The anthology (enter here) is going well and we have quite a number of wonderful entries so far. So many wonderful stories… seeing so many writers share their talents is my dream. Having those talents go to actually save lives is beyond all my hopes. I am stunned by the passion and beauty that is pouring into our inbox.
Amy, thanks for taking time out of your busy day to chat with us! I can’t express how impressed I am with what I’ve read about your rescue.
Can you please tell me about how HEART started? What prompted it, and who were the people behind it?
Heart was started by a group of friends who saw the need to educate the community on the devastation of lives being lost due animals not being spayed or neutered. Myself and Rebecca Poor started Heart with the hope of making a positive difference in the animal community.
I am reading every day about what a difference you make, but I know it isn’t easy. What are the biggest challenges HEART faces?
The biggest challenges we face are the unwanted pet population which leads to uncared for and dumped animals. Sometimes these animals are even abused and/or neglected. We also face the hardship of educating families of the commitment they are making when they adopt a pet. It’s a commitment for the life of that animal. Adoptions need to be thought through. Training takes time and effort. Unfortunately we are finding as well although we offer food, vetting and other options for families to be able to keep their pets they are not interested in help and simply want to surrender them anyway.
I couldn’t imagine giving up our dog Dante. You face heart wrenching challenges every day… If you could have any three wishes what would they be (like new facilities, more money, more vets etc.)?
Our first wish would be of course that the shelters are empty and there is no pet overpopulation problem. Our second wish would be to have a mobile spay and neuter unit allowing us to provide low cost altering and vaccinations to those in need. Third we would really love to have some kind of avenue that would allow us to educate concerning the issues of the overpopulation and to also allow us to reach out and let people know there are rescues out there that will help you. We just need to work harder in finding each other.
From what I’ve been hearing about you and watching on Facebook you and your group definitely work hard! Where do you see HEART going in the future? What are your hopes for it?
Our hopes are to reach out and educate, gain more attention to the amount of lives being lost in shelters. We would like to have a place to send adopters needing help, a place to go and receive the education they need on training and behaviors. Several of us are enrolled in accredited programs studying for behaviorist training and how to help animals cope with being in the shelter. We hope to take those learned skills and again be able to help adoptive families transitioning to having a pet at home as well as helping the pet adapt to their new life. We would also like to have access to a place where we could rehabilitate abused animals like Zena. If we had such a place she might very well be here with us today. Heart would also like to allow those in need to have a place to come get food for their pets while times are tough. I truly believe if we can work on an outreach program and give people the opportunity to come and get whatever needs they have met we would have less owner surrenders or less people dumping their animals.
I read about Zena’s Rainbow Bridge and it made me cry even tho there’s no story telling what happened. Can you tell me about Zena?
This is a very difficult lost soul for me to talk about. Zena was dumped by her abusive owner at the shelter extremely unloved and abused. We tried to save her but could not. She knew love for 48 hours as that was all the time we had with her. She along with all the others are what keeps me moving forward on the difficult days. She is my reason for hoping that someday we will have access to a facility where she could have been rehabilitated.
I am moved by your mission as I’m sure so many others are. How can people help H.E.A.R.T?
We have so many supporters as we have been very fortunate. The best way to help us is to spread the word that we are here and we are ready to do what we can and are able to do for families in need and the animal community. Our financial existence relies solely on donations as we are 501c3 organization. But our voice needs nothing to continue. Even if we are struggling with funds we will press on in visiting shelters, photographing animals in need of homes, educating the public concerning spay and neutering their pets. Money allows us to save more lives but it’s not the answers to everything. Getting out there and fighting for what you know is right and what you know is needed is what is most important. Never sacrificing who you are and what you believe in. Your voice matters and we encourage you to use it.
Amy, thank you so much for taking the time to share with us what you all do at H.E.A.R.T Animal Rescue and how we can become involved. I hope my readers will enter the anthology contest and let their writing go towards saving animal lives. To find out more about H.E.A.R.T Animal Rescue you can visit their website or like them on Facebook.
Contact them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or snailmail 4516 Highway 20 East, #201, Niceville, Florida.