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January 15, 2024

Partner Spotlight: Black Ops Rescue

Partner Spotlight: Black Ops Rescue

Learn about some of Cat Care Society‘s valued partners in this blog series, showcasing the work of some incredible local non-profits and how together we’re helping cats in our community. Today, meet Black Ops Rescue, an organization that pairs veterans with shelter animals.

Air Force veteran Rich is the live-in caregiver for 82-year-old, Doris. Their beloved cat (and Cat Care Society alumni) Emma passed last year, and they felt it was time to open their hearts and home to another feline friend. They reached out to Black Ops Rescue to help find the perfect pet, who knew they would find him a match at Cat Care Society. Black Ops’ leadership visited the CCS shelter and met with our team to find the cat for them. Mr. Bill, formerly known as Hedwig, fit the bill perfectly. Cat Care Society and Black Ops Rescue worked together to get this special kitty set up with his new home. Within five minutes of being home, he was loving on both Rich and Doris.

“They are in love!” Black Ops Rescue’s executive director said. “Mr. Bill is now spending his days snuggling on Doris’s lap, lolling in his window seat, and playing with Rich. We could not have hoped for a better match — truly a Christmas miracle.”

“Thank you, my friends, for making my life worth something more than before,” Rich added.

This special adoption story is just one of many happy endings the group has been able to arrange.

Black Ops Rescue History

Black Ops Rescue was founded in 2018 by two former shelter employees, Nicole Schimming and Kelley Forrester, and one veteran, Craig Hildebrand. The idea was to serve two demographics in need: veterans and homeless pets. Essentially, Black Ops acts as a matchmaking service, finding the right match for each veteran client. They prioritize black pets first, but ultimately it boils down to finding the right fit. The rescue covers all adoption costs and supplies, provides any necessary medical care and training, and their clients then have a cap (current $2k per pet) that they can draw on for any future needs. They also maintain an ongoing relationship with clients and their pets via regular check-ins. The organization’s mission statement is “Uniting veterans with shelter pets to create a lifelong bond of mutual hope and healing.”

CCS alumni Hedwig, now known as Mr. Bill

Q&A with Black Ops Rescue

What projects are you focusing on right now?

Our big push right now is to grow our stakeholders and increase our presence so we can help more pets and veterans. We are actively expanding our board of directors, our volunteer base, and increasing our marketing. We are focused on sustainable growth. As a high-touch organization, we never want to sacrifice quality for quantity.

What issues or challenges face your organization that you’re working to overcome?

Again, it’s that challenge of growth without sacrificing quality. We are unique in that we don’t have a pool of animals waiting for adoption; we have a pool of clients waiting for an animal. Additionally, since we don’t have a physical facility, it can be difficult to recruit volunteers who are seeking a regularly scheduled opportunity. Our volunteer roles are more intermittent and intensive than regular. And of course, fundraising is a constant need!

How can others support you?

We believe that we work best and can save the most pets when we all work together. As a small rescue, we can be flexible to the needs of our larger partners. Communication is key. We would love for our partners to help spread the word about our program. Since we pay adoption fees to our partners, it works out to be an all-around win situation for us, our partner orgs, our clients, and the pets. 

What do you most want the community to know about your work?

We want the community to know that our service is completely free to our veteran clients! It is our way of saying thank you for serving our country. 

We thank Black Ops Rescue for their great work, support of veterans and valued partnership!

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