Category Archives: adoption

Our Weekend Adoption Center – A Magical Place

Not convinced about volunteering and helping out at your local shelter or rescue?  Please read this story shared by Larry from Blue Moon Cat Sanctuary and you’ll see part of the reason that makes rescues and shelters such a magical places!

“There is one more very important point I would like to make regarding the ‘Passion’  behind what we do here.  For many years we celebrated the number of adoptions we had.  We looked forward to filing the new vacancies with more surrendered cats and kittens.  This was always a measure of our success.
Then it occurred to us one day what was really being accomplished.

During one of our in-store adoption events at the Fayetteville Arkansas Petco Store, a young family entered the store. That Saturday afternoon was obscure and uneventful until the young girl and her parents approached us. The youngster quietly asked if she could hold one of our kittens. Her parents, standing behind her, looked at us and nodded with approval.

We opened the cage door and gently handed the young girl a 12 week old kitten.  It may have been the very first time she had actually held a live, breathing and moving animal.  We watched as her small hands trembled with some uncertainty.  Her shy and somewhat frightened look gradually turned to an innocent but pleasant smile.  She looked to her parents for approval.  They returned the smile and a few minutes later adopted the young kitten.

It was not until that Saturday afternoon several years ago that we realized we were doing so much more than saving lives and finding homes for unwanted and abandoned cats and kittens.  We were playing a role, along with their parents, in teaching children some of the most important values they will carry with them all their lives.  We are taking part in teaching compassion, responsibility, and a love for all of God’s precious creatures.  Sure, we just ‘had another adoption.’
But what did we really accomplish?
We are also impacting families, changing lives, touching the hearts and minds of children and giving them the positive values they will carry with them their entire life.”

BECKETT new family

Beckett with his new family

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Harris County Shelter – The days of Harvey

Just because we’re in the middle of a hurricane, doesn’t mean the animal shelters can shut down.  Harris County animal shelter put out a plea for volunteers to help, so 4 of us from K-9 Angels Rescue – Houston, TX showed up this morning to clean.  Best way to get over my hurricane hangover 

Instead of hunkering down at home with their families, the shelter has a skeleton crew to care for and monitor the cats and dogs stuck there during this bad weather.  The staff even has several people spending the night at the shelter every night until the storm passes.  If that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is.  I don’t know many people that would be willing to do that, yet they were all smiles, as usual, because these animals are their passion.

The amazing HCPH staff cares so much for these homeless, unwanted, discarded and forgotten animals, but we can’t get cats adopted at all.  The adoption fee is $0 this month. They’re free.  Fully vetted – fixed, chipped, vaccinated.
65 cats are ready to go.  Nobody wants them.  They literally can’t give them away.

Please tell your friends to go adopt a cat and save a life.  It’s heartbreaking seeing these beautiful animals counting down their days in such a terrifying place.  Because the truth is that there won’t be space to hold them forever.  And more just keep coming in.

If we can get on the road in the morning, we’re going to clean again.  If you’re a current HCPH volunteer, we’d love you to come help.  It’s the least we can do.

By Melissa Carson
with Mary Tipton, Natalie Freed Yeager, Randall Kissling, April Herrera, Kiersten Thoma

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baby Ari

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It was 5:30 pm CT, only minutes before closing, when a man walked into the Harris County animal shelter holding a shoebox. The staff would begin the lengthy task of getting everyone settled for the night. But inside the box was a single puppy.
Immediately, the veterinarian team stopped what they were doing and went to work on her.

This puppy was lifeless. She laid still but her skin crawled with fleas. She had several recent puncture wounds on her neck, and many old ones along her shoulders and back.
They scrubbed away the puss and sores and loaded her up with antibiotics.
Her stomach was bigger than she was – filled with intestinal parasites.
As soon as K-9 Angels saw her, we knew we had to give her a chance.
This tiny, grey baby couldn’t even stand up, but the fear in her eyes was all we needed to see.

She had absolutely no muscle mass and could only drag her back legs.
At only 4-5 weeks old she should still be nursing from her momma, but she was now on her own. She was pooping straight blood, even though her parvo test was negative.
The vet staff recommended she be bottle fed to help regain some strength and ensure she receives around the clock nourishment. So she’s now with one of our most experienced bottle baby feeders (also Fuzz Buzz’s foster mama)!
After just a few hours of feedings and medications, she’s able to stand and walk somewhat. She’s not able to lift herself from sitting, but with help she can get up and move! Her strength shows that she is ready for the battle ahead, and we need to be there to support her.
Soon we will find out the full extent of what’s going on internally. At just under 2 pounds and with such terrible malnutrition, she has a long road to recovery.
She doesn’t have a name yet, but for now we are calling her “baby Ari” after her foster sister (and look-a-like.) Her big sister Ari is the only one she would stand up and walk to… she’s desperate for a dog mother.

If you’d like to help with baby Ari’s recovery, please consider making a donation.
Even the smallest amount will help: …
Through this special link every penny of your donation is passed on to us (no transaction fees!)

When we get the tests back from the vet we’ll know whether she can be saved. Right now we’re just hoping she has the strength to go on. We’ll be as strong as she is.

Follow baby Ari’s updates on our Facebook page:

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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.

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#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!

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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

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2015 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, 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 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 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 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

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

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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