Hawkins shelter offering 'Lonely Hearts' special to adopt long-term residents

Jeff Bobo • Feb 9, 2020 at 11:17 AM

ROGERSVILLE — Trooper, a 10-year-old yellow Lab, suffered a broken heart, and a broken body, before coming to the Hawkins County Humane Society nine months ago.

His body has already mended since being hit by a car near Rogersville, and shelter staff are hoping to mend his broken heart with a new home for Valentine’s Day as part of the HCHS’s “Lonely Hearts” adoption special for the canine residents that have been at the shelter the longest.

As part of the promotion, the adoption fee has been reduced to $30 each for the 13 dogs that have been there 90 days or more.

Trooper has survived much hardship

Trooper’s owner died last year, and then the owner’s son went to jail, leaving the dog to fend for himself.

A neighbor across the road from Trooper’s home on Route 70N near Rogersville was feeding him, but one day last April Trooper was hit by a car while crossing that highway.

“Someone reported to the shelter that Trooper was trying to crawl across the road to get back home, and Eddie (a shelter staff member) went and picked him up and took him to the vet,” said shelter manager Sandy Behnke. “Even though there was no one to take care of him, he was living in that home. The side door was open for a good three weeks before we were notified, and when we were notified he was crawling across the road to get back to that house.”

Behnke added, “He’s doing fine now, but he has been here the longest, and he is probably the oldest dog at the shelter. He’s over 10 years old. He gets overlooked because of his age, but he’s a good dog.”

Bruno rescued from near starvation

Most of the shelter’s longtime residents have a sad story, including Bruno, a 2-year-old Amstaff and bulldog mix who is the last of nine dogs that were rescued after being abandoned to starve at a residence near Church Hill in August.

The man responsible, Benjamin James Reece, 35, of Payne Ridge Road, Church Hill, was originally charged with nine counts of aggravated animal cruelty.

In November, Reece pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated animal cruelty and was sentenced to two consecutive terms of 11 months and 29 days on probation, 96 hours of community service, $842 in fines and fees, and he may not own, be responsible or care for any animals without court permission.

“Bruno was skin and bones when he came in, and he is so stocky now,” Behnke said. “Bruno is a real special sweetheart. He loves to be petted, get in your lap and likes to lick. He is so cute and has such personality.”

Elvis not used to being cooped up

Elvis, a 1-year-old Australian cattle dog/Lab, has anxiety because he’s been locked up in a kennel too long, Behnke said. He was brought to the shelter on Oct. 26 as a stray found running around in Church Hill.

“He was really calm when he got here, but now that he’s been here so long he’s showing a lot of anxiety,” Behnke said. “He wants out. He’s been here 95 days. Elvis is a cattle dog mixed with Lab, and he’s not built for living in a kennel. We have a dog lot for him to run around, but his breed is built for farm life, or at least someone with a nice big backyard for him to run and play.”

The shelter is filled to capacity on cats with 53. It also has 37 dogs. The puppy room is empty now because all of the puppies have been adopted.

The HCHS has a no-kill policy, which is why some of the dogs have been there so long. Throughout February, all of the HCHS’s Lonely Hearts dogs and cats that have been there 90 days or more are $30.

Other dogs are $40 and puppies $65. All cats and kittens are $30 this month. The HCHS’s other long-term Lonely Hearts residents include:

Up for adoption on ‘Lonely Heart’ special

Big Moe: a 2-year-old male Lab/mountain cur mix. He is a little shy but warms up quickly. A really nice dog that loves people but should be the only pet in the household. Big Moe was part of a rescue with Tanner (see below) — 90 days at the shelter.

Buck: a 1-year-old neutered shepherd/Lab. His owner could no longer afford him. Buck really likes walks and loves to play fetch — 280 days at the shelter.

Cody: a 1-year-old neutered Lab/Amstaff. He has medium to high energy and would love a good yard for play. It might be best if he is the only animal in the house. Fully sponsored adoption — 240 days at the shelter.

Lucia: a 1-year-old spayed German pointer/Lab. Her owner was moving and could not afford Lucia. Lucia is low-keyed and will fit in well with most families and households. Currently getting treatment on her eye — 125 days at shelter.

Lucy: a 2-year-old spayed Stafford terrier. She is another victim of someone moving. Lucy is a little shy and takes a few minutes to warm up to you. Once she does, she is really sweet. She loves the outdoors and loves walks. Fully sponsored adoption — 240 days at the shelter.

Max: a 3-year-old male Lab/bulldog mix. Max really loves to play fetch and loves attention. He has moderate activity and should have a nice yard to play in. He is intelligent and eager to learn — 155 days at the shelter.

Ruben: a 1-year-old fixed male Plott hound/American bull terrier. His owner worked too many hours and had to take Ruben to the shelter. Ruben has a kind and sweet nature, is affectionate and really wants to please — 150 days at the shelter.

Tanner: a 2-year-old male Lab/black mountain cur. Tanner was part of a rescue with Big Moe. He is a really nice but shy. Has moderate activity and should be the only pet in the household — 90 days at the shelter.

Thor: a 1-year-old neutered shepherd mix. Thor really loves most men, but is afraid of women. He should be adopted soon — 210 days at the shelter.

Will: a 1-year-old male shepherd/Lab. He can establish a quick, loyal connection. He loves people and really wants a home and a best friend — 100 days at the shelter.

For more information, call the Hawkins County Humane Society at (423) 272-65-38 or visit the shelter during business hours Tuesday-Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at 5180 Highway 11-W, Rogersville.

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