By Susan Spisak
Grammy Rose Rescue and Sanctuary in Acton takes in adoptable dogs from kill shelters around the country and provides them with quality care in a unique, homelike setting as they work to match them with forever families. The extensive campus-like setting features “cabins” for their rescues awaiting adoption. Grammy Rose staffers collaborate with the local community to provide employment, volunteer, and recreational activities as they support their ongoing mission.
The rescue’s namesake, Grammy Rose, aka Rose Kessler Wentworth, had a zest for life and loved all animals, especially dogs. Grammy Rose spoiled her own dogs so much she even cooked scrambled eggs for them on Sundays. A descendant of Grammy’s is also a dog lover – in fact, she and her husband adopted a rescue out of TN named Sammie. They became aware of a sanctuary with cabins for dogs called Our Companions. They shared all info on their successful undertaking, and the Acton group tweaked it to fit their needs. This Maine endeavor was privately funded by a member of the family who has stewarded the land upon which Grammy Rose sits.
According to board member Andrew Whitaker, construction started in the fall of 2020 and concluded just recently, about April of 2022. “The actual idea dates back a few years farther…The design phase, working with architects, designers, and dog shelter experts, took about six to nine months.” The result is a campus with an adoption center and six residential canine cabins. Each cabin has individual living spaces for several dogs. They are outfitted to ensure that visitors and canine caregivers are comfortable. More importantly, these surroundings aid dogs in adapting to their future homes and families.
There are 55 acres of surrounding land with walking and hiking trails and play areas. And to honor Grammy’s husband, they named their new on-campus ice cream parlor and 18 hole mini-golf course Wicky Ralph’s (aka Ralph Wentworth). This feature is open to the public in warmer months. Ongoing rescue operations are funded in part by proceeds from the mini-golf and ice cream shop, and the balance is private donations and fundraising.
Cindy Norwood, Rescue Manager (also a Veterinary ER Nurse), oversees the rescue operations, the full/part time staff and the150 volunteers. She searches for dogs from kill shelters nationally (they have several partners in a handful of states as of now) and matches them to their forever family when ready for adoption. As of 6/21/2022, they have saved the lives of and rehomed 80 highly adoptable dogs. This number changes daily, and they expect it will pass 100 very quickly.
The first group of dogs arrived at the rescue in July of 2021. “Affectionately referred to as The Lucky Seven, the group included a Catahoula mix puppy named Rose [a true coincidence] who was the first to step off the transport van and the first to be adopted,” shared Whitaker.
For more info including all adoptable dogs, grammyrose.org. Donations are welcome. Their Amazon.com and Chewy.com wish lists are on that site as well.