The Heart of Highlands County

The Heart of Highlands County

(hard rain) (thunder) (dogs barking) – We’re very, very lucky, the
people of Highland’s County because there’s a lot of
charities out there that struggle but we’re very fortunate
that they support us as well as they do, and that’s how we were able to build this beautiful
building that we have. – This is another male, black, white chest. Let’s get that little (mumbles) aww, that’s a good dog. They came in yesterday
and they were overheated. We had to put them in a pool of water. Animal Services had to
bring them all the way from Avon Park, and the truck was hot, and they were overheated. Their temperatures were 103. – I try real hard not
to get angry at people when they come in. Especially when it’s their dog and they just don’t want it anymore. Like a couple weeks ago
we got in a dog that they adopted from here. A sweet, sweet dog, and the family decided they had to
have a Pomeranian and a cat, and the Pomeranian didn’t
like the dog that they had taken home that was seven years old. So they tied it outside and it became full of sores and fleas,
and of course infested with ant bites and everything, and they said, well, we
don’t want this dog anymore, and just dumped it here. – Handling our emotions is very hard. Thankfully, with how I grew up in life, with living on farms and everything, I’ve been able to put a wall kind of, up. So, when I’m dealing with
it right then and there, I can take care of that
task at that moment. It’s not until after the fact
that I’ll break down and cry. (melancholy music) (melancholy music) (melancholy music) – [Interviewer] Are you
more of a dog person or a cat person? – I don’t like to choose, honestly. I don’t really like picking
favorites in a lot of different aspects, but yeah I can’t. I am a Leo though, my astrology sign, so I like to think I’m
more of a cat person. I actually really like big cats, tigers, and lions, and stuff. That would be, if I had a dream job, it would be working with large cats. – I came to work here
at the Humane Society as I had graduated high
school, I needed hours to have on a resume because you can’t just pop out of high school and go to work. Sometimes they ask for a little more. So, I came here to volunteer,
and after a few months of volunteering they said,
Hey, we really like your work so would you like to
work with us full time? I said yes. Before I worked here I was just,
kind of a freelance artist, I do digital drawings, I do commissions. My specialty is animals,
which is probably why I was pulled to this place, animals have a soft spot in my heart. – Working here is what made me
want to work here, actually, because I’ve been around
animals since I was young. Four years old I started
raising and showing horses. I’ve always had animals in my life. – Do you like pets? I like pets too. I’ve worked here for about two weeks. [Interviewer] What’s it feel
like to be the new girl? – I love it. I just love animals, and it also helps me to not bring all the animals home, so I get to see them while I’m here. – Well, for a number of
years now we’ve been turning donated bedding into smaller
pieces that work better for the animals and the kennels inside and we’ve also been given
a lot of nice fabric, and we’re making reusable
shopping bags that they can sell as an ongoing fundraiser. – [Interviewer] Do you prefer to work with people or animals? – I definitely prefer
to work with animals. You just get more satisfaction
out of working with animals. You get to see the
progress that you’ve made with the recovery and their personalities. – That’s a silly question. (giggling) I prefer animals over people
any day, sorry. (laughs) – I very much prefer to
work with the animals, as difficult as some of
them may be with their personalities and their history. They are a lot easier to get through than some people, (giggling)
which is not a big surprise, some people can be very difficult. I very much do get attached
to certain animals. It’s very hard not to.
We have mamma dogs that I’ve bonded with while
their puppies went home. I’ve had old dogs who I’ve
bonded with before they either passed away, sadly, in our care or went to their forever
home for their last few days. There have been a few adoptions that have made me burst into tears. We’ve recently adopted
out Snickers, our big boy whose been here for three, four years. He was a favorite for all of
us here at the Humane Society and watching him go home was
the best thing in my life. You really get attached to these guys. – Her name is Magnolia. She was found and brought
in to animal control in a cardboard box. She’d been attacked by
some animal and she lost one of her legs but she’s healing up remarkably fast and is
doing very, very well. – This little guy was a stray, and his owner just came
yesterday looking for him. He’s been with us for over a week now but Animal Services picked him
up and then brought him here, and they finally came looking yesterday. So, I think he’s going to be
going back to his owner today. – Good baby, good puppy! – [Interviewer] When you take blood what are you checking for? – Heartworms. It takes nine minutes for the test. Hi darling. – When we’re interviewing
people to work here or volunteer here, first of all, we never hire anybody
until they volunteer. We want to make sure that
they are able to accept the animals and even more importantly that the animals accept them. So that’s why we always try it out to see how you are a fit for us, how you fit in and how you’re able to handle the animals. There’s a lot to handle here and some of it’s very sad,
a lot of it’s happy, but there’s a lot of difficult things too. – We solely depend on
the public donations, so naturally we post on Facebook. Word of mouth is awesome. And we go out there and
we talk to everybody, and people that we talk to
then go and talk to people. So, word of mouth works as well. – Well, I moved here
about three months ago. He was the one that let
me know, my boyfriend. He let me know about
coming here and adopting. – Everything that happens
here is by private donations. We get no county support, no tax support. A lot of people think
we get money from the Humane Society of the United States. We get nothing from anybody. We are totally independent and all of our money
comes from the community. – We choose the name of the dogs by we survey their personality types, maybe they’re a certain
color, or they’re bubbly, or they’re really shy at first. We’ll pick and choose from there or we’ll pick a theme, such
as mamma dogs and puppies, we’ll name the mother something special and the puppies will be
branches off from that. We recently had a mamma dog,
her name was Persephone, who is the goddess of
spring in Greek mythology, and all her puppies are going
to be named after trees. (giggling) And it’s really
cute, it’s really nice and I love naming them,
tt’s my favorite thing, and I hope to name one Beyonce. (laughs) – This is actually one
of our ringworm cats, whose been in quarantine. So she’s going to get a bath next, and she’s going to go outside to dry and then she gets to be released
and go back into adoption. – Polly Pocket’s results are negative. Super, (handclap) yes! – When the dogs come in
in really bad condition such as sicknesses, cancer, wounds or obvious signs of abuse, it’s, you kinda gotta keep yourself
level, keep yourself calm. If you freak out, it doesn’t
help the dog’s situation because they can read
our energy our emotions. They’ll feel scared if we’re scared. So you just kinda have
to be there for them, you have to be a comfort, you have to be someone
they can curl up with when they’re not feeling well. Help them get their medication
and keep them comfortable. And eventually when their spirits lift you’ll feel that too
somewhere deep inside. And it really helps the dogs
to just keep a level head and just make sure you know
they’re going to be okay because they’re here now. They’re in your home,
this is their home now. They’ll be safe. (melancholy music)

5 thoughts on “The Heart of Highlands County

  1. This was so touching and so well filmed! Great shots, editing and pacing and awesome sound quality. You’re really talented with film production and I’m excited to watch all the Lone Dog films!

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