About Us



Off the Rocks Rescue is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) animal welfare organization dedicated to the aid of homeless cats. Based in St. Thomas, USVI and Wellesley, Massachusetts. The two locations enable us to have excellent continuity of care: we can identity and prepare adoptable animals in the USVI for transport to New England where they can adjust and move on to adoption.

How did Off the Rocks begin?
Although the founders of OTR have both done animal rescue work for years, our organization was borne out of the hurricane season of 2017 which devastated the Virgin Islands and nearby areas. In the disaster conditions that were the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Irma, both founders worked with others on animal rescue evacuations and the need for ongoing animal aid was apparent. The USVI has long struggled with dog and cat overpopulation due to factors including the warm climate with year-round births, the preponderance of outdoor unfixed pets and feral populations, and the difficulty in transporting animals off island. While the people of the USVI provide thousands of loving homes for stray animals, they are well outnumbered by the volume of cats (and dogs) needing adoption.
What does OTR do in St. Thomas?

At our St. Thomas rescue, we are very busy socializing kittens and cats and providing them the beginning veterinary care (including spay and neuter) necessary before they fly up to Massachusetts. It is not unusual for us to have kittens who need to be bottle fed. We collaborate with Lucky Paws Foundation as active participants in the TNR protocol of trapping, neutering, and returning feral cats back into the wild near a steady food source. While trapping, we look for adoptable kittens and cats to take in and prepare for transport. We also find kittens at feeding stations and dumpster sites and a network of rescuers on island take in and transfer cats to us. We provide aid for special needs cats on island that might otherwise have been euthanized by taking in and funding surgeries such as necessary amputation and eye enucleation. 

What does OTR do in Wellesley, MA?
At OTR/MA we use our own quarantine and rescue space along with a network of foster homes to socialize our cats with the goal of finding them great adoptive homes. We take in most of our cats from our St. Thomas shelter and some from nearby Caribbean islands of Tortola, St. John and Puerto Rico. Although it is not our primary focus, we take in local cats, TNR locally and collaborate with other rescues. We participate in community service and local youth education programs which bring teens and young adults together with our cats and increase stray pet awareness.


Kelsey Wyrick


Kelsey Wyrick is a vet tech and animal rescuer from Bend Oregon, who has made St. Thomas home since 2016. She heads up OTR/STT and is often seen monitoring the dumpster sites on island, taking in homeless cats to socialize and get healthy. Kelsey regularly traps cats as a volunteer for Lucky Paws Foundation and most recently has worked as a vet tech at Canines Cats and Critters on island.

Dawn Balcazar

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Dawn Balcazar is a psychologist and animal rescuer from Wellesley, Massachusetts. She heads up OTR/MA and is often seen driving to local airports to pick up animals arriving from the islands. Dawn enjoys training teens and young adults in direct animal care at OTR/MA through community service and other volunteer programs.