ABERDEEN – More than 15 years ago, Aberdeen Township resident Jackie Hastings and two friends co-founded the Castle of Dreams Animal Rescue with a goal of rescuing dogs and helping to find them their forever homes.
Today, Hastings has moved the nonprofit organization out of her house and into a building with a large yard at 434 Cliffwood Ave.
Castle of Dreams Animal Rescue is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to saving the lives of dogs and puppies that have been rescued from high-kill shelters, according to Aberdeen Township municipal officials.
“I was a volunteer with another organization at the time and I enjoyed fostering (dogs). Two friends and I founded (Castle of Dreams Animal Rescue) in June 2003. The other two founders have since moved to other states,” Hastings said.
“We started with a handful of volunteers and the organization has grown so much since we started. Our dream was always to open our own location and we are thrilled we had the support of some very special people to help us achieve our goal,” she said.
The organization’s vision is to create a home-like environment for dogs at the Cliffwood Avenue property. The new location also includes administrative offices and an isolation room for sick animals.
“We purchased the property (on Cliffwood Avenue) because of the size of the land and the potential we saw in the closed (business) that was left overgrown and unmaintained for years. Our volunteers worked hard transforming this location into ‘our castle.’
“We have a wonderful team of dedicated volunteers who all pitched in to clean (the building). We are so fortunate to have found such great people to aid us in our mission and to support us day in and day out,” Hastings said.
Castle of Dreams Animal Rescue hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Cliffwood Avenue building on Nov. 30. Mayor Fred Tagliarini, councilmen Robert Swindle and Greg Cannon, and members of the Aberdeen Township Police Department attended the event.
“It is an honor to welcome Castle of Dreams to Aberdeen. We are pleased you selected Aberdeen to provide a safe, warm, loving home for dogs and puppies I urge everyone to open their hearts to this excellent organization so they can continue their fine work,” Tagliarini said.
Hastings said being able to open the new location has been one of the organization’s goals and said everyone associated with the organization is proud to have achieved this milestone.
“Operating as a nonprofit with no paid employees, we rely on the generosity of the public to maintain our operations. We are overwhelmed with the kindness of our supporters who made our dream a reality,” Hastings said.
For more information, visit www.castle-of-dreams.com/about