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.”

 

Francesca resuced!

June 9 Update:

Skin scrape came back negative so we get to hug and love on her now! Hooray!
She got her rabies shot and more medicine for her eye too. When she goes in to get spayed in a month Dr Panko can fix her eye which healed split causing the lashes to keep irritating it. He’ll check for mammary tumors then too but after palpating them he thinks it’s just callus related due to having mange for all these years. 10 years is a long time to suffer. Please don’t look the other way, help an animal in need if you see them suffering. No living being deserves to suffer and animals can’t get help unless we step in. Be a doer in life, not a by-passer.

June 8 Update:

Francesca got another medicated shampoo bath yesterday. Now we’re off to the vet today to check her skin and see if she’s mange free. She’s much more comfortable than she was in the streets but she still has that stray dog walk and stance where she seems to be looking in every direction to make sure she’s safe and nobody is going to hurt her. I can’t wait till she finally realizes that she’s safe and can be content for the rest of her life. Please donate toward Francesca’s vet bill at www.t-bar.org or PO Box 1107, Brenham, TX 77834. She still needs shots, spay and biopsy’s on her mammary tumors.

June 1 Update:

It’s been a week since Francesca came to us. She’s been to the vet and was prescribed doxy and ivomectrin to fight the mange, heartworms and skin and eye infection. She is better but she didn’t get this way overnight so it’s going to take some time for her to fully recover. We’ll take her back to the vet next week for another skin scrape and check up. Hopefully she can get her shots then too.

She was living in a depressed area with a large stray population where residents don’t have the means to take them all in, so they feed them in place.

She has sarcoptic mange, an ulcer in her eye and skin infections, but she will fully recover. We’re treating her for all of that and then we’ll go back for shots and to check for tumors and get her spayed. She is off the streets for the first time in 10 years. If you’d like to donate to her care you can donate through Paypal or mail checks to:

True Blue Animal Rescue

PO Box 1107

Brenham, TX. 77834

Rescued Dog Cletus

Dale is comforting Cletus at the vet today to let him know that we’re here for him no matter what. We accepted him into TBAR in October 2016 and he had skin issues then. We had his skin scraped and he tested negative for any mange or mites so the vet treated him for skin infections and he improved. When we stopped the antibiotics it all came back worse than ever so we went back to the vet for more testing and it turned out that he had an aggressive yeast infection. He was itchy, scabbed up and swollen. We then started an aggressive antibiotic fight against this infection and this is Cletus today. His infection isn’t gone but he’s winning the fight. We have another months worth of antibiotics and special shampoo to bath him in. Hopefully he’ll get a clean bill of health when we go back next month. It’s been a struggle but he’s worth it. Please donate toward Cletus’s vet bill www.t-bar.org or PO Box 1107, Brenham, TX 77834

Foster homes needed June 2017

These pups need foster homes. Their mama was a stray and had 10 babies. We’d like to split them up into several different foster homes. They’ll have first shots and be ready to go in a few days. If you can foster one or two, email us at help@t-bar.org
If you can’t foster or adopt, please share.

Speckles adopted

This young man met Speckles at an adoption day and fell in love. Now she has a boy of her own and even gets to sleep on a bed!

Carnival at the Dog Park 2017

It was a gorgeous day for the Carnival at the Dog Park,  hosted by Animal Friends of Washington County.

Several local businesses in Brenham come out for the event. There were giant turtles, snakes, longhorn cows for people to pet and ride along with police dog search and rescue demonstrations. Animal Friends of Washington Co hosts this event each year right outside of the clinic inside the wonderful new dog park on Hwy 36. They provide free food, drinks, and music from local bands. All of our dogs had fun and got plenty of attention, and one of our dogs found her forever home and was adopted.

Dog Adopted: Lilibit

We’re happy to announce that Teddy Bear, now named Lilbit, is adopted! Here she is in her new Mom’s arms. She gets along great with her older and bigger siblings too. Congratulations to the new family and to Lilbit! Adopt don’t shop. www.t-bar.org

Pets for Less Stress May 2017

During finals week Blinn College Brenham Office of Student Leadership and Activities hosts several events to help students get a break from the stress. One of these events is the opportunity to pet dogs, and this year a horse! TBAR loves working with Blinn SLA on this project.

True Blue Animal Rescue members brought a horse and several dogs to Blinn College in Brenham during their Buccaneer Blackout exam week. The animals are a fun way for the students to de-stress and relax so they’ll be able to continue with exams the following day. David Michener, Director or student leadership and activities, coordinated this event, called ‘Pets for Less Stress’ at Blinn. True Blue Animal Rescue is proud to support the community in this fun and innovative way.

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.

Willie cat and the Brownie troop

Here’s a special photo shoot of Willie, the lovable cat at TBAR. He’s always front and center when we have visitors and as you can see, he was a big hit with the Brownie troop too!