A big-HART-ed organization
that rescues homeless companion animals from a heartless life.
According to the Homeless Animal Rescue Team (HART), a dedicated, all-volunteer companion animal rescue group, in Aylseford, Nova Scotia, more than 3 million animals are euthanized in shelters every year nation-wide.
“You might think these animals are born on the street or there is something ‘wrong’ with them”, says HART founder, Laurie Wheeler. “But, more often than not, they’re the offspring of cherished family pets, even purebreds. Maybe someone’s dog or cat got out just once or the litter was intentional, but efforts to find enough good homes failed.”
Either way, the consequences are the same: homeless animals are euthanized because there are more dogs and cats entering shelters than there are people willing to provide loving homes for them.
“Even if you do find homes for the puppies or kittens, you are taking homes away from needy dogs or cats in shelters,” says Laurie. “They’re the ones who suffer. They’re the ones whose lives are cut short.”
While puppies and kittens are cute and cuddly, what happens in the lives of unwanted companion animals is not. Stray and feral dogs and cats find life on the street terrifying at the best of times. To survive they may get into garbage and become sick or poisoned or they may experience the wrath of residents who don’t want them on their property or they may bite or attack humans or other animals to protect themselves or be bitten or attacked by other animals.
That’s why HART recommends that every family who lives with or takes care of a dog or cat has them spayed or neutered.
“It’s the only effective means of ensuring your companion animal or their potential offspring won’t contribute to the population of unwanted pets. It’s the only permanent, 100-percent effective method of birth control for dogs and cats,” says Laurie.
There are other benefits to spaying or neutering your companion animal. Spayed females don’t go into heat and neutered males aren’t hormonally charged to escape from the yard to mate. Spaying and neutering also cuts down on territorialism, dominance and aggression, as well as sexual frustration. Making sure your dogs or cats are spayed or neutered also gives them either full or partial protection against a number of hormone-induced health problems, including some cancers.
While the problem of pet over-population in Canada is too big for any one group to solve, the volunteers of HART strive to ensure that many homeless animals in Aylesford and in other areas of Nova Scotia live healthier lives and find forever homes.
But the needs are great.
“We often rescue injured and/or sick animals who require much more than the routine testing, vaccinating and altering,” says Laurie. “Without donations and/or fundraising we can’t keep rescuing.”
The team dreams of building their own shelter, so they won’t have to rely on foster homes, which can be few and far between. To realize this dream, HART has a number of fundraising initiatives. There’s an on-line store with beautiful handcrafted jewelry for sale and there is currently a contest for kids (up to age 17) with an iPAD with retina display for the prize. The contest is on now and will end May 1, 2013 at noon.
And HART is always looking for new ideas for fundraising, and encourages artists and musicians to help. The team welcomes new or gently used items, including crafts, for auction. All donations will go toward building HART’s shelter and to help pay for food, litter and vet care.
Please donate what you can to help H.A.R.T. The group has a donation page where you can donate through PayPal or by credit card. Cheques can be mailed to: HART, 1147 New Road, Aylesford, NS B0P 1C0. Donations also can be sent to HART via their vet, the Port Royal Animal Hospital (532-PETS). To reach Laurie, call 902-341-HART
Visit the group’s website at www.valleyhart.com.