ADAMS -- Two local animal rescue organizations have merged this month, creating the Northern Berkshire County Animal Rescue.
Great Danes Around New England Rescue and The Northern Berkshire Cat Rescue organizations have joined forces in an attempt to better serve the shelter and fostering needs of animals in upper North County.
Volunteers decided a name change was in order after taking in a pregnant Labrador retriever from an alleged puppy mill in North Adams in October.
"It was just silly at that point to say we're a Great Dane rescue," said Kaila Drosehn, a rescue manager at the new Northern Berkshire County Animal Rescue. "It just wasn't working to be breed specific."
The NBCAR took in two pregnant chocolate Labs in October after a North Adams home was raided, resulting in more than 30 animal cruelty charges against the owners of what authorities allege was an illegal puppy mill.
The rescue is made up of just a handful of volunteers, kennels, and foster homes scattered across North County. It will take in all kinds of animals as long as it has the room for them -- volunteers have even looked after a ferret and a turtle.
"We don't turn anything away," Drosehn said.
The nonprofit also aims to help provide assistance in spaying and neutering pets and donates to the Adams Friends of Animals Food Pantry, which provides pet food for owners who have fallen on hard times.
Drosehn isn't shy about how little money the organization has to work with, and the rescue is stepping up its calls for help with the recent addition of 18 puppies after its two pregnant labs gave birth.
"We're doing this with little to no funding," Drosehn said.
The organization is still waiting for an approval from Facebook to change it's name, but can still be found by searching "Northern Berkshire Cat Rescue." Its website is nbcar.org.
"We just need to get out there so we're not overlooked," she said.
Drosehn hopes the organization will become a "point person" during crisis situations in North County.
"We wanted to give people a place to call that could help with situations like this," Drosehn said. "It just helps that people can have one rescue that they can call."
Not only did the volunteers step in when more than 30 Labs were rescued in North Adams, but the cat rescue operation began when several upcoming building demolitions in Adams endangered a number of feral cats living in them. The volunteers worked to spay and neuter the felines before releasing them, since feral cats can't be adopted.
The NBCAR isn't looking to replace other shelters in North County -- The Berkshire Humane Society and Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter, both in Pittsfield -- but is looking to provide some additional help in the northern most portion of the county, according to Drosehn.
Animals are given a behavior analysis by either Drosehn or volunteer Carrie Loholdt, who is also the North Adams animal control officer. If it's determined to have behavioral issues, the animal will be fostered by an experienced volunteer to correct those issues, Drosehn said.
The NBCAR accepts applications for adoption, but tries to assure each animal is placed in an appropriate home where it can live out the rest of its life, Drosehn said.
Drosehn worked at the Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter in Pittsfield and as a Vet Tech for several years before becoming involved in North County rescue organizations again.