By Ann Carroll
contributing writer 

A fresh look at Have A Heart

Have A Heart Humane Society


September 3, 2022

For those of you who are new residents of Tehachapi or aren’t familiar with our articles, our little store, our volunteers and our adoptable critters, this may help you get to know us in a slightly different light.

We are a nonprofit volunteer organization that we call a humane society, because we are not a shelter, we are not connected to the city or the county and we have to rely on the generosity of donors, patrons and our own hard work to carry out the main four visions that comprise our mission in this community.

Our main thrust has become, first and foremost, the attempt to spay or neuter every dog or cat in this county of ours. We do this because we know that is where the main problem lies: overpopulation! After hosting monthly clinics with the same vet for six years, he became unable to continue at that pace, and we had to search elsewhere. Then COVID hit and the face of medical and veterinary care changed so much that clinics became impossible. If you have sought veterinary help in the last three years, you know exactly what we mean! We beat around the bushes for months until we found the S.N.I.P. Bus, and we have been hosting a mobile clinic once a month for over two years. When we say “hosting” a clinic it means the pet owner pays $25 to the vets, and at the end of the day, we write the clinic a check for a whopping $7,000! Every clinic! You pay $25 and we subsidize the rest! That’s how important spay and neuter is to Have A Heart. That’s why we sell See’s Candy, work hard in the resale shop, fundraise all we can and work as volunteers for free. Over the years, we have provided spay and neuter for approximately 8,070 community dogs and cats.

Have you ever tried to get in touch with a local rescue? If you have ever found a lost dog or cat and have tried to do the right thing by bringing it to a safe place only to find no answer on the other end of the phone? Have you ever had a door you could walk into with some lost kittens or puppies? We are one of the only rescues that answers the phone and has a storefront where people can try to help you and these sweet critters. I say “try” because we can’t always help. We sometimes have to say no because we have no foster families at the moment, or we are full past our foster capacity. Or maybe our fosters are exhausted, or maybe somebody dumped a bunch of little animals at our door the night before and we are trying to help them. We are NOT a shelter, we are foster based, but we always do what we can to help. The county and city shelters don’t even take owner surrendered pets, so we try to make room whenever we can. Rescue of stray or abandoned pets is our second vision.

The third facet of our organization’s mission is community outreach and public education for pet owners. We always try to provide access to training for dog owners. Better behaved pets are happier and so are their families. We also provide pet food to the public when we can and when times get tough. Our grants have all but dried up since COVID, but we still try to share what we have. We also share our knowledge with school children and teach them about responsible animal ownership and kindness, and we present two yearly scholarships to graduating high school seniors for furthering their education, with the hopes that their future will include animals.

Our organization’s final effort deals with partnering with other rescues in order to share mutual knowledge, co-sponsor classes, co-host fun community events and provide mutual support to each other when we get down or have a bad case of “compassion fatigue.” All rescues are currently in the same boat and we sometimes feel that we can’t go on. Many rescues have closed their doors and have been forced to quit. We just can’t! Stay with us, Tehachapi, and we will keep on going!

To become a volunteer, call (661) 822-LOVE. Join us and you’ll laugh, you might cry, but you’ll love every minute! Visit Have a Heart and their storefront, Rescued Treasures, at 1121 W. Valley Blvd., Tehachapi


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