New Highland Humane Society chapter looks to promote animal adoption and welfare

Monterey, Va. –

Highland County now has a chapter of the Humane Society working on animal welfare issues. The new chapter formed last summer and has quickly become involved with helping animals in the area. Corena Huffman is a board member of the Highland County Humane Society. She is a licensed veterinary technician who moved to Highland County in 2009. Corena talks about the mission of the Highland County Humane Society Chapter.

“It is important for the community to know what is going on,” said Mrs. Huffman. “There are a lot of animal lovers in this county and beyond, so community awareness is really, really important to us that they know we are here to help and that we need the community’s help. Our main goal is to rescue animals at this point. That’s our main mission. That may be from the community at large. That may be owner surrenders – people that can no longer keep their animal for whatever reason, strays found in the community and also animals that end up at the animal pound here locally. We have also helped out Pocahontas County and Bath County. Right now we have partnered with about ten different groups in the area,” she said.

Those groups include animal shelters and animal welfare organizations in Bath County, Pocahontas County, Pendleton County, Augusta County, as well as the Blue Ridge Community College Veterinary Technician Program. When the Highland County SPCA group decided to end their contract with the county to operate the animal shelter last year, the Humane Society made a proposal to operate the shelter, but the county chose to take over that operation itself.

“The county did decide to run the pound themselves and have the animal control officer in charge of the pound, and not accept our proposal” said Mrs. Huffman. “In hindsight, that has been a blessing for our group. We could pool our resources together and network with other groups and really get involved in animal welfare, animal rescue, adoptions and our foster program, instead of the day to day pound operations. We are made up of a very small group and that’s one of the reasons I am here to talk to you today. Our Board, as it stands, is myself, and my husband, Tony Huffman. We also have Jody Colaw, Landon Vaught, Dr. Joe Malcolm, and Jeanne Lou Hull. Dr. Joe stands as a medical veterinary advisor for us and helps with medical cases and also we partner with him in the Vet Tech program over at Blue Ridge Community College for spay, neuter and wellness programs for our animals up for adoption,” she said.

Corena goes on to talk about the activities of the Humane Society chapter since their formation.

“Our group to date, since forming in July, has taken in sixty animals,” said Mrs. Huffman. “We’ve adopted out thirty-eight and we’ve transferred out fifteen to other organizations. The remaining animals are still in foster programs and up for adoption and they can be seen on our website. We are all volunteer. We are donor based. We don’t have any paid staff and everyone pulls together to do what needs to be done to care for the animals – that’s veterinary care, that’s assessment, transporting animals over to the spay/neuter clinic, or to the veterinarian, or to the adoptor, or to meet potential adoptors, or to other organizations. We all so that on a volunteer basis. And saying that, volunteers in the form of foster homes or donations are our main need from the community,” she said.

The Highland County Humane Society chapter plans to have a display at the Maple Festival, the Old Time Fiddler’s Convention in June, and the Hands and Harvest Festival in the fall.
For more information or to make a donation, you can visit the group’s website at, or call 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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