Suzanne Allen of Ashland had always considered herself a pet person, but after losing her beloved schnauzer Charlie Brown two years ago, she thought she might never adopt again. “It was too painful to lose a friend,” she said.
In time, however, Suzanne began to miss the unconditional love and friendship a pet can provide. Initially, she was searching for a smaller dog, but she came across a medium-sized terrier/hound mix named Penny on the Henrico Humane Society (HHS) website. She knew she had to meet her, and she wasn’t disappointed. “She had the sweetest eyes and most gentle demeanor,” Suzanne said. “I had been looking for a dog that would provide the kind of companionship I missed with Charlie. When I met Penny, I knew she was the one.”
Due to some health issues (heartworm and previous renal failure), Penny had already been waiting a year and a half with HHS volunteer Angie Baldwin, who facilitated Penny’s adoption. “We were confident that she would be a wonderful addition for the right person or family. Sometimes, it just takes a little longer to find the right fit,” said Angie, who has volunteered with HHS for eight years.
An all-volunteer operation, Henrico Humane Society was established in 1991 as an animal rescue organization to address the growing number of homeless pets in Greater Richmond. The rescue has no physical facility or shelter. Each year, HHS places more than 400 pets with families throughout the Richmond area.
Shannon Troyka, president of HHS, says the organization strives to find a fit that benefits animals and their humans. “Our goal isn’t just to get a dog or cat adopted. It’s making sure the pet is adopted into the best forever home,” said Troyka. “Currently, there are approximately fifty dogs and cats in our care that have been rescued and are waiting to be adopted. Some have been surrendered by their owners, and others come to us from local and rural shelters from around the region where they might have been on a list to be euthanized.”
A majority of pets that come to HHS are placed in volunteer foster homes until they can be adopted into permanent, loving homes. Troyka said people and pets benefit from this fostering system. “This practice allows foster families to learn more about the pets in their care, which helps place pets in the best possible forever home.”
Many Henrico Humane Society foster volunteers are animal lovers, but for whatever reason, can’t adopt a pet permanently. “Fostering through HHS is a great way to help animals without assuming the long-term responsibility of adoption,” said Troyka.
As for Penny’s life with her new human, Suzanne says the transition has been an easy one, even with the dog’s medical challenges. “I didn’t let those concerns affect my wish to adopt her. Every pet deserves a good home.” Today, Penny is doing very well with the right diet and long-term heartworm treatment.
Spay RVA Helps Pets and their Families!
Spay RVA is a low cost spay/neuter program created for pet owners who cannot afford the cost of this important surgery for their pets. Through Henrico Humane Society’s commitment to Spay RVA, Richmond-area pet owners can have their pet spayed or neutered with no cost to them when the procedure is performed in a participating facility.
This ongoing program helps owners who might otherwise re-home their pet due to the cost of the medical procedure or unwanted pregnancy. It also reduces the number of unplanned litters of kittens or puppies. Clinics that Henrico Humane Society partners with for Spay RVA include: Prevent A Litter Veterinary Hospital (PAL), The Loving Spay + Neuter Clinic at Richmond Animal League (RAL), Jessica Beath Clinic, and Barron Surgery. Contact Henrico Humane Society for information on Spay RVA.
If you would like more information on adopting a pet or volunteering as a foster, visit henricohumane.org.