West Virginia is known for its natural beauty, and it certainly impressed us with it gorgeous mountains, creeks and history.
But its people also impressed us with their hospitality and welcoming spirit. When we met the good people from Homeward Bound WV in West Virginia, they impressed us too.
Their goals? Rescue, rehabilitate, spay and neuter, re-home and educate.
Homeward Bound WV is a foster based rescue which means they do not have a physical facility. Needless to say, without fosters, their mission would be impossible.
Homeward Bound WV is a non profit organization dedicated to saving dogs and cats whose lives are in jeopardy. They are all volunteer and their rescued pets live in loving foster homes. Not only do they rescue pets out of their local shelters, but they also rehabilitate sick and un-socialized animals, retrieve orphaned and abandoned pets and take care of them so that they may be rehabilitated in order to be placed in permanent homes.
Their is a definite need for animals in this state, like all of the states we have visited. We spoke with Mel and her husband Jon who themselves have a “foster failure”. Their furkid Harry was with them as they met with us. Harry had been in a domestic violence situation and thus had to go through many surgeries because he was poisoned and abused and also lost his leg. Harry is only nine months old, and is in definite need of rehabilitation.
We knew however that Mel and her husband Jon took their task very seriously, and also were meeting the challenge with a lot of love. Mel mentioned numerous times that Harry had in fact rescued them after the death of one of their beloved dogs. Mel explained that she and Harry had been through a lot together during his surgeries and subsequent recovery. Harry had nothing but love in his eyes for his new parents. And we were privileged to have met them all. They were game to play the latest round of “Stop Hounding Me”!
Animal rescue is not a glamorous job. It takes hard work to run a rescue or shelter. As Mel mentioned, there is always “one more thing” that needs to be done. We were impressed by the many events they hold in their community including adoption events and networking at numerous pet stores like the Pet Valu we met them at. They also are able to network their adoptables at other stores in the area like PetSmart. As we could see, this community really banded together for the common goal of saving lives.
Beyond events and the daily struggles of rescue, Homeward Bound WV also is determined to educate their community, including its children on proper animal care including spay and neutering, how to approach a dog and how to care for a dog. They visit schools in order to teach children directly. Educating school-aged children about stray, homeless and feral animals and how they can help provides for a community that may one day not need animal rescuers. Isn’t that everyone’s dream?
Animal shelters, animal rescues and the community working together is vital in the animal rescue world. We could see that there is still much progress to be made in West Virginia, like many other states. But Homeward Bound WV’s determination to have everyone work together touched us. They even offer spay and neuter services by means of grants in the community and facilitate the relocation and transport of pets from other shelters. It is amazing what people can do when they work together, and we sincerely hope the community continues to support their efforts.
All of their work and efforts are largely dependent on the help they receive from their fosters. Foster families provide shelter, food, care and love. The number of animals they can save are only possible on the number of people who can open up their homes to do this. If you are not in the West Virginia area, you can still help Homeward Bound by of course donating financially to help save more animals like Harry. If you are not in the area, and cannot donate and still wish to help the common effort, Homeward Bound WV asks that you share their Facebook posts of featured animals! We all can help in our own way, but our own communities too. And we thank Homeward Bound WV for showing us that miracle stories like Harry can happen.
Homeward Bound WV, Inc.
Until we meet again, West Virginia!