Warm Hearts Humane Society, Montgomery County, AR

Fully accredited non-profit charity, we are in one of the poorest counties in Arkansas with our main focus getting animals spayed/neutered. Animal overpopulation, neglect, and abuse is rampant. We need homes for unwanted animals as well as foster homes for them until permanent homes can be found, as we have no shelter, animal control, or much of anything else except a group of dedicated and caring people who love animals. Won't you help us?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Past-Due Update

Well, I tried to write this last night, but Blogger went down, so I worked on other things. It worked out good, as I accomplished a lot that made a difference today at the Quilts, Quartz, and Crafts Festival, especially since I ended up being the only person there for the majority of the day. It wasn't any one person's fault or anything - just a lot of things went wrong, someone had to go to the hospital, so there was a bit of miscommunication, I was late arriving because of having to retrieve cats from trees and finding out only an hour ahead of time that I needed to do much more than I had expected, which caused a couple of people who had arrived earlier than I had to give up and leave, but things ought to come together better tomorrow. For one thing, we will find a better place to set up. We learned only after we showed up that we couldn't have the animals inside the building and were then pushed outside to the very back where almost no one even saw us or knew we were there. So, after getting set up and laying out what I had to sell and offer free for educational purposes and to give out the new business cards I made up that now reflect the site names and email address on them so that we can increase our visibility (as almost no one even knows we exist!) and to give people a place to call when they want to adopt, they lose or find an animal, or they come across a clear case of neglect or abuse of one, I started to work on a sign that I could put inside that would direct people outside to where I was at with the two kittens I brought with me.

At least that part was a success, as I handed out quite a few business cards (good thing I printed a bunch of those out, though now I have to buy a new printer cartridge again!), but we didn't get many donations or sell any of the few crafts I had with me. However, I found out that I was not the only one, as I heard others talking about the fact that they weren't selling much of anything, either. Then they remembered that there was some sort of a game going on and that it was only Friday, and they expect more people to be there tomorrow. And this time, we will be ready for them! So, if any of you in the community have a few crafts laying about or find this post in time to make any (even if it is only a few, even just one or two!), we would greatly appreciate your donation of them to help the animals. We are spending quite a bit on spaying and neutering right now, so we need to raise the money to keep our wonderful vet, Dr. Page, happy and paid-up for her good work, as she is a very caring person who works with several rescue groups, will go the extra mile for an animal, and deserves to be paid for her dedication and work.

I would also like to take the opportunity to announce that Snickers has found a permanent home and that it is a GREAT one! He is absolutely adored and spoiled rotten. He went to someone we know, so we get to keep tabs on him and hear stories about him, which is always a pleasure, as then you aren't just HOPING, but KNOWING that you found a wonderful, loving home for a very special animal. And Snickers WAS very special! I've never been one to take to little dogs much, but that little dog touched my heart and the hearts of everyone here. We were all thrilled!

Also, last week at our adopt-a-thon at Bob's Food City, we adopted out one of the black female kittens I was fostering (and we need the woman who adopted her to contact us immediately - we can't read your writing on the adoption form, and we have something very important to tell you about the kitten, but don't get scared, as she isn't sick or anything - we just need to discuss something with you), and we also adopted out a dog named Missy from the other foster home.

Bob's has generously offered to allow us to hold future events like that one each month, and we can't thank them enough! In fact, I went in to talk to them personally the other day, and they are very nice and caring people who love animals and really want to help. I have asked them if they would consider putting a donation box at the front of the store so that we have a central spot for the community to be able to donate animal food and other items, so we will see what they have to say about that. I hope that if they do agree to do so, that the good and caring animal-lovers of this great county will also thank them and be sure and use it, as we can always use such things. It would also increase their sales and reward them for their generosity and caring towards the many animals in our county who need help at the same time that it increases our visibility so that people know that we are here to help, as I truly believe that if our community comes together on this issue of overpopulation and the horrible suffering of so many innocent animals, we can put a halt to most of it. I haven't found a person yet who doesn't express concern about this issue, but they just don't know what to do or where to turn.

I also have another piece of good news to report. I have heard from the first person who found our site through an Internet search! She had saved a very sweet young black female Lab mix who was the last survivor of her litter, as it looked to the woman and her husband that the others had all been dumped, then shot. Well, luckily, this lady was another animal-lover and took this poor puppy in and did what she could to help, and it worked! She and her husband also were generous enough to donate money for her medical care, so her appt. has already been made to have her spayed next week. So, now, instead of being shot dead and dumped in the woods, this very sweet girl is at my home and is doing great! It only took her 2 days to get over being scared and confused, 3 to become housebroken, and now she has found her spot in the pack and settled in, giving me lots of kisses and wags of the tail whenever I awaken or return home, or just stop what I am doing throughout the day to speak to her and give her love, as I do all of the animals here when they walk into the room.

You know, it really takes so little to show animals that they are loved. I don't care how busy you are - I know that lately I have been VERY busy! - you can always spare at least a few moments to give them a little bit of love. Just saying their name (I have named her Brigit) and scratching their head, chest, belly - even getting down and giving them a big hug and a kiss on the snout - just makes their day, and they are more than eager to return the love that is offered to them. I mean, despite the way humans had treated her, within days, she has become a whole different dog and forgiven mankind for their cruelty and uncaring attitude and just pours out as much love as you will allow. So, in return, I make sure she gets it right back, as the feeling is mutual. And it really doesn't take away much time from my busy day to do it. A minute or 2 or 3 or 5 (sometimes more, as she is hard to resist because she really is very sweet and loving) really doesn't make that big of a difference in how much I get done in a day's time. Besides, as a foster home, it kinda goes with the territory. It's just part of "the job." The best part, other than finally finding that wonderful permanent home for them.

Fostering really is a very rewarding experience. You get to meet many new friends, give and receive lots and lots of love, and then you have the wonderful experience of matching up a previously unwanted animal with someone who does indeed want them. The only hard part is not getting too attached, which can be admittedly hard to do. After all, some rescued animals will never leave this place, as they totally won over someone's heart, or like, in the case of George, not only did that, but also was the type of breed (a mostly pitt bull mix) that is frequently abused and that I did not feel comfortable adopting out, as I just couldn't take the chance because there are still WAY too many people who enjoy dogfighting around here. I was NOT about to let that happen to a sweet and loving dog like George. I got him neutered just this week on the same day that we got Bill done.

As for the rest, Bullet is now officially a foster dog and has his appt. for next week on the same day as the two remaining male kittens do. Then, finally, everyone will be done! Then the hunt for homes for all of them will begin in earnest. I believe that all but Brigit's pictures are posted on the site, so if there is an animal who has caught your eye, speak up and let us know and you will have you a new companion in your home who doesn't have to go through being taken back and forth to adopt-a-thons in carriers over and over until the right person comes along. Or, if you know someone who is looking for an animal, steer them this way.

I will be right back out there at the Mt. Ida fairgrounds tomorrow (with their pictures) and will be more than glad to talk to you about any of these animals so that we can make the best match for you or someone you know and just the right animal for you or them. Besides the ones I have here, there are also a few other dogs who have yet to be posted - one has even passed the temperance test and been trained. His name is Herc, and he is brindle-colored. Kathleen trained him herself. I have met Herc, and I can vouch for not only his training, but also for his sweet nature. There is also a dog named Patches who is in need of a really good home, as her people had to give her up when they moved, one of them a young boy. Then, there is also a kind of walker/terrier/hound kind of mix who is the sibling to the dog we adopted out last week. All of these dogs are at the other foster home, and, unfortunately for them, they don't enjoy the same kind of life that the animals here do. Not that they are mistreated, but they ARE locked up when they aren't having their daily walks, whereas all of the animals here can use the doggie doors to freely go where they want.

But, if you have had your eye on Bullet, then you do need to know that he is and has to be an inside dog, as he is utterly miserable if left outside. Someone tried that, but brought him back the very next day because he was so unhappy. He currently has decided to only visit this house during the day and sleep in the bed with his head on the pillow next to my sister at night. So, I can tell you that we are going to be pretty choosy in who takes him home. Wherever he came from, he was obviously loved at some time and was well-cared-for. I really hoped that we would find his family, but despite our best efforts, we have been unable to locate them - either that, or, for whatever reason, they decided they didn't want him anymore. Or, perhaps, they moved to somewhere that they couldn't have him. That happens a lot more than you might think. It's a very sad situation. But, at least he is loved here, and we will do our very best to make sure that he continues to be loved when we place him in a permanent home. He is a young dog, as we had to cut his collar off of him when my sister couldn't get her fingers under it. So, he is obviously still a puppy and is growing a bit, though I doubt he will get much bigger.

Well, I guess that about wraps up the news for now. I'll check back in with you and let you know how things are going soon. Keep spreading the word about our county's Humane Society and especially the new sites, most especially the photo site, as we really do want to use it to reunite animals with their families and avoid the whole foster animal situation, and especially the stray-getting-shot situation! Our community can work together on this problem and do something about it, as there are many caring people here. And, if we all work together, we can each contribute in our own way, even if it is nothing more than telling your families and neighbors about us and giving them our contact information. Every household should have that, as you never know when a sad, scared, confused little face will show up at your home or your beloved animal will show up at your neighbor's. Talking to people over the past couple of months, I have heard far too many of both such stories.

We can do better than that.

And, together, we WILL!

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