Published On: Fri, Mar 2nd, 2018

LETTER: A place of sanctuary for pets


When my wife and I retired from the United States Coast Guard, we moved back to her home town of Cherokee, North Carolina. We had dogs of our own, but we started to notice that there were a lot of stray dogs and dogs along roadsides that looked to be homeless and/or abandoned. We are both animal lovers, and it broke our hearts to see them suffering. So, we started taking dogs to our house.

That all started about 12 years ago. We now have 61 dogs living with us. All dogs that we rescue are loved. We let them stay in our house. When the summer weather is hot, they can stay in the air-conditioned house. When the weather gets cold and wet, they can stay inside with the heat. We have a dog door on our front storm door, so they can go in or out if they want to. All dogs that come to the sanctuary (Cherokee Dog Sanctuary, Inc.) get regular vet visits and all have been spayed or neutered. In fact, we have had over 150 dogs and cats spayed and neutered. And, the dogs that need to be groomed go to the groomer.

We have been doing this service for our four-legged children by ourselves so far with a little help from friends and family. But, now we are asking for more help, so we can help more dogs find their forever homes. Cherokee Dog Sanctuary Inc. is a state- and federally-recognized non-profit organization. It is the only dog rescue group located on the Cherokee Indian Reservation, and we are Native American-owned and operated. No officers or directors receive a salary for operating the sanctuary. All monies are donated to the dogs for care and upkeep.

Cherokee Dog Sanctuary, Inc. is a refuge for canines who need another chance at life, an opportunity for a happy ever after that has thus far eluded them. Some of the dogs have been traumatized from abuse and neglect. Others are shy or under-socialized. Some have very special medical needs. But, once they arrive at the sanctuary, the healing begins.

If you wish to help, all donations are tax deductible.


Chris and Stacey Harsh

Cherokee, NC


Editor’s note:

Cherokee Dog Sanctuary has provided the following information regarding donations:

Checks may be made payable to the Cherokee Dog Sanctuary, Inc. and mailed to PO Box 1450, Cherokee, NC 28719, or

Online at GoFundMe campaign, or

Drop a monetary donation at any United Community Bank, or

Shop Use the url. When you go there, choose Cherokee Dog Sanctuary as the charity that you want to support. Amazon will then donate a portion of what you buy to Cherokee Dog Sanctuary, Inc.