Solving the animal overpopulation crisis
for the benefit of the health, safety, and
quality of life of Houstonians
and homeless animals.
Stories: In the trenches
Story by Cathy Sessums: My husband and I moved to the East End over 15 years ago. We can’t remember the number of dogs we have pulled off the streets, fed, vetted and housed in attempts to find them homes. Sadly, there were some that were so sick and injured, they had to be put down.
We moved in 2013 to a different neighborhood, but the animals keep coming. It seems we live in an area where they like to dump dogs. In the fourteen months since we moved, we have rescued 8 dogs. One was surrendered to BARC, the others were placed in loving homes, there will never be enough loving homes, we preach spay and neuter!
Please don’t stop doing what you do. We help every way we can.
Story by Anonymous: I have three rescue dogs and ache for more every day, just wanting to save one more life off the streets. I see homeless dogs in areas I drive through and feel incredible guilt that I can't just stop and pick them up, as work has to come first. What I wouldn't give to spend my full days rescuing, boarding and vetting dogs. I want to volunteer but find my time so limited, so I end up giving money to rescues as I can afford it, so that they who *do* have the time, can be better equipped to do this incredibly important job.
Story by One Hundred Thousand Hearts: We have been rescuing dogs and cats from our very own street for 12 years and it is never ending. The starving, sick animals have no one to care for them, and in 12 years of rescue, we have only encountered one dog that was spayed, had a microchip, and who was returned. It has been a grueling, costly endeavor to help. I grew up in Houston, and I see the problem getting worse ... more starving animals on the streets, more dead bodies on the roadways.
I have also lived in other cities and I see how proper city leadership can make a difference. People need to be educated on how to properly take care of pets, including spay/neuter and ID. City officials need to acknowledge and take action because *they* can really lead the way by offering widespread city services. My family has taken in dogs and cats, rescued and adopted out dogs and cats, yet sadly, no one alone doing this type of work can solve the crisis we now face in our city. We need individual effort, community effort, and competent political effort. The “rescue” people I know are exhausted. The groups I know are strapped for operating funds. People are finding strays all over the city, and do not know what to do with them. The 610 South Loop and Hwy 288 and surrounding surface streets are regularly covered in road kill. I have 311 for dead animal pick up on my speed dial and in my email. Some say it’s not the city’s fault or responsibility, but ... a government’s first duty is to protect its citizens. The number of dog attacks in Houston is shameful, some are even fatal, with many attacks are on children. The city of Austin has put programs in place that made a difference for their community. My hope is that Houston will also step up.
Story by One Hundred Thousand Hearts: These two photos show the power of what a little bit of medicine, food, and love can do. These two pictures are both Leo, a rescued boy from horrible conditions on our own street. We adopted him because no one else would, people were afraid of him and how he looked. What they did not know is that, he was chained and beaten up by a neighbor and the neighbor's own dog. The neighbor's dog came out of two "fights" with Leo unharmed, because Leo refused to bite back. Leo was the most gentle dog we have ever had the pleasure of helping. He was a kind, thoughtful, loving dog, and we miss him every day. We are so grateful that he did not die on the streets. We are heartbroken for all that do.
Story by Jessica Cole: My name is Jess, and I'm on the very small board of directors for South Side Street Dogs in Houston, TX. I wish I could say I'm strong enough to be living with the Houston overpopulation problem, but I'm not. I live in Vermont. Until this year I'd never been to Texas. I knew Detroit had a problem, but when I heard about Houston through Forgotten Dogs of the 5th Ward, I was in shock. How could there be so many animals (not just dogs and cats too) and so few people knew about it? How? I met Erika Emal through Facebook, and I knew I had to help. Here in VT the spay and neuter message has been pretty well received. If we see an unaltered dog at the park, most of us are quick to ask why the dog is not neutered, and gently try to be informative as to why it is so important. We do indeed have stray animals (our cat showed up at our door one day and never left), but not like Houston.
People ask why I'm helping in a state I don't live in, and with a community in which I am not a member. My answer is always, "how can I not?" I wish I could do more, but we are slowly, surely building our resources to become a full-time rescue. I am so proud of Erika, Megan and Sandro, our volunteers and foster families - together we are working to do what we can, which is all we can do.
Houston, its rescuers, its fosters and adopters, and its homeless and chained animals are in my blood now. They are family. I'm a Canadian living in Vermont, who now seeks every opportunity to help out Houston's animals. Don't tell me you can't or shouldn't help if you don't live there. Be active in rescue locally, and be active in rescue where it's needed most, no matter where you live.
Thanks Unity! You are family too!
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