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A Dog Home: Facility Rescues Canines with Special Needs

By David13676 @dogspired

Lorraine Healy has turned her love of animals into a full-time job.

Healy has operated her own Siberian husky rescue group for many years, but, in December, she leased a former animal-boarding facility and opened the Husky House.

Healy said she and her volunteers will take in dogs, not just huskies, from all over the country. They are especially interested in dogs that other rescue groups don’t take and ones with special needs, including dogs that have been mistreated and severely injured. She even has a cat.

“We always take locally first,” she said, but “we look on the internet and get hundreds of e-mails a day, telling us about dogs that are facing death at shelters.”

One volunteer, Anna Schwengle, told the story about Faith, a small dog in a Georgia shelter, facing death, who was rejected, even by other rescue groups because her coat was “brindle,” a mix of brown and black that many people have come to associate with pit bulls.

“She was the most lovable dog,” Schwengle said, “but she was going to be gassed because of the color of her fur.”

The Husky House took her in and she was adopted last month.

“We always pick up the pieces of animals left behind,” Schwengle said.

Healy said she decided to form the first husky rescue in New Jersey after she obtained two huskies about 13 years ago and then went online to see if there was a rescue group in the state where she could volunteer.

“I got my first computer about the same time and went on the internet where I found the national rescue site,” she said. “I read all about it and wanted to participate.”

Finding no existing husky rescue, “I started my own in-house,” Healy said.

The operation grew and for the last several years, she had been looking for a facility, but had trouble finding something she could afford.

A Dog Home: Facility Rescues Canines with Special Needs

“We stumbled onto this place, which had been vacant for nine months,” Healy said. “We signed a lease with the option to buy.”

She had been managing (animal) boarding facilities for more than a decade, so she decided to try her hand on her own.

In addition to the Husky House, there is also the Snow Lodge, a doggie day care in Matawan.

“We added boarding and day care so that the revenue generated by those businesses go into the rescue operation,” Healy said.

Healy said Husky House adopts four or five dogs per week, all breeds.

Healy plans to add grooming and training to her business and would like, by the first of the year, to hire her first staff. Right now, everything is done by 10 to 12 volunteers and Husky House always needs more, Healy said.

Husky House accepts donations — not just money, but also food and other items needed to take care for the animals.

The dogs live in a spacious kennel and have “play time” for several hours every day.

Tags: Husky House, husky rescue, shelter dogs, special-needs dogs

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