Category Archives: adopting

Thinking About Adopting a Pet? Here are Some Useful Tips to Keep in Mind

Congrats!  You’ve decided you’re ready to share your life with an animal.  Get ready for one of the most rewarding experiences on the planet.  There is nothing else like having a non-human companion to share life’s ups and downs with.

When bringing a pet into your family, we cannot stress how important it is to adopt.  Every day, perfectly healthy animals are euthanized to create more room in shelters and purchasing from breeders gives homeless animals less opportunity to have a home.  Pet stores are possibly the worst place to get an animal, as the animals are obtained through horrible, abusive conditions.  If you love animals, adopting from a rescue or animal shelter is the best option.

Now that you’ve made the decision to adopt, you have many things to consider and prepare for.  While rewarding, taking care of an animal is challenging and can be stressful at times.  The more you understand about life with a pet, the less stressful it will be.  Keep all these things in mind to make life great for you and your pet.

Living Space
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Consider the size of your home or apartment.  It should go without saying that a Great Dane is not suitable for a studio apartment.  Think about the size of your space and if you intend to stay there.  You could be living in a spacious place now, but have to downsize later.  Does your living space come with a backyard to play in and explore?  Your living situation is a big component in your pet’s comfort.

Daily Schedule

Your lifestyle has a huge effect on your pet.  If you’re away from home often, a dog isn’t the best pet choice.  With a pet, your schedule is no longer yours.  Feeding time, bathroom breaks and exercise must be incorporated into your daily routine.  Not only that, but you will need to keep to the schedule to accommodate your pet’s needs.

Animal’s Activity Level

Puppies and kittens are adorable, but they have a TON of energy. It can be exhausting just keeping up with them every day.  If you lead a more laid-back lifestyle, opt to adopt an older animal with less energy than a puppy or kitten.  If your lifestyle is active, a young animal might be a great companion to have.

With activity levels, you also need to consider various breeds.  There are many dog breeds that are known for their high energy, even after they grow out of their puppy stage.  Dogs known for athletics and endurance like Cattle Dogs, Coonhounds, Huskies, and Terriers are best for high-energy people.

Financial Responsibility

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We’re just going to be upfront: vet bills are expensive.  And necessary.  If you can’t afford to take your pet to the vet, you can’t afford to have a pet.  You need to factor in vet visits, heartworm pills, and any other necessary medicine, as well as the potential for emergency vet visits and surgeries.  Medical care is only part of the financial responsibilities of having a pet, too.  Your monthly grocery bill will go up from pet food… and treats and toys are necessary for exercise and mental stimulation.  Before you adopt your pet, sit down and go through your monthly expenses and factor pet costs into your budget.

Training

With dogs, training is a big part of the relationship between the two of you.  This is where you establish trust and dominance.  Not just that, but you will run into fewer issues with bad behavior and teach your pup basic commands that can be very important to their own safety.  There are many ways you can learn to train your dog, from books to classes taught by animal behavior specialists.  Training takes a lot of hard work and patience, but it makes for a stronger relationship between you and your dog.  While there are plenty of great resources available for training, group class are a great pick as they will help give your dog socialization skills and introduce you to fellow dog lovers!

If you have gone through this list and have considered all these items, then you are ready to share your life with another creature.  If not, take time to examine these tips and make sure you are truly ready to adopt.  It’s important to be as prepared as possible so you can enjoy every day with your new best friend.

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Take These 5 Simple Steps Before Adopting a New Pet

By Dr. Becker

The first few weeks you and your new dog spend together will shape your future relationship and forge the lifelong bond between you.

To make the most of these crucially important first days and weeks, it’s very smart to do some advance planning, including the following steps.

Image result for dog adoption

#1 – Hold a Family Meeting

Taking excellent care of a pet requires time, energy, and commitment.  To avoid either neglecting the new dog, or battles over who didn’t do what to care for him, it’s best to set everyone’s expectations ahead of time.

Before your new pet arrives, sit down with all members of your household to discuss the many details involved in becoming dog guardians.

For example, decide what family members will be responsible for which pet care chores.  Often, children ask for a pet and their parents oblige without realizing a child’s desire for a pet doesn’t always translate to a desire to take care of a pet.  Also, children need help to learn how to care for a pet properly.

Even the adults in the family, if chores aren’t assigned ahead of time, can assume it’s the responsibility of someone other than them to, for example, pick up the dog poop from the backyard.

Additional considerations:

  • If everyone in the house leaves for work or school every day, who will come in and care for the puppy?
  • Who’s on potty walk duty? How about when your new furry family member needs to go out in the middle of the night?
  • Who will feed and exercise the dog? (Meals, exercise and playtime should happen on a predictable schedule each day.)
  • Who will take him for his veterinary wellness exams?
  • Who will be taking care of trimming nails, dental care, and brushing and bathing the dog?

Dogs thrive on routine and consistency, so there are household logistics to consider, for example:

  • Where will your new dog eat her meals?
  • Where will her bowls of fresh water be placed?
  • Where will she sleep – in your bedroom? Will she sleep with you or in her own bed?
  • Will the dog be gated off from certain parts of the house? If so, how?
  • If you plan to crate train, where will you keep it?

I’m an advocate of crate training, especially for puppies, but also adult dogs.  If you haven’t already, take a look at my videos on crate training, which offer a step-by-step guide to getting your dog used to his crate.

I consider crating a very important part of keeping your dog safe when you’re not at home or can’t keep a constant eye on him.  If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of a crate, keep in mind that dogs, by nature, are den animals.  They crave being in a small, safe, dark spot.

Have the crate ready when your pet comes home.  If he’s allowed to sleep in your bed with you for several days and then you move him to a crate, he’ll likely have a more difficult time adjusting.  This is because your dog will have learned his nighttime sleeping spot is your bed.

#2 – Stock Up on Pet Supplies

I recommend purchasing all necessary pet supplies before you bring your new dog home.  This includes a leash, collar or harness, non-toxic food and water bowls, ID tag, toys, biodegradable potty bags, non-toxic bed, crate – everything you’ll need to be well-equipped when the new addition arrives.

I also strongly recommend you keep your dog on the same food she’s been eating, even if it’s poor quality, as you transition to a healthier type of food.  Your home may be a blessed improvement over what your dog been used to, but her body will still interpret this wonderful change in circumstances as stressful.  Change, whether good or bad, gets translated as stress in your pet’s body.

Puppies, in particular, experience a lot of stress because they’re being separated from their mom and littermates for the first time.  They’re also changing environments – often both indoor and outdoor environments – which can bring new allergens that affect their immune system.

Your new dog has a brand new family of humans and often other four-legged members as well.  The last thing her body needs right now is a brand new diet that might cause tummy problems.

That’s why I recommend you continue to feed whatever diet your pet is currently eating, and then slowly wean her onto a better quality diet after she settles in.

#3 – Dog Proof Your Home and Yard

This is definitely something you’ll want to do before bringing your new dog home with you.  You might not think of everything you need to do right off the bat, but at a minimum, you should move cords out of reach, plus plants and other hazardous temptations.

If you’re bringing home a puppy, you’ll have a built-in incentive for keeping a neat, clean house, because if it’s been lost or left behind, puppy will find it!

Pet-proofing your home before your new canine companion arrives is the best way to prevent choking, vomiting, diarrhea or another crisis during those important first few weeks.

If your dog will be in your yard off-leash, you’ll want to insure there’s no way he can escape.  You’ll also want to avoid using herbicides or pesticides, make sure there are no potentially toxic plants growing, and clear away any brush and debris that could harbor pests during the warmer months of the year.

#4 – Arrange for Your New Dog’s Schooling

Whether your new canine companion is a puppy or an adult dog, you’ll want to get her socialization underway as soon as you bring her home, along with basic obedience training.  The best time to start puppy play groups is at 8 weeks of age, then moving on to puppy kindergarten, beginning, intermediate and advanced obedience classes.  These are essential elements in raising a well-balanced dog.

What I tell new dog parents is if you bring home a dog but don’t plan to socialize or educate her properly, it’s a lot like having a child and deciding not to allow her to make friends, have adventures, or attend school.  And starting puppy class at 6 months of age is like beginning to parent your child on her 14th birthday; there will be some behaviors that will be hard to correct.

Puppies and dogs are educated about the world through socialization early on with other people, dogs, cats, and environments outside their houses.  Dogs that don’t get out of their home environment long before 6 months of age often wind up with developmental or social difficulties later in life.

There’s a period of time in every puppy’s life, typically from 6 to 12 weeks of age, during which mental and social development is most achievable.  If your pet isn’t socialized during that time, it can set the stage for problems years down the road.

If you adopted your dog from a shelter or rescue organization, she may have some behavior problems, fears, or lack basic training.  Many dogs abandoned to shelters weren’t given the best care, and staying in a shelter environment for any length of time can also have an effect on an animal’s behavior.

Because your dog may come to you with emotional or behavioral baggage, you should be prepared to put in the time and effort required to help her succeed in her new life with you.  Behavior modification using a positive reward system is the key to encouraging good behavior.

You may be able to accomplish this on your own, or you may need the help of a veterinarian or an animal behavior specialist.  Most importantly, you may correct one training issue only to find another fear or phobia pop up 4 months later; hang in there with positive behavior modification until you see the desired results.

There’s a wonderful program I recommend to all new parents of adopted or rescued pets that helps dogs adjust to a new home in the least stressful manner.  You can find it at A Sound Beginning, and you can immediately begin using the book’s tips and tricks and the calming music CD on your dog’s first day home.

#5 – Give Your New Dog Time to Adjust and Lots of Positive Attention

I always recommend that dog guardians take at least a few days off from work – preferably a week – to properly welcome a new pet home.  It will take some time for your puppy or dog to get acclimated to his new environment and into a consistent daily routine.

If you’re gone from home for several hours most days, I also recommend arranging for a regular dog walker or doggy daycare a few days a week.  Most dogs have difficulty spending hours alone every day with no one around and nothing to do.  This goes double for new canine family members, and triple for dogs who have just come from a shelter environment.

The more time you’re able to spend with your new canine companion giving him lots of positive attention and teaching him the rules and routines in his new home and life, the better the outcome for both of you.

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Woman Writes Emotional Letter to the Previous Owner of Her Rescued Great Dane

When most people adopt a dog, they’re in it for the long haul.  They recognize that by bringing this new life into their own, they are responsible for the care and well-being of this animal.  While it can be challenging and time-consuming to house train a new pet and teach them how to walk on a leash, most people are happy to do it because at the end of the day, they love nothing in this world more than their dog.

Or so this is the way that we hope most people feel about their pets, however, many times this is not the case.

There are over 70 million homeless cats and dogs currently living in the U.S.  While some of these animals were born to feral packs, many were simply abandoned by their guardians and left to fend for themselves.  Around six to eight million stray cats and dogs find their way into the shelter system.  Only  a small fraction of those end up in forever homes.  Although the majority of these animals will never get their happy ending, those that do are completely changed for the better.  Luckily, this was the case for Echo the Great Dane.

Echo’s guardian first saw her future best friend online in a Facebook post.  The poor white puppy was extremely thin and deaf, she had been abandoned by her previous caretaker because she was “too much to deal with.”

Echo was purchased from a backyard breeder when she was far too young to be separated from her mother.  After this trauma, Echo was subjected to abuse, neglect and unimaginable horrors in the care of the woman who purchased her.  But all of this ended when she was rescued by Louisiana Great Dane Rescue and then adopted into her new forever home.

One year later, Echo’s new guardian wrote an open letter to the woman who cared for this pup before she did.  Here is what she had to say:

To the girl that “had to get rid of” the nameless and “useless, not able to deal with” puppy with a belly full of rocks a year ago: Thank you for giving her to rescue instead of putting her down like you had threatened in your Facebook post.  I just want you to know that she’s safe, although I doubt that you care.  Because you didn’t care that she was hungry or thirsty.  Didn’t care that she was filthy.  Didn’t care that she was deaf.  You did care that she was a free puppy and took her home from the BYB who is just as guilty as you are.

Did you comfort her when she cried the first night she was away from her mother and siblings?  Did you hold and pet her when she got scared in her new “home”?  I like to think that you did do at least that for her.  I don’t know if it was you or her “breeder” who decided to spay her at 6/7 weeks old.  But I want you to know that she doesn’t seem to have suffered any damage from that surgery at a way too early age.

She is only alive because of the Louisiana Great Dane Rescue that always keeps an eye out for dogs that are discarded like her.  And we are happy that they chose us to adopt Echo.  See, that’s what we named her.  We figured even though she is deaf she deserves a name, just like any other pet or person…  Do you know that she knows a bunch of ASL signs that we use to communicate with her?  I doubt you even still think of her anymore.  She gets three meals a day and it took me a long time to get her to trust me that there will ALWAYS be another meal and that she doesn’t have to eat rocks and other things she found outside.  And that she doesn’t have to try and drink as much water until she got sick because there would always be more water later.

Yes, she is very spoiled and may not always “listen” to me when I tell her to do something but she sure couldn’t be any more loved.  She is my heart dog and every person and dog that meets her loves her immediately.  I am working with her on therapy dog training to get her registered as a Therapy Dog so I can take her to all kinds of places where she can bring love and joy to people in need of just that.  I just wanted you to know that she’s safe and loved, even though you will probably never get to read these words.

We are so glad that Echo finally gets to enjoy the life that she’s always deserved. A big thank you to the kind woman who adopted this sweet pup!

All image source: Photokraut.wordpress.com

 

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Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Echo just passed her AKC CGC Test with flying colors!!  I know for some people this may be no big deal but for Echo and myself it is.  She was deemed stupid and useless by her “breeder” and first owner.  Yet she keeps showing everyone that SHE CAN!  Whatever she wants to do, she can do!  I love my “little girl” and am beyond proud of this accomplishment!

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What an Amazing Adoption Count this past Weekend!

Adrienne Balfour Huertas's photo.

“I am so thankful to all the FOSTER HOMES who clean up, transport, love and train our dogs so we can have weekends like this.

These adoptions are Harris County Veterinary Public Health Division dogs, who, mostly, had run out of time in the shelter.
(Editor’s note: When a dog runs out of time it is killed by shelter staff. )

If you’d like to become a foster for K-9 Angels Rescue – Houston, TX please send me a message.”

Mary Tipton
Co-founder and Intake Coordinator
Mary@k-9AngelsRescue.org

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Animal Shelter at Capacity After Hoarder Dumps More Than 70 Dogs

August 11 2015 – ABC13 (KTRK), by Deborah Wrigley

Hoarder dumps more than 70 dogs at shelter

HOUSTON (KTRK) — The Harris County Animal Shelter is said to always be at capacity, which is why a single person surrendering more than 70 dogs in a short period of time poses such a problem.  Video here.

Since June, a man described as a hoarder, has delivered 78 “Chi-Weenies” to the facility in northeast Houston.  The dogs are a mixture of Dachshund and Chihuahua.  The man who turned them over to the shelter is not being identified by the county.

By law, the shelter cannot refuse to take in any animal surrendered by residents of unincorporated Harris County.

According to shelter director Dr. Michael White, the hoarder was recently evicted from his home, and had to get rid of the animals.  “How can you live with 70 animals in your house?,” White asks.

The dogs were not spayed or neutered.  “It may have started off with a couple of dogs, and they breed, and a couple can turn into 60.”  White says there’s nothing to suggest the man was a breeder, but a hoarder.

More than two dozen were dropped off this past Saturday, including a mother and nine, tiny puppies, all of which appear friendly and healthy.

A few dozen more are housed in three large kennels at the shelter.  None seem to have health problems.  For some, human attention seems new to them.

The problem is that so many animals from one source creates problems for other shelter dogs, which have been housed longer.  When space disappears entirely, euthanasia can be part of the discussion.  It is something Dr. White, who comes from a back-ground of having a private veterinary practice, prefers not to do.

“There are plenty of adoptable animals here, and this affects the ones already here.  If you’re going to be a responsible pet owner, you need to spay and neuter your dogs.  That’s the conversation we need to be having.”

Mary Tipton, of K-9 Angel Rescue, is a fixture at the shelter taking animals, some of which are scheduled to be euthanized on the day she pulls them from the list.  “I met him, the hoarder, on the day he dumped 19 animals here on a Saturday afternoon,” she says.  “I offered to help him have his dogs neutered and spayed. He seemed offended that I thought he didn’t love them.”

A rescuer who recently moved from Wyoming to Bellaire took five of the dogs.  Her daughter took another five.  Dale Jones has taken the pups in for their shots, spaying and neutering. She also has a Facebook page: “Save the Chiweenies!”

The county shelter on Canino Road will have a half-price adoption event this Saturday, August 15, 2015 featuring cats, dogs and the Chiweenies.

 

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2015 Homes For Dogs National Pet Adoption Weekend

WHAT:     HOMES for DOGS NATIONAL PET ADOPTION WEEKEND
WHERE:  K-9 Angels Adoption Center – 5533 Weslayan  Houston, TX 77005   [map link]
WHEN:    Saturday and Sunday August 1st and 2nd  2015
TIME:      Sat  9am – 2pm CT     Sun 11am – 3:30pm CT
REGISTRATION:   no registration necessary


K-9 Angels Rescue is teaming up with Coldwell Banker Real Estate and Adopt-a-Pet.com, North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption web site, on August 1st and 2nd for the first-ever Homes for Dogs National Pet Adoption Weekend.
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This nationwide event is part of the “Homes for Dogs Project,” a national campaign hosted by Adopt-a-Pet.com and Coldwell Banker, which aims to find homes for 20,000 adoptable dogs in 2015.  To help reach this goal, shelters and rescue groups in the Adopt-a-Pet.com network, along with local Coldwell Banker® offices across the United States, are joining forces for one of the largest adoption events of the year.
K-9 Angels Rescue will be hosting its event on Saturday, August 1st from 10am to 6pm CT and Sunday, August 2nd from 11am to 3:30pm CT at 5533 Weslayan, Houston TX 77005.
“We couldn’t be more excited to take part in this national movement to find homes for dogs,” said Christine Morgan, Director – Adoption Coordinator at K-9 Angels Rescue.  “We know this nationwide event will help draw attention to the thousands of dogs in need of homes and truly make an impact on the Houston community.”
“With more than 43 million U.S. households having dogs, there is no question that our pets go hand-in-hand with our love of home,” said Sean Blankenship, chief marketing officer for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.  “We are proud to partner with Adopt-a-Pet.com on this inspiring campaign.”
Coldwell Banker launched the “Homes for Dogs Project” earlier this year with the brand’s national television commercial, “Home’s Best Friend,” which aired on the 87th Academy Awards on February 22, 2015.
For information about how you can get involved with the Homes for National Pet Adoption Weekend, please visit http://www.adoptapet.com/homesfordogs.

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5533 Weslayan St  Houston TX 77005
(next to Chuck-e-Cheese)
MAP

Open to the Public EVERY weekend!

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Weekend Adoption Hours
Saturdays 10am to 6pm
Sundays 11am to 3:30pm

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More people means more pets for Harris county’s animal shelter

"If 80 to 100 animals come in here every day, 80 to 100 have to go out," says Dr. Michael A. White, who supervises the crew that euthanizes animals. Photo: Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle / © 2015 Houston ChroniclePhoto: Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle

Dr. Michael A. White dreams at night of the creatures whose lives are in his hands.  At home, the director of Harris County’s Veterinary Public Health unit is fostering two labs and four basset hound pups with highly contagious mange.  At the county shelter, White supervises the crew that euthanizes unclaimed, injured and unadoptable animals – to clear space for dozens of new arrivals daily.

“If 80 to 100 animals come in here every day, 80 to 100 have to go out,” White said, whether they are recovered by their owners, adopted or in many cases euthanized.

While the human population has nearly doubled in the last two decades in unincorporated Harris County, the animal shelter remains a vestige of a less populous time and must confront the challenges that come with it.  More households means more pets and – without widespread spaying and neutering – more unwanted pets.  But the facility has not grown to accommodate the burgeoning population of animals.

“We cannot close our doors if we are at capacity like many shelters are able to do,” White said.   “We do the best we can with the resources we have.”

When the county built the shelter on Canino Road in 1986, it was designed to take in 12,000 lost and abandoned dogs, cats, snakes, turtles, guinea pigs and tropical fish annually.  The shelter now sees about 25,000 every year, the vast majority being cats and dogs.  The current intake roughly matches that of the much more well-known Houston Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, although BARC operates with four times the budget.

Animal Shelter
Houston Chronicle

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With more animals, the discussion inevitably turns to concerns over euthanasia rates.  After a boost in funding and increased partnerships with non-profits, BARC’s live release rate is now 80 percent, up from a low of 20 percent in 2005.

But this is not the case in Harris County.  About 70 percent of the county shelter’s animals were euthanized in 2014, though that represents a 13 percentage point decline from 2010.

“It’s an extremely hard decision for staff to make: which ones to keep and which ones to let go,” White said.  “There are so many really nice animals that come through here.  They’ll come here with little sweaters or little dresses on.   If they’re not micro-chipped or tagged there’s no way we can find the owner.”

The shelter partners with 131 rescue groups to aid with adoptions and help lower the kill rate.  Nevertheless, the facility faces significant hurdles as it accommodates a growing region.

In an April 15 email to Dr. Umair Shah, the county’s public health director, White wrote, “While we have implemented efforts to decrease the number of animals that enter the shelter each day, which has helped, our intake is still beyond the scope of our facility to house the high numbers of animals and our staffing level to provide adequate care for them.”

More pets, fewer put down: The Harris County animal shelter, which was built in 1986, receives several thousand more animals than it did a few years ago, but it has lowered its euthanasia rate by 10 percentage points.

More pets, fewer put down: The Harris County animal shelter, which was built in 1986,
receives several thousand more animals than it did a few years ago, but it has lowered its euthanasia rate by 10 percentage points.

Harris County’s compound was built to house 230 animals at a time.  At near breaking point occupancy in April 2015, the facility had 380.

State law mandates a three-day hold for animals to be redeemed by their owners.  After that period, rescue groups may foster pets and try to place them in homes.  Whenever possible, White said, he keeps the animals on site longer, especially if there’s a glimmer of interest in adoption.

When dog and cat breeding reaches its peak in the spring, the number of puppies and kittens arriving at shelters rises, making it harder for older pets to get adopted.  Last week, the shelter’s cages and kennels were overflowing, with as many as six kittens or six dogs to a cage.

Many pets get left behind when tenants are evicted.  Some wander off, and their owners never retrieve them.  Some dogs arrive covered in motor oil, or wearing collars that are choking them because they were put on when they were puppies and they have outgrown them.

“This isn’t about politics, this is about a community problem,” Shah said.   “We can’t say, ‘At this time we are not taking any more animals.’ …  We can’t say, ‘We’re not going to accept injured ones’ or ‘We’re not going to take the funny looking ones.’   We’re going to take all comers.”

Monica Schmidt, public relations manager for the Houston Humane Society, noted that pet overpopulation is a problem on a broad scale because of a pervasive mind set:  “There’s a big difference between a stray problem and an irresponsible owner problem.  You get reasons like, ‘I’m moving.’   Or I didn’t spay and neuter them and now I have too many.'”

For the situation to improve, she said, the basic idea of pet ownership has to change.

Government facilities around the country and in Texas are overwhelmed, said Joanne Jackson, director of operations at Citizens for Animal Protection.  “They have to take animals in, and they don’t have the flexibility of a private place that can pick and choose,” Jackson said.

White said the more crowded quarters become at his facility, the greater the risk of disease like the bout of distemper that spread among the dogs last year.

There has been some progress in addressing the overflow.  The operating budget for animal control has increased 28 percent in the past three fiscal years.  Animal control has proposed two capital improvement projects for this coming year: a partial expansion of the shelter, which includes a new education and adoption building behind the facility, and a project to replace the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in the kennel area.

Jackson, whose group collects animals to foster from the county shelter and from BARC, said the county facility faces the additional hurdle of being in a somewhat remote area in north Houston.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Jack Mormon said he made the trip out to Canino Road two Christmases ago with his daughter and they adopted the mixed breed puppy she named Snowflake.  “Back then it wasn’t nearly as crowded as now,” Mormon said.  “It seemed they were at capacity.  I know they’ve got them stacked everywhere and it’s a problem, but I think they’re operating as well as possible with their limited conditions.”

White joined the staff as the center’s infectious disease specialist in 2010.  He assumed leadership of the facility in 2013.

The former director, Dr. Dawn Blackmar, retired amid reports of inhumane and unorthodox euthanasia practices at the facility.  A 2012 report by the county attorney’s office found that caregivers under Blackmar had re-used hypodermic needles and left containers of the euthanasia drug Fatal Plus unsecured.

The report said employees had been euthanizing dogs and stockpiling carcasses in view of live animals waiting to be euthanized – a violation of protocol.  The county attorney’s investigation also confirmed allegations that animals, including some that had apparently been given the Fatal Plus solution, were found alive inside a freezer.

The shelter now adheres to the mandated protocol, Shah said.   And White has established a reputation as an animal lover.

“I think Dr. White has done a wonderful job.  From what I can tell, he has done a lot to reach out to different rescue groups and organizations to fill in some of the gaps where due to funding or staff they can’t do all they would want to,” said Schmidt of the Humane Society.   “I do think he’s doing a wonderful job.  They have a lot of staff that care deeply.”

The shelter has added a new puppy yard for adoptions and hopes to open a new surgery wing in a double-wide trailer on the 15,000-square-foot grounds.

Kill rates have also dropped under White.   The euthanasia rate in 2010 including sick, injured and aggressive animals was nearly 84 percent.  By 2014, the rate had dropped to 71 percent.

“It breaks our hearts to have to euthanize,” White said.   “We are an open-door shelter.  They say we euthanize for convenience.  That’s hurtful.  We want to save every animal.”

 

 

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