Bossier’s HIP to the ‘animal’ rescue for Bossier City Animal Control. Hand In Paw, the nonprofit group, finds foster parents, new homes, and donations/funds for spays/neuters.
Bossier’s “Hand in Paw” to the Rescue
By Kathleen Ward
People who rescue animals feel every pet’s dismay lost or abandoned and the strong desire to help find each a loving home. They help make that happen, then share the joy when the adopting person and their new pet both realize “they really want me!”
Phyllis Whatley, founder/director/president of the nonprofit animal rescue group Hand in Paw – Friends of Bossier City Animal Control, knows all about that.
A new home for 700 rescue animals.
“I have ten indoor-only cats, seven of which came from Bossier City Animal Control,” said Whatley, who started Hand in Paw (“HIP”) in 2006. With a circle of active volunteers and the help of family, friends, and organizations like Airmen for Animals and the Shreveport-Bossier Community Cat Assistance Project, HIP works closely with Bossier City Animal Control to rehome pets. In the past year, HIP helped place more than 700 animals in new homes or sent them to shelters in other states.
In the past year, HIP helped place more than 700 animals in new homes or sent them to shelters in other states.
Animals usually await adoption at the Shed Road shelter, but this past year has shaken things up a bit, not only by the pandemic. “The facility has been under construction/renovation, so the intake of animals has been limited, having more dogs and cats in need of foster homes,” said Whatley.
Bossier’s HIP to the ‘Animal’ Rescue
“Hand in Paw does not work like a brick and mortar rescue; we are helping the animals of Bossier City Animal Control,” said Karen Grimes, shelter receptionist and HIP’s volunteer adoption/foster/rescue coordinator. “We do our best to assist with medical expenses the City cannot cover. Cats and dogs that need to be socialized often go to fosters or rescues that can assist with their behavior. We currently have a foster working with a feral kitten and a terrified adult from the shelter. We have another foster with a scared dog making a ton of progress toward being ready for adoption. We do not give up on the ones that are harder to place.”
A few weeks ago, Grimes got a call from Whatley to help catch an injured cat. “The two of us caught this cat and named him Ashton. He had to have a leg removed, then spent post-surgical time with one of our fosters, who does an excellent job helping cats rehabilitate after amputation. He leaves March 8th to go to North Shore Animal League America, the world’s largest no-kill rescue,” said Grimes, who has eight cats, two dogs, two Umbrella Cockatoos, and rescue fish tanks. “I joke that I am one animal away from hoarding. I was raised with a lot of pets, so it is natural to me.”
Finding the Perfect Pet in Bossier
When the Moehring family of Bossier fostered the Lab-mix Clark, they couldn’t let him go. “We decided he was already home!” said Laura Moehring. “She and her husband, Monte, head up most of the remote adoption events for Bossier City Animal Control.”
“Before COVID-19, we would transport dogs and cats to PetSmart, Barksdale AFB, and various other locales and find homes for them,” said Monte. “These abandoned pets need companionship; to be walked, petted, scratched, bathed, brushed, read to and generally loved on to relieve anxiety and prepare them for their new family.” The HIP volunteers are very social. Newcomers are welcome, and many strong friendships develop.
“Volunteers might move, have children’s events, go off to college, or transfer jobs,” said Laura. “They stay in our hearts forever, though. Our social media army of volunteers share the City’s homeless pets with the world! Many dogs and cats have found ‘furever’ homes from a picture shared on social media.”
How can you help?
“We are hoping and planning to host an open house when construction is complete, and the facility reopens to the public,” said Whatley speaking of the renovation of Bossier City Animal Control. “The City of Bossier encourages volunteers to have Saturday events and supports us totally. We advertise the events and pets on our Facebook page,” said Laura. (https://www.facebook.com/handinpawBC/)
“Along with volunteers, donors are essential to help feed and provide healthcare, which includes spaying and neutering prior to adoption when possible,” said Monte. HIP is included in Community Foundation for North Louisiana’s Give For Good fundraiser, which begins April 20th and ends with a 24-hour marathon of giving on May 4th (https://www.giveforgoodnla.org/handinpaw). “I assure you it goes directly to the welfare of our local animals.”
“Spending time with these amazing animals until their families find them, adopt them and take them home is more rewarding than I ever imagined,” said Monte. “I encourage anyone looking to improve the quality of their life to join us, put aside your reservations and think of the animals you would be helping.”
Bossier is Pet Friendly
As you can tell, many Bossier citizens have a soft spot for furry friends. In 2019, BeBossier.com featured many of the dog-friendly places in Bossier to take your furry friend. We even have a Mardi Gras parade just for the pets!
Do you have fascinating four-legged-friend news that you want us to share? Comment below!