Hessa’s Homeless Hounds
In our first To the Rescue! feature we are meeting Hessa from Hessa’s Homeless Hounds, in Buntingford UK.
Like many of the wonderful people in rescue, Hessa Riddett started out fostering for other rescues, and then joined a few Facebook rescue groups. It was in one of these groups that, four years ago, Hessa met her first Romanian rescue dog. Tara was desperate for a foster place and Hessa answered the call. “I didn’t have a clue where this dog was,” says Hessa, “but no help was offered for her so I sent a message saying that I could foster her until she found a home.” And for Hessa, “That was the beginning of rescue for me and a good friendship with Cristina Cristescu.” With help from generous donations, Hessa was able to bring over Tara as well as another dog, Bella, and then soon two more, Blacky and Esme. And Hessa’s Homeless Hounds was born! Hessa now lives with over 25 dogs at any one time. Some dogs necessarily stay on in permanent foster, having arrived at Hessa’s with many complex needs, including Bella, one of the very first dogs to make the trip to the UK to Hessa.
Hessa now works directly with rescuers in Romania, helping street dogs get to safe places and eventually into loving homes. Most local rescuers are unable to foster dogs until they can be adopted, and so there is always a lot of work to be done to cover the costs of boarding, veterinary care and preparation, and other costs until dogs can travel.
Of particular priority for Hessa’s Homeless Hounds are those dogs that are especially vulnerable or have very special needs, including serious spinal injuries. One such dog, Maria, had been paralysed after being shot and beaten. Maria is now thriving in the UK, and has been supported with generous donations from Wheels 4 Dogs UK. You can see more of Maria’s story in the video of her journey.
Hessa’s Homeless Hounds operates primarily with St Francis Shelter, Bucharest, and works closely with rescuers Cristina Cristescu and Cristina Blaj. St Francis rescues both dogs and cats, with the number of dogs living in the shelter having grown from 100 to nearly 400 dogs in the last few years, reflecting the huge rise in numbers of dogs in need.
Hessa works tirelessly to help as many dogs as she possibly can. “This also means I don’t have a life,” Hessa jokes, “but don’t get me wrong, I love what I do!”
A Special Appeal
A recent and very special rescue is Hero. Hero was found paralysed at barely 9 weeks of age. Subsequent veterinary examination and x-rays suggested it was due to injuries from a probable kicking and beating. Hessa quickly went to work to get Hero to the UK.
At the same time as bringing Hero to the UK, Hessa also brought over Galbi. Galbi was found with severe injuries to his front paws, resulting in the need to amputate his left paw and two toes from his right. He is being referred to Noel Fitzpatrick and there is hope that he may be a candidate for a prosthetic paw.
Hessa’s Homeless Hounds will need to raise 1000s to cover the specialist treatment needed for Hero and Galbi, and so the rescue is making a very special appeal.
If you would like to help Hero and Galbi, you can donate to their appeal via PayPal firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to adopt any of the wonderful dogs with Hessa, there is an adoption donation of £225 and all adoptions are subject to a homecheck. Before leaving for their new homes, all dogs are neutered, fully vaccinated, wormed and flea treated, and microchipped.
You can find Hessa’s Homeless Hounds on Facebook, @HessasHomelessHounds where you can meet all the dogs currently waiting for new homes.