If you were shopping in the Highland Tractor Supply Company on Saturday, Aug. 24, then you might have spotted some unusual inventory: live puppies!
This past Sunday, Tractor Supply concluded their annual “Out Here with Animals” celebration—a month-long event that appreciates pets, animals and the people who care for them.
“Our team looks forward to this event every year,” said Debbie Corey, manager of the Highland Tractor Supply. “Tractor Supply celebrates pets and animals of all shapes and sizes year-round, and…we get to spotlight our customers, their pets and the local rescue groups that play an integral role in the Highland community.”
To support local animal shelters, Tractor Supply also invited the community to participate in their pet supplies drive. Boxes full of sealed food, toys, cleaning supplies, beds, scratching posts, leashes and bowls were donated to Highland rescues and shelters.
“It’s one of our main businesses,” said Brian Murtagh, a sales associate at Tractor Supply. “We are a farming store so we have always been [dedicated] to animals.”
The true highlight of the “Out Here with Animals” event, however, was the pet adoption.
Take Me Home Pet Rescue debuted dogs of all ages that were rescued from high-kill shelters down south, primarily from Texas. Children tentatively offered their hands for dogs to smell and families fawned over their newly adopted friends.
Within two hours, various people adopted six out of the ten fostered dogs. A foster parent of a blue-eyed huskie bragged that the dog’s brother was adopted two weeks ago and is now living on a 55-acre farm.
“A lot of these dogs come from bad situations or they are abandoned. Some of these dogs would have never had access to vetting or a nice family for themselves,” reflected Deb Werner, a volunteer from Take Me Home.
“We’re saving lives,” another volunteer added.
While discussing proper animal care, Werner emphasized the need for spaying and neutering. “Part of the problem is not spaying and neutering, and then just puppies, puppies, puppies. It’s never ending. People just don’t understand the importance of [spaying and neutering,]” Werner claimed.
All Take Me Home’s animals are spayed, neutered, chipped and vetted. Every week, they are then transported from the south to Take Me Home’s foster base in Milton.
To adopt a pet through Take Me Home, one must undergo a stringent application process. According to the volunteer group’s standards, if a person looking to adopt has a dog at home, they must bring in their dog so the volunteers can verify the two are a good fit. The same goes if the person has children.
In addition, Take Me Home calls for vet and personal references. Without proper clearance, one cannot adopt from the event.
“I think we’re super organized. We have a really great application process. A lot of people think we ask a lot of questions, but it’s for the dogs. We want to make sure they go into a great situation,” Werner explained.
Even though “Out Here with Animals” is over, the chance to give your pet some TLC is not. Every Saturday from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tractor Supply offers affordable pet care, including vaccinations, testing and deworming, heartworm prevention, micro-chipping, flea and tick medications and nail trims.
It is also not too late to adopt a pet from Take Me Home. If your application is approved, the volunteer group is open to making arrangements for you and your desired pet to meet. For more information about Take Me Home, visit tmhpetrescue.com.