred his interest in forming his own organization.
“I had a passion to do something like this. I’ve always tried to rescue animals,” he said.
When he was a child, he caught a chipmunk he thought needed a home.
“I had it in a shoe box. It got loose in the house and bit my mother,” Stouffer said.
His first rescue dog was named Lucky so Lucky’s Legacy became the perfect name for Stouffer’s new organization.
Stouffer said he will be looking into grants in the future to help with funding for Lucky’s Legacy.
“Right now we are blessed with donations from people who come to us. We participate in fundraisers from restaurants like Glory Days,” Stouffer said.
Donations can be made by going to Lucky’s Legacy on Facebook.