With 20 kennels currently occupied by 30 dogs recently, the Highland County Dog Pound is critically overpopulated. Many dogs have been surrendered by owners, through no fault of their own, many have simply been abandoned or dumped, some have just followed their nose and gotten lost.
Ted McReynolds, president of The Friends of the Highland County Dog Pound, says, “There are too many dogs with nowhere to go. We are asking our friends and neighbors and anyone that might need a lifetime companion to take this time to adopt a dog. Every day, calls come in about dogs that are wandering loose or seen on major roads, people reporting dogs they want to be picked up, but there is no room for them.”
The rescue groups that generally step in to take Highland County Dog Pound dogs are full as well. No dogs have been taken by rescue groups for two weeks through last Sunday.
Friends volunteer Pat Lawrence said, “For the past few months, the rescue groups have been a lifeline for the abandoned dogs and animals from our county, but with so many deaths, so much illness, so much loss of income, people moving, people losing income, they are overwhelmed as well.”
The other issue, she said, is that, “Small dogs and puppies can find homes fairly quickly, so the dogs that remain at the pound are a year old or more and some are very big. Along with all the beagles and medium-sized, mixed breed dogs, we have mastiffs, shepherd mixes, Great Pyrenees, hound mixes and, of course, many pit bull mixes. We have found that pit bulls are often the sweetest of all, but too many people think of them differently. Bigger dogs require a different set of circumstances than being chained or tied up. Dogs are often found wandering with their tethers attached but chewed through or with a chain link broken.”
Anytime a dog is adopted is cause for celebration, but when dogs are reunited with their owners it is particularly heartwarming. McReynolds says, “Anyone missing a dog should keep in contact with the pound. Some dogs can cover up to 10 miles and there are 500 square miles in the county. Dogs are generally only picked up if there has been a call about them, so it can be weeks before a lost dog is captured. Dogs can’t tell us where they belong, so owners have to keep checking.”
Some Friends of the Pound have stepped up to foster dogs from the pound. The foster arrangement requires specific living conditions, like a fenced yard and experience with dogs. Lawrence says, “Most pound dogs are great dogs, but they all need kindness, patience and some time to get comfortable in new surroundings. That’s true about all dogs coming from this rather traumatic situation.”
She added, “The overflow of dogs at the pound is a crisis that can only be addressed by people who love dogs and are willing to share their lives with them. The hope for all pound dogs is a safe, secure and loving home and anyone that can offer that is desperately needed. With all the good dogs available, the Friends of the Highland County Dog Pound are asking the good people of the county to step up, please, now.”
Contact the Highland County Dog Pound at 937-393-8191 or via FaceBook to view, meet, discuss or adopt available dogs.
Pat Lawrence is a member of The Friends of the Highland County Dog Pound.