With this year’s Barktoberfest, the Friends of the Highland County Dog Pound (FHCDP)’s only fundraiser, cancelled, but FHCDP Treasurer Pat Lawrence told The Times-Gazette there are other ways community members can show support for the dog pound.
FHCDP, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is registered with Kroger Community Rewards and Amazon Smiles, programs that donate money from purchases customers would have made regardless.
FHCDP has been enrolled in the Kroger and Amazon programs for about seven months, Lawrence said. Each quarter, FHCDP receives checks from the programs, which mean more than just money to support the dogs at the pound to Lawrence.
“It’s very comforting to have money in the bank, but every time we get a check, it’s support from the community and people who care about animals. That makes me feel so much better,” Lawrence said. “Sometimes, looking at the dogs and their stories, it’s very disheartening, and we lose faith in people. When we get the checks, it means that somebody cares, and I think that’s the part that matters most for us. The money is welcome, but the thought behind the money is the really important part for the volunteers.”
FHCDP has also received donations through Facebook’s Network for Good.
“Everybody’s broke, but $5 doesn’t sound like much until 20 people give $5,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence said she has noticed a difference since community members began donating through these platforms.
FHCDP uses all the money it raises to provide dogs at the pound with items and services such as medical treatment, medications and vaccinations, and enrichment like toys.
FHCDP also finds grants to help pay for improvements to the dog pound’s facilities, but the organization’s funds remain separate from the Highland County Dog Pound’s.
Whereas the pound is a county entity, FHCDP is an organization comprising volunteers who want to help the pound and the dogs who find themselves at the pound.
“These dogs never did anything wrong. They are not being punished,” Lawrence said. “The dogs that come to the pound are not there because they’re bad dogs — they’re there because they simply got loose or were abandoned. There is some community responsibility for that, but they are not being punished.”
Even dog breeds that many fear, such as pit bulls, deserve a loving home.
“Two of the volunteers and I were a little scared of the pit bulls, and they have been the sweetest, dearest animals,” Lawrence said. “So many of them have become our favorites. I was this close to adopting Chevy (a former Highland County Dog Pound Pet of the Week who has since been adopted) because I loved him so much, and he loved me. They are so loving and so sweet, and they have such a bad reputation, but they’ve made such wonderful pets. They’re smart, they want to be loved, they want to be close. They’ve changed all our views on pit bulls.”
Lawrence also encouraged community members whose dogs go missing, get loose, or get lost to contact the dog pound to ensure their dogs have not been picked up. To do so, call 937-393-8191 and leave a message.
Since the dog pound is a no-kill institution, Lawrence said dogs “picked up” by the dog warden stay at the pound until homes are found for them or they go to another rescue.
Lawrence also stressed that the Highland County Dog Pound is not equipped to care for cats. According to Lawrence, people have dropped cats and kittens into a fenced area where larger dogs can run off the leash.
The Highland County Humane Society, located just down a hill from the pound at 9331 SR 124 outside Hillsboro, does accept cats. For more information, reach the Humane Society at 937-393-2110.
The adoption fee at the dog pound is $64. Adopters also receive a voucher for a spay or neuter procedure.
Lawrence reminded community members to be patient with newly adopted dogs.
“It’s about three days before they quit panicking, about three weeks before they get comfortable, and about three months until they’re part of the family,” Lawrence said. “They just need to give those dogs a little time. It takes them a couple of days to realize they’re safe and a couple of weeks to realize that maybe things are going to work out. By three months, they’re normally part of the family. You can’t do it overnight.”
For community members who use Kroger cards, visit www.kroger.com/i/community/community-rewards to select the Friends of the Highland County Dog Pound.
For those who use Amazon, visit smile.amazon.com.
To donate via Facebook, visit www.facebook.com/fundraisers and search “Friends of the Highland County Dog Pound” in non-profits.
Community members can also donate by mailing a check to the Friends of the Highland County Dog Pound at P.O. Box 496, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133.
The Highland County Dog Pound is located at 9357 SR 124 east of Hillsboro. Reach the dog warden at 937-393- 8191.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 927-402-2570.