Big changes are in store for the Hearts of Life Animal Rescue in the form of a new facility and an upcoming pet adoption day. The no-kill shelter owner, Donny Foster, could not be more excited about the future of the organization.
“We started nine years ago. We are just a group of people that love animals and, so far, we have rescued more than 400 animals since we began,” said Foster. “Currently, we have 55 dogs at our shelter, and survive on community donations.”
Once an animal is found, HOLAR has a veterinarian treat them, spay/neuter the animal and make sure it is ready for adoption.
One of the animals they have been able to rehabilitate is Zeus. Zeus had been tortured by a pet owner and needed to stay with the veterinarian for more than a month. When Foster and his team found the animal, he had been badly burned all over his body and duck tape wrapped was around the dog’s feet.
“It was just horrible when we found Zeus, but now he is finally up for adoption,” said Foster. “All we charge to adopt and animal is a $90 fee to recoup the cost of the spay or neutering.”
Foster and his volunteers spend their time not only taking care of the animals but also fund raising for the organization. Food, shots and veterinarian visits can all add up over time. As an added difficulty, they are reaching their limit of animals they can house.
“Right now we are so full, and are caring for every animal we possibly can,” said Foster.
That scenario took an upturn when local New-York Times best selling author Colleen Hoover decided to donate a substancial amount to HOLAR through her organization, the Bookworm Box. HOLAR also received another generous donation from Hawgz 4 Dogz bike rally.
“Colleen’s donation paid for the roof of our new building,” said Foster. “We are now able to get started and improve the lives of our dogs,” said Foster.
The new facility will house all the animals and provide a much better drainage system to keep the animals healthy.
“We are starting ground work on Saturday and, eventually, will have a concrete pad with a roof over it. Right now, we are still trying to raise some money for all the concrete,” said Foster. “Basically, we want better homes for the animals we have. We are also going to build a run in a U-shape so the animals can exercise. It is going to be so much better for our dogs.”
The new structure is a necessity because it can be 20 degrees cooler inside the building than outside. Foster has several large fans that he is currently using to keep the animals cool throughout the summer.
As for the upcoming pet adoption day, HOLAR lead volunteer Deborah Balkcom is helping organize the event for Foster.
“Our adoption event will be at Petsence during the first Saturday in August. We are going to be having the adoption inside the building and will only be able to bring a few animals,” said Balkcom. “Hopefully people will adopt all the animals we bring so we can continually be bringing more animals to adopt that day.”
Typically, HOFAR holds at least one pet adoption per month but during the summer, they hold off until August.
“Dogs are the best examples of unconditional love. They will love you no matter what and all they ask is for food, water and a pat on the head once in a while,” said Foster.