By Veronica Burniston
Its a well-known saying that a dog is a mans best friend. After all, who else would be a willing companion on a long trek through the woods in the bitter month of January? Who else would wait patiently by the door for the first sign of the cars headlights pulling up to the house? Who else would gladly clean up that dinner accident all over the kitchen tiles? The answer is evident: no one but mans best friend.
Now comes the next question: if mans best friend is in need, who will come to his aid? This answer is equally evident: Blackjack Rescue.
Blackjack Rescue is a local non-profit organization consisting of caring people from five states who foster unwanted dogs and puppies. Led by Sharon Bryant of Piney Flats, Tennessee, Blackjack Rescue has worked diligently to nurture and locate homes for numerous dogs in Johnson County each week. Although Blackjack Rescue does not have a physical facility at this point, its members are always ready to step in and volunteer their time and resources.
Recently, Blackjack Rescue took on a mission to save a small litter of four-week-old puppies whose mother passed away. After receiving the phone call, the group sprang into action. Within 24 hours, the group secured the puppies in a foster home where they were held until a Rescue Center was located that could take the puppies. In combination with two pilots (Dan Acosta of eastern VA and Rob Takacs of Waterbury, CT) from the group Pilots N Paws -volunteer pilots who give their time, money and the use of their planes to fly dogs to rescue facilities across the United States – Blackjack Rescue successfully delivered the litter to Rose Rescue in Connecticut, where they are receiving ample care.
Here in Johnson County alone, Blackjack Rescue is receiving phone calls every week about more and more unwanted and stray dogs who need homes. Unfortunately, this rescue work is costly, since the group must provide the food, bedding, and veterinary expenses for each dog. The foster homes must also provide transportation for the dogs to the vets and eventually to rescue centers. The monetary expense is high but the mission – to save as many canine lives as possible – is worth every penny.
So how can one get involved in this canine rescue mission?
Blackjack Rescue is always in need of money for food, bedding, collars, leashes, and vaccination costs. They have an ongoing tab set up at Tri-State Growers in Mountain City where individuals can call and make a donation by credit card. If one prefers to purchase dog food and deliver it to one of Blackjack Rescues members, they are appreciative of that as well. Every little bit helps.
Besides the monetary expense, Blackjack Rescue is also in need of individuals willing to run foster homes for the dogs until a rescue facility has been notified. If interested in becoming a canine foster home, contact either Christy Young at (828) 260-0778 or Sharon Bryant through the Blackjack Rescue Facebook page for an application.
According to Blackjack Rescue member Christy Young, even donations of empty dog lots is a blessing to the organization. So be creative when contemplating how to make a difference for the canines in this community.
For more information on how to help Blackjack Rescue in Johnson County and, in turn, rescue the lives of numerous local dogs in need, contact Christy Young at the number mentioned above.
Remember, every dog saved is a best friend waiting to be adopted.
By Veronica Burniston