Animal Rescue group turning dogs over to Southwest Washington Humane Society. They'd like to empty Taft Shelter on a regular basis, but need financial support

More than 40 Kern County dogs, most of them from Taft, are travelling to a new home in the Pacific Northwest where they will stay until they find their forever homes.

Unity Thrift Animal Rescue, a Taft-based nonprofit, organized the trip to Vancouver, Wa. Along with the Southwest Washington Humane Society.

Thirty-four dogs from Taft and nine from elsewhere in the county were scheduled to leave Tuesday afternoon in a van for the overnight ride to Vancouver.
Before leaving, however, all the dogs had to be vetted – checked for heart worm and other ailments, get rabies vaccinations if necessary and pass an examination to receive a health certificate before they could go to Washington.

Unity Thrift volunteers, along with Dr. Fawzy Beshara of Kern Mobile Vet and Taft Animal Shelter technician Alexis Kirby got the dogs ready for the trip.

Trixie Hodges, one of the founders of Unity Thrift, an all-volunteer group that is funded by donations, fundraisers and sometimes out of the volunteers own pockets, said she wants the public to know that most dogs that go to the shelter here are not euthanized.

“We want to erase the myth that all dogs at the shelter are euthanized,” she said Tuesday morning as she worked with the others to get the dogs ready to head to Washington. “All adoptable dogs are adopted out. Far more dogs are adopted out than are euthanized.”

Among the dogs heading to new homes is Missy, a 9-year-old lab who was left behind in Bakersfield when her family moved.

Hodges said Missy will go into the “champion program” which specialized in finding homes for older pets.

Making sure the dogs get new homes isn't free. In fact, the costs add up very fast.

The trip to Washington is going to cost $2,250 dollars. Most of that – about $1500 to cover the cost of the vetting and shots – is paid by Unity Thrift. The Southwest Washington Humane Society is covering the $750 cost of the overnight trip to Vancouver.

Hodges said the SWHC would take 75 dogs per month from Taft, but the costs add up very fast.

“We definitely need donations. We'd like to empty the shelter out on a regular basis,” Hodges said. “We'll do all the work if some one chips in with the donations.”

Call Suzi Baker at 661-331-0420 to donate.

In addition to getting dogs and cats to no-kill shelters, Unity Thrift is also working with the City of Taft to get dogs spayed and neutered through a grant from Petsmart Foundation. The dogs will be altered and get a rabies shot for just $15 and Unity Thrift provides the transportation.

Contact Carol Newkirk at 350-5040 for more information.

Unity Thrift is holding another yard sale this week. It starts Thursday afternoon at 213 East San Emidio, continues all day Friday and then from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday.