Category Archives: adopting

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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Nobody’s Dog

NOBODY’S DOG
. . .
Today is the death day of nobody’s dog
Nothing will mark it but a note in the log
I’m faceless and nameless and no tears will fall
For I know in your world I have no worth at all
To you, my sweet someone, I’m a friend and a dear
We ran the wind daily and you held me so near
But the gate was left open – I chanced a walk on my own
I’d have cowered in fear if only I’d knownI know how you cried on the night that I strayed
I know how you searched, I know how you prayed
But I went to a pound far far from our home
Where I crouched in despair in my kennel aloneI know that you phoned for I heard your dear voice
And I hoped you would hear me so I barked myself hoarse
Although I’m a Lab cross with stockings all white
On their form I’m a Staff cross – the description’s not rightSo they said I’m not here and I sank to my bed
My kennel cough’s worse and I can’t raise my head
The rescue came yesterday but they hadn’t a place
For an un-neutered cross breed with his mucus-streaked faceIf only you’d come to search for me here
You would have known me at once, you would have sensed I was near
You would have sorted my ills, you would have carried me home
And I promise our God no more would I roamNow my eyes plead for mercy for my seven days are done
And I am waiting with dread for the final vet run
No arms will caress me as they inject me to death
No words will comfort me as I take my last breathWhen the body man comes, it is fitting I’m found
In a bin bag in the freezer in the depths of the pound
Thrown away like the rubbish – no respect and no shame
Denied even the time to find you againMy loyalty and devotion they did cruelly betray
Without microchip or nametag, I am just a dispensable stray
Once waggy-tailed, once proud, beloved and free
Oh Dad look with pain at what mankind’s done to me!* * * / / * * *

Did you know ? . . . when a dog’s owner relinquishes the dog to either B.A.R.C (Houston city-funded) or the Harris County shelter or either of the non-profits: Houston Humane Society (HHS),  Houston SPCA (HSPCA) or Citizens for Animal Protection (CAP), the shelter is not required to hold the dog for ANY period of time.  Based on the shelter’s discretion, an owner-surrendered dog may even be killed the same day it is turned in.

 Are you fuming yet?  Try handling these facts.

 

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5 Reasons Kill ‘Shelters’ Don’t Work

There’s nothing closer to people than their companion pets.  We’re responsible for their very existence.  Yet there’s nothing more betraying to a dog or cat’s loyalty than for them to end up at a pound to be killed in return for their unconditional love.  We’ve been brainwashed that “killing is saving” so we kill healthy adoptable pets if there are “too many.”  We’ve never stepped outside the cage to ask what’s “too many pets?”  Nor do we think of alternative ways to find homes for pets without killing.

For example, there are 4.2 million people living in Los Angeles and 45,000 shelter pets killed there per year. That’s only one percent of the population.  Similarly, there are 316.1 million people that live in the U.S. and three to four million pets killed in pounds nationwide; that’s also a little over one percent of the population.  So why kill pets when we could think about housing them?  Why are we the only country that has kill pounds?

Pounds don’t work because:

  1. They’re run by the health department.  Their catch and kill technique is an easy and quick way to keep cities disease-free.
  2. Pounds manage themselves.  They don’t have to answer to anyone so no one enforces laws like spay/neuter laws.
  3. Killing doesn’t lower the number of pets, instead it opens a window for puppy mills, kitten mills, pet shops, and internet backyard breeders.
  4. Pounds aren’t “shelters”; they’re a place to throw away a pet.  If they never existed, people would think twice about getting a pet.
  5. Laws protect pounds so that they don’t have to disclose facts.  Like this one: there’s a 50 to 99 percent chance of the animal being killed.  In most pounds we’ve volunteered at, pets are dragged to the “bump room” unsedated, and killed with a heart stick.  This isn’t “humane euthanasia.”

(via No Kill Advocacy)

Our goal is to make shelters no-kill or to privatize them.  Let’s tell our local representatives that the cities would save taxes and lower pet numbers by having:

Let’s stop the broken cycle of killing and promote volunteer-based no-kill rescues.  Let’s rewire the brain to a “pro-live” movement and find new, creative ways to help homeless animals.  Animal rights activists should fight for the animals’ right to live, not the right to kill them.

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10 Reasons Why Adopting A Rescue Dog Is Awesome

1. You will save a life. 2.7 million dogs are euthanized in shelters each year. 

(Reddit: Skyote)

2. Rescue dogs can make incredible transformations when they are adopted into loving homes. 

(Reddit: Binarium)

3. Most rescue dogs are relinquished for reasons that have nothing to do with behavioral problems, and they are generally quite loving and gentle. 

(Reddit: CzechThisOut)

4. When you rescue a canine, you’ll never want for cuddles.

(Reddit: piratesgoyarr)

5. If you adopt a dog, you’ll be giving him the gift of new adventures and exploration.

(Reddit: irr1449)

6. Your other animals might actually be grateful to have a new pal, as shelter dogs often get quite a bit of socialization before they’re adopted.

(Reddit: chikachikabow)

7. Every dog has an amazing personality all his own.

(Reddit: corbantd)

8. Dogs at shelters come in all shapes and sizes!

(Reddit: holymolym)

9. Choosing rescue dogs means that you won’t be supporting inhumane puppy mills

(Reddit: rmkensington)

10. When you adopt a rescue dog, you’ve got a best friend for life.

(Reddit: logically)

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How Human Love Saved A Dog Who’s Allergic To People

A friendly stray dog who was found to be suffering from a mysterious skin condition is being given a new chance at a normal life — thanks to the tireless dedication of his rescuers.

When Robin Herman, who runs Lucky Dog Retreat Rescue, Inc. in Indianapolis, Ind. first saw the patchy-haired black lab named Adam, she knew she had to try and help him.  She and her staff had had success treating dogs with skin conditions in the past, so she suspected that all the young dog needed was someone patient enough to find the cause of the problem.

“For the most part, it’s just a matter of feeding them good food and giving them a stress-free environment,” Herman told The Dodo. “They usually heal up pretty quickly.”

(Facebook/Lucky Dog Retreat Rescue, Inc.)

The rescue center fed the dog a clean diet and gave him frequent medicated baths, but even after six weeks of special treatment, his skin condition failed to improve.  Meanwhile, Adam had to live full-time wearing a cone, or else he’d bite and scratch at his irritated skin until it was raw and bloody.

Herman and her staff were at a loss, though undeterred in their commitment to find a solution.  That’s when Adam’s veterinarian recommended that a blood test be done to see if there might be something in the environment that was causing an allergic reaction.

When the results came back, Herman could hardly believe it.  As it turns out, Adam did have an allergy — to people.

“I laughed. I thought the vet was kidding.  The vet said she wasn’t, and I laughed again,” says Herman.  “Then she explained that just like people can be allergic to dog dander, dogs can be allergic to human dander.  She was surprised too.  She’d never seen it before.”

(Facebook/Lucky Dog Retreat Rescue, Inc.)

To those who’d tried so long to make Adam better, it suddenly made sense.  All the time and attention they’d devoted to trying to care for him had actually been making him sick.  But now that they know what is wrong, they have a better idea of how to treat him.

Adam will soon start treatment with blood serum created just for him which will hopefully help his body build up a tolerance to the human dander allergy.  Both Herman and her vet are optimistic that he’ll get better — better enough to live a normal life with a family that loves him as much as they do.

“We just want to make him comfortable, so he doesn’t have to live in a cone.  Once we get there, God willing, we’ll find him a home,” says Herman, noting that Adam seems as eager to get well despite all the challenges.

“As long as he wants to keep going at it, we’ll keep going at it with him.  He’s just too sweet and funny…  He’s a special little dog.”

* * * * * * *   Source  * * * * * * *

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Making the Commitment

 

To future dog owners or anyone who is considering adopting/rescuing/purchasing a dog.  It’s important to know that you are potentially making a 15 year commitment.

Dogs are like children, they require lots of time, patience, and love.  When a child acts out would you drop them off at a shelter?  Then why would you consider surrendering a dog?

Dogs can be very expensive, they may require training, medical needs, multiple vet visits, food, and of course toys to keep them occupied.  Puppies are adorable, but don’t for one second think its going to be easy, potty training and chewing behaviors can be extremely challenging.  

Dogs cannot be left alone for days at a time; they depend on their humans to meet their daily needs.  With proper training, time, and care any breed can be the most incredible companion.  They are animals, they have no voice, they cannot tell us what’s wrong or if they are hurt or sick. 

If you allow them, they will be your best friend and loyal protector for life; they are the most amazing creatures.  Shelters here in the US and all over the world are overflowing with animals because of irresponsible people who did not take these things into consideration.  We are their only voice… be their voice.  They deserve a chance.

 

 

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