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Article from the Burleson-Crowley Connection

Godley shelter takes in homeless, friendless dogs

 

students with pool


Yadon, left, and Humphrey pose with Red, the official mascot of the Home At Last Animal Haven. Dogs from Halah are also available for adoption from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at PetSmart, located at 12930 S. Freeway in Burleson. (Steve Knight/Connection)

Turning off of County Road 907 near Godley onto the property of the Home At Last Animal Haven, there are trees, grass, a tank pond — and a large welcoming committee.

Not unusual when visiting a Johnson County home, but this welcoming committee is special and a little furry.

This committee is made up of dogs — a lot of friendly dogs — who were once homeless and friendless.

Don’t drive a new car out here. Don’t dress to impress and get ready to get dirty. These dogs are certainly not afraid of people and they are ready to play.

Red and Cowboy are always ready to greet visitors.

“Some of the dogs, we don’t know where they came from,” said director Debye Humphrey. “Some of them are dumped here. Some are owner-released. Some of them came pregnant.”

Norm and Joy Yadon unintentionally founded Halah when they moved from their home in Dallas in 1976, when they came across so many abandoned or friendless animals wandering beside the roads of Johnson County. 

As long-time animal lovers, they could not leave the thirsty and starving animals they saw. 

They also saw animals waiting for their previous owners to return, sitting by the road exactly where they had been dropped off, still watching for their owners to return for them. 

They began bringing home one or two animals at a time, eventually becoming completely devoted to these homeless, friendless animals.

After 14 years, which included placing 8,778 feet of perimeter fencing to separate their dogs from the increasing traffic on the county road, the Yadon’s decided to take the first step toward receiving donations. 

Home At Last Animal Haven Inc. became a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization in 1991, qualifying as a charitable organization, which provides a tax deduction for donors making charitable contributions. 

The haven is not funded by any government agencies and 100 percent of funding is from private donations. 

Norm died in September 2006 at age 83, and Joy died a little over 13 months later.  Halah is now run by their family, headed up by their daughter, Humphrey, and son, Court Yadon, who has been a fixture at “The Haven” for more than 30 years.

“It used to be a dead-end road right down there where that little bridge is,” Yadon said, pointing towards the tank pond. “So, that naturally made it a dump ground for everybody [to leave animals]. They thought ‘They’ve got water.’ They didn’t think about the food part.”

Halah is an animal rescue which provides a second chance for friendless animals and is a rustic facility where dogs are allowed to romp and rest together in huge yards.

The attributes normally associated with many animal shelters are not present here.

As a no-kill shelter, there are no tiny, sterile cages where the animals live hoping to be adopted before their time runs out.

There are no roofs or tile floors to protect visitors from getting dirty. The fences creating the dog yards were constructed in various dimensions for grouping similar breeds or sizes as well as providing shade.

The dogs and puppies take advantage of the open space of their yards and like watching all the activities going on around them.

And every time a train passes near, a howling contest commences.

Humphrey and Yadon said dogs that are adopted into families seem to make an easy transition into house training, recognizing the outdoors as a familiar place to conduct their business.

But with the downturn of the economy, there is a problem. More dogs are coming in, released by owners who can no longer take care of them, than are adopted and going out to new homes.

“It’s heartbreaking for us, especially now with the economy. There are so many dogs,” Humphrey said. “We’ve had some people who have lost their homes and their dog along with it.”


Article from the Star Telegram

Tip Your Hat Day

A reading assignment on the plight of homeless dogs turned into a life lesson for students at Joshua's Plum Creek Elementary.

Last year specialty teacher Karrla Whitworth assigned her class of second through sixth graders a story on helping animals in need. "The students were unaware that homeless dogs are sometimes killed in shelters and they asked if there was a place where this didn't happen," Whitworth explained.

students

She told them about Home at Last Animal Haven (Halah) near Godley, a no-kill rescue shelter. That set in motion a friendship that the entire school has embraced.

Halah was founded by Norm and Joy Yadon in 1976 when they moved to the country. They soon started taking in stray dogs and trying to find homes. In 1991 Halah became a non-profit organization. Daughter Debye Yadon Humphrey and son Court Yadon always helped out, but with their parents' deaths, they inherited not only 20 acres, but the dogs as well. They never missed a beat.



Article fromThe Joshua Star

‘Dream come true’ — read, then take action

This is a re-creation of an article that appeared in The Joshua Star on June 11, 2009.

Pool Party

students with pool


Carla Whitworth, left, and several of her students at Plum Creek Elementry donated several plastic swimming pools to a local canine refuge so the dogs could keep cool this summer.

One Plum Creek Elementary teacher recently learned an object lesson for the old saw: “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Or maybe that should be “The laser printer is mightier...”

A one-page reading comprehension exercise taken from the Internet sparked an interest in several of teacher Carla Whitworth’s reading classes and spurred her students into action, Whitworth said.

The exercise was about homeless animals and euthanasia.

“That sparked their interest and touched their hearts,” Whitworth said of her students. “’They just never realized there were so many animals out there that were being uncared for and were being put to sleep.”

So the students, ranging from the first grade through the sixth, decided they wanted to raise money to help out a Johnson County refuge for dogs. They collected money among themselves and put donation jars in each of the school’s other classrooms. One teacher was so inspired that she told her class she would match any donation they could make with money out of her own purse.

As a result, Whitworth’s students raised $310. They used the money to buy plastic swimming pools so that the 60-70 dogs at Home at Last Animal Haven could cool off this summer. They also used part of the money for dog treats. Some of it went to medical expenses for one dog and more will be spent later for plywood tables so the pooches can have shade over the coming months.

About 10 days before the end of the spring semester, several of Whitworth’s students took a field trip to Halah, in Godley, to deliver the pools and the treats.

“The kids just fell in love with the place and they can’t wait to go back,” Whitworth said. As a result, fund-raising for the refuge will become a permanent project for Whitworth’s classes, the teacher said. Many of the students. taking the field trip also want to go back, which they probably will during both the fall and the spring semesters next year.