PINEVILLE – I’m Your Huckleberry Rescue, a dog care organization based in Pineville, has seen an influx of dogs since the county’s Covid-19 decline, so some employees can go back to work and the decision to keep a dog has not possible is feasible longer. In addition to the effects of Covid-19, I’m Your Huckleberry Rescue staff say some of the influx of dogs they saw this summer was due to owners not neutering or neutering their pets.
Beverley Bartley, 65, is the president and founder of four-year I’m Your Huckleberry Rescue. Bartley said their business has come under financial pressure as they care for more dogs than they do in a typical season. Bartley said this problem isn’t unique to I’m Your Huckleberry Rescue, but instead, most animal shelters see an influx of abandoned or unwanted pets.
“We saw an increase in the numbers,” said Bartley. “And all [referring to other shelters] is the same. I just spoke to a lady from the Joplin Humane Society this morning, they are busy with 400 dogs, Golden Paw, Faithful Friends in Joplin and Neosho, they are absolutely overcrowded, full. It seems to be a trend, and it’s common all over the country, not just Missouri and Arkansas. “
Bartley said she believes one of the causes of the influx of dogs into the shelter is because families are no longer able or unable to look after pets they acquired in the midst of Covid-19.
“I think the Covid pandemic has had an impact,” said Bartley. “What we found out is that last year when people were off work and school they were like, ‘Oh, let’s get a puppy, let’s get a dog.’ Then of course, slowly but surely, when things have returned to normal, the dog has become uncomfortable from being at work eight hours a day; the dog may be tearing up the house, digging up the yard, and they are not . no more time for that. “
Bartley said the shelter needed more foster homes as the increased number of dogs for I’m Your Huckleberry Rescue has proven costly as healthy dogs generally cost the care organization $ 60-150 for basic health care, including vaccinations, flea and tick prevention and possible neutering and neutering.
Linda Parnell, 65, is the board secretary at I’m Your Huckleberry Rescue. Parnell said one way the community can help while the organization is under the added burden of having extra dogs is to volunteer to help with basic duties.
“Maybe transporting them to vet appointments or visiting foster homes and help when there are multiple animals, collecting feces or making sure the food and water bowls are clean,” said Parnell. “Take bed linen, used bed linen that needs to be cleaned, wash it, bathe dogs, teach dogs to walk on a leash.”
Parnell said dog transportation was a tough job for I’m Your Huckleberry. Rescue dogs are constantly being transported to the vet or to adoption events that take place every Saturday.
“It would be nice to have more people we could call to say, ‘Hey, can you pick up Rover at the vet and take it to care?’ or something like that, “said Parnell.
Vie Keller, 72, is the Director of Operations and Adoption Events Coordinator for I’m Your Huckleberry Rescue. One of Keller’s initiatives as part of the I’m Your Huckleberry Rescue team is to encourage owners to spay and neuter their pets, which the care organization pays if the owners don’t have the funds to pay for the services.
“We will not develop further and we will not achieve anything better if we do not neuter and reduce all litters for all the abandoned and simply discarded litters and litters and litters and litters,” said Keller.
Keller said she is coordinating a program within the care organization called “No Cost to Low Cost” by running fundraising drives and selling goods to pay for the neutering and neutering of dogs where it is needed.
Keller said the organization always needs around 40 dogs to care for, which has increased this summer.
I’m Your Huckleberry Rescues accepts as many dogs as the facility can accommodate. Volunteers are appreciated as the volunteer-based organization needs extra hands to handle the higher number of dogs. I’m Your Huckleberry Rescue takes dogs to adoption events every Saturday, and foster families can permanently adopt dogs if they choose.
PHOTO SUBMITTED Photo of Lira, an active and playful dog in need of care. Lira is four months old, weighs 30 pounds, has been neutered and has her updated recordings.