Volunteers form non-profit to aid animals and owners in upper North CountryBy JOHN KOZIOL
Union Leader Correspondent
February 22. 2018 8:12PM
PITTSBURG — Struck by the neglect endured by Taffy, a 20-something palomino, a group of upper North Country residents recently rescued her and also formed the Coos Animal Sanctuary to help animals in distress as well as their often stressed-out owners.
The sanctuary would be the first of its kind in years in Coos County.
There are no animal pounds or shelters above the notches and the nearest rescue in Lunenberg, Vt., is some 90 minutes away from Pittsburg, New Hampshire’s northern-most town, and an hour from Colebrook.
Kim Kouble, who before moving to Pittsburg in 2012, was a veterinary technician and animal control officer in Tyngsborough, Mass., got to understand the need for animal welfare services when she met a young beagle named Holly.
The young dog had a serious injury to her jaw that required extensive surgery. It was later determined that Holly had been abandoned by her owners who could not afford to care for her.
Kouble realized that the problem of abandoned, abused and neglected animals in Coos County was bigger than just Holly. That point was hammered home in December, when Kouble received a report of a horse in a nearby community that needed immediate aid.
Some three years earlier, volunteers, including Kouble, had provided the horse’s owners with food for her and thought they had set the mare on a better life path. But Taffy’s lot failed to improve, and when Kouble and Sandy Green convinced the owners to surrender the horse to Green two months ago, they found she had been confined to her stall for extended periods.
The manure was three-feet deep in the stall and it coated Taffy’s body; her hooves became so overgrown that they resembled shovels and required multiple treatments by a farrier to correct.
Today, Taffy is doing well, but her plight, and Kouble and Green’s search for assistance with her, led to the realization that “nobody’s coming,” said Kouble.
Help “never comes” for many animals in the North Country, she said, but the Coos Animal Sanctuary will try to change that.
The sanctuary, which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, can found online at www.facebook.com/CoosAnimals/ and at www.coosanimalsanctuary.org, has already helped numerous individual animals, and is looking to do more, including providing education, food, shelter and vet care to owners who can’t afford it.
The sanctuary is looking for space in Colebrook where it could keep animals temporarily, maintain a pet food pantry, and could also operate occasional spay and neuter clinics as well as “Surrender Saturdays,” an event during which people who cannot take care of their household animals could turn them over the sanctuary, Kouble explained during a phone interview on Thursday.
In turn, the all-volunteer sanctuary, working with partners in both New Hampshire and Vermont, would update the animal’s vaccines, restore them to health and then try to find them new homes.
The sanctuary also will help find and recover missing dogs. All sanctuary services are free. Toll-free calls about animals that need help can be made anonymously to the sanctuary at (833) PETLINE (738-5463).
Kouble hopes that eventually many more animals in upper Coos County will find new, loving homes like both Holly and Taffy.
In a recent e-mail, Kouble wrote that Taffy is “happily living on a farm loving life and is free. It was a beautiful sight to see her for the first time in possibly 5 or 6 years run free, her tail was up, she ran bucking and rearing through the pastures, we all cried.”