Local charities save forgotten pets
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, we all became aware of the many pet shelters and rescue organizations around our great city which took in the pets that were left behind in the evacuation efforts. Unfortunately, the shelters in Houston are constantly inundated with abandoned and stray animals. Though the first shelters we think of are the SPCA and the Humane Society, there are many animal rescue organizations in and around Houston that offer sanctuary to a variety of animals.
Chihuahua Rescue &Transport Inc. A wonderful group of volunteers dedicated to the rescue, care and adoption of these little furry friends run Chihuahua Rescue &Transport Inc. This nonprofit, public charity is run strictly by volunteers and does not place dogs in a warehouse-style shelter. Instead, Chis are provided with safe, caring foster environments in the homes of dedicated volunteers. The foster parents work with the dogs on housetraining, crate training and socialization while ensuring they feel protected and loved. The little fellers also receive any veterinary care they may require, including being spayed/neutered, fully vaccinated, heartworm tested and placed on a heartworm preventative medication. Known for taking in Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes that are injured, ill and elderly, the group has a strict adoption process. In an effort to reduce the number of dogs returned after adoption, an application, vet and personal reference checks, and home visits are required. (If you are interested in another kind of pup, breed-specific rescue organizations abound.) www.chihuahua-rescue.com
Bunny Buddies Though they don’t have offices or a paid staff, the great people at Bunny Buddies are doing wonders for house rabbits around Houston. A group of dedicated volunteers work out of their homes to make up this Houston-based nonprofit organization. In addition to educating the public about the care of house rabbits, the group provides foster homes to homeless hoppers. Here, they get the exercise and attention they need until a permanent, loving indoor home can be found. Bunny Buddies also works with local shelters to try and save bunnies that are scheduled to be euthanized. All bunnies are spayed or neutered and are either litter-box trained or on their way to being there; and the adoption fee is only $35. www.bunnybuddies.org
Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary The caring volunteers at Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary coordinate with local animal shelters to provide a second chance, for adoption or lifetime sanctuary, to animals scheduled to be euthanized. This exceptional center is a no-kill facility that saves both domestic animals and native Texas wildlife. Noah’s Ark now owns acreage in Cypress, which enables them to care for more animals than ever before. Also, the refuge works with the local FFA and allows children who are unable to house their FFA animals at home to care for it here. Many Boy and Girl Scout troops volunteer at the sanctuary to earn merit badges. Noah’s Ark depends on the generous support of the community to keep the vision alive. In addition to monetary donations and volunteers, Noah’s Ark needs cleaning, office, farm and animal care supplies. www.noahs-ark-sanctuary.org
National Parrot Rescue &Preservation Foundation The knowledgeable volunteers at the NPRPF understand that companion parrots form a very strong bond with their owners and can be traumatized by changes in their environment. As a result, their first goal is to work with parrot owners to try and keep the birds in their original home. When this is not possible, the NPRPF will accept the parrot and search for the best home for the particular bird. While in the care of the NPRPF, the parrots are kept in a beautiful aviary, manned with patient and caring volunteers who provide the best temporary or lifetime home possible. In addition to rescuing, rehabilitating and adopting parrots, the NPRPF sponsors the annual Parrot Festival every winter. This seminar includes avian experts with tips and advice on parrot behavior, nutrition, health and conservation, as well as avian vendors supplying a wealth of products for your fine feathered friend. www.parrotfestival.org