Havre Daily News
Area stray dogs will again have a home thanks to a local community servant. Rachel Gerhart has stepped forward to replace Renee Lanoue, who ran Ren's Rescue in Kremlin for eight years before moving this summer to Idaho.
Gerhart said she'll probably name her shelter Rachel's Rescue, as a tribute to Lanoue. She will run the shelter at her house west of Havre.
"When (Lanoue) left I was really sad to see that, because I think there's a big need for it," Gerhart said. "There's nobody else to do it."
In about six weeks of operating her rescue, Gerhart has already adopted out three dogs. Two young Alaskan Eskimos who came in together went out together a few days later. The third dog, a Rottweiler mix named Axle, will stay right where he is, with Gerhart and her boyfriend.
The couple has purchased one new kennel and plans to build several more outside and a few in a shed behind their home. They also plan to enclose their backyard to give the dogs ample play room.
Gerhart said she doesn't yet know how many dogs she can take at a time.
"It kind of depends on what the need is," she said.
She's working out other details of her operation too, but one principle that will be applied in everything she does will be encouraging responsibility on the part of pet owners. Gerhart said she'll ask for an adoption fee to cover food costs, and have new owners pick up their new pet at a vetrinarian's office and pay for neutering.
"I think it's a good way for people to be responsible," she said.
When she can, she will ask people who give up a pet to contribute dog food. Of course, that won't always be possible, she said, and she'll take in and take care of strays, too.
Gerhart has three dogs available for adoption. They are a German shepherd-Australian sheepdog mix, a Labrador mix and a female American Eskimo. Two of the dogs are being held at foster homes while Gerhart works on building more kennels.
She can be reached at 265-4771.