It wasn’t quite 101 Dalmatians, but when a member of the Volunteers of the Crossett City Pound went looking for a lost puppy, she discovered a need to expand her mission.
Jeanne Hipp — a member of Volunteers of the Crossett Pound — works daily to aid the City of Crossett with stray dogs that are picked up inside the city limits and kept at the city pound.
The Volunteers formed a group two years ago and entered into a contract with the City of Crossett. They raise money to vet all strays and transport them to their partners at Mary’s Rescue in the northeast part of the country, where the dogs are permanently rehomed.
One of the dogs awaiting transport ran away from its foster home and while Hipp was out searching, she found something she called horrifying.
“As I was driving around North Crossett looking for Cade, I spotted a whole pack of stray dogs,” Hipp said.
The pack of dogs was on Mimosa Street, and most of the animals were covered in mange, fleas and ticks.
Hipp said when she stopped to investigate the situation, she learned that they were just community strays that various residents in the area had been putting food out for. Hipp said she was told the mangy ones were run off because people didn’t want them around.
“It was absolutely horrific and it was so heartbreaking,” Hipp said. “Puppies were everywhere.”
Hipp saids the residents told her that the adult dogs breed and were having puppies approximately every six months.
“I had heard a little about these dogs but had never seen them,” Hipp said.
Cade the missing pup was found two days after Hipp stumbled across the stray pack and she said she felt like Cade went missing just to lead her to those dogs in need.
“I felt like it was just destined so that I could find them,” she said.
Once she had seen them for herself she became even more determined to solve the problem. Hipp immediately started a fundraiser account and took to social media to ask for help.
Hipp told those willing to help that she would take care of getting the dogs spayed or neutered and all of the other necessary requirements to get them accepted into Mary’s Rescue, but funding the vet bills and transport expense wasn’t going to cheap.
Hipp also needed fosters to step in as well. The dogs were terrified of humans and needed so much vet care and attention, Hipp said.
“All of them had mange and two of the males had old broken legs,” she said.
People were skeptical of Hipp taking on the huge tasks and she said they told her that she most likely wouldn’t be able to save them all.
“One of the neighbors laughed and said, ‘Oh, you’re trying to save the world?’” Hipp said. “Well not actually the world, but these unfortunate pups yes,” she said.
In just a few short days Hipp had raised more than $2,000 and had all of the puppies in foster homes. Most of the dogs are preparing to be sent to Mary’s Rescue, but one of the dogs, Cocoa found her home in Crossett.
Hipp said the Volunteers of the Crossett Pound especially appreciate Ashley Moffatt and her family, who agreed to take in all of the puppies while they awaited transport.
“Our puppies are doing well in their foster home and we are so happy to have them in safe place and not roaming,” Hipp said.
“They did give a little resistance at first, but after loving on them they would just relax in our arms,” Hipp said.
As for the adults, someone donated a pen and they are being treated for mange. Hipp said that one of the neighbors has agreed to feed them every day and offered a pen.
Hipp said they have surgeries scheduled for the New Year and things are looking up for the North Crossett strays.
For those who would like to donate or who are interested in helping foster one of the dogs while they are vetted and await transport, contact Hipp at 870-500-1876 or message the Volunteers of the Crossett City Pound Facebook page. An account has also been set up at Timberline Federal Credit Union in the name of Volunteers of the Crossett Pound.
Those interested in adopting from the pound may contact the Volunteers’ Facebook page.