Help! Houston We Have (An Animal) Problem!

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Gail Canny’s rescue cat Mikey.

Jan Glenn’s – Pawsitively  Purrfect –

The Houston area has a big problem. There are too many animals needing homes. The shelters are overflowing, and the overcrowding is getting worse. Help is desperately needed in all areas of the animal rescue world. The four-legged just want someone to give them a second chance, and there are many ways the two-legged can help. Here are some important ways:

1. Donate your time. Volunteering for a shelter is one of the most impactful ways to get involved. Many shelters need help with cleaning and caring for the animals and keeping the facility in good condition. Walking dogs and getting them outside their cages help immensely. Animals need interaction and playtime so they can become less stressed or depressed and become more social when potential adopters come by to look at them. Local large shelters in Houston that need help are BARC (city pound), Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Houston Humane Society and Citizens for Animal Protection (CAP). Petfinder.com is a good source for shelters needing help.

2. Donate your skill. Taking pictures of shelter pets or highlighting one in an adoptable pet video for his shelter profile  can bring attention to a pet needing adoption. These can also be used in a Petfinder.com profile.

3. Donate household items. Shelters usually have a “Wish List” of items they need for everyday operations:

• Clean towels and small blankets
• Clean pet beds
• Flea shampoo
• Tennis balls and rope toys withtennis balls attached
• Wand-type, interactive cat toys and ball-type cat toys
• Natural rawhide chews
• Tough, empty plastic bottles such as Gatorade or bleach bottles
• Paper bags and cardboard boxes
• Newspapers

Clinic Needs:

• New unopened rubbing alcohol
• New unopened hydrogen peroxide
• New unopened toothbrushes

Foster Care Needs:

• Dry Dog, Cat, Kitten or Puppy Food (unopened)
• Kitten and puppy nursing bottles
• Kitten Milk Replacer (KMR) and Puppy Milk Replacer
• Canned and dry cat and dog food (unopened)
• Canned and dry kitten and puppy food (unopened)
• Crates and pet carriers (clean and serviceable)
• Advantage flea and tick medicine
• Cat litter and litter boxes
• Leashes and collars

Facility Beautification Needs:

• Pooper-scoopers and/or large commercial dust pans
• Large containers for plants
• Garden stepping stones

4. Donate money. This can be donated

directly to shelters or rescue groups. BARC works with a non-profit group that helps animals called “Rescued Pets Movement.” They help by transporting some of BARC’s animals to rescue groups in Colorado. They need donations to help with the transports.

5. Foster animals. Rescue groups are always looking for new fosters. Fostering a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have, other than adopting, of course. By taking an animal in temporarily you are freeing up a spot so the shelter or rescue can take in another animal.

6. Help rescue groups with transports. Animals need rides to adoption events or even to other cities to go to their new homes.

7. Get the word out. A friend of mine,

Gail Canny, helps by networking rescue emails. Gail says, “It takes a village to save these animals. By networking, I’m helping with getting information out there about animals in need of rescue. I forward these emails to rescue groups, potential fosters and transporters and then others will forward to their lists and post these animals and pleas to their Facebook pages.” These animals have very limited time to get out of the shelter, and by networking, it gets the word out to as many folks as possible.

8.  Adopt! Adopt! Adopt!

9. Microchip, and tag your pets.

When an intake animal is micro-chipped a shelter will scan the pet and try to locate the owner. Tags may fall off but a chip is permanent.

10. Spay/Neuter. Please do not think that unwanted puppies and kittens can easily find homes. Shelters are full of “oops” litters or backyard breeders’ litters who didn’t get adopted.

There are so many animals out there in need of help. Getting the word out is what this article is about. Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.”