Highland County Humane Society Pet Retention Program



The Highland County Humane Society is offering a new program for pet owners.  It’s a pet retention program that can assist Highland residents with expenses related to their pets.

Corena Huffman is the President of the Highland County Humane Society.

“During coronavirus and the pandemic and folks being off of work or so forth, we’ve had a pretty firm upsweep in the community need for some of these assistance programs,” says Huffman.  “And we certainly want community members to feel like they have some options and don’t have to surrender their pets.  That’s kind of where the pet retention program comes in.  If there’s a hardship or a need for food or vet assistance, we don’t want someone to feel like they have to give their animal up because they can no longer afford those things at this time.  For animals to be candidates, or for community members to be eligible for this program: One, they do need to be Highland County residents, and two, the pets need to be spayed and neutered.  If that’s not already done, then the grant does cover that service and that’s something we can set up.”

This pet retention program is funded by a grant from The Little Swiss Fund.  The fund is overseen by the Harrisonburg-Rockingham County Community Foundation and it helps non-profits that serve Highland County residents.  The pet retention program will be available until it uses all of its grant funding.

“For this specific grant, we can only cover Highland County residents and their pets, but the services are pretty broad,” says Huffman.  “With this grant they’re not specific to only spay/neuter assistance, which we can do, it’s also to include vet assistance, if the community member needs some help or funding with a veterinary visit or service or medication.  It also covers our pet food pantry.  So, pet food, supplies and such for Highland County residents, we do receive some donations of those things, but a lot of things are purchased, especially if it’s a specific type of food.  We do send those along with volunteers, or meet the public or also Meals on Wheels does deliver pet food on occasion to some of the residents, which is a great help.  And getting into flea and tick season, we do have some flea and tick products that are covered by the grant.”

If you are not a Highland County resident and need help for your pet, Huffman wants you to get in touch anyway.  She says they have a list of other resources that may be able to provide help.

“Most people do want to keep their animal and have good intentions of trying to care for and keep their animal,” says Huffman.  “With our aging population in Highland, on top of the current pandemic, a lot of people just need some extra help with those things.  The Little Swiss Fund was very generous in offering this grant for specifically these things here in Highland.  That people could have some extra help and an alternative to feeling like they had to give up their pet, because they just could not afford to take care of it anymore.”

The Humane Society is always looking for volunteers to help deliver supplies and food.  They also have pets in need of foster homes and barn cats that are available for adoption.

For more information, info@highlandcountyhumansociety.org  or call 540-908-9152.

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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