Dr. Sarah Kidd
By Madison Irving
The memory of a matted dog that entered rescue with Carroll County Humane Society quickly brings tears to Bethel's history professor Dr. Sarah Kidd’s eyes. She looks up and admits that there are only two things that make her cry, animals and football. But this matted dog definitely tugged at her heart strings. When he was brought in it was not apparent what gender or color he was. His ears were matted to his face. His front leg was matted to his chin, his back legs were matted together and his tail was matted to his back leg. Volunteers debated what to do with him. Finally they decided to try and shave him. This was no easy matter, only after burning up four pairs of clippers were they able to check this poor pup for heart worms. Amazingly other than malnourishment and a few yeast infections the dog received a clean bill of health. They named him Turtle since his matted hair acted as a shell to protect him. After telling me this story Kidd answered the question she has been asked quite often, “Why do you spend so much of your time and money on this cause?” It’s moments like these, dogs like Turtle that keep bringing her back to the animal shelter.
Being an animal lover her whole life it was logical that Kidd would get involved with the Humane Society. When she first moved to McKenzie she didn’t know a single person so she decided to put all of her extra time into helping the Carroll County Humane Society, hoping that she would find friends that shared her compassion. She did become close friends with fellow workers as well as quite a few animal companions with which she could not part ways. Dr. Sarah Kidd came to McKenzie with three cats and a horse, but now she and her husband Dr. Mike Ray have a total of six dogs, eight cats, and three horses. To call her an animal lover is an understatement. But these are only the animals that she has adopted; she is also a foster parent. So the amount of animals she has at her house is in constant fluctuation. Even Kidd has her limits though, at one time she hosted twenty dogs, more than she could ever attempt again!
One of the dogs she has adopted is Opal (shown with her in the picture). Kidd calls her, her Schindler’s list dog. Opal was rescued from a family of hoarders, living in an abandoned farmhouse. There were forty-seven dogs in all, every one of them suffering from mange. Many of the dogs were bald and blind from scratching their eyes, while others had mammary tumors that dragged the ground. Opal was found tied up to an old school bus outside and required treatment for mange and heartworms. She was the only survivor of the forty-seven dogs.
The problem that faces Carroll County is a low spay/neuter rate which leads to an unequal animal to human ratio. Far too many animals do not have homes simply because there are not enough families. Carroll County Humane Society works with other organizations like Nashville Humane Society, Companion Pet Rescue in Jackson, Pet Matchmaker in Pennsylvania and in Rhode Island, Precious Friends Puppy Rescue in Clarksville, and North Shore Animal League out of New York. In the northeastern states there are spay and neuter laws set in place to preventan overpopulation of dogs and cats thus reducing strays and overcrowding in animal shelters. Carroll Country tries to adopt as many animals as they can locally but hundreds and hundreds of dogs still have to be sent to the northeast for adoption.
Fostering animals is an important step in the process of finding permanent homes for the animals, but it can be tough. Kidd explains the relative ease of giving up puppies to new families (since they are so rambunctious) but when it comes to older dogs it is much harder. Older dogs have developed personalities and the longer it takes to place them, the more likely it is for the dog and the foster parent to bond.
The Carroll County Humane Society, just like other shelters, is always looking for both helping hands and donations. Dr. Sarah Kidd and many individuals and organizations within the Bethel University community, have given much time and money in the effort to help Carroll County’s animals. The Humane Society is a nonprofit organization. If you or someone you know would like to get involved please visit their website at www.cchspet.org, or visit their Facebook page: Carroll County Human Society, look for the blue paw.