HEART hosts 1st Annual Walk N’ Wag
Wed, 04/26/2017 - 10:59am admin
Kim Soukup ~ TPD Staff
Vernon Springs - The weather couldn’t have been better, the four-legged canines more social and the people more excited than for the HEART’s (Helping Every Animal Rescue Team) 1st Annual Walk N’ Wag at Prairie’s Edge Nature Center, on Saturday, April 22.
HEART is a nonprofit, formerly known as Cuervo’s Lucky Lair. Initially, a one-woman rescue, it has transformed into a team of dedicated animal lovers who “just want the best for the animals” it helps. This small group of volunteers have years of experience with animals, open hearts and loving homes.
The Walk: Who, what was there besides the dogs
First off was registration and doggie HEART treat bags as well as free treat samples from Stella & Chewys. There were door prizes and homemade bars available for purchase.
Several vendors were on hand selling items ranging from homemade Smackie doggie treats by Lindsay Mackie, to skin products, to handmade wooden items and children books.
Also on hand was the Snuffle Mat by Klassy K9 Design. The fleece strip mat is sold as a slow feeder or a treat finder. The vendor said the mat is both good for mental stimulation, burning energy and can be used as a natural scent finding tool. If you have a “gobbler” at meal time, this mat may just be the ticket.
There were dog agility demonstrations provided by Carmen Hurley and others from the Good Dog Center, Decorah as well as microchipping from HEART volunteers. Micropchipping your animal can help identify the pet to its owner if the pet is lost.
Walking tacos and refreshments were available to people after the walk.
Walk, dogs, foster parenting
At approximately 10:30 a.m., dogs, their owners, their foster parents and volunteers headed east and north from the nature center on the trail that was one-and-a-half miles round trip.
Several of the current HEART adoptable dogs were available for those interested in adopting, including a French bulldog and a Papillon named Toby. Toby is currently being fostered by Keith and Naylene Reicks from Ridgeway.
The Reicks family started out as transporters for the dogs and then became fosters.
“We always had animals,” shared Naylene. “We are retired, and it was just a good fit for us to start fostering as well as helping with the transporting of the animals. We just got Toby on Wednesday, so we’ve only had him for a few days. He is a sweetheart.”
Dogs sniffed, played and barked as they navigated, for some, very foreign territory, of so many dogs together.
The animals, HEART
So where do the dogs and cats come from that HEART rescues? Well . . . lots of places.
“People contact us,” said Amanda Myhre, HEART President. “When we hear of someone giving away a dog, we try to intervene, foster and then place that pet. We take in some strays and we help out ‘Bailing Out Benji.’ They rescue dogs from puppy mills. These are just some of the ways we get the dogs and cats that we help.”
All dogs and cats that are rescued by HEART are fostered in private homes. The dedicated supporters take care of rescued animals until they are adopted out. Adoptable dogs and cats can be found on PetFinder and the HEART website, www.heartrescueteam.com.
HEART is funded by donations and adoptions. These donations help dogs and cats on their way to the new homes.
“We’ve had a lot of great support,” said Myhre, smiling. “We’ve had a great day, and I think we’ve had an awesome turnout for our first event. We want to thank everyone who came out today to take part in the Walk N’ Wag and looks like we may have a possible adoption or two as well. We look forward to next year.”