News

A lot of H.A.R.T.

by Denise LeBeau

Homeless Animal Rescue Team (H.A.R.T.) pushes the envelope to help save more pets in Utah and beyond. H.A.R.T. has been a NKUT Coalition (previously called the No More Homeless Pets in Utah Coalition) member since the organization began in 2009, and collaboration is at the heart of their work. NKUT is an initiative led by Best Friends Animal Society that brings together an entire coalition of animal welfare organizations to end the killing of dogs and cats in shelters throughout the state. H.A.R.T. embodies what teamwork can accomplish — and this year that teamwork brought many tears of joy.

Every life is precious

Honcho was the constant companion of a homeless man. Although they had no permanent residence, Honcho was well taken care of and doted on. The two were known and loved by everyone in their town. When Honcho’s person died, he was left to wander the streets alone, with no one to look after him. His life was endangered when kids started harassing the adorable and friendly scruffy dog. When Honcho ended up with BBs embedded in his face, good Samaritans got involved, taking him to a veterinarian’s office and getting him the medical attention he needed. Then they called H.A.R.T.

“We couldn’t turn our backs on a dog like Honcho,” says Cathy Freitas, director of H.A.R.T. “We had him vaccinated, neutered and microchipped, and then quickly got him into a foster home.” H.A.R.T. goes the distance for all types of pets in need, and that’s why being a part of the NKUT Coalition is important to the organization. H.A.R.T. frequently participates in NKUT events and promotions, using the resources and marketing materials provided by Best Friends.

Monumental events

When another NKUT Coalition member staged a southern Utah mega-adoption event in St. George, sponsored by PetSmart Charities® in partnership with Best Friends, Cathy was thrilled at the opportunity to get many of their pets into homes in time to ring in the new year. Being an NKUT Coalition member also provided an additional resource: The available pets could be spayed or neutered at no cost at the Best Friends Animal Clinic to ensure that they would be ready in time for the event. “Every dog that was spayed or neutered at Best Friends before the event was adopted,” says Cathy. “We would not have been able to take all of our available pets to the event and offer the lower adoption fee without that support from Best Friends.”

Cathy particularly likes the camaraderie among organizations during adoption events and sees them as a real morale booster. She says, “The NKUT Coalition events are always fun and we look forward to them.”

During the mega-adoption event, a variety of dogs, from hound puppies to a senior German shepherd, found their forever families, bringing smiles to foster folks, who showed up with their charges.

Finding homes together

“I feel very proud to be a part of a community that can work together toward a similar end goal,” says Cathy. “We all have the animals' best interests at heart, and even though, as different groups, our methods of reaching that end goal may differ a bit, we can all work together to get there, and support one another along the way.”

As the year wraps up, H.A.R.T. is looking forward to helping more animals in 2015, and is grateful for all the homes that teamwork helped to find in 2014. One of the best moments of this year was seeing Honcho go home, just hours after the mega-adoption event opened.

Get involved

Be a part of the good news by becoming a Best Friends member. You'll be helping our NKUT Coalition partners, too.

Learn more about NKUT. http://nkut.org/

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