Eileen Elrod, President

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A central California native who currently resides in Merced, Eileen has also lived in Modesto, Cathey’s Valley, Stevinson, Atwater, and Chowchilla. Employed as a Business Operations Manager for Student Health and Counseling Services at the University of California, Merced, her prior employment was the office manager for the local office of the California Teachers Association (non-profit labor organization).  Eileen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

Eileen has a full house of pets, the majority of whom are foster fails, who just stayed where they were and are loved.  A specific passion for senior Chihuahuas because they are regularly surrendered and/or abandoned due to medical issues, her loves are: Abby Grace, Gus, Frank, Lucy, and Ricky as well as Birdee (a long hair Chi), Butters (a Min Pin), and Bonnie (senior Chi).

Eileen’s start into the world of animal rescue began as she approached her 50th birthday. Instead of gifts for that banner year, she asked family and friends to donate funds so that she could cover the cost to van transport a group of animals in need to neighboring areas where adoption rates were much higher. She was able to fund that transport and loaded the lucky animals up for the drive.  She was immediately hooked. What started small quickly morphed into arranging and driving transports, behavioral testing, vaccinations, health certificates and transport paperwork, owner surrender counseling, and site rescues, including crawling into places most would not dare to go in order to attempt to save one more animal. Over the last three years, Eileen has fostered over 500 animals in her home specializing in cranky Chi moms and medical cases. 

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On Rescue and R.A.W.R.:  “I originally assisted a local rescue group who specializes in the transport of animals in need, to out of the area, neighboring locations for adoption.  While I see the tremendous benefit of this, I would like to concentrate on the root of the problem and reduce the sheer numbers of unwanted pets in the Central Valley, by focusing on spay and neuter efforts, lower cost options for routine vet care, and educating the youth and everyone so as to empower change.  However, I still want to continue assisting in transport of animals in need to no-kill rescue partners. My passion for animals began at a very young age and animal rescue is in my soul. Together, with a stellar team of animal warriors, my hope is that Renegade Animal Welfare & Rescue will be able to make a lasting change for animals in the Central Valley.”