Mercy Fund Animal Rescue, Inc. is a 100% volunteer, commit to life foster based animal rescue. We are a small, rural rescue and our mission is to save the lives of animals in need, as well as to find safe and loving homes for those displaced and work hard to keep pets in their loving homes. Joy Harklerode, a long-time resident of Marion, North Carolina in McDowell County, saw a desperate need to assist her community in addressing animal welfare, overpopulation, and assistance to residents in providing dignity and care to their pets. This led her to start Mercy Fund Animal Rescue, Inc. in 2006 and nearly two decades later, Mercy has a small but might network of dedicated people committed to executing on Mercy’s mission. People helping pets, one pet at a time.
Mercy is a local community resource. As a 100% foster-based rescue, we do everything within our network to save the lives of animals in need and support and assist their loving owners in caring for their pets. All of our animals are with our foster community until they are ready for adoption (with many who can’t be adopted and remain in our Forever Foster Network). Joy’s initial prayer and mission for Mercy was to feed the hungry, home the homeless, warm the cold, heal the sick, and save the lost. Each of Mercy’s programs directly address her initial hopes and this work continues on with heart and determination! McDowell County local management offices (411 assistance, Marion Animal Shelter, and Marion Animal Control) all refer individuals in need of assistance with their pets to our various programs. Mercy is viewed as a critical resource in our community.
Visit our work on GuideStar where we have achieved a Platinum Seal of Transparency based on our full transparency approach!
When we have resources available, this program provides pet food as a safety net for those people who are truly in need for their animals. This includes the elderly, disabled, and homeless individuals who have nowhere else to turn and are at risk of otherwise surrendering their pets. Without this program, individuals are forced to make decisions between meeting their own basic needs and feeding their loving companions. Local management offices including 411 assistance, Marion Animal Shelter, and Marion Animal Control all refer individuals to this vital program. This program has positively impacted our community by feeding over 16,000 animals - 11,234 cats, 5,032 dogs in 2023.
Our Emergency Community Assist Program is designed to help those animals in need of medical care and their families in the most imminent financial need. As money is available, this program provides funding for sick animals by arranging their veterinary care through the Animal Hospital of Marion. In 2023, our Emergency Community Assist Program helped 114 animals and their families over the last year.
Our Forever Foster Program cares for senior and/or special needs animals to help them live and be placed in humane conditions with dignity. Mercy cares for senior dogs and cats as well as those with special needs and circumstances of different disabilities. These animals have been turned out and are not adoptable, but Mercy is committed to ensuring they have an opportunity to be cared for and lead peaceful lives for the balance of their journey. This program provides medical and veterinary care for medical conditions in this fur pack including diabetes, blindness, heart conditions, seizures, incontinence, and more. In 2023, Mercy helped 32 Senior and Special Needs animals and on average Mercy has over 30 or more animals in our ongoing care.
Our Adoption program is focused on helping re-home those pets who are surrendered by their families, are homeless, or displaced for any reason. In 2023, our program helped place approximately 134 animals and these numbers are growing rapidly based on community need.
Our Shelter Program provides dog houses for those in the county that have dogs without safety or shelter from inclement weather. This is vital because currently there are no ordinances regarding tethering or leash laws in McDowell County. We have provided over 70 homes to exposed dogs in the last year.
Our Trap Neuter Return program captures feral cats, neuters or spays them, and then returns them to their caretaker colonies. We addressed over 200 cats in 2023 which is helping control overpopulation.
Our Spay and Neuter local program assists our community in addressing overpopulation which is often the root cause of many of the issues we are solving for. In the last year, we have provided spay and neuter to nearly 400 animals.
Mercy sends out a monthly newsletter to keep subscribers up to date on adoptions, events, special requests, and important information. Click below to read our most recent issue.