Concerns Mounting Regarding Ultimate Fate of Hurricane Harvey Dogs Rescued by Houston SPCA

 

In the aftermath of the Hurricane Harvey disaster on the Texas Gulf Coast, hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations, as well as supplies, volunteers and animal advocacy groups have poured into all of the affected areas to assist with the care of rescued animals.  Alarms are being raised, however, regarding one group, the Houston SPCA, with regard to their long term plans for the fate of pit bulls and “bully” breeds rescued from the flood waters in the Beaumont area.

As Hurricane Harvey left Houston and began moving east, Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange, TX became dangerously flooded, and rescued dogs, cats and other small animals were brought to the Ford Center in Beaumont for temporary shelter.  There, multiple rescue organizations’ staff and volunteers, including Houston Pets Alive!, Austin Pets Alive!, Best Friends Animal Society and others cared for the animals as they came in.  On September 2, the Houston SPCA was granted a Memorandum of Understanding by city officials and assumed overall control and authority for operations within the Ford Center.  According to Melanie DeAeth, President and Founder of True Blue Animal Rescue, a 501c3 non-profit all breed, no- kill shelter in Brenham, TX, the Houston SPCA has long been criticized by animal advocacy groups for a lack of transparency and questionable policies regarding the adoption and placement of “pit bull type” dogs.  It should be noted that the Houston SPCA is not affiliated with ASPCA or any other SPCA in Texas.

According to the Best Friends Animal Society blog, their organization contacted Houston SPCA president, Patti Mercer and offered to assist with the care and reunion efforts of the animals being housed in the Ford Center.  The offer was declined.  When pressed, Ms. Mercer did verbally agree to at least a 30 day hold for the animals to be reunited with their owners, but declined to give any further details regarding long term plans for any animals not picked up by their owners within the 30 day holding period.  According to DeAeth, who was among those who collected supplies for the shelter and volunteered on site, there were approximately 70 pit bulls or pit bull types in the Ford Center as of Sept. 2. The fear among animal advocates is that they will be euthanized regardless of health status or temperament.

Investigative journalist, “Watchdog Mary,”, Mary Schwager is posting on her Facebook page that the Houston SPCA agreed, and then declined, an interview with her. Ms. Schwager is also reporting that HSPCA declined to answer in writing a list of questions she submitted to them.

The Best Friends Animal Society is circulating an internet petition asking the Houston SPCA to guarantee a long term, life -saving commitment to the Harvey animals. As of this writing, the petition has approximately 110,000 signatures. Austin Pets Alive! has shared the petition on their Facebook page and “stands with Best Friends Animal Society . . . . . to hold the Houston SPCA accountable by committing to life saving guarantees for animals rescued from Hurricane Harvey”.

As a representative of True Blue Animal Rescue, DeAeth emailed the Houston SPCA asking to become a rescue partner with them. This partnership would allow them to transfer bully breed dogs that are not claimed by their owners into True Blue Animal Rescue in the same way that they transfer dogs from many other shelters. Adding Houston SPCA to their list would give a chance to the unclaimed pit bull type dogs at The Ford Center in Beaumont, Texas.

“I love all animals”, said DeAeth. “After Hurricane Katrina, I volunteered for displaced animals at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center and I rescued a litter of pit bull puppies.  I found homes for all but one male. I kept him and named him Lamar.  He is 13 years old now and the biggest goofball. Pitbulls are  wonderful dogs and they deserve a chance to find loving forever homes. That is what we want for the dogs in Beaumont.”

 

Texas Unites for Animals 2017

Every year TBAR members join many other animal welfare advocates at the Texas Unites for Animals conference in Austin, Texas. This year we had two members attend 10 classes over this three day event. They learned a lot about rescue, laws, foster program improvement, marketing and social media, the humane abuse / violence connection and how to manage and develop shelter or rescue structure and management.

On the lighter side there were mixers and socials every night giving us the opportunity to win prizes and meet lots of other rescuers and shelter workers.

From Amy: I attended several workshops, won some prizes, learned some valuable information, gained some knowledge about new products out in the world, got 6 free t-shirts and tons of other free goodies. There were 81 vendors this year ranging from big places like ASPCA, Petsmart, Petco, & Pet Finder and then smaller vendors that sell flea products, shelter cleaning products, t-shirts, grabbers & catchers, cages, trailers, online universities, cat products, dog products, microchips & readers, and so much more that I’m missing. Breakfast, snacks, & lunches were provided as well as discounted rates for the hotel rooms. Social events were held all 3 nights. It is a great experience to have if you’ve never been and lots of valuable information. Can’t wait for next year when they celebrate their 10 yr anniversary.

One of the first things we’d like to implement is the new foster home ideas. We would like to invite foster homes that can’t foster long term but do have a few hours or even days to give to an animal that’s living in a kennel some time and attention. Do you have an hour or two on the weekend and you’d like to share some adventure with a foster pet? All approve foster homes can come to the main foster home and pick up a kennel dog and take him or her out for an adventure. What kinds of things would bring joy into the eyes of a rescue pet? A trip to the dog park, walk through a neighborhood or even some time in Petsmart picking out toys. The foster home’s job would be to have fun and to take new pics of the foster pet to use in social media and newsletters to help find that one a home.

Even a few hours would be wonderful but we’d also like to encourage overnight stays and even a weekend depending on the foster home’s availability.

RIP Don Werlinger

We lost a very special foster home and True Blue Rescue member this year. Don Werlinger passed away suddenly and well before his time. He will be greatly missed but also remembered through this special gift from Karlene. Thank you for donating this saddle in Don’s memory. Every time a child rides in our Animals Bridge Love and Education program we will think of Don and remember his generous spirit and kindness as a horse foster home. RIP good friend.

Brownies 09045 Return to Help TBAR


The Brownie troop that came to learn about and spend time with our rescue animals sent us the sweetest rescue card and girl scout cookies to thank us for having them out! That made our day. What a great group of girls!!

A gift for dogs

A very special friend came out and delivered some amazing dog treats for the dogs at True Blue Animal Rescue. These are all natural and long lasting treats that made the dogs very happy! They are quietly chewing and enjoying their special treats and wanted to say Thank You for your thoughtful gift.

Brownie troop TBAR visit

These compassionate girls from Brownie troop 09045 brought food and treats for the animals of True Blue Animal Rescue and then had some fun interacting with and learning about them.

Fundraiser: Cover For the Dogs

True Blue Animal Rescue is a 501c3 non profit organization that takes in abused and neglected dogs, rehabilitates them and finds them new homes.

We have outdoor kennels and play yards for the dogs to exercise in. The kennels have tarp covers that keep them dry but they are still out in the elements for the most part. It doesn’t get cold often in Texas but when it does the dogs go in their dog houses to stay warm. The hardest weather for the dogs is the heat. The tarps provide cover but just not enough to really give them good shade. In addition the tarps often rip and have to be replaced.

A good solid roof would give the dogs more shade coverage to help keep them cooler and protected from the rain. From this well built structure we can build walls to enclose this building and we can add heat and air conditioning for the dogs.

It will cost $10,000 to have the structure and tin roof built over the kennels. This will improve the lives of the hundreds of rescue dogs that we take in each year.

You can donate at GoFundMe. Thank you for your support. All donations are appreciated and all donations are tax deductible.

Volunteers needed!

Would you like to help us save more animals? True Blue Animal Rescue needs volunteers to help do inspections for potential horse adoptions. Right now we have two pending horse adoptions that are on hold until someone can go out and inspect the property. It’s our policy to have a non biased volunteer go out and take pictures of the property but we don’t have people in all areas. If you’re in the Dallas area or the San Marcos area and would like to help, please email help@t-bar.org and let us know.

Other ways you can help:

□ Events (Fundraisers, Adoption Days, Horse Days, etc.)
□ Foster Home (Circle all that apply: dog, cat, horse) (Transport for vaccines, treatment, adoption days)
□ Adoption Coordination (Matching fostered animals with adoptive families)
□ Education & Outreach (Kid Camps, Networking, Investigation, Outreach)
□ Animal Care & Transportation (To/From vet appointments, events, adoptive homes)
□ Marketing (Website/Social Media, Press Releases, Marketing Plans, Physical Media, etc.)
□ Fundraising & Donations (Increase donor base, Collect donated items, Fundraising events, etc.)
□ Inspections (Visiting with potential adopters to see if their facility is safe for animals)

Email us and ask for a volunteer application if you’d like to be part of the True Blue team. help@t-bar.org

Donation from Emery!

We had another visit from one of our favorite friends. This young lady collected food for the animals again and made the trip out to deliver it in person. Thank you Emery for another great supply of horse feed, dog food and dog treats! You are making a difference in the lives of animals!

Rescue strays need donations

These two stray horses found a foster home but still need our help. The paint needs to be gelded and the sorrel is a senior horse that needs his teeth floated and hooves trimmed too. On top of that they both need to gain lots of weight. The vet scored the sorrel as a 1.5 at best and the paint is not much more than a 2.5 out of 10. That means they have hundreds of pounds to gain to be healthy. Donate to help with their care on our facebook page or website.