Highland humane society looking for more foster homes

The Highland County Human society is made up of a network of volunteer’s and foster’s who work out of their homes and whose main focus is animal rescue. The group rescues pets and animals that are lost, surrendered or homeless for whatever reason and covers Highland County as well as neighboring counties in Virginia and West Virginia. The volunteers then find the animals a new home either through rescue or adoption, Highland Humane society board member and Veterinary Technician Corena Huffman says that they work with several other agencies and have placed animals in homes from Maine to Florida.

“Most of our animals do go to adoptive homes, but we have started a really good partnership up in the DC metro area with a few rescues there and they’ve taken quite a number of rural animals from us,” she said, “from Highland, Bath, Allegheny, Augusta, Pocahontas and Pendleton is kind of where we concentrate our efforts.  We’ve had three or four groups of kittens to up to North Shore Animal League in New York, which is the world’s largest no-kill shelter.  Some of our adopters have gone to Connecticut, Texas, Florida, Maine; most of them go to northern Virginia or Maryland, but we do need adopters midway, so we’re usually burning up the roads.”

Animals stay in foster homes until they go to their forever homes which could be a few hours, days, weeks or even months. Fosters for these animals are highly needed in Highland County and can be matched with pets depending on their availability and lifestyle. Board member and long time foster, Jeannie Lou Hull, encourages  anyone who can to open their home as a foster and says that it is one of the most satisfying experiences.

“I’d like to encourage people to come forward to become adopters for Highland county humane society because it saves lives,” said Hull. “You’re saving the life of the dog or cat that you’re fostering and that opens up another spot in a rescue or pound.   The country’s full, the pounds are full of adoptable dogs and cats, but without foster homes, those animals are going to be put down.  I love to rescue, my heart’s in rescuing animals, and transporting them; but fostering is just the most satisfying, gratifying thing I think I can do.”

Mrs. Hull says that the Humane Society provides the needs of the fostered animal, all a foster needs to provide is the love and patience.

“The Highland humane society will provide crates, and we’ll provide food and bedding, there’s no cost to you,” said Hull, “except love and patience for these animals.  And then they thrive, and it’s hard to give them up.  The first time’s really hard, and the second time it gets easier, the third time’s a little easier; then you come to realize what you are doing, that you are saving these animals, and it really becomes easy.”

Mrs. Huffman says that the humane society is a non-profit that relies on the community support of donated items, fosters and volunteers.

“We can always use animal supplies, they don’t have to be new,” said Huffman. “Could be something your pet has outgrown or you’re not using or you dog doesn’t like that kind of food.  We also need drivers to take the animals to the vet or to the spay and neuter clinic or to meet rescuer transport.  Helping with our fundraising events – we have a yard sale coming up on the 26th [of April] at the fire station and we always need volunteers and donated items for the yard sale.”

“Gas cards come in handy because we spend a lot on fuel, I think we spent almost 2000.00 just this year on gas alone.  We’re all volunteers, so no one’s paid and all the money we get goes right back into what we’re doing.”   

Along with donated items and gas cards, cash donations can be made as well with 100% of proceeds going back into their cause.

“We also have a pay pal account on our website,” said Huffman. “We also have an etsy account and we sell our notecards online and we just started a consignment sale at Mountain Flowers on Main Street.  Our direct email is info@highlandcountyhumanesociety.org  and the cell phone number with voice mail is 540-908-9152.”

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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