‘It takes a village’


The Hillsboro Petland store recently donated $1,000 to the Highland County Humane Society and has committed to indefinitely feeding all the pets at the society’s animal shelter as well as providing each new pet parent a free bag of dog or cat food.

“This is a great opportunity to do something right in the community and do something right in supporting the shelter, so that’s why I made the decision,” said Tony Neff, who has been the franchisee of the Hillsboro Petland location for about 12 years.

Neff said it is important to keep food consistent for dogs.

“Switching up dog foods in a dog, in particular puppies, is very tough on their digestive system, so if we’re able to keep them on a steady diet that transition as far as going home and to a new home is going to make it easier on the pet, and that’s why I also decided to donate a free bag of food whenever somebody adopts a pet at the Humane Society,” he said.

Richelle Fair, the shelter director at the Highland County Humane Society, said the donations will be a great help to the non-profit organization.

“The food donation alleviates the shelter from ever having to purchase food when donations would get low,” she said. “Not only does the food donation help us financially but also helps the animal’s health by allowing them to eat the same food each day so they have less upset stomachs and diarrhea due to quick food changes. This means we don’t have to treat for gastroenteritis as often.”

Founded in 1969, the Highland County Humane Society works to provide a temporary home and treatment for adoptable cats and dogs, return lost animals to their owners when possible, place them in suitable homes, increase awareness of the humane treatment of animals and promote spay/neuter programs to reduce the overpopulation of cats and dogs in Highland County.

On average, the Highland County Humane Society houses between 50 and 60 animals at the shelter. Fair said the shelter typically has about 20 to 25 cats and 30 to 35 dogs and puppies.

Fair said financial donations are always welcomed by the Humane Society as the organization does not receive any government funding, but people can also help by donating items and volunteering at the shelter. The local Humane Society has wish lists set up on Amazon and Chewy for people to order a variety of items used at the shelter.

“I have been at the shelter since May 17, 2022, and I love seeing the shelter grow and begin to be more of a resource to the community,” said Fair. “We have a lot of plans in the works to continue to add to our community programs and ways to help. This is an area where ‘it takes a village’ absolutely applies as we need help to implement and grow our programs and services.”

Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.

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