Meet Grace Elston, founder of Beyond the Pack, a 501c3 animal rescue in Ft Meyers, Florida. Beyond the Pack was formed in 2019 but Grace has been involved with rescue for a very long time. She started her rescue journey 20 years ago as a transport coordinator, rescuer and foster. Today, she is still involved with animal transport when time allows.
Although Grace tells us that her sanctuary is small, she still spends 70+ hours a week caring for the dogs, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets that live at the sanctuary. Grace is not alone, luckily, she has the help of her husband and daughter. She tells us she couldn’t do it without them. Grace’s husband will build anything she needs or asks for without question. While her daughter cares for the bunnies, guinea pigs and all the motherless puppies that come into their care.
As an animal advocate, when she is unable to take in an animal, she will help anyone in need of assistance for their pets by either helping with food donations or finding them an appropriate organization who provides the type of help they need.
In Her Words!
What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
- Improving the lives and limiting the suffering of all the animals
Why is what you do important to the community?
- I believe we were put here to help the voiceless and provide assistance where there is need. We are planning to hold a microchip clinic [ free or minimal cost] to the local community.
If you could ask for one thing to help your cause, what would it be?
- This is a hard yet easy one, less Drama. The drama in rescue will break you. This is our second year into our 501c3. I believe it was easier 20 years ago when we all worked together to raise awareness. I honestly feel drained with fundraising efforts and all the egos.
What pointers would you share with someone who is thinking of starting a nonprofit?
- Follow your heart and never forget your why!