Highland County Humane Society Receives Petco Foundation Grant


Since 1999, the Petco Foundation has invested more than $250 million in lifesaving animal welfare work in order to help every animal live its best life.  Earlier this year, a local organization received a PetCo Foundation Grant to help community members’ pets in our own backyard.  Corena Huffman with the Highland County Humane Society has the details.  She says, “We were recently awarded a large grant of $5,500 to support our community pets here in Highland County and that goes for spay/neuter services for community member pets, including feral barn cats, trap-neuter-return and community pets here in our county.  We also provide free transportation over to the spay/neuter clinics in ‘the Valley’, and we’d like to thank the Petco Foundation, and our rescue partners for helping us achieve this grant.

“This grant is very helpful to what we’re providing as our mission here in Highland.  One, we are a donation-based group and don’t have a building, so, what that means is we don’t receive any state, national, or local funding.  All of the funding that comes in to our organization comes from donors, grant funding and, also, fundraising efforts, and we don’t have any paid staff or building, and, so, all the money that’s received goes back in to helping our community pets, and allocating this specific grant just for spay/neuter, hopefully, gets ahead of the kitten season here in Highland, which tends to be a little bit later because of the weather.  We’re not seeing as many unwanted litters of kittens, and, certainly, a lot less of stray roaming cats just around.  We’ve also been working with animal control to see where other spay/neuter services and community pet retention resources can be used here in the county.  I mean, it’s – it’s challenging here without having a bricks and mortar veterinary hospital, and, so, 150-mile round-trip to ‘the Valley’ and back, I mean, most working folks, that involves a day off or shifting a bunch of schedule to get there, so, you have the expense of transport, plus the spay/neuter, and those are two key components we’re trying to eliminate for folks that need to get their pets spayed and neutered but don’t have any way of getting there or possibly not the resources to cover it, so that’s where this hops in.”

The Highland County Humane Society has made quite an impact themselves over the past few years, but the opportunities for making a difference continue.  Ms. Huffman continues, “Since we started our group back in 2012, we’ve spay and neutered over a thousand animals here in our community and placed more than 2,400 animals in to loving homes.  We always have a need here in Highland for adopters, foster homes.  Any kind of volunteer opportunities as you may interested in, we can probably fulfill those.  We do still have several barn kitties that are available.  Those are free adoptions, and they come to you already spayed and neutered and vaccinated, tested for leukemia and FIV, et cetera.  That’s part of our organic pest control program, and on our website, you can see the other pets, dogs and cats and a few horses for adoption at www.highlandcountyhumanesociety.org, and we can be reached at 540-908-9152 or email at info@highlandcountyhumanesociety.org or on Facebook at ‘Highland Humane.’”

For more information about the next spay/neuter trip, you can reach out to the Highland County Humane Society to check availability and details.


All pictures courtesy of the Highland County Humane Society

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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