WINDHAM, CT (WFSB) -- A small but mighty rescue organization in Windham not only helps animals in Connecticut, but also nationwide.
To help them in their mission, The Channel 3 Liberty Bank Surprise Squad paid them a visit.
Rescuing animals has been a lifelong mission for Kaitlyn Judd Lapointe.
She first started doing it with her mom when she was young, before officially creating Roadside Ranch Rescue and Sanctuary four years ago.
"If you look at us, we're not fancy, we don't have this big facility, we don't have hundreds of volunteers, we're very small. But we have a big reach,” LaPointe said.
Roadside has a little bit of everything, but the rescue primarily works with dogs and pigs, either fostering them at the sanctuary or finding them a forever home.
Volunteers of all ages help out.
"It's just a fun time to go here, you can like just get all dirty and all that. It's so fun,” said volunteer Lilianna Day.
Their work goes beyond Connecticut.
"We've pulled from Texas and the Carolinas. We have an import permit, so we help out our rescue partners out there as well,” LaPointe explained.
According to friend Lisa Kinstler, what really makes them special, they rescue the unwanted.
"She's taken in animals, dogs that have been chained to dumpsters, dogs that have been injured and never gotten any treatment,” Kinstler said.
Like most organizations during the pandemic, Roadside has had a rough year.
"Support and volunteers and programs we were running, we couldn't run any longer, and we had very little help, funding dropped dramatically,” LaPointe said.
They're also trying to find a new place to call home, which is why Kinstler nominated her for a visit from the Surprise Squad.
LaPointe already knows how to spend her $500 gift, saying “we have huge vet bills right now. Several dogs we just got in that are positive for heartworm and that's in the thousands to treat."