HOLDREGE – The Holdrege Animal Rescue is hoping to add more fostering opportunities to its organization this year.
The nonprofit organization has been operating in Phelps County since 2008. Between October 2021-22, HAR placed 33 dogs and 20-25 cats in adoptive homes. It also helped find new homes for 15 to 20 dogs and numerous cats and helped search for lost pets.
Having a plan when a stray animal is found is of vital importance, said Jan Knuth, an HAR board member.
“There has to be preplanning. Even when people find an animal – whether it’s a cat, bunny, dog, calf – you have to plan before you even capture it. Where is it going? Some of the biggest messes we see in rescue work are when we don’t have a plan,” Knuth said.
Despite being a rural county, Phelps County is not immune to stray and abandoned animals.
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“We serve a lot more animals, and that has increased in the last two years after the pandemic. A lot of people are dumping animals. We have seen a tremendous increase in that,” Knuth said.
When HAR takes on a rescue animal, the group ensures its well-being, including being spayed and neutered and up-to-date on shots. Animals are typically boarded at North Park Animal Hospital or Holdrege Veterinary Clinic until a home is found.
Now, the rescue wants to be able to start fostering animals who may not adapt well to boarding.
“Dogs particularly don’t do well in a noisy environment. They need to be in a home environment so people can see their true personality rather than their fearful personality,” Knuth explained.
People who are interested in fostering or donating to the organization can contact Holdrege Animal Rescue on Facebook.
Knuth also encourages residents to take necessary steps to protect their pets.
“Two things we really strongly promote is spaying and neutering, and microchipping your pets. We reunited a dog that was found in Phelps County with her owners in Georgia 10 years after she was taken. That would never have happened if she wasn’t microchipped,” Knuth said.