By Audrey Alfson
Special for the Argus
When she was 16 years old, Nancy Krohn was grooming dogs, raising toy poodles and learning how to handle dogs for show. In time, she became one of the top dog handlers in the Midwest.
She was so good with dogs that a local paper called her the “Animal Thumb Girl.” Not surprisingly, 40 years later, Nancy’s love for dogs continues through the Bluff Country Canine Rescue, which she operates from her home in the Yucatan Valley of rural Houston.
Bluff Country Canine Rescue (BCCR) is a dog rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing facility dedicated to helping homeless dogs get out of shelters (where they face euthanasia) and into homes where they will be loved and appreciated.
BCCR was formed in November 2011 when the La Crescent Animal Shelter (the only animal shelter in Houston County) no longer accepted animals from outside the city limits. Krohn, who had been volunteering at the shelter, became concerned about the welfare of the animals no longer served and decided she had to do something.
“To think that dogs are dying because nobody will take them breaks my heart,” she said. In the past five months, Krohn has rehabilitated and found homes for six dogs.
Krohn’s home is a haven for the big dogs she loves so much. With three fenced acres, the dogs find a freedom they would never have in a shelter. She does not keep them in kennels and instead socializes them to be “house” dogs. Focusing on their natural instinct to love and be loved, Nancy’s strength is taking in dogs “not easily adoptable” and transforming them into suitable pets for others. Her work is inspiring and full of love, but care and concern can’t pay for food and vet bills.
Run entirely by her volunteer labor and donations from others, Krohn, who lives on disability herself, works hard each month to find the resources to continue.
Each dog is spayed or neutered, microchipped, de-wormed, vaccinated and treated with flea and tick medication. And then there’s always food. Considering all the time and money put into each dog, the adoption cost of $200 to $250 becomes quite a reasonable fee.
As much as Krohn needs cash or in-kind donations of food, she needs volunteers even more. A dog trainer in Lanesboro has offered obedience training for rescue dogs free of charge, but Krohn needs someone to help transport and handle the dogs.
Because socialization is so important for rescue dogs, Nancy also needs people willing to be foster homes for dogs, or even take them for walks. She is hopeful that maybe a 4-H or school group would be willing to work with the dogs for a project. In addition, she continues to look for people who love dogs and would be interested in being a board member for the organization as she plans for incorporation as a non-profit.
Currently Krohn has two dogs eligible for adoption: Cricket, an energetic black lab mix, and JD, a beautiful redtick coonhound. Full details of both dogs, in addition to complete information on the organization, as well as a link to donate, can be seen on her blog http://bluffcountrycaninerescue.blogspot.com.
She can also be followed on Facebook as Bluff Country Canine Rescue.