Stray, unwanted animals find sanctuary at Hero’s Haven in Delaware County

DELAWARE COUNTY, Iowa (KWWL) — More than 30 animals have been rescued in Delaware County in just the past 4 months.

The group doing it is a new non-profit called Hero’s Haven Animal Rescue started by a group of volunteers who saw a need throughout their county.

The City of Manchester runs the only animal control facility in the county. However, they can not take animals outside the city limits.

When the group of volunteers, coined ‘animals ladies’ kept finding dogs dumped around town and strays running in the rural areas they decided to jump into action.

“Outlaw was skin and bones, barely alive, in horrible shape,” said Board Member and President of Hero’s Haven, Alison Parmer.

Now, nearly 4 months later Outlaw is thriving, still looking for his forever home. He was one of the first of the group’s many rescues.


“We’ve had over 30 animals in our care just in the 4 short months that we’ve had our license and that’s not including ones that we haven’t been able to take in because we don’t have enough fosters that we’ve networked out to other rescues,” said Parmer.

It’s a need the group of women behind Hero’s Haven Animal Rescue first noticed while fostering for a Cedar Rapids rescue.

“It got to where there were so many Delaware County dogs that Last Hope was becoming inundated with them and they’re already overflowing,” said Parmer, “We just identified there was a huge need here in Delaware County.

However the group said it wasn’t until Hero, one of two dogs found wandering with a cancerous tumor, that sparked the fire to get the rescue going.


“Critter Crusaders also took him on and despite everything that they put into him, he did not make it,” said Parmer.

The group has partnered with other local rescues around the area as they continue to build their network and resources.

“A lot of people were angry about it,” said Board Member, Lois Richardson, “We thought well if there were options where people could bring their dogs or cats to, instead of just dumping them.”

The group says many unwanted or sick animals are dumped around the rural areas of the county like these tiny dogs found just weeks ago by a hunter.

“Somebody dumped on a dirt road out in the middle of nowhere and left them,” said Richardson, “Who does that? Who dumps that small of a dog out there.”

They wanted to provide to the community and in turn, the community is now helping them to make it happen.

“We’re staying afloat right now based on private donations from individuals and businesses in the county and the foster homes. We don’t have enough, we’ll never have enough, unfortunately,” said Parmer.

It’s the foster homes that make it possible to rehab the animals until Hero’s Haven can one day have a facility.

“We’ve had a lot of emaciated, covered in fleas, no hair, there’s been a lot of animals that have been in very bad shape,” said Parmer, “Cats are a dime a dozen, there are so many stray cats.”

Hero’s Haven is giving them a second chance at life.

Parmer says there are a lot of grants out there that could one day help them secure a facility. However, because the rescue is so new they are not eligible for them at this time.

Hero’s Haven said their veterinarian bill just last month was over $2,000. Donations can be made directly to Manchester Animal Medical Center.

Brehme Drug Store in Manchester also has a donation box set up for the rescue.

Since getting their official their rescue license and non-profit status in August they estimate bills have cost upwards of $9,000.

They do have several animals up for adoption, such as Outlaw. To find out how to volunteer or donate, contact the rescue through its facebook page, here.

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