Helping Animals Reach Tomorrow without chains - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Helping Animals Reach Tomorrow without chains

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Tallulah, La. (KNOE 8 News) - One Vicksburg resident has heard the concerns of Tallulah community members loud and clear.

Residents in Tallulah are angry there is no animal control officer in the city and they say stray dogs roam the streets and dogs are openly mistreated.

Cappy Jeffers works in Tallulah, and on her drive into work, she noticed these issues. So she started her own program to help, called HART, or Helping Animals Reach Tomorrow.

Jeffers uses donations to build 20 foot by 20 foot kennels for dogs kept outside on heavy chains. Now, her phone rings off the hook. She gets at least 80 phone calls a day from people asking for her help.

Initially, she went around the city of Tallulah, knocking on the doors of homes that had dogs chained up outside.

"The residents were really receptive. They couldn't believe they could get a fence for their dogs at no charge. They didn't want to keep the dogs chained up but they didn't have any other way," said Jeffers.

It's a program that runs on donations solely. Jeffers 13-year-old daughter Alexa came up with a plan to keep the program rolling: start a Facebook fan page.

Jeffers says with out the help from Facebook friends, HART would not continue. But Facebook has proven to be quite successful for the group. Since it's formation in July of this year, Jeffers and her family have freed 200 dogs and put them in large kennels.

"The transformation is incredible. Owners will tell me to stay away from the dog because he or she is aggressive, but really, once we get them into the kennels, they are licking you, rolling around in the hay and loving on you. It also changes the owner's relationship with their dogs," said Jeffers.

Dog owner Lee Arthur Jackson agrees.

"It feels good knowing my dog has a safe space. And because Cappy helped me, I will help her out any way I can in the future," said Jackson.

But the new homes for the dogs come with a price tag. A 20x20 kennel starts out at about 600 dollars.

All donations make HART's work possible.

Jeffers knows she won't be able to help every dog, but she is going to try.

"I've had to succumb to the realization I can't help them all. But I sleep better at night knowing how many I've helped."

To make a monetary donation to HART, or to donate supplies for pets or fencing, visit their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/HartFoundationHelpingAnimalReachTomorrow

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