Part of the Heck family pack, an Irish Wolfhound gives owner, Andy Heck a great big hug on April 19.
Photos Angela Mouly
Dogs bounded with joy and excitement as a new foster dog was received on April 19, at Heck Of A Dog Home (HOADH); a kennel-free, in-home dog boarding facility.
Eight – month – old Marcus was an owner – surrender from Lloydminster accepted with clear paperwork. With no SPCA in Vermilion, residents are encouraged to consider re-homing to avoid animals being abandoned.
Owners Andy and Laurie Heck spend much of their time volunteering their services to dogs in need through Furbabies Furever Homes and the Irish Wolfhound Club of Canada.
From left, Andy and Laurie Heck with one of their family pets at Heck Of A Dog Home on April 18.
Often, the couple foster dogs with no manners and numerous behavioural and social issues, setting the goal to overcome and make them adoptable. The Heck’s have their own pack of six dogs that help train the other dogs.
“As pack animals, dogs learn by example. Many times, the puppies we receive have been weaned from their mother too early,” said Laurie Heck.
With dogs being their passion the couple saw an opportunity to do more, and noted that Furbabies Furever Homes has re-homed close to 600 dogs. The Heck’s have volunteered to educate people on the importance of spaying/neutering and on feeding missions, where they saw first-hand the need out there and how many dogs are dropped off and abandoned.
“Many people don’t realize how many dogs are homeless and in need. It’s very rewarding, and there is no better feeling than being able to see an abandoned animal gain skills and go on to be someone’s pet,” said Laurie.
HOADH recently volunteered at Lakeland College in Vermilion offering stress relief for students after exams.
“You could just see their eyes light up with the puppies jumping on them,” said Laurie.
The Heck’s have a very strict protocol to follow before dogs are taken in or re-homed. Furbabies requires abandoned dogs to go into isolation or quarantine to be evaluated, check for health issues, and be vaccinated, so when they arrive at HOADH for fostering it can be done properly with them being assessed and monitored for a minimum of two weeks, allowing for groups of dogs to live together and have fun.
Everything is done by appointment, and applications are gone through to make good fits for both dogs and people. Dogs from Furbabies are micro chipped with an insurance policy to be re-homed if necessary.
Dogs at HOADH’s can roam their 14 acres, are fed 100 per cent natural food with homemade food and treats, and when weather permits are even given swim lessons. Owners can be given photo cd’s.
Marcus; an owner – surrender dog accepted at Heck Of A Dog Home on April 19, had a blast playing outside with his temporary friends.
“We are very unique, and we have some clients that book their dogs in before they book their flights,” said Andy Heck.
“Client’s dogs become a part of our family too,” said Laurie.
To learn more about kennel-free boarding, you can visit www.heckofadoghome.com or search ‘Heck of a Dog Home’ on Facebook. For people looking to help dogs in need, you can donate old blankets or leashes to HOADH, or visit http://www.furbabiesfureverhomes.com/ or search ‘Furbabies Furever Homes’ on Facebook.