Merced County Times Newspaper
The Power of Positive Press
John Miller

Spring is for Art, Animals and Renewal

The Merced Art Hop held its spring Art Hop in Downtown Merced on Saturday, attracting local families and residents to the Main Street area for an opportunity to interact with artists and take part in fine art activities.

This quarter’s theme was ‘Art for Animals’ and encouraged those in attendance to examine their relationship with the furry and feathery creatures that live alongside of us. A multitude of organizations were present for this quarter’s Art Hop that work directly with animals throughout the Merced County area. One of theses organizations, Renegade Animal Welfare and Rescue, brought together both of these interactions with residents and continued to draw a large crowd throughout the event.

Established in July of 2018, Renegade Animal Welfare and Rescue (RAWR) got its start when founders Eileen Elrod and Sarah Rank began to bring their dream of starting an animal assistance organization into focus. The group has moved quickly in a short amount of time, helping more than 400 animals so far. RAWR offers low-cost spay and neutering, transport services, and are currently working on a low-cost vaccination clinic.

“One of the great examples of what we’ve been able to accomplish is our “Keep Them Home” program which provides assistance to owners who need under $100 in one-time medical assistance to keep their pets,” Rank said.

Recalling how the program got its start, Elrod added: “We had an owner reach out to surrender her pet because he had something wrong with his ears and she could not afford to take the dog to the vet. We met her at the vet, and it turned out that it was just a simple fox tail inside the dogs ear that was close enough to the surface that it could be easily removed by the vet with proper equipment.”

The group is also working to move the Central Valley toward a ‘no-kill area’ by providing both resources and programs that help to curb the animal population and ensure that those animals in need can find a good home.

“If you’ve ever walked through the shelter and seen how many amazingly sweet animals are there just waiting for a home, or talked to the shelter workers who are trying to care for all these animals that need homes, you know how important moving to no-kill is,” the founders emphasized. “We have to look at our community as a whole and find ways to support no-kill through a holistic approach to animal welfare. That’s part of why RAWR has so many different types of programs”

For more information on Renegade Animal Welfare and Rescue, readers can visit online at: Currently the group is accepting donations, both monetary and physical goods. Those who would like to volunteer for their various events, clinics, or to transport animals are encouraged to connect with the group through their website, where information can be found under the donate tab.

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