Rufus Refuge seeks expansion


In just eighteen short months, Dawn Knight and the Rufus Refuge crew, has made a huge dent in the estray population of Madison County, rescuing and homing close to four hundred animals. 

Rufus Refuge was conceived by a common thread of love for animals that four long-time friends, Dawn Knight, Jill Sharp Vaughn, Kathy Crouch, and Karen Wakefield Bond, shared.  Since conception, it has been the mission of the shelter to help make a difference in the homeless and abandoned pet population of Madisonville, one animal at a time.

With 75% of animals being rescued within the city limits of Madisonville, Rufus Refuge has become a great partner and asset to the City of Madisonville in assistance with animal control.  

Ellie Haynes, the City of Madisonville’s only Animal Control Officer, has made great strides in decreasing animal problems within the city in her relatively short tenure.  Her passion for her job is made evident in the increase of animals rescued and animal issues addressed in the city. 

Upon apprehension of an animal, it is impounded by the Animal Control Officer to an animal shelter or other impounding facility.  The city maintains a three-day hold policy for untagged animals, and a five-day hold if the rescued animal is found appropriately tagged.  After Haynes or the impounding facility has exhausted the mandatory waiting period, the animal is free to be adopted to a new home.

Due to the steadfast love of animals found at Rufus Refuge and its partnership with the city to place animals in forever homes, the need for donations is ever increasing.  Rufus Refuge also partners with local veterinarians to provide its rescues with everything needed to become a healthy companion.  Veterinarian bills can average around $5,000 per month with the quantity of animals being rescued.

Foster homes are a vital part of rehabilitation for these animals; however, there is a great need for a kennel facility to house Rufus Refuge’s growing population.  Rufus Refuge is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and all donations are tax deductible.

“Our organization will work in building community partnerships and resources to help reunite pets with their owners or find loving and suitable alternatives,” says Knight.  She goes on to say, “The outpouring of love and support for our mission and effort to rescue hurt, abandoned, and abused animals has been wonderful.  Many people in the community have stepped up to foster and adopt, but,  financial assistance is still a necessary part in the success of the rescue of these animals.” 

Donations can be made to Rufus Refuge through the Bank of Madisonville, P.O. Box 637, Madisonville, Texas 77864 or mailed directly to Rufus Refuge at P.O. Box 1385, Madisonville, Texas 77864.  For more information, you may visit the Rufus Refuge Facebook page.