Highland Humane Society Receives Petco Grant

The Highland County Humane Society recently received a grant from Petco Foundation. I took the opportunity to speak to the Society’s President Corena Huffman about the grant and a couple of other developments.

“We just received notice that we received a $1,500 dollar grant to assist with spay/neuter funding for residents’ pets here in Highland County, Virginia. That includes pets, farm dogs and cats, and also feral and community cats.”

What services does the Petco Foundation grant allow the Humane Society to provide Corena?

“We prepare animals for adoption; with updating vaccinations; parasite controls, such as deworming; flea and tick treatment. We also test our dogs for heartworm and tick-borne diseases, and the cats for feline leukemia and FIP. We provide microchips to the dogs always, and by request for the kitties.”

I’d imagine the grant provides a significant financial boost for a nonprofit organization such as yours.

“It’s very helpful and we love to get grants. Our budget is running about $100,000 annually, and with no staff, no building to operate, that money all goes right back into services. That money comes from grants, donations, fundraisers and community events.”

Corena, the last time we spoke, you told listeners about the Humane Society’s barn cat adoption program. Can you give us an update?

“We had some great response and adoptions for barn kitties and we still have some kitties available. Those are vetted and ready for adoption, just like our friendly tame house cats. And a variety of personalities from friendly to so-so to completely feral, so we probably have something to match your needs, if you still need some outdoor pest control.”

She continued, “We do like to at least send a pair. We’ve had as many as 12 go to a certain situation, but two or three, they know each other and they tend to stick around better, and we have some process that we can help with for acclimating the cats to the new home or whatnot. So we have supplies and some instruction and help to get the animals acclimated so they do stay around, and hunt mice.

How many barn cats do you have available right now?

“We have about 15 to 20 right now that could go into barn-type homes, based on what the adopters needs are.”

I saw a Facebook post recently that talked about a new law that’s about to go into effect in Virginia concerning the tethering of outside dogs. Are you familiar with that law?

“There was a recent law passed in the state of Virginia, it becomes effective here July 1st for Highland County, and all Virginia counties and cities. It’s an anti-tethering law, only to cover animals during severe weather, when the temperature is going to be hotter than 84 degrees out, or colder than 33 degrees out, the animal must be inside or in a different type of enclosure. That could be outdoor kennels or a space that is not a chain or tether. And it also increases the tethers or chains to 15 feet, and dogs must always have clean food, water, and adequate shelter and veterinary care.”

Are tethered and chain dogs prevalent in the Highland County?

“Sure, and if you have concerns about those dogs, we do not run animal control here in the county that would be a question for the Highland County Sheriff’s Department, and their telephone number is 540-468-3377, and they can provide more information and some support about the new law here in Virginia.”

If you would like to help the Highland County Humane Society further its mission, or if you’re in need of some barn cats, you can get in touch with Corena through the Humane Society’s Facebook page.

This is Mickey Frank Thomas for Allegheny Mountain Radio.

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Scott Smith

Scott is the News Director for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan, and also is a member of the boards of the Highland-Bath Farm Bureau , Highland Chamber of Commerce and Highland Sheep and Wool Association. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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