Larue resident drove 1,400 miles at her own expense to help animals living in poor conditions at Montana shelter
Larue, Texas (July 27, 2010) – Henderson County resident Debra Hutcherson proved she has a heart as big as her home state when she drove alone from Larue to eastern Montana to care for almost 100 animals seized in a neglect case on July 13.
Debra Hutcherson (left) of Larue, Texas, comforts a dog rescued from a neglect case in eastern Montana.
The two-day, 1,400-mile trip ended in Baker, Montana, where Hutcherson spent five days caring for 68 dogs and 25 cats removed from the Eastern Montana Humane Society due to violations of the Montana animal cruelty code. The animals had been found living in filthy, cramped pens and crates. Many were housed for long periods of time in unsafe and unsanitary enclosures. Some were suffering from skin and parasite infections.
Hutcherson volunteers with California-based United Animal Nations (UAN), a nonprofit organization that provides emergency sheltering for animals displaced by natural disasters or other crises, such as neglect cases and criminal seizures, in the
“My friends and family like what I do,” Hutcherson said. “But they think I’m nuts to drive that far. I tell my family no matter what’s going on, if the animals need me, I’m gone. I turned fifty this year. I’m going to do what I want to do.”
Distinguished by their red shirts, UAN volunteers are specially trained to care for animals at temporary shelters after they have been rescued from cruelty and neglect situations or displaced by natural disasters. UAN has more than 3,000 active, trained volunteers in the
Hutcherson, who is retired, has responded twice before with UAN – to shelter neglected animals in
“As you get older, things change,” she said, “This is my time. My husband says ‘Why do you want to drive all that way to pick up that dog?’ I say: ‘One dog at a time, if that’s what it takes.’”
Hutcherson’s family includes her husband, Steve, two grown children, and several recued dogs and cats.
UAN will offer two training workshops in the Dallas-Fort Worth area on September 18 and 19 for people interested in becoming an emergency animal sheltering volunteer. Learn more and register at www.uan.org.
Founded in 1987, United Animal Nations (UAN) focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and strengthening the bond between people and animals through a variety of programs, including emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education. Learn more at www.uan.org.