Storm damage extensive at no-kill shelter

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

Feb. 8, 2008 - When it rains, it pours, and that may have never been truer than now for Hearts of Life Animal Rescue, the local "no-kill" shelter holding a special pet adoption event Saturday morning.

The shelter, which shelters unwanted cats and dogs or finds "foster homes" until they can be adopted, was already so close to maximum capacity it could no longer accept any more pets.

Then came this week's storm, and while no animals were seriously injured, houses, pens, one building and supplies on the property weren't so fortunate. They were all damaged by the straight line winds which whipped through the county Tuesday.

"It's a huge mess," said Donny Foster with Hearts of Life. "The wind blew for about 30 minutes or more. It peeled the tin off the barn like it was paper."

The winds tossed around some of the dog houses, along with the dogs in them, and tore up the fences and panels on pens, requiring dogs to be housed elsewhere on the property. Panels that were recently bought for expansion are now having to be used to make repairs.

Also, cedar chips used to line the pens and houses were ruined, all drenched in the flood of water that accompanied the winds.

The shelter has already been successful in finding homes for 25 dogs and two cats, this year, but they still have 63 dogs and "a ton of cats" in need of homes. The need is ever more pressing due to the lack of enough "houses" to properly shelter the canines.

Foster said nly about 10 canines are having to share dog houses, but added they are having to house quite a few in barrels and others in crates until the the damaged structures and fences and be repaired.

HOLAR needs dogs houses, pens and about 20 bags of cedar shavings to get back to normal.

Until then, homes are urgently needed for the animals.

Hearts of Life will bring some of the dogs and cats Saturday to the adoption event.

The "Love Me Tender" Adoption Day begins at 9 a.m. and continues until 3 p.m. Saturday at PetSense, located in the new shopping center in front of Lowe's.

The cost to adopt the animals is $65, but that fee also pays for spaying or neutering the cat or dog, as well as rabies vaccinations. Small and large dogs of many varieties are available.

Pictures of other animals at the shelter will be available for those who don't find the right pet at the adoption event. Hearts of Live volunteers will be more than happy to arrange a visit at the shelter, or call 903-885-5102 to schedule a visit.

Donations of dog houses, pens and cedar shavings will also be accepted at the adoption event at Pet Sense. Volunteers to help make repairs, clean up, or just simply walk dogs or help otherwise may also talk to staff or call.

Hearts of Life volunteers are also willing to pick up donations. Call 903-885-5102 to schedule the time and provide directions and other information.

Donations may be made by check to Hearts of Life, P.O. Box 531, Sulphur Springs TX, 75483. All donations are tax deductible, as Hearts of Life is a 501(3)c group.

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