Huck was born in a cemetery, as if his bleak future had been predetermined. Thanks to the Jefferson County Humane Society, however, Huck has a new home now and a bright future.
Huck was found in the cemetery along with his parents and a sibling. JCHS found the family of four dogs frightened, hungry and covered with scabies near the Martha Mitchell Expressway. Both adult dogs had heartworms, according to Vicky DeWeese, spokesperson for the organization. Taking immediate action, JCHS fed the dogs, gave them desperately needed medical attention and nursed three of them back to health.
“Unfortunately, we lost one of the babies,” DeWeese said. But the others have found a new beginning. DeWeese reports the animals were placed in foster homes to await adoption.
The father, Sammie, was adopted in New Hampshire and the mother, Mattie, found a place locally. The surviving sibling, Huck, became what DeWeese refers to as a “foster failure.:
“That’s when the foster parent falls in love with the dog and keeps it,” said DeWeese, who found that after fostering Huck, she couldn’t bear to part with him.
“He’s 1 year old now, and doing great,” she said. “People look at the before and after pictures and can’t believe it’s the same puppy.”
While Huck is now safe and happy, he’s one of the lucky ones. DeWeese said abandoned animals are a big problem in Jefferson County, and JCHS is working to combat the issue.
“Our main concern is to reduce the number of abandoned animals in our county,” DeWeese said.
That reduction happens mostly through spaying, neutering and adoption. Spaying and neutering help end the cycle of unwanted births, decreasing the overpopulation of abandoned animals and euthanasia.
DeWeese said there is a large need for foster homes for rescued animals awaiting adoption.
“It’s not enough to take a dog in, feed it and walk away,” she said. “Foster parents should be willing to take care of the animal as if it were their own. We need good homes, where the dogs can have interaction and socialization.”
She said JCHS covers all expenses for animals in foster care.
In 2013, the society reports spaying, neutering and giving medical attention to 170 animals before their adoptions. In addition, through a program that assists low-income families an additional 300 animals were treated.
The all-volunteer organization, DeWeese said, relies solely on private donors to provide these services.
“Our funds come strictly from fund-raisers, donations and membership drives. We get no assistance from the city, county, state or from the Humane Society of the United States.”
JCHS wants to help as many animals as possible.
“We don’t like to turn anyone away due to lack of funds,” DeWeese said.
Those who support the Humane Society through membership or donations assist JCHS’s ongoing mission to alleviate the suffering of animals in Jefferson County.
Annual membership options range from $25 for a single membership, $40 for a family membership and $100 for business. But, donations of any amount are also accepted.
To become a member, foster an animal or for more information about JSHS call 870-247-2677 or visit http://www.jeffcoarkansashumanesociety.com/.