About Us

Austin Veterinary Outreach & Rescue

About Austin Vet Outreach

We are a nonprofit organization dedicated to the welfare of animals in eastern NC. Our mission is to help provide affordable veterinary care, including spay and neuter, for pet owners in Carteret County and surrounding counties. In addition to helping pet owners, we also help find forever homes for homeless animals in eastern NC.

Our board members are made up of a diverse group of animal lovers committed to the health and welfare of animals. We are a volunteer based organization working in our time off from our "real" jobs to help animals in need.

Our current veterinarians are Dr. Sara Austin, Dr. Sam Schmitt, and Dr. Melita Nowlan of Austin Veterinary Animal Hospital. Dr. Austin graduated from NCSU in 2010 and has worked in rescue and low cost spay/neuter since 2012. She has dedicated her life and passion to "those in need". Dr. Sam joined Austin Veterinary in 2015 and has quickly jumped on board with the mission. Both veterinarians are highly skilled at surgery and will provide top notch care for your pets. Dr. Nowlan joined Austin Veterinary in and has assisted us in our low cost vaccination clinic.

AVOR was formed in April 2015 to develop a rescue-adoption-spay/neuter program for cats and dogs in association with Austin Veterinary. AVOR has rescued and found homes for hundreds of cats and dogs.


New Leash on Life Program

AVOR participates in the “New Leash on Life” program at the Craven Pamlico Correctional Facility in Bayboro, NC. The unique program allows inmates to partner with local animal shelters and rescues to train dogs in preparation for their adoption. The inmates teach the dogs basic obedience, crate training, socialization, and leash training. Sometimes advanced obedience training along with agility and rally training is taught. New Leash on Life benefits the inmates as well as the dogs. The inmates learn patience, responsibility and a feeling of accomplishment while becoming experienced dog trainers. All dogs are vetted, vaccinated and altered in preparation for the program and adoption. If you are interested in meeting one of our dogs in the New Leash on Life program, please contact us to set up a meeting.

Mobile Spay/Neuter and Vaccination Program

AVOR received the mobile surgery clinic as a donation from Encore Pets, Inc., in 2015, allowing this important program to continue to operate in eastern NC. The custom-built 33’ long mobile clinic enables us to bring safe and affordable spay/neuter, vaccination and other services to the most rural parts of our county. In many cases, owners are unable to keep their pets because they cannot afford veterinary care, especially spaying and neutering. Owners often end up with unwanted litters, which exacerbates the problem. We believe that by offering these services where they are needed, we can significantly reduce the number of pets that are surrendered to shelters. The clinic is capable of spaying/neutering 25-30 cats and dogs a day and we offer clinics once a month. To date, we have spayed/neutered over 300 cats and dogs, thanks largely to the support of the Brandt Animal Foundation Spay/Neuter Grant Program.


Since our inception in 2015, AVOR has rescued over 300 dogs and cats, mostly from shelters or strays. We house many of our foster animals at Austin Veterinary but also have a wonderful volunteer foster home network. AVOR provides foster pets with food, supplies, and all the necessary veterinary care.

Save a life and adopt a rescue pet, or consider opening your home to a foster cat or dog!