top of page



Our Story

​Castaway Animals Rescue Effort, otherwise known as C.A.R.E., is a charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, dedicated to the prevention of cruelty to animals. Established in 1992, C.A.R.E. has saved over 20,000 lives and we are still counting. From our humble grassroots beginnings, we have grown into southwest Missouri's largest no-kill shelter. Operations are still overseen by founder and director, Melissa Sartin. Her compassion for all living creatures drives the organization forward. 

Everyday we strive to ease the pain that victims of neglect and abuse endure, offering safety and hope, and finding them the homes they so richly deserve. We are proud to work alongside government agencies and other nonprofits making a difference in the lives of the animals we care so deeply about. Together we serve as a voice for those who cannot speak. 

The C.A.R.E. shelter houses hundreds of homeless animals. We have our Adoption Center in Springfield, open seven days a week, which house our current adoptable pets. Our sanctuary near Aurora is reserved for animals who may need some extra time to fully recover and become ready for adoption. We also house our rescued farm animals at this location.  Our unadoptable animals reside at our sanctuary as well, each spending their days with cageless freedom, their nights in warm beds, and receiving lots of love and individual attention.

​C.A.R.E. relies solely on the kindness and donations of the public to care for our animals. We are not city or state funded and all donations are tax deductible. We rescue approximately 1,000 animals a year, including dogs, cats, small mammals, horses, pigs and more. Your donations change the lives of so many animals who would otherwise not have a chance.

Our Mission

To rescue as many adoptable animals from death row as we can properly provide and care for.


To provide medical treatment for sick and injured stray animals.


To combine an aggressive spay and neuter program with a high-volume adoption program while providing quality lifetime care for unadoptable pets. 


To network and provide a rescue service for other shelters, ultimately reducing the kill rate in Southwest Missouri.

C.A.R.E. Sanctuary

Nestled in Aurora's countryside, C.A.R.E.'s sanctuary provides life saving rehabilitation and lifetime care to all types of animals. Each animal is unique in the time and care required to heal from lives of neglect, abuse or injuries. No matter their history, our sanctuary gives these animals the freedom and quality of life they deserve. We provide a loving environment for elderly animals who have lost their homes through our hospice program, and we accommodate animals with special needs where elsewhere they may be deemed unadaptable. We have a feline Leukemia cabin, and we are consistently taking in animals in medical emergency situations. The sanctuary is a peaceful place where transformations happen when animals realize they are safe and loved. 


Click HERE to visit the C.A.R.E. Farm Sanctuary website!

bottom of page