Abandoned dogs go to haven

Published 6:33 pm Wednesday, March 11, 2009

By By MaryClaire Foster
More than 50 cats and dogs, one goat, two chickens, one ferret and two humans make up what is known as Kirby’s Rescue Haven, a shelter for abused, abandoned and plain-old, nothing’s wrong just-not-wanted animals.
Kirby’s was started by Kristi Kirby and her partner Crystal Clanton in July 2007, and has grown quickly since the haven’s beginning.
The haven is located at the home of Kirby and Clanton in McDavid, Fla. and Kirby said even though it’s a hectic lifestyle, it’s one she and Clanton are passionate about. Kirby said her instinct to take in animals began at an early age and was something her parents learned to deal with.
To finance the haven and keep it running smoothly and safely, Kirby works 50 to 60 hours a week as a manager at a local gas station and Clanton stays at home with the animals.
In the first five months the haven was open, Kirby estimates they spent upwards of $4,000 caring for the animals. The daily expense for feeding the animals is $30, no to mention the money that goes towards general upkeep and medicine.
Kirby said they are in the process of becoming a 501(c)3 non-profit but cannot afford the $1,800 dollars it costs to apply for it.
Still, both she and Clanton said they would not be doing anything different.
“There are times when it seems like I can’t keep doing it, and I get discouraged when the finances get tight, but all I have to do is go outside and play with them and love on them, and I’m like alright I can do this,” she said.
So far, Kirby’s has adopted out more than 100 animals. All of the animals at her home, except for a select few she and Clanton have grown attached to, are up for adoption.
Kirby said she is very careful about who the animals end up with and is careful to not let certain breeds end up in the wrong hands.
One thing both Kirby and Clanton said is so amazing about the situation is how well all the dogs get along.
Also impressive is that Clanton and Kirby know every dog’s name. Kirby said naming them is usually left up to Clanton, who has a special talent for it.
For more information about Kirby’s Rescue Haven visit their Web site at www.myspace.com/kirbys_rescue_haven or call Kirby at 251-234-8675.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox