Virginia woman dedicates her life to rescuing thousands of animals from kill shelter

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Virginia woman has made it her mission to save animals from a kill shelter and transport them to rescues across the state.

More than 2,000 animals have Barbara Kuklock to thank for saving their lives. She’s made more than 300 trips from a kill shelter in southwest Virginia and transported them to rescue centers all over the state, including Central Virginia.

4cfce91dc97e4c2cafe9544d4cf5f8f0“I don’t know who really got saved in all of this, me or the dogs because I had lost faith in humanity,” Kuklock told 8News.

9679cf52481d406e83bd10cc7aed2b50-1Kuklock has been rescuing animals all her life, but it wasn’t until after visiting an animal control shelter in Wise County two years ago that she decided it was her responsibility to do something more.

“They will be euthanized, they will be killed and end up in a landfill,” she explained.

So, she visited the shelter and took photos of the animals, then posted them on social media to spread the word. That’s when rescuers and volunteers across the northeast answered the call. Volunteers like Linda Hochstein, who is grateful for what Kuklock has done for many reasons.

52f06ae9eb9344eba271a7da90b883af“I wouldn’t have found Bella and I wouldn’t have found all the other sweet faces that I’ve held in my lap or hand or in my vehicle that I will say are on their ride to freedom,” Hochstein said.

After Kuklock’s van broke down earlier this month, Chesterfield Auto Parts and Dominion Power have each donated a van to help with transporting the animals.

So from the big companies to the individual volunteers, they all realize the impact Kuklock is making.


“She is described all over Facebook as absolutely amazing, and a hero to all of us that love animals,” Hochstein added.

But Kuklock says she doesn’t see herself as anyone special. She says she’s simply doing what we all should be doing.

“We all need to care for those in need and to help wherever we are needed, and the dogs of that shelter needed someone,” Kuklock said.

Interested in helping Barbara in her rescue mission? Click here. Below is a list of local shelters who have taken dogs from Kucklock:

  • BARK
  • For the Love of Poodles
  • Houlagan’s Rest
  • CARE
  • Richmond SPCA
  • Hanover Humane Society
  • Richmond Boxer Rescue
  • ARC
  • Boston Terrier Rescue

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