How do you take care of an extra 100 mouths to feed during the current pandemic? One caretaker is looking for help.
- Huffman facility providing care for animals amidHuffman facility providing care for animals amid COVID-19 -
Located in Huffman, The Rescue Barn is home to more than 100 animals of varying species that were either unwanted or abused before finding shelter and care here. K-9 Airlift is the name of the 501(3)c nonprofit animal rescue organization, and The Rescue Barn is the property where the farm animals are located.
With regard to the current quarantine situation, “Donations are down and currently there are no volunteers due to COVID-19,” said Lynne Jennings, director of K-9 Airlift.
Jennings has been getting 15 to 20 calls a week, which is up by 50%, requesting they take animals, especially dogs.
“I will be picking up a 6-year-old male German shepherd tomorrow even though I assured the owner that dogs do not get or transmit the virus,” she said.
“We have used the quarantine time to turn the old farmhouse into a charming Airbnb, which we hope will generate revenue for the animals once the world is back on its axis,” Jennings said. “It will be a lovely farm experience which will include fresh eggs for breakfast and a rooster alarm clock.”
Jennings explained that there are no precautions being taken at the barn since animals aren’t affected by the virus. “The animals do miss getting visitors, though,” she said.
An update on one of the newest residents, Winn Dixie, the hinny, [Tribune, Sept. 9, 2019] finds her adjusting very well to her new home. Winn Dixie is the offspring of a male horse and a female burro.
“She makes a special sound that is a combination of a whinny and bray,” explained Jennings. “She wants to keep her hoofs in both worlds. It’s a very unusual sound. Sometimes she hangs out with the horses and sometimes she graces the burros with her presence.”
Jennings keeps track of the menagerie daily by feeding, exercising them and cleaning out stalls. “We currently have four horses, a cow, a hinny, three burros, four goats, three sheep, two pigs, 16 bunnies, five turkeys, two guineas, 38 chickens, 14 cats, five birds and five dogs.”
The newest resident is Q-Tip, a freckled lamb.
“Her owner was in FFA and when her lamb did not win an award she came to live at the barn. Marilyn Bunroe, a Welsh rabbit, arrived around the same time,” Jennings said.
The oldest resident, for inquiring minds, is the miniature stallion, Fandango, who is 35-40 years old, and the youngest residents are 11 teenage chickens whose permanent feathers are growing in.
“The young roosters are going through the dreaded ‘voice change’ and their crowing attempts are hilarious,” Jennings added.
Needed donated items are appreciated, including grain for any of the animals, as well as fence posts, fence materials, farm gates, Clorox, Pine-Sol, old towels, metal for a roof to make a pig house, and hay bales.
Donations by check can be made out to K-9 Airlift and sent to 22430 W. Shorewood Loop, Huffman, TX 77336. Tax donation receipts will be provided.