Neglected and abused dogs are put on death row everyday. The amount of kill shelters in the U.S. has reached 3,500, according to The Humane Society.
However, dog rescues have been credited with significantly reducing these statistics, according to the Animal Foundation Coalition.
Geisha, Tundra and Spirit Husky Rescue, often referred to as GTS, is a no-kill shelter located on a two-acre ranch in Jupiter, Fla. The rescue is 100 percent volunteer run and works to find homes for huskies that volunteers have rescued from kill shelters around the U.S.
“We have three dogs from California and a couple from Georgia,” Cory Chaver, a volunteer of the shelter, said. “If we have room, we bring them in.”
Chaver’s job at GTS entails traveling to rescue the huskies, nurturing them back to health and handling all the adoptions.
Most recently, Chaver traveled to Mississippi to visit a puppy mill.
“The owner had passed and the family didn’t want the dogs,” Chaver said. “I ended up bringing back 38 dogs when it was all said and done.”
Once the huskies are on the ranch, Chaver and volunteers alike work to nurture them back to health in preparation for possible adopters.
The first step is to take care of any possibility of heartworm, fleas and parasites by bringing the husky to a vet. Once cleared, they are given much more freedom on the ranch.
“I begin to socialize the dog with myself and a few other dogs to find out if there are any concerns,” Chaver said. “I see what they like, and what they don’t like.”
Those looking to adopt a Husky begin with an online application that includes general question and a request for two references.
Due to a husky’s strong predatory instinct, they do not typically get along with smaller animals like cats and birds. GTS volunteers conduct a home check to ensure the safety of the dog that may be adopted.
The volunteers also check for a fenced-in yard. When it comes to this specific breed, a lot of exercise is required.
“When you give them that mental stimulation, they’re the greatest dogs in the world,” Chaver said. “But if you lack that and don’t let them run outside all day, they’re tougher to handle.”
Once the homecheck is cleared, possible adopters can come to the ranch and meet some of the huskies.
GTS has been in fruition for five years now, and with the help of all the volunteers, it has provided homes for almost 400 huskies.
Although many question if huskies are safe in the Florida heat, Chaver reassured that there is nothing to be concerned about.
“The dual coat, or the under coat on a husky, actually keeps them cool,” Chaver said. “It blocks the sun from getting into their skin and acts as an ac unit for them.”
The under coat also provides warmth for the huskies in the winter by acting as a heater.
“We have dogs that have been abused, neglected, and haven't been taken care of,” Chaver said. “To see those dogs happy in the houses is really just the best part of this.”
GTS not only enriches the lives of dogs, but also alters the lives of the volunteers for the better.
By Sofia Jas