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One of my Dad's favorite sayings was "Knowledge is power!" This page is about what we can all do to help save more of Houston's homeless and abused animals and why spaying or neutering your pet is such an important part of responsible pet ownership!

Houston Area Shelters Offering Pets For Adoption and/or Low Cost Spay and Neuter Services 

HOUSTON-AREA SHELTERS & Breed Rescue Groups

For a complete list go to:  Houston Area Animal Shelters

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Houston Humane Society: 14700 Almeda, 713-433-6421. Adoptions and public clinic (The Wellness Center) that does spaying and neutering for $30. In addition, free spaying and neutering is available to those on public assistance.

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Spay-Neuter Assistance Program: 1603 Shepherd, Houston, 713-863-0010. Public clinic performs spaying and neutering and chemical sterilization.  SNAP's mobile clinic, 713-522-2337, provides free spaying and neutering to those on many types of public assistance.

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Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: 900 Portway, 713-869-7722. The local SPCA provides free spaying and neutering to those on many types of public assistance; appointments can be made by calling 713-869-7722, ext. 134, on Thursdays 4-7 p.m.

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Citizens for Animal Protection: 11925 Katy Freeway, 281-497-0591, adoptions.

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Harris County Rabies and Animal Control (county shelter): 612 Canino, 281-999-3191. Adoptions. A link to photos and descriptions of animals picked up by the county or put up for adoption at the shelter can be found at www.countypets.com/.

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Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care (BARC/city shelter): 2700 Evella, 713-238-9600. Adoptions.

 

Breed Rescue

 

What breed rescue is:   Breed rescue programs provide help for unwanted, abandoned, lost and abused pets.

 

To adopt a German Shepherd Dog, contact:

 

http://www.ghgsdr.org/

 

www.austingermanshepherdrescue.org

 

To adopt a Lab, contact: Southeast Texas Labrador Retriever Rescue: http://www.txlabrescue.org/index.php

 

 

To adopt a Border Collie, contact: www.bcrescuetexas.org.

 

To adopt a mixed breed contact any of the Houston shelters listed above or : Baytown Humane Society (281) 424-3103

www.BaytownHumaneSociety.org

 

Friends of BARC is looking for help in its mission of assisting the city Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care. What the group does: Helps BARC find homes for animals by bringing them to pet stores on Saturdays for possible adoption; also raises money for BARC to buy items not in the budget. How to help: E-mail Friends of BARC President Leigh Hollyer at dog@uh.edu.

I have long felt that if my fellow Houstonians only knew how many animals are suffering and dying right here in our own city and county, because of pet overpopulation and lack of responsible ownership, we would band together to prevent this awful waste of life.  This is a tragic problem, but one with a solution!  We should all commend the Houston Chronicle and reporter Bill Murphy for the recent series of articles that is at long last shining a light on the plight of homeless animals in our community.  The bible says that "a just man cares for his animals."  Likewise, a humane society and community must care for its animals.

The Numbers

More than 80,000 of the more than 100,000 animals that come into the five primary (Harris County) shelters annually are killed...About 80 percent of the dogs and cats killed last year were healthy, said veterinarian Dawn Blackmar, the county shelter's director." 

Many good people imagine they can bring their problem pets to the local shelter and the pet will be adopted to a good home.  However, the number of potential adoptive homes do not begin to equal the number of surrendered pets added to the number of street strays.  Here is the reality:  According to recent stories in the Houston Chronicle, "Harris County has five primary shelters, operated by the county, the city of Houston, the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Houston Humane Society, and Citizens for Animal Protection..."The five shelters, along with veterinary offices, last year sent more than 1,000 tons of euthanized animals to landfills...in 2002, the Houston SPCA saw 28,863 animals killed, or 68 percent of the 42,420 pets it received. The other four facilities killed more than 53,000 animals (in 2003), or 80 percent of the 66,624 dogs and cats received."

What You Can Do

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Spay and neuter your own pets and urge your friends and family to do the same.

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Protect Your Own Dog--Wearing ID tags can save your dog's life!  Tags can save you and your dog a world of grief!  To protect your dog, keep a well-fitting buckle collar and ID tags on your dog at all times (even if it is "strictly a house-dog"). At most Petsmart, PetCo and Wal-Mart stores there are machines available to make on-the-spot collar I.D. tags.  ID tags are the most important form of identification to use and should be your first priority.  Check the tags frequently to make sure they are secure. Holly & Monty wear metal tags that thread through the collar so they can't break off; order them from: http://www.gotags.com/.  In addition to tags, consider adding some additional identification;  on light-colored cloth collars or plastic collars you can write your name and phone number in indelible marker, or you can special order a collar with your name and phone number embroidered on it.  To add permanent ID, consider a tattoo plus the Home Again or Avid microchip which is available from your veterinarian. These chips include tags that go on the dog's collar and a 24-hour referral number.  

What Else You Can Do

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Report animal abuse--call the Houston Humane Society at 713-433-6421 or email raider@houstonhumane.org

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Consider adopting a shelter animal (see list of area shelters and some breed rescue groups in next box) .

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Make a donation, or better yet, make regular donations to one of the shelters listed in the next box.

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Volunteer with Friends of BARC (city pound), the most needy of the five shelters.

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Call or write or email letters of support to any media source/reporter that brings the plight of homeless pets to public attention--let them know you care about this issue and appreciate their efforts. 

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Attend a meeting of County Commissioners Court and voice your support for budgeting for animal welfare, i.e. new facilities, improved staffing and educational, training and spay/neuter programs.  Contact the City of Houston Mayor's office with the same message.  (See contact information box).

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Urge the Houston's civic minded community to help us all do better by Houston's homeless animals. 

Community Solutions 

Folks, it's not rocket science--we really already know what needs to be done.  We need local media to build public awareness of the problem by following the lead of the Houston Chronicle and of KPRC-TV Local 2. We need personal commitment that translates into volunteer time and money.   Finally, we need some community leaders with clout who will step up to the plate and push along some major private fund raising efforts while lobbying our public officials to budget funds to meet the following goals:

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Improved coordination between area shelters.

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Implementation of effective spay and neuter campaigns.

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New facilities for our outmoded shelters--if we can come up with new sports stadiums surely we can find a way to finance more humane and modern animal shelters.

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Improved staffing and educational opportunities for shelter staff.

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Public programs offered through our shelters to: promote adoption of shelter animals; educate the public about responsible pet ownership;  provide dog training classes for adopted animals; recruit ongoing volunteer support.

Additional Contact Information

To contact Chronicle:
Main Switchboard:
713-220-7171
Address: Houston Chronicle, 801 Texas Ave. Houston, Texas 77002
To contact Web site:  Phone: 713-220-2700
E-mail: online@chron.com  or letters to the editor at viewpointsA@chron.com

To contact Judge Eckels:  judge_eckels@co.harris.tx.us
1001 Preston, Suite 911, Houston, TX 77002
713-755-4000

Commissioners Court meets every other Tues.  To sign up to speak, call 713-755-5113.

Mayor's Office-City of Houston: 713-742-1460

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