Our history


How we became Adoption First


Founder Staci Ventura and her husband Eric Crespo began to develop the idea of Adoption First Animal Rescue in 2011 while working for a rescue in the San Diego, CA area. When Eric was stationed in North Carolina the two realized how much help the rural areas needed and decided to pursue the idea of Adoption First! The Rescue officially started on October 1, 2013 and received its 501c3 status as an official non profit organization in 2014. Since then the rescue has developed a great team of volunteers and established a board of directors who run the day to day operations. A board member, Dakota Love moved to Kentucky and branched our rescue out of state! She started in Kentucky to focus on seniors providing hospice homes, puppies who need medical attention, helping local shelters, and even out of state. 




  • 2013- Formed all government documents needed to form a non-profit organization 
  • 2014- Rescued our first dog! Ended the year by saving over 100 dogs. Started to build our small team. 
  • 2015- Received our non profit status from the IRS. Started growing our team of volunteers and fosters. Began hosting community events. 
  • 2016- Continued our foster based program and started developing plans to open a public rescue center. Really focused on grants and community partnerships. 
  • 2017- Opened our first public Rescue Center and doubled our foster program and our volunteers! 
  • 2018- Increased our community reach, obtaining more volunteers than ever before. Rescued over 500 dogs for the year, and continued to make improvements to the Rescue Center. 
  • 2019- Branched the rescue out of state, to Kentucky! 

How we got started in Kentucky!

Dakota, the director of Kentucky Adoption First started fostering and volunteering for the NC branch in 2017. She then moved to her home state, and wanted to branch us out there! We are now saving lives in Kentucky and out of state on occasion. 

Our Partners