Click through to read an article by Katherine Driessen for the Houston Chronicle about improvements at BARC, their 80% save rate, and their partnership with RPM. Today we learned that RPM moved 114 cats and 481 dogs out of BARC for a total of 595 saved in April 2015. BARC finished April with a 72.5% live release rate this year! In April 2014 their live release was 64.7% and in 2013 it was 55.7%. Howard Jones was right; things can only get better!
Hippos arrived at BARC as a tiny, week old pup with his mom, Fancy, and his eight brothers and sisters. After a short stay with a foster in Houston, Fancy and pups all went to their Colorado. They spent more than six weeks together with their foster before they were weaned and ready to be spayed/neutered and listed for adoption. Fancy and eight of the pups were adopted immediately.
The last remaining pup had been affectionately named Hippos by his Colorado foster family because he had looked so much like a baby hippo with his white fur and pink skin. A week later, Hippos had an adoption application pending and was due at an adoption event for his Colorado rescue. His foster mom woke up to find a note from her children taped to her door – “We want to keep Hippos!” With his adoption already pending and a house full of animals, his foster mom just couldn’t agree to keep him. They were late, but Hippos went to the adoption event. His foster family went home with lots of tears and a broken heart. A couple of hours later, his foster mom got word that he had not been adopted. The pending adopter had selected another puppy. In her words,
“I was speeding all the way back to get him. It was the best feeling to pick him up and kiss his black nose again. I was so happy. Right there I knew. No matter what, I want to see this pink face, floppy ears, and black nose in my house and not in that crate again. I don’t think I could ever have as many hugs from my kids as that night I told them ‘Hippos got adopted… by us!!’ We were so happy.”
We hope you’ll join us at the opening of the Jack C. Alexander Building on Thursday, April 23, 2015, from 6 PM to 8PM at 2317 West 34th Street, because this movement just keeps on rolling. Who did we move to Colorado last week? We’re glad you asked!
Thank you to all the volunteers, fosters, transporters, drivers, donors, fundraisers, boarders, RPM, BARC, and vet staffs, and our Colorado rescuers for keeping them moving from death row to homes. We need and appreciate you all!
Many times, RPM’s pups and kitties are so busy enjoying their forever homes that we simply receive a quick comment and a photo or two. Here are some quick updates!
Letting Go: The Challenge of a Lifetime
For a few weeks now, I’ve been thinking about another aspect of “Letting Go.” I’ve been exploring what is often my loathing and anger toward the humans who turn in animals to BARC. Most of us have said things like this: “Those people who turn their animals into BARC disgust me”… “How could they be so cruel?”… “I can’t go to BARC. I’ll cuss out those people turning in animals!”
Most of us who have never surrendered a pet can’t understand the situation. We are filled with notions of how we would handle things differently if it were our pet. Our opinions on the matter are a’plenty. We usually have an enormous amount of empathy for the animal, but none for the humans who are turning in. To me, animal rescue is as much about people as it is about animals. People are hurting in Houston. Many are faced with challenges in life that I can not even imagine. They are hurting for love, understanding, responsibility, and knowledge.
I have been trying to live by the motto, “Where one man/woman falls, another must lift him/her up.” Who am I to judge another? Who am I to know the crosses that they bear? We don’t know the shoes that others must wear every day. We can only wear our own and walk beside one another. I don’t believe I make my neighbors better by tearing them down. I can only make them better by modeling a better way and taking their hands. We are truly ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.
Three sentences that a rescue advocate said may change the way that little boy looks at animals and shelters and his fellow man for the rest of his life. His shoes may walk a path of hope instead of heartbreak and despair. There were many things this woman could have said to this family, but she chose to say words that expressed empathy and hope for three Houstonians. That day taught me a lot. It taught me all the good I can do in that lobby of BARC and beyond.
That puppy was adopted a few weeks later from IRESQ in Evergreen, Colorado. He is happy and healthy and loved. My great challenge to everyone at RPM and otherwise is to strive to “Let Go” of the anger and resentment toward the people who are surrendering pets. To look for better, more effective ways to change the hurt that fills so many in this great city we call home: HOUSTON.
Katie Metten Bierne
Rescued Pets Movement Board Member
We haven’t forgotten the dogs and cats who went to Colorado last week. We’ve all been so busy saving more that we’re a little late sharing their photos with you.
None of these wonderful dogs and cats would have made the journey without the generous help of our fosters, transporters, volunteers, donors, staff, drivers, rescuers, BARC, and vets. Thank you for always doing so much to move Houston toward saving them all!