Community Champion: Billy and Jennifer Penick

It’s time to recognize a community champion!

It’s an honor given to people making a positive impact in the community. It’s in partnership with Leaders Credit Union.
For the month of May, we introduce you to a husband and wife duo, helping thousands of animals find their forever homes.
Jennifer and Billy Penick are the founders of Hartt rescue.
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It’s an organization that helps people by taking animals out of terrible situations, getting them healthy, then working to get them transported to other regions with less of an overpopulation, so they can be adopted out.
The Penicks have sacrificed their time and their home to give animals a shot at a better life.
“It’s not as easy right now because everywhere in the United States is pretty full of animals and it’s hard to get them adopted, but we’re still doing 17 to 18 hundred animals a year through our rescue,” explained Jennifer Penick.
Jennifer says every week they have a transport going out of about 45 animals.
“One of the things I’m proud of with our rescue is we work with everybody. We work with McNairy county humane, we work with Country Roads rescue, we work with Frances Hensley shelter up in Lexington, we work with Florence Lauderdale down in Florence, Alabama, we shift animals around because an animals that won’t get adopted here, might get adopted there,” Penick said.
In 2018, the Penicks started their spay and neuter program, called 500 over 5. The goal was to get 500 owned animals fixed every year for five year, which they did plus more, with 32 hundred animals spayed and neutered by 2021.
Now they are started a new programs called 600 over 6.
“For our low cost program they’re able to get that cat or dog fixed. So you can get your three dogs and your two cats fixed you know, as you have the money to do that. Because I don’t want anybody to say well which one am I going to fix? Because I only have enough money for one,” Penick shared.
They say spay and neuter is the ultimate thing you can do for your pets. It keeps them from getting certain cancers and overpopulating communities.
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“A lot of what I hear from people is, well it’s not my dog. It’s not my cat. But it came here and I’m not going to let it starve. So I fed it and I make sure it has water and all that, but it’s not mine. So why should I fix it? Well because it then blesses you with a litter,” Penick explained.
In addition to fostering the dogs, Billy Penick also temporarily oversees operations at Hardin county animal services.
“All the rescues are full. When you ask to get a rescue to help, it may take a while, so when you see a animal on the side of the road, and you think it’s a stray, and you go to pick it up, you need to be prepared to hold on to it for a while. Because not all places can take that animal in,” Billy Penick said.
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The Penicks say they couldn’t help these animals if it wasn’t for the vets who assist them in getting animals spayed and neutered.
To learn more on how to volunteer or donate to Hartt rescue click here.

If you know someone doing good in their community, you can nominate them for the Community Champion Award here.

Categories: Community Champions, Local News, News, Seen On 7, Video