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Our mission is to proactively search out the dogs who can’t search for help themselves. The critically ill, injured, abandoned dogs within our community. To go into known dump sites and remove dogs in need, and in some cases, remove dogs from bad living situations when an owner agrees to surrender.  We will work with scared and shutdown dogs to gain trust in order to capture them, bring them in for medical care, socialize them, and eventually re-home them.

We focus on the dogs that would normally not make it in a shelter environment from bottle babies to elderly, heartworm-positive, hospice, and give them the time and attention they need to become safe, healthy, adoptable, human companions. Ultimately, Ruff Start STX is the place where the last (or only) chance dogs are given an opportunity for a happily ever after.

Our secondary focus is to provide free and/or affordable care for pet owners who do not have easy access. We accomplish this goal through our monthly clinics which provide free and conveniently located services for vaccines, deworming, heartworm testing, low-cost preventatives, as well as food and other supplies. By supporting pet owners and keeping pets happy and healthy in their homes, the number of abandoned animals is greatly reduced in our community.

We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Tax ID#66-0942064.


Katie Nelson

Founder and President