For Pet's Sake

June 2022

Monthly Spotlight

Against All Odds

Tawny’s tale is a heart-wrenching story of true canine resilience in the face of inconceivable cruelty, and demonstrates what can be achieved when multiple animal care professionals work together to save a life.

It all started with a phone call from a local vet practice. An individual had brought his dog to them seeking treatment for a 'wound'. Once the Vet examined her and saw how extensive the damage was, they told the owner how much it would cost to get her fixed up. The owner didn't have the money and elected to just take the dog back home and bandage it. The clinic even offered to humanely euthanize her for free, in order to prevent further suffering, but he refused.

The staff of the clinic were so distressed that Tawny would not receive the care she so desperately needed to survive, and immediately notified Valley River Humane Society asking for guidance on what they could do. The undeniable horror of the situation then became clear – Tawny, a beautiful young Australian Shepherd mix, had been shot in the neck.

Valley River Humane Society agreed to assume responsibility for all of her medical care, but advised the Sheriff to seize Tawny. The sheriff went out to the property and seized Tawny, but no one would admit to who actually shot her. Because they couldn't prove anything, no charges were filed.

The bullet traveled through her neck, shattering teeth and bones. Due to the presence of gunpowder and burn marks found on her neck, it was determined this barbaric act was done at very close range.

Tawny required immediate surgery, suffering a mandibular fracture, and extensive soft tissue damage. The vet practice initiated a Go Fund Me campaign to help with the cost of care, and the community rallied to offset some of the financial burden to VRHS.

After weeks of recovery at VRHS, Tawny was deemed stable enough for transport to one of our trusted rescue partners. As the only shelter covering 3 counties of Western NC, we are inundated daily with stray, abandoned and unwanted animals, many of whom require veterinary care. Our transport alliance program allows us to relocate animals to other facilities to recuperate fully and find forever homes. This opens a space in our facility for the next animal in need.

On arrival at our rescue partner in NY, she became an instant staff and volunteer favorite and quickly found a foster home to provide the diligent care she needs. During this crucial healing time, it is extremely important that Tawny not chew at all or use her jaw (no toys, bones, roughhousing, etc.).

Per the vet, it is believed that no future surgeries or major medical care are necessary, she just needs the time and care to allow her jaw to heal. Currently, she is on a liquid-only diet to continue for another week. Next, she will receive X-Rays from vets to determine the progression of her jaw's healing and whether she'll be permitted to eat soft food. This visit will also determine if any other procedures will be needed.

We continue to follow Tawny’s progress and, while no dog should ever endure such unimaginable trauma, we are proud to have been part of this momentous lifesaving effort, along with Andrews Veterinary Hospital, local law enforcement, our caring community, Shelter Dog Transport Alliance and Paws Crossed Animal Rescue. Sometimes, it really does take a village.

As we witness so incredibly often in the world of animal rescue, the power of forgiveness is strong within this sweet girl... She is an inspiration and this is a testament to her resilient, warrior spirit.

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The Puppy Building

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Thank You Marie Lampkin

Wanda Payne has served the Valley River Humane Society for many years. She is leaving our Board of Directors and we will miss her. The building pictured above occured because of the faithfulness and genorisity of Wanda's dear friend.

From Wanda:

My friend, Marie Lampkin, retired from Continental Can in Atlanta and moved to Hayesville in the early 90s. I first met her in 1993 when both of us were a part of VRHS (then Tri-County Humane Society) people protesting the low amount of money the county wanted to pay for animal control services.

She was a rabid animal lover, but preferred living with dogs; she always had multiples, mostly strays except for Charlie Brown, a poodle who was touted (often) as the smartest dog in the world. Her entire life was devoted to her dogs, but, if a cat needed help, she was right there with time and money. I remember she once purchased a vehicle based on what would best serve the dogs. When out to dinner, she always had a baggie to hold a “treat” for whatever dogs were waiting in the car. They had the run of the house and a large, fenced backyard. She frequently took them to Chatuge Dam in Hayesville so they could meet other dogs and play in water. She made arrangements (paid in advance) to a local vet to take care of any animals left when she died. Fortunately, she only had one when she died, and he was taken by a rescue group in Hayesville and understand he went north to live. Marie left a portion of her estate to VRHS, and she would be proud to know it was used to construct the small animal building.

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Did you know you can donate directly to VRHS Shelter without leaving your home. From the comfort of you favorite chair you can send much needed supplies via our Amazon Account!
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I adopted a cat from you on March 4, 2022 from Valley River Humane Society.

Here is an adoption update:

Catriona (cat-ree-OH-na, fka Adah) is SUCH a sweetheart! I cannot believe that someone had relinquished her. She is playful, loving, sweet, good natured, and an all-around great kitty! She is incredibly smart, comes when called, talks, and listens better than most people. She purrs and purrs and purrs, and loves to cuddle. I’m so glad that she chose me!

Thank you for all that you do for the animals.

Connie Kern

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Become a Member!

In our community, hundreds of animals each year are abandoned, mistreated, or left to fend for themselves. The VRHS offers several different memberships. The fees are used to help keep the doors to our shelter open. Support for our organization comes mostly from private donations from people like you. Your membership fees will help a great deal!

Consider becoming a member…Your gift can provide neglected and abused animals with shelter, food, medical care, kindness, and a chance to find a forever home!


Heidi's Fund

A generous Murphy family comes to the rescue after seeing the edititoral in the August 18, 2021 Cherokee Scout regarding the Valley River Humane Society. The needs at the shelter are great so this family started " Heidi's Fund" for VRHS at United Community Bank in Murphy. Their deposit was for $1000! Their hope is to see this account grow to help the shelter. They are asking local families to donate $10 or more to help the animals at the shelter. Please visit United Community and make your deposit out to VRHS for Heidi's Fund.

Ongoing Needs at the Shelter & Thrift Store

We need for the Thrift Store (Monday through Saturday, 10-5)


Back room sorters

Showroom workers

We need for the Shelter (Monday through Sunday, never stops as the animals always need care)

Dog Walkers (must be strong)

Kennell Workers (must be strong)

Grounds maintenance


Cat kennel workers

(Volunteers can name their shifts)

Transportation Needs

Drivers for Special Transports to Cleveland TN (cats - only five at a time). You can use your vehicle.

Back up drivers for Asheville Transports

Drivers for Transports to New York

(this is for Cats Only - much easier than transporting dogs)

We have lost some of our volunteers as they have or are going back to Florida. So the need is GREAT!

VRHS Thrift Store Needs

Volunteers needed! This is an easy and rewarding volunteer opportunity. Come by and talk to us.

Over 40% of all expenses for the Shelter are subsidized by the VRHS Thrift Shop! So, every time you donate to or buy something from the Thrift Shop it REALLY helps.

Anytime you clean out your closet, your basement, your attic, or any other area, please bring those things to us you no longer need or want. We can then turn around and resell those things and those proceeds go to helping the animals. Please visit the Thrift Stop often. There are some GREAT bargains and it really helps!

Store Address:

Valley River Humane Society Thrift Store | 1161 U.S. 64, Murphy, NC 28906 | (828) 837-6137

Store Hours:

10:00 AM -5:00 PM Monday thru Saturday

About Us!

A non-profit organization serving Cherokee, Clay and Graham Counties. Our mission is to foster healthy relationships between humans and all living creatures, to prevent animal cruelty and suffering, to find quality home for abandoned pets, and to educate people of all ages about animal needs and the value of responsible pet ownership.

Become a Volunteer

Many people do not realize how vital volunteers are to both VRHS Shelter and the Thrift Store. Please consider being a VOLUNTEER!

For Donations and Adoptions


Valley River Humane Society
PO BOX 658
Murphy, NC 28906


Valley River Humane Society
7450 US 19
Marble, NC 28905
(828) 837-2304


  • Tuesday thru Saturday……11:00 am thru 4:00 pm
  • Sunday and Monday……CLOSED
  • Intakes……Tuesday thru Friday 11:00 am thru 3:00pm
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See Ya Next Month!