It seems that there have been a lot of pets on the loose lately. At Have A Heart Humane Society’s resale shop, Rescued Treasures, we have had an interesting phenomenon in recent weeks. Each day, there have been six to eight stray dogs brought into our shop by kindhearted people who have found dogs running in their neighborhoods, hit by cars near their houses, or pets who have suddenly been thrust into circumstances where they have lost their owners due to death or loss of home.
As a rescue, we would love to be able to help each and every one of these fur babies, and if we were a “shelter,” we could! There is no shelter in Tehachapi, as everybody knows — the nearest one is in Mojave, and it’s a small one.
All of the local rescue organizations in our community are foster based, and it is extremely difficult to keep an adequate army of foster families lined up to take these homeless pets into safety until they can find their original owners or they can find a new adoptive family. Occasionally, we have a foster available, but we are a small rescue and our few fosters’ homes are really full. So we do what we can.
Sometimes, the only thing we can do is to advise the person bringing the pet into our store to take him/her to the nearest shelter. People sometimes think we are being mean, cruel or lazy! We are anything but those things. As scary as the shelters are to these poor animals, at least they’re off the street, away from wild predatory animals, and there is a chance that their rightful owners are looking for them.
We always scan them for a chip, and make every effort to make phone calls to find the owner or to get temporary foster for the night. It just doesn’t work out sometimes. We are a small organization with limited resources. We are the ONLY Tehachapi rescue with an actual storefront, so people drop in with these critters for help. We really try to help!
We highly recommend microchipping your pets, and we can do that at our shop for $12. If you expect to get your pet back through its microchip, however, you need to register your information online (it’s easy) and keep it updated should you move or change phone numbers. We can reunite 100 percent of stray pets with their owners if the information is current.
Please remember, we are not a shelter and so don’t feel we are failing you or these critters if we can’t take them in. We will do the best that we can and if it is impossible, we will make every effort to help advise you for the best possible outcome for the animal’s safety. We need more volunteers and fosters, so if you have a heart for animals, please think about joining our organization. Many hands help make the work lighter.
Ann Carroll writes publicity on behalf of Have a Heart Humane Society.