Highland County Humane Society Receives Grant for Senior Dogs and Two Grants for Other Pets


Old dogs and their owners have a new reason to get excited, as a local all-volunteer organization has received a grant to help provide care and assistance. The Highland County Humane Society in Monterey is one of sixty-six animal welfare groups in thirty states who were chosen from more than 300 applicants to receive a grant from The Grey Muzzle Organization that will help senior dogs. Corena Huffman with the Humane Society explains how this funding, as well as funding from other grant sources, can make a difference.

Ms. Huffman says, “We were awarded a very generous grant by The Grey Muzzle Organization to help your pets be healthier pets. That can include any vet care or medical care that’s needed, grooming, teeth cleaning, surgeries, that sort of thing, and also food and transportation if that’s needed for your senior dog. We do showcase a few dogs that receive that grant on social media, and, also, they use that in their grant organization, so we will have photos taken of your dog that’s showcasing the grant. It’s available for any senior dogs in our listening area, Highland County, Pocahontas and Pendleton.”

So at what age is a dog considered a senior dog? “Oh, that can be kinda tricky!” says Ms. Huffman. “’Cause a Great Dane can be a senior at six years old, but mostly the older dogs that sometimes get ailments later in life that may affect them that our community members may need assistance for specialized care, so I would say six and up is kinda considered a senior. Of course, a Chihuahua will live to be fifteen years old, but six to eight years old is kind of getting in to the senior years.”

Over the past decade, the national nonprofit Grey Muzzle Organization has provided nearly $1.5 million in grants to support its vision of “a world where no old dog dies alone and afraid.” Ms. Huffman says the local grant was a very generous one. She continues, “We will utilize that funding until it’s all used up, so it’s kind of a first come, first serve basis based on need, so we wanna help as many pets as we can with that funding, but it does run out, so please inquire as soon as you can.”

In addition, there is more support available for other pets. Ms. Huffman explains, “We do have two spay-neuter grants available community-wide. One is through The Community Foundation of the [Central] Blue Ridge, which serves Highland, Augusta, Nelson and some of our local counties here. That also includes some pet retention, which is any kind of care that any pets may need, vaccines, food, parasite control. It also includes transportation and grooming visits if that’s what’s needed, and then we have some trap-neuter-return for feral cats and barn cats. That grant is funded by Two Mauds foundation.”

Now, to break the radio’s invisible “fourth wall” just a little bit, I did want to let you know that Ms. Huffman conducted this interview with her daughter, Ruby, sitting on her lap. Corena says, “Ruby’s bashful, but we were gonna say, ‘Please spay and neuter your pets.’” Ruby laughs and adds, “Bye, radio!” along with her mother.

The Highland County Humane Society can be reached by phone at 540-908-9152, by email through info@highlandcountyhumanesociety.org or by Facebook under “Highland Humane.”

Story By

Chris Swecker

is the Assistant Station Coordinator and a News Reporter for WVLS. He has roots in Highland County going back several generations, and he grew up in Monterey. Since graduating from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in Media Arts and Design, he has pursued his career at a news station and advertising agency in Virginia, on Microsoft’s campus in the state of Washington, and in both states as sole owner and employee of a video production company. He enjoys exploring life with his wife, Jessa Fowler, traveling, hiking, hunting, gardening, and trying new foods, all while discovering more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. He feels blessed to be a small part of this talented AMR team to help give back to the community that has provided him with so much.

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