Howlin4Spirit Companion Animal Rescue

& Senior/Special Needs Sanctuary

-a non profit organization-

Dedicated to helping second-hand animals become first-class companions!


Hear our humble prayer, O God, for our friends the animals. Especially for animals who are suffering, for any that are hunted or lost, or deserted or frightened or hungry, for all that must be put to death. We entreat for them all thy mercy and pity and for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words. Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals and so to share the blessings of the merciful.-Albert Schweitzer

Our Adoptable Pet List

Click here to see our Happy Tails!

 Rutherford County has NO shelter for adoptable animals. The only available space for strays & owner-released pets is a high-kill Animal Control facility, run by the local Sheriff's Dept, and inmates from the local minimum-security prison, located in a very UNsavory location, next to the county landfill. Strays are given 72 hours for their owners to claim them. Owner-relinquished pets are given NO time IF space is limited, which is almost always the case, with only 18 runs at this county's only facility. Their only hope is the occasional adopter, or rescue groups willing to make space for them. Rutherford County was a thriving community of textile industries, until NAFTA helped move 90% of our factories to other countries. H4S a non-profit organization made up of hardworking volunteers working together for the good of saving homeless adoptable animals in our area, as fast as we can. We offer low-cost speuters for those who qualify & for strays who will have an opportunity for a good home, we can help defray costs, whenever possible. We also have plans for an educational program where we will supply any teacher willing to teach the importance of compassion towards their furry friends, speutering, the proper care of pets, and what they need to do if they see any neglect or abuse.


Updated: December 20, 2014:....H4S CARes has rescued 8,000+ dogs

H4S was created in January of 2004, when our founder walked into Rutherford Co, NC Animal Control and learned that their adopted/return to owner rate was a mere 3%. Our founder, having spent many summers volunteering for another shelter, knew she could make a difference for at least some of those on death row at RCAC. So, she dove into the situation.

By By February, 2004, H4S had formed a small group of volunteers in the surrounding rural communities in Rutherford Co, where dogs and cats are often dumped off and left to fend for themselves, wander up to homes begging for food and shelter. Through constant networking with local rural communities about our program, people are contacting us about the many strays being abandoned in their area, as well as owner-relinquished pets. Some have been left tied to trees without water or food, when their owners moved away. In some cases, the pet's owners have been hospitalized or have gone into nursing facilities & can no longer care for them. There is an abundance of reasons why the animals in our area come to need H4S's help. Working with rurally-located folks greatly helps to reduce the numbers of strays and homeless adoptables going into our already filled-to-capacity, outdated 'high-kill' Animal Control facility(with only 16 runs).

Strays tend to have lowered immune systems through neglect and the lack of proper medical attention and available nutrition, which leave them extremely susceptible to contracting the deadly diseases our Southern climate harbors.

Once in our program, they have a much better chance of survival through immediate medical attention, proper nutrition and loving foster care with socialization with both people and other dogs.

Since H4S was created, we have pulled together winning medical support through Rutherford Vet Hospital's 3 vets, who are invaluable to this rescue's mission, as we couldn't do what we do without their excellent medical care, dedicated support & deep respect for our mission and all the animals who come through our door..

Every animal we rescue, over the age of 8 weeks old is spayed/neutered, de-wormed, vaccinated & micro-chipped, & every dog over the age of 5 months is tested for heart worms. If they should test positive, they are immediately treated. They, too, deserve a chance, possibly their very first chance, at a loving home and family to share their unconditional love and life's many adventures with.

Many groups will not rescue a heart worm positive animal because of the extremely high cost of treatment, but we will not turn our backs on the adoptable ones(and, we do not pass any medical expenses on to the new owner).

Most of our rescues are transported to spay/neuter-regulated states in the northeast, where the numbers of adoptable ones are few and responsible adoptable homes are many.We find homes for any senior, special needs pup who's needs demand more 'one-on-one' if they do not adjust to the H4S's Sanctuary lifestyle. This way we know where they are, and we can continue to check on their progress and, hopefully, get updated pictures with their furever families. Many 'special needs' and senior female beagles remain at H4S's sanctuary(5 acres in a country setting with trails and streams to explore each day), as they are the least likely to be adopted and very much appreciated and loved, here.

Through adoption donations and money out of our own pockets we have been able to keep this program alive and running smoothly, as well as renting a cargo van for each trip north, which carries the animals as far as Brewster, NY, on the 1st weekend of April>October. We also transport other rescuer's pups to their new families and/or to 'no-kill' rescues in the northern states.
From mid-October to mid-March, H4S uses a bonded commercial transport to deliver all our adoptibles to their new families.

Donations are always needed to help fund our free or low-cost speuters for the stray animals low-income families have taken in & and for the rescues H4S takes into our program.

Understandably, many 'no-kill' shelters do not want to be a 'band aid' for the South's over-population problems, so H4S must work extra hard to make sure that all our pups are well-socialized, complete a 3 week quarantine, are 100% healthy, speutered and micro-chipped, and are ready to find responsible homes with a happy spirit when they arrive in the North.

We thank God, for the enlightened, responsible families who open their hearts and homes to these truly beautiful, appreciative spirits, opting to NOT BUY inter-bred, sickly pups from breeders and pet shops. Thank you, for being aware that there are so many adoptable animals sitting in shelters or rescued from neglectful situations who are waiting for a helping hand and unconditional love to share.


responsible foster homes

Tax-deductible donations can be made by going to:, or directly to our 'Howlin4Spirit' acct at: Rutherford Vet Hospital  #828-286-9335

educational volunteers:
H4S works with local teachers to help educate Rutherford County's young children about the importance of spaying & neutering and how to properly care of their family pets, and how to identify animal abuse.

To offer your support, in any capacity, please contact:

Howlin4Spirit Companion Animal Rescue, Inc.

P. O. Box 711

Rutherfordton, NC 28139



To adopt one of our rescued sweethearts, you must complete the application provided below and send as a pdf attachment to Be sure to include email addies and tele#s for your 3 personal references. You MUST be at least 25 yrs of age to adopt from H4S.
Upon receipt, we will send you an email stating that we are processing your application, and then send a questionnaire to your 3 personal references. We will contact your current vet's office for their reference, within 3 business days.
Upon approval, we will call you to discuss the adoption further, and arrange a time convenient for you for a home check, if we feel one might be necessary. April>October: To hold the pup of your choice, H4s requires a $78 'good faith' deposit
via sent to

The balance is due at the time of delivery.
Meeting locales depend on your location; we make several stops along our route.

mid October>mid-March: To hold the pup of your choice, H4S requires the pup's adoption fee in full. Transport is available via Wagging Dog for an extra $100(as far N as NYC/$135 N of NYC), to be paid at the time of delivery, to their driver.

                           **Howlin4Spirit Companion Animal Rescue**
                                          **Adoption Application**

                             We realize, in a logical perspective, that we are not going to be able to
                                                                 broadly change the World.
                                                 But, we know we can be an advocate of change.
                                           We know that we can not rescue every animal in need,
                                               but little by little, we can help one animal at a time.
                                                       We know we CAN make a difference!

Thank you, for considering adopting a rescued companion animal.
Upon receipt of your application, we will send out requests to all your personal refereneces and contact your vet(pls, contact your vet to give permission to release your past info to H4S). We will be back in contact as soon as all info is received & re-reviewed.
Upon approval, to hold the dog of your choice, H4S requires a $78 'good faith' deposit(via > our acct:
at Adoption fee balance is due at the time of delivery, on the 3rd weekend of every month, to pre-approved adoptive families.
It is necessary that we find the correct furever home for each rescued companion animal in our program.
Completing this questionaire will help us to determine the personality,temperament and energy level of the animal who will best suit the needs of your family, your lifestyle & your environment.


Date:  1st choice of pet interested in:   2nd choice:  

1 Name of applicant:
   Name of applicant's spouse/partner:
2 Address:
  City, State, & zip code:

3 How long at this address:
4 Telephone #s:(h)                          
(w)                           (c)
5 Email address:
6 With whom are you employed:
Spouse/partner's employer:
7 Occupation:
Spouse/partner's occupation:
8(a) # of children living in this household:          
Their names/ages:
(b) # of adults living in this household:
     Their names, ages and occupations:

(c)Is anyone living in this household either pregnant or trying to become pregnant:
9 What type of environment do you live in: Rural___Suburb___City___
10 Housing: Apt___House___Duplex___Mobile___Twnhs____Other___
11 Do you own or rent:

(a)If you rent, do you have permission from your landlord to own a
companion animal under 25lbs?                  over 25lbs?
(b) Name and telephone# of landlord:

12(a) What other dogs/cats have you previously owned and what happened to
them....state pet's name, age, if speutered, reason for giving up/or cause
of death-include yr pet passed & pet's vet's tele#) :

(b) What other dogs/cats currently live in your home:(name,
breed, sex, age, if speutered & any health issues they may have):

13. Are there any other types of animals currently living in your home(if
so, please describe):

14. What do you know about the breed in question(have you researched this
breed's traits/habits)?:

15. Are there any specific habits/problems you are not willing to work with?
If so, please specify:

16. Sexual preference: M     F     No preference                                                                                                                              

17. How did you hear about our rescue:
18.(a) Do you have a fenced-in yard & is it connected to the house(entire
yard only , front yard only, backyard attached to back door, etc):
(b) what is the height & dimentions of the fenced-in area:
(c) Please, describe your fencing materials(chainlink, wooden stockade,
vinyl rail...2, 3 or more it reinforced with wire/what kind of
wire..chicken/field/hog....or upright slats...etc):
(d) What type of gates(describe as you did  in above question):
(e) Can they be opened by children:
(f) If you don't have a fenced-in yard, how will the animal be exercised and allowed to elliminate:
(g) who will supervise outdoor activities:
(h) Do you have(check all that apply): Pet door____Kennel run____Dog house____
Stake____ Tie-out or cable-run____Crate____None____
19. Do you have a swimming pool? 
Is it fenced-in separately from the rest of the yard?
20. What member of the family will be taking the MAJOR responsibility for the care of this animal:
21. Does anyone in your family have allergies to ANY animal:
22. Has anyone in your household had a problem with impulse control-if so, please explain:
23. What are your plans for this animal: (a) protection/guard:______ (b)companion:______
(c)child's pet:_____(d)pet therapy:_____(e) agility/flyball:_____ (f)obedience:______(g)herding:______(h)ranch work______(i)other(explain):__________________________________
24.(a) Have you ever trained a dog in obedience classes?
(b) Are you planning on taking your adopted dog to an obedience class? 
25. Have you ever sold, given away or surrendered a pet?
If so, please provide details of situation:
26.(a) How much time are you willing to give the dog to adjust to it's new environment & family members?
     (b) This dog may not be housebroken. Are you willing to take the time to work with the animal?
     (c) Do you understand that if this dog is any kind or variation of a hound breed, you will need to have a securely fenced-in yard or vow to keep the dog on a leash at all times, when outdoors?
27. Will the animal live in the home?             If not, where?
28. What shelter will be provided outside(doghouse/patio/deck overhang, garage, etc):
29. Where, exactly, will the animal sleep at night and be kept when there is no one at home(crated, free roam of home, laundry/kitchen area, fenced-in yard, garage, etc):
30(a) On the average, how long will the animal be left alone during the day:
(b) What is the activity level of your household:
_____busy-visits by friends, meetings, children, parties at home
_____noisy-TV, stereo, machinery, tools, kids playing
_____moderate-normal comings and goings
_____quiet-homebodies, few guests
31. Do you believe in dog crates?           If so, for what exact purpose(s)?
32. If you had to move & your new landowner does not allow pets, what will
you do with your companion animal(CA)?
33. When you go on vacation, will your pet accompany you or who would care for it?
34. Under what condition(s) would you consider giving up your companion animal?
35. Who is the veteranarian you currently use, or have used for your previous animal's health issues(IF used within past 5 yrs).
Provide ALL info...animal hospital's name/vet's name:
telephone #:
(b) do you use heartworm prevention, if so, what brand do you use?
36 How will your animal travel to the vet, or other places(i.e, crated, doggie seatbelt, loose in a car/van, tethered or in crate, floor of vehicle or in box in bed of truck?):
37 May we call your vet and inquire as to your previous/current pet's health care?                   
If not, why?
38 Are you willing to allow an H4S's representative to periodically visit
your home? If not, why?
39 List names & email addresses of 3 personal references (NOT related to
you), whom you have known for at least 3 years:



40. If you are disabled, or should have any special needs, please be sure to
let us know; this will help us to find the BEST companion for you:

41  What arrangements have you made for your companion animal(s), if you
could no longer care for them(i.e., deployment, moving over seas, extended hospital
stay, nursing care facility, death)?

42 &, finally, please tell us a little about yourself and why you feel you
could provide a good home for a rescued companion animal:

****Our goal in rescuing and re-homing animals is to provide them with a
loving home for the rest of their life. The adoption fee covers their
medical costs associated with the animal, medical and daily care during their
foster period and transport.
Sometimes, for reasons beyond anyone's control, the adoption does not work
out. In this case, the animal must be returned to Howlin4Spirit CARes at the
adopter's expense using only Wagging Dog Transport, IF the dog requires to be returned between mid-October and mid-March.
Adoption contributions are not refundable, for any reason.****

By signing this application, I attest to the fact that I am 25 years of age
or older, and that the above information provided is correct:

spouse/partner's signature(if married):


Rescue to complete information below:
Date of confirmation:

Confirmed by(at vet's office):

Did the veterinarian still have records?

Were vaccines kept current?

Was a heart worm prevention used on a monthly basis?

Date of last visit?