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She's Making Central Georgia a Better Place - Four Paws at a Time | Best Of

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She's Making Central Georgia a Better Place - Four Paws at a Time
She's Making Central Georgia a Better Place - Four Paws at a Time

Heather Zaresky is a familiar name around middle Georgia – especially in the world of animals.

The 29-year-old single Zaresky moved to Bleckley County around six years ago.

And “ I saw the hundreds of animals here and in surrounding areas being put down without having the first opportunity of a chance.”

So she started the Georgia Canine Rescue and Rehabilitation – animal shelter, located on Mac Thompson Road in Cochran. The animal rescue shelter has been a part of rescues all over middle Georgia and works with different county organizations. “It broke my heart, literally. I began networking with other rescues and driving dogs anywhere I could get them safe, after a few months I realized that I was just not saving as many as I could so I decided to start the rescue so I could help more.”

She began the rescue out of her home after working for a time in a local vet's office, and then moved to an old vet's office in Bleckey County.

          Georgia Canine Rescue and Rehabilitation helped find homes for around 3,000 dogs in the last three years.

Zaresky, who enjoys reading and horseback riding, said she has loved animals since she was “a little girl. When I was small, I would go outside after it rained and collect all the salamanders out of the road, so they didn't run over … I would rescue and raise injured and orphaned baby birds and release them … I have always been fascinated about animals.”

   Smiling, Zaresky said, “As cliché as it sounds, I was born this way.”
She continued, “We always had pets growing up. Most kids get jibs babysitting – I walked people's dogs and pet sat for money.” Zaresky said she had a little bit of every type of animal growing up, horses, dogs, cats, pigs and iguanas. “I guess I always felt a stronger connection with the animals because they, unlike people are never cruel and always are there.”

   The GCRR has a number of needs. “We are always in need of food and volunteers.”

Zaresky continued, “Obviously, any rescue needs money as our vet bills are always pretty high, but we are happy for any help with any donation – newspapers, bedding, towels, bowls, etc.” GCRR will accept cans “so we can turn them in for some extra cash.”

The GCRR has rescued a number of animals – with the biggest being “the St. George Puppy Mill where we got over 180 dogs.” The oddest rescue that Zaresky has been a part of - “an emu.”

She said, “We house roughly 80 to 150 dogs at any time, and cats – we could have one to 10 at any time. We also have gerbils and three horses.”

To contact Zaresky or any member of the shelter staff, call (478)271-4277 or e-mail pittieprotector@yahoo.com. The Georgia Canine Rescue and Rehabilitation shelter is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. - noon and 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, the shelter is at PetSmart in Warner Robins with adoptable dogs.

Zaresky has two dogs and two cats of her own. “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”

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