Athens Review, Athens, Texas

January 22, 2014

Happy Tails

Birthdays celebrated at rescue place

Kathi Nailling
The Athens Review

Athens — Murchison holds a hidden secret...The Happy Tails Rescue.

Tina Hamilton, founder of Happy Tails Rescue, has been rescuing animals for the past eight years.

“I rescue some of the animals no one else wants. The small cute dogs always get adopted,” Hamilton said. “But I try to find homes for the ones that may be harder to place.”

Happy Tails is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. There are animals with medical conditions, as well as blind and deaf animals at Happy Tails.

“We are a true no-kill rescue facility,” said Hamilton.

Tina said she provides a safe haven for abandoned and unwanted domesticated animals. Happy Tails Rescue is willing to do the work to place them in their forever homes.

“Every dog is spay/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped before adoption,” Hamilton said.

Happy Tail currently is home to 103 Animals. Hamilton said, “Unfortunately we  just can't take anymore, until we find homes for the dogs we already have.”

 She said her feed bill is running about $80 a day.

Tina said there are so many unwanted animals in Henderson County, her heart says to rescue all of them. She knows that would be impossible. 

Happy Tails has been lucky with donations, but with the current crisis at the other shelters, her donations have dropped off.

“I understand how important the shelters are,” Hamilton said. “I am not complaining. It just has hurt my efforts to rescue more animals.”

Hamilton tries to help not only her animals, but friends who enjoy animals as much as she does. On a recent sunny Monday afternoon, Hamilton hosted a birthday party for 11-year-old Cheyenne Torres. All Cheyenne wanted  for her birthday was to ride a horse.

Tina took it from there. Cheyenne not only got her wish to ride a horse, Tina hosted a birthday party, that included a picture of Cheyenne with the Mayor of Murchison, Deanna Benson and hotdogs cooked on the grill.

Hamilton's friend, Darla Channell, who was also celebrating her birthday, made the arrangement to bring Cheyenne to the rescue for the party.  Hamilton made sure Cheyenne’s birthday was one she would  not soon forget.

Hamilton knows first-hand that publicity can be a double-edged sword.

“We need the publicity to help get donations for the facility,” she said. “But, I also know more people will want to abandon their pets at our gates.”

At the top of Happy Tails’ wish list is food for the animals. Other items on the wish list include carriers, cages, fencing, dog houses, paper towels, laundry soap and flea treatments.

“We always need money for the mounting vet bills,” she said.

The facility can always use volunteers to walk and play with the dogs.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Hamilton is determined to continue her rescue efforts.

Donations can be made at Happy Tails website or call 903-880-4124.