Pets of the Week
We are not featuring any specific pets this week. Instead we wanted to share some info about an integral part of the Shelter, our foster families. People ask why we send so many wonderful pets out of state. The reply is “there are not enough people in our local communities for all the animals that are surrendered, found as strays or brought in by Animal Control”. Add to that people who feel they can keep their pet from breeding, only to end up with the “oops” litter of pups. That when Have a Heart gets the call that the owners need help with these unwanted puppies.
Between January 1st and August 20th of this year, Have a Heart sent 124 puppies to Puppy Rescues in St. Louis and Chicago. Most large metropolitan cities have Spay & Neuter laws, City licensing requirements, limitations on the number of dogs you can own and strict leash laws. They also require breeders to have a special breeder’s license and they are regulated by the Department of Agriculture. They do not have hundreds of dogs and puppies running loose, being dumped on roadways or available for adoption in their local shelters. We are pleased to have developed relationships with these organizations so the pups found here in Arkansas can go to people wanting a puppy. These new adopters are willing to pay an adoption fee to adopt a fully vetted pet and provide a wonderful home for them. To be able to administer a Puppy Partner Program at our Shelter, we must have excellent foster homes. We do not want to house pups in the Shelter since they are susceptible to parvo, distemper, coccidia and many other illnesses that may be fatal to unvaccinated pups who aren’t old enough to have a fully developed immune system. All pups in this program must be placed in private homes after we administer their first puppy vaccine, deworming and flea & tick treatment (if they are old enough). If the mama is still with the pups, we do the same for her. We photograph them and send applications to the Puppy Rescues, seeking approval to send them on the next transport. Some of the programs take mama and pups together. It usually takes 2-3 weeks to get approval to send them. When they are placed with a foster we provide food and any emergency vet care the animal may need. When they are approved for transport the Shelter makes an appointment for a Veterinarian to certify they are healthy and can cross into another state. The foster brings them to the Shelter and we take the animal to the Vet and then to meet the transport. This program is also open to people who are surrendering puppies that are offspring of their pets. The only difference is the owners must agree to have the mother spayed.
The foster that we are Spotlighting this week is Jennifer Schubert. She lives in Norfork and is an elementary teacher. She is married and has a teenage daughter. The entire family pitches in to help take care of the puppies. She began fostering for us when she found a stray pup last March. Iris was a beautiful, black lab puppy they fostered until she was ready for transport and subsequent adoption. Since then they have fostered three additional times for a total of 7 pups. The most recent being Buffy, the beautiful brindle colored puppy, found abandoned at the Buffalo Point Campground on the Buffalo River. Jennifer is an outstanding foster parent. The dogs often end up in their beds, get free range of the house and become friends with their large dogs. She and her daughter both get emotionally attached to these sweet little pups and often shed a few tears when they say goodbye to them.
If you have an interest in becoming a foster parent, please contact the Shelter at 870-449-7387 and come in complete an application. Fostering is hard work but you are rewarded by knowing you have saved a life. Have a Heart is located at 657 Highway 202 in Yellville. Hours of operation are Thursday through Saturday 9am to 3pm. Phone 870-449-7387.