How It Started


The challenging economic climate in rural South Carolina, a lack of restraint and leash laws, and largely unaffordable spay/neutering costs(causing over-population) are increasingly driving people to take matters into their own hands. This has led to a spike in gunshot wounds,dogs being thrown from cars, and mange (parasitic mites) cases.


An animal lover from a young age, she found herself attracted to finding ways to help them.  After raising two kids with her husband in New Jersey, she attended school to become a veterinary technician.  It wasn't long before he own brood of animals expanded from Smokey, Bear, Bandit, Bachas and Elias.  While visiting their retirement property in SC, it became clear that the needs of the animals were many in the local and the options were few.

The director’s intention was always to one day create a rescue, but she found that the need in this area was too great to wait. Thus, with her commitment and knowledge she moved from New Jersey to South Carolina. Dóchas n Grá works to move most rescued dogs northward through a network of rescues and volunteers to find permanent homes. Since its inception, Dóchas n Grá has helped remove over 600+ dogs from the Chesterfield County area.  Over half the dogs saved have been aided through cooperation with other partner rescues. 

Working mostly as a one woman team, Victoria goal is to expand the rescue to allow for public education on animals, develop a spay/neuter clinic with local veterinary and help reduce the overall stray population of Chesterfield, SC.



Our beloved Bandit, one of our original dogs who was the meet and greet team for new dogs.  Sadly he crossed over the rainbow bridge in 2012 and will be forever missed.

A Mission from Passion


The Dóchas n Grá (Hope & Love) Dog Rescue is a non-profit 501(c)(3) founded in March of 2012 by vet technician Victoria McGonigal. Located in Chesterfield County, South Carolina.  Set in rural ares of the state, the rescue deals with high volume of medically needy animals as well as those abandoned,  abused and suffering from general neglect from the surrounding county.  Dóchas n Grá works with other rescues and humane societies around the country to save them from an otherwise grim circumstance.


In addition to medically treating, nourishing, socializing and finding permanent homes for these poor creatures, it has become a sanctuary to those animals that are otherwise considered “unadoptable” or breed stereotyped. Dóchas n Grá firmly believes that all life has value, no matter how frail or damaged. It is a no-kill rescue that  speaks for those who cannot speak for themselves.