You want every HSCT dog to find a loving, forever home, right? And you want to help them find that home, but you don’t know what you can do?
How about becoming a volunteer? I know, I know, you’re busy, and you don’t have a lot of time. Plus, going to the shelter and viewing all those dogs in need will make you sad or you’ll want to take them all home, etc. I get it. I felt the same way. I avoided venturing inside the kennels for a long time. I’m not going to lie. My heart does hurt when I meet so many homeless dogs and knowing I can only do so much.
But let me let you in on a secret. Strength grows in numbers. Meaning, joining other volunteers CAN make a huge difference in a small amount of time. Volunteering can turn a dog’s dreams of finding a forever home into a reality.
How? By doing something as simple as spending time with them.
The main requirements shelter dogs need to make them more adoptable are exercise and socialization. Yes, that’s it. Only it’s essential they have both each day.
When I say EVERY dog in the shelter, I do mean every dog. The high energy jumpers, the growlers and yappers, those poor babies who cower in the back, and of course, the calm pups who are waiting patiently for just a kind word.
Most personalities perk up and change the moment they eagerly leave the kennels and that moment is how fast you can make that difference.
Exercise is as effortless as taking a stroll around the grounds. Let’s look at how just walking a dog improves its demeanor.
It strengthens the bond to humans. They will learn to trust easier and quicker. They will also become friendlier when introduced to their new family.
It helps with weight management. A few pups come in overweight, but many stop eating due to stress and lose weight. Exercise will de-stress, and the movement stimulates their appetite, so they’re healthier.
Walking also assists in improving socialization. They get used to meeting new people and see or intermingle with other dogs, readying them further when transitioning into a new home.
It increases mental and physical health. It’s boring sitting inside those tiny kennels every day. Activity relieves boredom and stimulates their minds and bodies, which make them more adaptable when they move into a home of their own.
Getting the dogs outside and spending time with them makes them less lonely. Can you imagine sitting in the same little cubical day in and day out with only smidgens of contact? Dogs are social creatures. Even the pups who are not dog friendly crave human companionship.
Not to mention they’re getting better trained to walk on a leash, a win win for the dog and their new owner.
And last but certainly not the least, YOUR health also benefits from the added workout. It’s much cheaper, more enjoyable, and more rewarding than hitting the gym!
Socialization is the other necessity, and it is designed to introduce dogs to new experiences and allow them to get accustomed to different situations so they know how to act and react appropriately.
Many shelter dogs are disconnected or they do not trust. It’s imperative to bring them into the play areas and INTERACT with them. Pet them, talk to them, and don’t be afraid to get down on the ground with them so they understand you are not a threat. Many have been let down and will behave timid, at first.
How dogs relate to people is so important when meeting potential adopters. Disinterested, growly, barking, and jumpy dogs usually have a much more difficult time leaving the shelter. All it takes is an hour a day to change that behavior and up their chances of getting into a forever home.
Are you ready to sign up? Go to the HSCT website, find the form, and go from there. After you’ve completed your orientation, and you’re looking for more specifics in assisting, then contact me through this blog. A group of fosters and myself are forming a side organization, The Canine Crusaders to work with these pups on a regular basis. We need compassionate people to join. No experience is required. Just bring your big heart!
Urgents in Need!
It’s been a rough week at HSCT and with high intakes and low adoptions, the following pups are desperate to find a forever home or a foster.
Others in Need of Homes
Tyrone, another overlooked black dog
Tiger is an all around dog.
Sher Khan is still a puppy!
Chocolate is a delicious girl!
Strider has been under the weather and out of sight. He’s better now and needs a home. Zippy is a shy guy who just wants to lay at your feet!
Amos is a big gentle lug who has a ton of love to give.
How can anyone resist Timone’s sweet face?
Perry is a heart breaker. He’s ten years old and has no business in a shelter.
Barrow is last on the list. Lets not let him move up any further.
Debra Jupe writes romance/suspense. Her favorite authors are Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, and Lisa Jackson. Find her books at http://www.amazon.com or http.www.thewildrosepress.com Website: http/www.DebJupe.com
Want to make the world a better place? Foster a shelter animal or two—or even more. Foster is a crucial part of the animal rescue world. I am a HSCT foster and I can attest, fostering is an amazing experience for me and hopefully for the animals. HSCT’s foster program is near and dear to my heart!
Fostering Saves Lives
Everyone’s heard the saying. Fostering saves lives. This is true, and the action is the very heart of a foster program. Fostering empties kennels. HSCT, like all shelters are always cramped for space. Each time a kennel is vacated, it saves the life of the pet fostered, and it frees up a place for another animal.
But what exactly does fostering entail? Fostering a pet means allowing a homeless animal to live in your home as a member of your family until it is adopted. What are the requirements while an animal is in your home? Fostering includes nurturing, training, and giving loads of love. Fostering also makes the transition into a forever home easier for the pet and the adopter.
So aside from saving a life, what else does fostering do?
Foster Pets Learn How to be Loved
Many animals, especially dogs come to a shelter environment, hurt, abused, or abandoned. They may have trust issues and won’t go near their foster parent or they may behave the opposite and have separation anxiety and refuse to leave their new person’s side.
There are quite a few animals who are surrendered by their owner, due to one reason or another. These pets usually feel betrayed and can shut down. They had a good life and it was taken away. Now they live in a noisy kennel. They’re basic needs are taken care of, but that’s about all the overworked staff can do. These poor souls don’t understand why their companion left them after they’ve been a faithful friend. Fostering helps those animals believe in humans again. It assists in reestablishing trust.
Time and patience are the key to successful fostering. Once the pet feels secure, then their true personality emerges, and they grow into loving, adoptable animals.
Frightened or Ailing Animals Tend to Thrive Better in a Home
This is common sense. We all improve, health-wise, faster when we’re at home. Animals are no different. Like humans, they need a quiet place to decompress or heal. This happens much quicker in a home with someone to care for whatever their needs are.
There is an infirmary of sorts, but kennel coughs and upper respiratory will swiftly spread, so those dogs and cats do better out of the shelter setting. Unfortunately, the space is even a broader problem for those who need extensive care. There simply isn’t room for broken bones to mend, those suffering with mange, or other ailments.
Frightened and shy animals require socialization multiple times daily. Again, there isn’t enough staff to go around to work on social skills, and the employees greatly appreciate the fosters who are willing to take on these harder cases. Which brings us to,
Fostering is Not for the Faint of Heart
Like any other animal, all shelter pets have their quirks. Fears of thunderstorms, loud noises, and even an unexpected move will send a timid or fearful animal into hiding. Other peculiarities they can be fearful of inanimate objects. I have a friend who is in a wheelchair. She wanted to adopt a shelter dog, but had a difficult time finding one who wasn’t afraid of her chair. Some are terrified of people wearing hats, and the lists goes on, so be prepared.
Fostering a pet is an adventure. Pets have never lived inside or even been in fenced yard may not react favorably in the beginning, and they may try to escape. Kennels are a great safe place and a good training tool most of the time. Every now and then you run into a dog that goes crazy when contained.
Potty training isn’t necessarily a given, so you may end up doing lots of laundry. Anther tip; keep plenty of chewables and toys on hand. It’s your house. Set boundaries and stick to them. It’s easy to be lenient on an animal whose come into your home after suffering or having a hard life. But remember, limitations show love, too.
Keep a Sense of Humor
This is necessary when dealing with animals, whether it be your own pet or a foster. In the past year and a half, I’ve fostered around fifteen dogs. I have at least ten stories for each, and while some didn’t seem so humorous at the time, most now will end in a chuckle.
I currently foster a dog who refuses to walk inside the house. He’s afraid to go past the threshold. Outside? No problem. Yes, I do leash him when I’m in a hurry and he’s fine, but he likes to run and play with the others, and I encourage that when I have spare time. Those skills are also beneficial for him.
I don’t understand his adversity to walking inside, but he has a trigger that I must deal with, which will help him integrate when he starts his new life with his forever family.
Saying Goodbye is as Hard as You Think it Will be.
I hear this all the time; I can’t foster because I wouldn’t be able to give them up. For the longest, I felt that way, too, but it hurt one hundred times worse when I viewed photos of beautiful animals with RIP next to their picture.
I altered my outlook.
Now I do confess. I cry every time one leaves me. I always rush to the box of tissue sitting on the shelter counter after a foster is adopted.
Yes, it’s a bittersweet moment when they trot happily out of the building with their new owner. (Sometimes they don’t even bother to look back) Don’t let that profound second get in the way of becoming a foster. The happy ending makes every tear worthwhile. Most adopters are thrilled to send fosters recent photos and provide updates.
It’s also great to form a relationship with new owners because occasionally the transition isn’t always smooth. Your availability is reassuring to the adopter and that encouragement is imperative when making a successful blending. Once in a while, an animal is returned, which is okay. The pet’s needs are first, and if the fit isn’t right, then they come back, and we move on.
Just realize, whatever happens, when one chapter ends, we begin another. That’s fostering.
This says it all.
HSCT Foster Program
Emily Keil is the foster coordinator at the Humane Society of Central Texas. and she graciously has agreed to give us some personal and foster information.
A little personal history. Are you from Waco, if not where are you from. How long have you been at HSCT, and how long have you been the foster coordinator?
I’ve lived in Waco since I was 2. My Dad has always been a big supporter of the Humane Society and all of our pets that we didn’t pick up as strays have come from here.
A bit about the program. How long ago was it formed? In that time, how much has it grown? And where do you see it going in the future?
I think the foster program was formed about 5-6 years ago but it was more of a “foster-to-adopt” program then, rather than providing a home for an animal until it was adopted. It was tiny. Now we typically have upwards of 100 animals in foster care on average (more during kitten season) and we have about 90 foster homes with about 40 active fosters at any given time.
What specifics do you look for in a foster?
I mostly want our fosters to be conscientious, able to follow directions, and desirous of what’s best for the animals. They don’t have to be certified dog trainers or trained veterinarian technicians, (we can help with all things animal related!) but we do need them to care about the animals enough to do what’s best for them and ALSO to care about potential adopters. Fosters need to be good representatives of the Humane Society to our community through the way they care for their pets and the way they interact with other people.
Would you rather the foster chose their pet or would you prefer to pick?
I don’t mind if fosters pick choose which pets they want to foster – after all, we want fostering to be a good experience for the foster PERSON as well as the foster animal and sometimes the best way to make that work is for the foster to choose an animal they feel will fit well in their household. On the flipside, we often have animals that require foster homes because they cannot stay at the shelter for medical or behavioral reasons. In these cases it helps if fosters are open to suggestions.
If someone would like to become a foster, what is the process, and how long does it take before they bring a pet home?
If someone would like to become a foster they can apply online or in person. It’s easier for me to organize my time if folks apply online but I certainly don’t want to turn away anybody who walks in. I usually respond to online applications by email in 1-2 days (but we had about 30 people apply at once after hurricane Harvey so I’m a little behind!). Once we’ve established an email connection I may ask for clarification about a few things on their application but once all questions have been answered and they’ve read through the foster protocols they’re ready to take a pet home!
More on How Fostering Works
When the HSCT receives a dog or cat that, for some reason, can’t be immediately placed up for adoption. We then call our list of foster care volunteers and this is how it works from there:
The first willing foster home will come to the shelter and pick up the animal—along with all available information and supplies.
That animal then goes to the foster home until they are ready for adoption. (You may need to bring the animals back to the shelter periodically for medical check-ups by our on-staff veterinarian.)
The animal stays in foster care until it gets adopted! Fosters may chose an adopter but they may not turn over the animal until the pet is spayed or neutered and the fee is collected.
Fostering animals provides the shelter with much-needed space for taking in more animals in need, and keeping the animal in a foster’s home begins the socialization process that many of them need. As well as providing a loving environment for that animal temporarily. We could not make it without our Foster Parents!
HSCT Fosters-Why I Foster
I chose to foster after leaving my past job at an animal hospital in NY where I started an adoption program saving over 200 animals in 3 years. I still felt the need to to contribute to both the community and the animals so I started fostering kittens. It has only been a rewarding party of my life. My past job at Busch Gardens Williamsburg almost all of our animal super stars came from the shelter so I will always do my part to save and promote adoption animals as potential new family members. ~Kristin
I chose to foster after leaving my past job at an animal hospital in NY where I started an adoption program saving over 200 animals in 3 years. I still felt the need to to contribute to both the community and the animals so I started fostering kittens. It has only been a rewarding party of my life. My past job at Busch Gardens Williamsburg almost all of our animal super stars came from the shelter so I will always do my part to save and promote adoption animals as potential new family members. Kristin ~HSCT Foster
HSCT Foster Sholly says, Dan and I try to foster dogs that seem like hot messes that no one will adopt, in hopes that giving them a home and stability will bring out the good in them. We do our little part to save a life every now and then, and most importantly we try to make sure our adopters get the best experience possible to word gets around about how great adoption is. That’s probably our motivating reason. To make adoption great. We do kittens because, well, they’re kittens.
These three boys are still waiting for their forever homes….
Big Boy Ballou
Big, fun guy, Ballou’s owner spotted him at the shelter and had to take him home and make him a member of his family!
Hey bubs and babes. I’m Ballou. Big, Beautiful, Boisterous, Ballou, and I have problems. You see, because of my larger size, and I’m a bit loud, people tend to hurry past my kennel. No one stops to talk to the big dude, you know? Which is kind of sad. I only bark because I want to get to know you, and I want you to get to know me.
Trust me, my heart is as big as the rest of me! I behave well outside of this small cage. I like to romp, play, and if you’re in search of an exercise partner, we’d make a great team. I love to go for a stroll and I look impressive as I proudly show off my skills on a leash.
I may need some guidance after I’m in a home, but no worries. I’m a brainy one, so I’ll catch on quick to whatever you want me to learn. I also have a deep bay, and although I’m sweeter than molasses, I sound ferocious. I’m an awesome alarm system.
So how about stopping by my pad and give the big guy a second look? Better yet, take me home! My adoption is sponsored so I’m FREE! I’m Ballou. (A077417) I’m a two-year-old, male, mixed breed, and I’ve been here since 6/6/17.
Bugsy made it out in the nick of time, and is luckily with his forever family.
Yo! Are you looking for a dog with a “cool” factor? You know, one whose smart and extremely good looking? One who may act aloof, only underneath it all, there’s a heart of gold, just waiting to be discovered? If that’s the kind of companion you’re searching for, and even if you’re not, stop by my kennel.
I’m Bugsy. And I’m kinda hard to get to know. I was probably abandoned, so I have some trust issues. That doesn’t make me a bad guy, it just means I protect my heart because I don’t want to have it broken again. Even though I may be distant, you’ll notice there’s a sweetness about me as I slowly warm up to any positive attention. I’ll even give you a quick kiss or two if you speak to me in a kind voice. I truly want to love someone and have them love me back.
I also desperately want out of this kennel. I’ve been here since, 6/6/17 which is indeed long time to be waiting for the right person to find me. I need a loving home with a patient owner where I can decompress, learn to integrate into a family as I gain confidence. Can you help me do that? I’m Bugsy, male, three-year-old pittie mix. My ID is A077416.
Laynie the Water-dog
HI! My name is Laynie and I’m a happy, happy girl once I’m outside. I become even more excited if there’s a pool in the vicinity. I really, really, like to get my feet wet. Even though I’m a water girl, I’m rather chill when I’m allowed to explore. I’m never jumpy or loud after I’m no longer inside those scary kennels.
As you may notice, I’m a very pretty, mid-size dog. Perfect for an apartment or a home. I may be distant when we first meet, I’ve been here for quite a while (my entrance date is 6/14/17) and I’d rather use my free time outdoors to explore. But that doesn’t mean I’m unsocial. I’m just afraid to let myself get too attached. With time and patience, that will all change. I’ll make a wonderful well-rounded companion.
And I’m waiting for that day! I’m saving up all my love and kisses for a special person or family to come. I just need a chance to show you what a wonderful girl I truly am. So, will you give me one? A chance? I promise you won’t regret it. My name is Laynie. I’m a female, two-year-old mix breed. My ID is A077574.
Hey baby! It’s Baby, and I loved to be babied! I’m an enchanting, petite girl, who’s curious about the world around me. As a matter of fact, I’m a little nosy body. Everything interests me, because I love to learn!
Besides absorbing the atmosphere, I’m also quite adorable, not to mention I have the cutest smile! While I am quite bright, I do need a tad of leash work, but that shouldn’t be a problem. I just need a new human to take me for walks, and I’ll get it. I’m also a little weary of people, I may have some desertion setbacks, so my new family will have to be patient with me. Once I warm up, I promise I’ll make you a fabulous companion. All I need is a bit of babying.
So how about you come get me and baby me? I’ve been here since 6/29/17 and the staff is quite wonderful, I prefer a home of my own. My name is Baby, and I’m a year-old female, Catahoula mix. My ID is A0778
Look at me, I’m one handsome dude! My name is Leander, and yes, I am a good-looking guy. It’s unclear why no one has picked me to be their forever dog. I figure my perfect family just hasn’t found me yet. But I think we need to rectify that situation. So let me expand on my wonderful qualities.
Along with winning the lotto in the looks department, I also have an amazingly charming personality, nice manners, and I’m always happy. I really like to play, but I have no problem being a lap dog if you let me! I’ll lay on you and snooze, and I promise to keep you warm on those upcoming cooler fall evenings.
To sum me up, I’m just a sweet dog full of love and kisses who doesn’t have anyone to bestow my love upon or give my sweet kisses to. Would you let me love you and maybe love me back? Come to kennel and let’s connect. I’m Leander. I’m a two-year-old, male, Labrador Retriever/Border Collie Mix and my ID is A077674. I’ve been patiently waiting for my perfect owner to come get me since 6/20/17 and I need you to hurry!
Uniquely Jaq Jaq
Adorable Jaq Jaq has been adopted and is happily basking in his forever home.
Hello all! This is Jaq Jaq. I know you’re all probably thinking, what kind of crazy name is Jaq Jaq? I consider it as unique. Kind of like me. I’m a super-calm boy, a bit unassuming in my kennel. I slowly lumber up to the gate, ready to warmly greet anyone who stops by. My tail is always wagging and a smile is on my handsome face.
What else is exceptional about me? I’m known around here as a gentle giant. I’m serene, relaxed, obedient, and patient. If you’re a fan of larger dogs, I truly hit all the marks, which is I’m kind of confused as to why I’ve been overlooked. I’ve been good-naturedly waiting since 6/15/17. Maybe it’s because my tranquility and silence doesn’t command a lot of attention. But my great looks, intelligence, and contentment should have you rushing to my kennel, prepared to take me home.
I mean seriously. A happy dog in a shelter. That is unique. How can I be so cheerful, you wonder? Can’t say. Although it’s just my nature to roll with the flow, I’d be much happier in a home of my own. Can you help me out on that? I’m Jaq Jaq. I’m a three-year-old male, boxer mix, joyfully waiting for you in kennel. Come see me!
Yancy, the Perfect Gentleman
Yancy’s new owner spotted him and noticed his charm and they immediately added him to their family!
I’m Yancy, and if you’re searching for a distinguished canine who has impeccable manners, then I’m the gentledog for you. As you can see by my striking photos, I’m already dressed in my tuxedo, and I look very handsome. My other impressive refinements include, walking on a leash, and I’m amazing, I know basic commands, and to top off my accolades, I’m quite the charmer.
So, with all these great attributes, you have to wonder why I’m still here? Well, it is a puzzle. I am a bit on the thin side and could use a few extra groceries, and then there’s my bark…it’s a little different. I’ve been told I sound like a seal. It’s not so awful. Some consider it quite cute and it adds to my special personality.
Bottom line, I’m a great dog, I’ve been passed over, and that’s a shame. I’d make a wonderful addition to any family. Come meet me. I’m Yancy. My ID is A077662. I’m a male, three-year-old, pittie mix. I’ve been at the shelter since 6/20/17.
Roxy is decompressing in foster care. Call the shelter if you’re interested in giving this amazing girl her forever home.
I’m Roxy and I’m yappy. Yes, I admit it. I’m wanting out of my kennel so bad, that I yap at everyone that passes by. Still, no one stops! Do you know how long I’ve been in here? Since 6/15/17. That’s a long time to be caged, especially for a young girl who enjoys being active. Now, I even have one of those unsightly staff only signs on my gate, because I bark really loud when other dogs walk by.
Truthfully, I want everyone to hear my message. There’s nothing wrong with me other than I’d like to be living in a loving home. I’m a pretty girl. I’m skilled on a leash, I mind my manners, (outside the kennel), and I’m easily trained. All and all, I’m just a sweet, little lady. Once I have a soft bed to curl up on and a person to cuddle with, I’ll be a wonderful family member. Plus, I’ll be much quieter. Promise.
So, can you close your ears for just a few minutes and take the time to get to get to know me? You won’t regret it. I’m Roxy. I’m a female, eighteen-month-old, pittie mix. My personal ID is A077556
Alena, the Perfect Girl
Adorable Alena found her a great, loving home where she’ll be spoiled and pampered, just like she deserves!
I’m Alena. I’m an extra special girl, and I’m searching for an extra special person(s). I’m extremely tranquil inside my kennel and out. I rarely make a peep. I just gaze at you with my beautiful, soulful eyes, begging to be noticed. I just want somebody (maybe you?) to give me a chance to become a member of their family.
I’m leash trained, I obey basic commands, and my prettiness blends nicely with my gentle personality. I’d be willing to learn a lot more if you’re willing to work with me. Just one glance in my direction, and you’ll see I’m eager to please. And while I’m a mellow girl, I do have an element of coolness which make me unique. Just check out my tiny ears! Aren’t they the cutest?
I truly love everybody I meet, and I can’t understand why I haven’t found someone to love me back. I have tons of kisses saved up as I’ve been waiting for a really long time, (since 6/24/17) and I’m ready to go home. Would you take me to yours? I’m Alena, an exceptional, female, 2-year-old American Staff Mix. Please consider adopting me, and making me a part of your family.
Sweet, Sweet Nala
Psst. Are you wanting a dog who is calm, gentle, curious, and walks fantastic on a leash? How about a girl who moves like a dream and is prettier than a sunset on the beach? Are you looking for perfection? Well, I’m not perfect, but I’m possess all the above-mentioned traits.
My name is Nala, and I cornered the market on great dog features. It’s a puzzle to me. I had a home, but my owner no longer wanted me, and left me here. Their desertion makes me a bit distant in the beginning, but a few kind words and some treats, I’ll warm up real fast.
Nowadays, I sit composed in my kennel, wagging my tail whenever someone stops by to speak to me. I’m not the jumpy type, I’m more quietly excitable. Because I’m unassuming may be why no one has picked me to take me home, and make me their pet.
I’d really like to have a family of my own to love. The days seem to pass by slow, yet I’ve been in my kennel since 6/22/17. I’m such a good girl, I deserve a good home. I’m Nala. I’m a five-year-old, female, Labrador Retriever Mix. Come adopt me!
Ringwald has had a long relationship with the shelter and he desperately needed an out. Luckily a foster saw his stress and gave him a place to chill until his family can be found.
These four urgents are in need of a photo shoot, which will be coming soon! Don’t let their lack of pics stop you from adopting or fostering. Lady Tramain (top corner) Ringwald, (middle), Jester (bottom) and Junior.
Adorable urgent, Chiva went into a foster home. This low-riding, love bug is still available for adoption. She’s sweet, submissive, and is so loving. She’d make a wonderful addition to any family. Contact the shelter for more information.
Look Who’s Left the Shelter and is Now Chillin’!
Thanks to all the rescues who have taken 130 dogs and cats to make room for displaced Harvey pets or so HSCT can handle overflow from other shelters who are housing hurricane pets.
Debra Jupe writes romance/suspense. Her favorite authors are Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, and Lisa Jackson. Find her books at http://www.amazon.com or http.www.thewildrosepress.com Website: http/www.DebJupe.com
What is The Humane Society of Central Texas adoption process?
So, you want to adopt a pet from the Humane Society of Central Texas? Of course, you do! The “fur’s” housed at this facility are wonderful, all deserve a forever home and your home is perfect!
But where to start?
There are several options that will lead you and help you through the adoption process.
First find the “one.” I don’t know about you, but I fall in love with every one of these babies just by looking at their pictures. While all are welcome in my home, certain photos catch my attention and draw me in.
Once you’ve found your next family member’s photo you can fill out an application online. It’s suggested you do a follow up phone call (254) 754-1454 as the HSCT staff is small, and they may not always see or get to an online application.
Speaking to a staff member will also provide more information, such as true age, size, personality, and in some cases, how the pet came to the shelter, plus availability. The animal may be in foster care or already adopted and the info hasn’t been updated.
But if your desired fur baby is still waiting, you will be asked to come to the Humane Society to meet and make sure you’re a good match. In dog adoptions, if the prospective adopter already has a pup at home, they’re encouraged to bring their dog up for a meet and greet. Any meet and greets between two strange dogs must be done by an experienced kennel personnel or a qualified volunteer.
Note: This practice is not a HSCT requirement, unless there are extenuating circumstances, i.e. the dog has shown major aggression toward other shelter dogs or someone had returned the dog because of belligerent issues with other family pets.
Dogs get along, right? Decision made? Yep! Grab that kennel card on the front of the chosen dog’s kennel (or kitty) and head on into the lobby, fill out an adoption app, if you didn’t online, then you wait—just a few minutes, and an adoption Counselor will invite you to their desks to discuss the application, review the questions for clarification.
What are the questions? Here are a few examples.
Where will the pet stay? Inside, outside, both?
Is there appropriate fencing if the animal is outdoors?
Who will take care of the pet if you’re not able?
Meeting options of other family pets.
Explanations about Heartworms, clarifying that if a dog is HW+ that the new owner will assume the cost and responsibility.
Current and prior health issues are the new owner’s obligation.
Once the particulars are understood and agreed upon, the counselor will enter the info into the computer. Payment is expected, which is one year and older is $50.00 and $75.00 for a kitten or puppy under a year old. (They take credit/debit card, check, and cash!) These fees are for spay or neuter, first heartworm prevention, and shots.
All that and a sweet love bug, too? What a deal!
Next, you’ll receive your paperwork (kennel card, medical history, disclaimer, and receipt) and possibly your new “baby” provided they’ve already been spayed or neutered. If not, you’ll have to wait until an appointment is scheduled, and you can pick them up at the assigned vet.
If you adopted a pet and cannot take it home right away due to needing to be fixed, you’re welcome to call and check or come up and visit to bond.
The Humane Society of Central Texas is having a Clear the Shelter event on Saturday, August 19, 2017.
This is a national event, supported and promoted by NBC owned television stations. All shelters are encouraged to participate, and HSCT has been involved for the past few years.
Sponsored and free to adopt!
Urgents in Need of Homes!
Unfortunately, adoptions were very slow these past two weeks, meaning the adoption section on this page is a little sad. So many urgents are still waiting. The shelter is full and these wonderful dogs need an out ASAP!
Your Newest Family Member is Listed Below!
You don’t need to wait! There are several urgents who’s fees are also paid.
Approximately three weeks ago, I selected my latest foster, Chico. If you’ve followed this blog, you may remember he was a featured here earlier as a dog in need of a quick out. I chose Chico because he was number four on the urgent list, black, larger, older, and he has cherry eye in one eye. My personal preference is harder to place dogs, so he fit the bill.
I brought him home, and folks, this boy was a hot mess. He was apparently a backyard dog, left alone, and he was taught…well, nothing.
He didn’t walk, he bounced and twisted on a leash when leading him outside. He barked—a lot. Whatever moved–or didn’t, caught his attention, and he had to chase it. And I had to chase him. After only spending a few minutes with Chico, I was pooped and questioning my sanity.
But I’m determined, if not stubborn. Every day since his arrival, I’ve gently allowed Chico to realize his circumstances have improved. At first, he failed to understand petting was nice and apparently no one ever talked to him. He didn’t appear to know what to do with treats.
I confess, he’s been a challenge.
About a week ago, one evening, he finally decided to quiet down and lay next to me. I rubbed his back and as I stroked, he snuggled closer. I spoke softly, explaining how he has toys, he doesn’t need to rip mama’s dish towels apart. He just smiled and drifted off to sleep. Then I heard it. The sound I’ve been waiting for.
A deep, profound sigh.
And I knew, he knew. He could relax. He was safe.
Since, our hot mess days have reduced to hot mess moments, and he’s improved every day. He’s a sweet boy who loves to cuddle and just hang out with me. What’s the change?
Chico is decompressing.
What is Decompressing?
Decompression – a state of relief from pressure; a return to normalcy after a stressful period or situation.
What occurs during the transition from the shelter to a home is critical to a successful adoption. It is not just getting to know one another, but laying the foundation of a life together.
As discussed in the last blog, life in the shelter is stressful, and surprisingly moving on after an adoption can also be just as taxing for a dog. This puts pressures on an owner and their pet if owners don’t comprehend the anxiety their new pet is experiencing.
Hence the reason for adoption returns.
Why would coming into a loving home be traumatic to a dog? After all, they’re out of the shelter and with their family. They ought to be thrilled they’re in a home, right?
Well yes, but no. Consider the conditions they just escaped. Pups can stay in the shelter for days, weeks, or even months. They’re home is an 4X6 kennel, framed by other 4X6 kennels, full of dogs yapping or howling, strange people coming and going, and they get very little exercise or socialization. They also sense what’s happening to some kennel-mates who leave, but don’t return and are aware it could happen to them.
Then one day that all changes. An adoption from HSCT will come with a vet visit to be spayed or neutered if they’re not already, so that trauma must be factored in. Once they’re fixed, they move into their forever home. New surroundings, new owners, unfamiliar scents, and noises, and add in other pets is confusing to them. An actual routine can also be bewildering.
Which means, humans should not expect their new pet to automatically fit right in. Forcing them interact right away could create problems if they’re not ready. They need space, time to chill and relax. Decompress.
What and What NOT to do
Wanting to coddle an adopted shelter dog, particularly one who’s had a rough life is natural. Owners aspire to present a perfect world within the first twenty-four hours. But dogs need to find a calm state of mind or they become overwhelmed. The amount of time it takes to mellow depends on the dog, but expect it to take at least two full weeks, and that’s a minimum.
During the first weeks, a dog needs gentle guidance, exercise, (walking and limited play) and quite bonding time. FYI, don’t just let newly adopted dog wander out in the backyard to do its business unattended, even if the yard is fenced in. Adopted shelter dogs may not realize they’re “home” and will scale a fence and be gone. It’s best to take them out on a leash until they feel secure and realize this is their forever home.
Become a Boy Scout, Be Prepared
So how to ready a family and home to integrate a new pooch? First, follow the adoption coordinator’s instructions. The staff at HSCT know these dogs. They can explain their triggers. They can also describe what to expect from each dog, how avoid formidable situations, or how to handle them if they arise.
It’s also imperative to prepare for the arrival of a fur family member before they come home and, the transition should be as smooth as possible. Owners need to exhibit patience and give a dog time until it’s ready to be fully integrated into the household.
Having a designated spot to rest and relax is vital. A soft, cozy bed is a necessary welcome, specifically for a senior or a dog that’s not in the best shape.
Keeping a new pet in a crate during their decompression period when home alone is also helpful and smart. This avoids any disasters if the dog panics. Once the animal grasps their person will return, keeping them contained will be an owners decision. Many dogs would rather stay in their kennel. They feel securer in their personal space and that’s okay.
Once they realize they have a safe place to go, they will begin to feel comfortable. A new dog needs to know where their water and food bowls are located, be sure to show them. Stay consistent during feedings times and potty breaks. Even mature shelter dogs will grow to love a routine, and in most instances, these constant practices will assist in incorporating them into the family quicker.
Realize adoption and being brought into an unknown environment can make a dog fearful, and fear is a powerful emotion. Speak to him or her in a soft voice. Petting needs to be gentle. Don’t throw a pet into a social setting and expect him to interact. It may not be ready to interact with you.
Watch Your Little Ones
Children, especially small children should be kept away even from the gentlest dog as the new pet decompresses. Introductions should be slow and supervised. Unfortunately, our little ones can behave unpredictable around a new dog and the greatest dog in the world can behave unpredictable around children, particularly when grabbed, pushed, kicked or fallen on. It’s advised to NEVER leave a smaller child alone with a dog. Teach children how to treat animals kindly. It’ll be a valued lesson you won’t regret.
Introductions to other family pets should also be gradual. An adopted dog needs to get acquainted with his elements. Walks together is the best way to keep control and allow dogs to get to know one another, otherwise, meet and greets should be supervised, brief, and repeated until confident all animals are content and will get along. In other words, keep pets separated until sure everyone is friendly.
Compassion is Your Friend
Remember a dog may revert to bad habits when they experience a huge life change. Even house trained dogs can have accidents due to stress and anxiety. Take them out frequently. Reward and praise when they do their business outdoors. If they have a mishap indoors, do not yell or punish them. This will only slow down any forward progression, and it’s not a positive or productive pet owner practice
Every dog will make the transition to a new home at his or her own speed. Normally, it will take a shelter dog, 6-8 weeks or it might take longer to fully adjust. Don’t worry if the behavior doesn’t fall into place right away.
With love and patience, it will happen.
Note: Separation anxiety is very real. Practice brief absences during the initial decompression. Keep good-byes and greetings low key until the dog adjusts. Doggie puzzles and Kong’s are always great way to entertain a confined pet while they’re by themselves.
Urgents in Need of a Home or Foster!
Siva the Sweetheart
Number 1 urgent Siva was saved by a rescue. Good luck sweet girl!
Hello friends! I’m Siva and I want a forever home. I desire to have a family so bad, I’ve taken to performing gymnastics in my kennel to get attention. I tend to demonstrate my cartwheel expertise when people pass by to let them know I’m stressed, and to tell them I’ve been stuck into this small space a long time.
You see, I’ve been here since 3/4/17 and I seriously want out. I’m not sure why no one’s picked me to be their pet. I’m a beautifully marked lady, and I have an amazing smile. I can be bit shy once I leave my kennel, but I warm up with kind words and petting. After I’m comfortable with you, I’ll happily show you how sweet I am.
I am a well-mannered girl. I walk great on a leash, and while I may be able to do a handstand when I need to be noticed, I am mostly calm and accommodating. Promise! How about you come to HSCT and take me into the playpen. Let me show you what a lovely girl I am. I bet after we meet, you’ll want to take me home.
I’m Siva. I’m a two-year-old, female, pittie mix. My # is A076723, and I’m in kennel # D051 and my adoption has been sponsored. I’m free to adopt to an approved adopter.
Fantastic Hico found his forever home at a rare Sunday adoption event.. Congratulations to a great dog and his new family.
Hey there! It’s Hico! I’m a cute, cute guy in need of a loving home. I’m bubbly and fun, much like a puppy, but since I’m older, (I’m two) I don’t have the annoying puppy habits that’ll require a lot of corrections.
I’m a sleek, well-built, mid-sized fellow with a fun, cheerful personality. Even though I’ve been a resident of HSCT since 5/22/17, I always wear a huge grin. I’m fairly calm, but I enjoy activity. I walk easy on a leash and sit quietly in my kennel waiting… If you’re fond of evening strolls or a swift morning sprint, then I’d fit fantastically into your lifestyle.
You also want a pup that’s easily trainable? Look no more. I’m the one you’re searching for, I’m a pretty smart dude. I’m also affectionate, and have no problem handing out a kiss or two.
I’m alert and I notice everything. and while I’m curious about my surroundings, I’ll happily stop my probing for belly rubs or if you want to tell me how much you adore me. I’ll certainly return your admiration by adoring you too!
I’m Hico, a male, Labrador Retriever Mix. Come find me in kennel #Y033. My # is A077057. I’m a boy who loves to play and searching for a partner to play with. Is that you?
Sweetheart Maggie is now an ex-urgent1 She has her own family!
Maggie is a dream dog. She’s adorable, she’s funny and she loves people. You won’t find a better girl to add to your family.
Hello out there! My name is Maggie, and I’m a lovable girl whose looking for somebody to love me. I’ve been searching for my special, loving person a long time, and no one’s come for me. Where are you, person? I’ve been a tenant of the shelter since 5/22/17 and I’m ready to leave.
I’m confused as to why nobody has picked me to be their pet. I’m a wonderful, affectionate girl. I enjoy back and belly rubs, and I give the sweetest kisses. I’m also intelligent, pretty, and I have a delightful personality. I’m lively, loads of fun, and just a sweetheart, but I also enjoy serene time, and lay quietly near my family.
So, what’s the reason I keep getting overlooked? Well…I can be a bit yappy in my kennel—did I mention I’m desperate for a loving home? My barking is just my way of letting you know I want to go home with you. If you gaze into my pleading eyes, you’ll see how much I desire to make that dream come true. Can you help? Can you give me a home and family I want so bad?
Come meet me! My name is Maggie. I’m a female, two-year-old Australian Cattle Dog. I’m in Kennel #D057 and my ID A077080.
My good buddy Bjorn found his forever home!
Bjorn is a thief as in he’ll steal your heart! He’s such a gentle, loving sweetheart and he just needs a chance to show off all his endearing qualities.
Who likes to cuddle? I do! I’m Bjorn. I love to snuggle and give tons of smooches to my friends. What I’d really wish for is to nuzzle with my own family. Only I don’t have one. I’ve been waiting a long time for them to come find me, since 5/22/17.
You see, I earned a not so great reputation when I first entered the shelter. The scars on my face say my prior life was rough, and I was a little growly because I was scared. Due to my negative disposition, this awful sign was tagged to my kennel that only staff could handle me. This probably made potential adopters ignore me.
But hey, I’m much better. After hanging out here, I’ve learned to chill, and I’m more accommodating. Now that I’m relaxed, you’ll discover I’m an awesome, happy guy. I’m a giver and a pleaser, and I love to show my love. I’m trained on a leash, I’m intelligent, friendly, and I won’t jump on you.
If you’re wanting a handsome boy whose smile is as huge as his heart, then just get me outside the kennels and watch my personality shine. I’m Bjorn. I’m a male, four-year-old, Labrador Retriever/Boxer Mix. My ID is A077083 and I currently reside in kennel #D070, but I’d like to change my address…to yours, maybe?
Urgent Cappy found his forever home!
Cappy may be considered the “senior” in this bunch, but he’ definitely doesn’t act his age. This wonderful guy has many good years of love left and he just needs to find someone who’ll love him back! He knows you’re out there! Cappy is HW+, but his treatment has been sponsored, so his new owner will not have to assume the responsibility.
Ahoy mates! This is Cappy. I’m searching for a permanent place to drop anchor and live with my very own boating partner. I’m not too picky, though. It’s okay if you’re not into cruisers. I’ll happily ride shotgun in any type of vehicle if you give me a home. I’ve been waiting on deck a long time. I sailed into the shelter on 5/24/17, and I’m ready to move aground forever.
I’m a good ol’ sailor pup. I walk superbly on a leash. I’m rather mellow, very curious, extremely affectionate, and an all-around content sea-dog. I know a few basic commands, and just because I’m more mature than the younger buckaroos around here, doesn’t mean I can’t learn. I’m one canny salty dog.
Although I’m not at sea, I do enjoy a dip in the pool. If you’re into swimming, just give me a holler. I’m there. To top off my attributes, I’m striking in the looks department and as every decent sea-dog, I have a charming personality. I have all that’s needed to be an excellent companion except a person of my own. How about navigating to the shelter and let’s congregate and see if we’re a match.
I’m Cappy. I’m a male, five-year-old, Collie/Lab mix. You can find me on the starboard side of the shelter in Kennel # R091 and my ID is A077134. Cappy is heartworm positive, but his treatment has been sponsored.
Kutie Pie Kratos
Kratos is simply perfect. Perfect size, perfect manners, perfectly handsome, this boy is perfect in every way! What makes him even more perfect, is his adoption fee has been sponsored.
I’m Kratos, and they tell me I’m amazing. But what’s amazed everyone who knows me, is how an amazing guy like me hasn’t found a home of my own. I’ve been a HSCT dweller since 5/28/17, and I’ve been continually bypassed. I don’t understand why.
Those at my photo shoot were impressed at my gentleness and poise, plus I display great manners. I walk outstanding on a leash, I obey basic commands, and I have a lovable disposition. If you want to snuggle, I can do that. If you like sweet puppy kisses, I can give those, too! I’m a people loving pup!
My face is simply adorable as is my funny personality. I also have a funny bark, which I utilize liberally inside the kennels and that may be what’s turning potential adopters off. Honestly, I’m quiet most of the time, but because of my long stay here, I’m trying to get you to appreciate what an amazing boy I am, and I need an amazing home. I bet your home would be perfect for me.
Come over and see me! I’m Kratos. I’m a four-year-old male, Amstaff/Pointer Mix. You stop by kennel #Y029 and meet me. My ID is A077192. Oh, and one more piece of interesting information. My adoption fee has been sponsored. I’m FREE to adopt to an approved adopter.
Do you know why Jay is wearing such a huge smile? Because he went from the number one spot on the urgent list into a forever home!
Jay, silly, silly Jay. His owners surrendered him because they were moving, and he’s quite anxious inside his kennel as he tries to make sense as to why his family no longer wanted him. Outside, he’s a perfect, lovable gent, who just wants to please and have fun.
Hey. Jay here. I’m a big ol’ sweetie, full of playfulness and love. I think people are the best and I’m thrilled to hang out with ‘em, especially if we can play a game of ball or tug on a rope. I also am ready to pass out my sweet kisses to anyone and everyone.
I’m like to explore and am curious to everything that’s going on around me. I’m well behaved, obey commands, and I’ll impress you when walking on a leash. I also think it’s fun to ride shotgun if taken on outings. Bonus, I’m also potty trained!
With all these great qualities, I do have some abandonment issues. I was surrendered (on June 2, 2017) by my owners who moved and didn’t take me with them. I’m having some trouble connecting with humans right now, and I’m a stressed in my kennel. If I had a new home and family of my own to make me feel secure again, I’m sure those negative emotions would fade.
I’ve been told I’m an awesome all-around dog and a faithful companion, all I need is you to come get me so I can prove how wonderful I am. Name’s Jay. My stats: I’m a four-year-old, male, Stafford American Mix. My ID is A077323 and my Kennel # is D052.
Really Terrific Raffie
If there was a contest for the sweetest dog award, Raffie would most certainly win. He’s not only accommodating, he’s also well behaved, leash trained, and a total love! He sits quietly in his kennel waiting, which is probably why he’s urgent. No one notices him. Go meet Raffie and take this sweet boy home, today!
I’m sad to report poor Raffy was returned and this amazing boy is once more in need of a forever home.
Former Urgent Fraffie is now in his forever home!
I’m a cutie! I’m a sweetie! I’m Raffie! I’m a well behaved, smart boy. I know basic commands, I stroll splendidly on a leash, and I’m extremely loving and affectionate. I’d be an ideal addition to any family…the problem is, my mellowness keeps those searching for a companion from noticing me. I’ve been an exemplary guest here at HSCT since 6/5/17, but I’d like to become a permanent resident in a home of my own.
I’m the type of pup who enjoys taking long walks, playing a game of catch, or relaxing on the couch with my favorite person. I’m genuinely a multi-talented doggie! Not only do I possess fun and intellectual attributes, my looks are striking and my low-key disposition matches my handsomeness, just look at my precious under-bite! I will make whoever chooses me a fantastic family member, I just need someone to choose me and take me home. How about you?
My name is Raffie. I’m a male, two-year-old, Catahoula Mix. My ID is A077354, my Kennel # is R104. Hurry over for an introduction. Once you meet me, I’m sure you’re going to want to make me a part of your family!
Sweet Pea Sadie
Sadie is just precious. She sits in her kennel, looking so lost and forlorn since her owners surrendered her. She adores attention and she so wants to be a part of a family again. Who will give this lovely girl a safe home she deserves?
So happy this sweet girl found her home! Have a happy life, Sadie!
Have you ever seen such a beautiful, joyful smile? I’m Sadie and if anybody has a reason NOT to smile, it’d be me. You see, I was adopted from the shelter two years ago. An unfortunate incident (not my fault) involving the neighbor’s dog landed me back here (since 6/5/17) and because my former owners couldn’t keep me safe indoors, I wasn’t allowed to return to my home.
Despite my circumstances, I’m cheerful, walk nice on a leash, I sit when commanded, (see, I’m smart, too!) and I’m just a loving and affectionate girl. As you can see, my beauty goes way beyond my smile, and I’m a very pretty, graceful girl, inside and out. I’m the perfect package. The only thing lacking in that perfection is a loving family so I can be a Velcro dog and stick by my human’s side.
Your side might just be the right one. Come to the shelter and let’s find out! My name is Sadie. I’m a three-year-old, female, Australian Shepherd/Retriever Mix. My ID# is A001336 and my Kennel is #R083. I’m also sprayed, so we can start our life together today!
Sully is a beautiful, goofy boy. It isn’t clear why he keeps getting ignored. His adoption fee has been sponsored.
Super adorable, Sully was lucky enough to have a rescue grab him. He’ll be in for some much needed R&R and training before finding a forever family.
That face! How can anyone not fall in love with that adorable face? Sully is a cutie through and through. He needs some training, but he’s smart and learns quickly. He just needs some direction and a lot of love!
Isn’t Sully just an adorable name? Yep, it’s my name and I’m just as delightful as my moniker suggests. I love visitors who come to my kennel to visit me. I snuggle up to my gate, waiting to be petted as my tail wags ninety miles a second. I can’t wait until somebody unlatches the lock and springs me forever—but be ready! I’ve prepared loads of kisses to give to my rescuer.
As sweet as I am, I must confess I do need some training walking on a leash and no one’s ever taught me manners, but it’s not my fault no ever bothered with me. Although my charm makes up for my lack of knowledge, the trainers at the shelter are helping me. They know I’m a smart boy and I’ll catch on quick. Once I’ve had a bit of schooling, I’ll be perfect!
You don’t have to wait for perfection. Come meet me now and give me a chance. We can learn together! My name is Sully. I’m a male, two-year-old, Pittie Mix. My ID is A077194 and I’m in Kennel # # D053. I’ve been here since 5/28/17, and I need someone to take me a home and love me forever.
Bold and Bright Brannon
Brannon has the best smile, because he is the best. This boy is curious, loving, and if you’re a fan of black dogs, then you can see what a stunner he is. Come meet this great guy, better yet, come take him home!
Brannon is a typical Black Dog statistic and has been overlooked. His adoption fee has been sponsored.
Who likes just a simple good-looking, sweet pup? If that’s the kind of dog you’re searching for, then let me introduce myself. I’m Brannon, and I’m in need of a forever home. I came here on 6/1/17, and since then, I’ve been a well-behaved boy, even in my kennel, yet people keep passing me by.
Why? I can’t say. I have a ton of wonderful attributes. I enjoy being with people, especially if they scratch my back. I’m active enough to go on a jog or long walk, but I’m also calm enough to just hang out and cheer on your favorite football team—or diss the potential mates on The Bachelor. You choose. I’m not fussy as long as I can be with my human.
I walk fine on a leash, and while I’m friendly and lovable, I could use some training, but that shouldn’t be a concern. I’ve displayed a wide range of intellect, plus I’m still a pretty young guy, I’ll learn quick. I just need someone to teach me. How about YOU? Will you be my person?
If the answer is yes, then come quick, and take me home! I’m Brannon, my ID is A077256 and my Kennel # Y028. I’m a year old, Male, German Shepherd/Lab Mix.
Just look at that happy grin! Long boy, Brisco loves to have his belly tickled and he’s a such a snugger! How can anyone resist this special boy?
Former urgent Brisco is now happy with his family!
Do you know how to make me smile? Actually, I smile pretty much all the time,but if you want to really see me grin, just rub my belly and scratch my back. My name is Briscoe, and I’m about the happiest guy in the shelter. You may wonder how I stay so happy, I’ve been hanging around this place since 6/5/17, and even though I smile at everyone who walks by, I still haven’t found anyone willing to take me home.
I’m a bigger guy and I’m extremely long, which may scare some people off, but don’t let my size fool you. I’m a mild-mannered chap who loves to be around humans and relax. Besides my grin and good nature, my standout feature is my awesome green eyes. Stare into them, and they’ll melt your heart. Since I’m a younger boy, I do need some extra training, although I do okay on a leash. I just need a bit of TLC. Can YOU come get me and give me the love I desperately crave?
My name is Briscoe, come by and I’ll flash my infectious grin. If you pay attention, you’re going to want to make me a member of your family. I’m a year and a half, male, Labrador Retriever/Boxer Mix. My ID is A077389 and I’m located in Kennel #D050
Former Urgent Piper has been adopted!
Yes, Piper is a bigger girl, but outside her kennel, she’s serine, friendly and well mannered, not to mention strikingly gorgeous.
Do you like graceful? Elegant? Refined? If you want a pup with all of those qualities and more, then you’ve come to the right place. My name is Piper. I’ve been waiting inside my kennel since 5/30/17 for the perfect family to take me home…but alas, no one has shown interest in me.
Perhaps I’ve been ignored because I’m a tall girl or I can be a bit yippy inside my kennel, I’m just trying to convey how ready I am to go home. Don’t let my height or my kennel manners stop you from taking me to the playpen.
You’ll see that I prance beautifully on a leash. Not only do I walk well, I’m also stunningly beautiful. I display exemplary behavior outside my kennel. I obey basic commands, and I’m always a lady, and we all know lady puppies don’t jump on their humans.
I’m such a lovely girl and I’ve been waiting for that one special person to come and meet me. Are you that special person? I’m Piper. I’m a female/spayed, three-year-old, Labrador, Pointer Mix. I’m expecting your visit, and you can find me in Kennel #R109 and my ID is A059583
Pongo went from urgent, to foster, to his forever home!
If shelter dogs were given awards, Pongo would win the most fun award, hands down. This energetic boy loves to play! He also has a loving side and is very affectionate. He’s just a pup, and he needs a home, soon!
Have you ever looked at those pictures of homeless dogs and wondered why no one has adopted them? Yeah, I’m bewildered, too. My name is Pongo, and I’m the most entertaining dog here, but nobody’s notices. I mean, I’ve been trying my hardest to amuse folks since 6/5/17 and still, no takers.
I just need out of this kennel to show you what I can do. I love to play, but I’m not bouncy, I enjoy a game of catch, and show me some water, and I’m diving right in. I’m full of energy and can be ready to party in a mere second.
Oh, you want a dog that’s fun, but enjoys some down time, too? No worries, I’m a pro at relaxation. I have no problem laying by my human’s side and just chillin’. I’m also a fast learner, if that’s important, I can obey basic commands.
My only issue is I do need some leash training, but I’ll pick that up in a jiffy if you take me on daily walks. So how about YOU come by and see me? Maybe take me to your place, and we can hang out, like forever?
Remember, the name’s Pongo, same as the Disney flick, 101 Dalmatians. I’m also a Dalmatian, mixed with a bit of Lab. I’m male and seven months old. I’m eager to go, so just come to Kennel # R095 and pick me up! My ID is A077391
Urgents who are in need of updated photo’s and bios
Living in a Shelter Kennel isn’t an Ideal Environment
Don’t allow the first impression of a shelter dog be the last. Occasionally, a dog is charming or even behaves cute inside their kennel. But after they’ve been locked up for days, weeks, or months, it’s unusual to find one so accommodating. Truthfully, encountering a “normal, well behaved” shelter dog is not a realistic expectation.
If shelter dogs only realized that their taxing behavior is a major factor when being picked as the “one”, or if shelter dogs could recognized that sometimes their hectic actions decides between living and dying, they’d respond differently. Unfortunately, shelter dogs do not understand the effects of their conduct.
So, is there hope for these animals or should the public abandon adopting dogs from the shelter?
Yes there is so much hope and the pubic should consider adding a shelter dog to their family.
Dogs may not comprehend their behaviors, but humans can!
Most shelter dogs experience kennel stress. What’s kennel stress? It’s a nice way of saying pups are miserable inside shelters and they want out. Wouldn’t you?
They’re forced into a stressful environment where they have no choice. They react erratically because they’re suffering from the anxiety over their current situation. They know what happens in shelters, and they want to escape that fate.
Their circumstances can lead to mental anguish, which usually goes unresolved. Because of these unsolved issues, these sweet babies don’t find homes, and the unthinkable occurs.
Realities Concerning Shelter Dogs: Specifics that cause them stress and incite unappealing kennel behaviors.
Dogs love humans. Everyone knows this. They’re social creatures, and they need to bond with people. They’ve been wired through evolution, and they desire to be with their human all the time. They depend on us. Not just for food, shelter, and safety, but for companionship.
Dogs also require time outside their kennels. They must be socialized to become a good companion. Sadly, erratic behaviors can escalate as their shelter stay lengthens. Isolation, with little human connection affects their reactions. Those limitations causes mental distress.
Dogs enjoy surveying their surroundings. Kennels are restrictive. Their view is narrow, and they can’t see what’s happening around them. People and other dogs randomly appear and disappear. This is confusing and traumatic.
HSCT is a nicer facility, but it’s noisy with tons of different scents floating in the air. Surfaces are hard and cold. Dogs possess keen hearing, and even a stronger sense of smell. Inside kennels can trigger a sensory overload, especially when other dogs are barking, howling, or crying.
Like us, Dogs prefer not to eat and sleep near where they relieve themselves. But they’re stuck in a kennel, and can’t avoid eliminating. They’re forced to lay near their mess until someone comes to clean up.
Barriers and confinement, such as kennel walls create more stress. Restricted dogs often fixate on those barriers. Add to the mix the presence of unknown dogs who are also upset, and their misery becomes more distinct.
Dogs are equipped to move. Exercise provides physical and mental stimulation. Obviously, kennels restrict movement. Since they don’t receive adequate exercise or mental stimulation on a daily basis, the excess energy coupled with boredom creates extra trauma.
Most dogs sleep a lot, but noise and strangers marching in and out prevent them from resting. So shelter dogs are sleep-deprived. As in humans, sleep deprivation causes these poor animals major stress.
Sadly, a lot of shelters dogs were once someone’s pet. Some, but not all, existed in a comfortable indoor environment. They were used to daily affection and fun. They were beloved family members. It’s tormenting to a dog to go from a loving, caring home to a clinical environment.
Kennel stress symptoms
Now that kennel stress has been explained and why it exists, the public can better appreciate how dogs behave when they’re tense: The following are behaviors of overwrought canines.
They fixate on their kennel doors, ready to charge at a moment’s notice.
They’re overly energetic. They wiggle, they pant, they paw at the door so they’ll be noticed.
They bark incessantly and jump, begging and pleading to be let out. It may seem offensive to humans, but to a dog, it seems like a very reasonable way to communicate frustration.
They retreat to the rear. They’d rather no one notice them or they “shut down” uninterested in their surroundings. They don’t move when approached. They’ve withdrawn into their own little world.
Does it mean if that dog will behave the same in a home? No, it doesn’t.
The good news: when a dog is removed from the stress, most negative behaviors will vanish almost at once.
Outside the kennel, when walking to the playpen, a dog may pull on his leash, jump up to greet people, or act overexcited. On the other hand, they might also avoid interacting with humans, at first. In other words, they don’t trust or are overly try to please. These behaviors work themselves out with exercise, love, and building trust. Once a dog is securely in a home, and boundaries are set, they will calm down.
As a foster, I can attest to this. I’ve fostered wild ones and those who avoid me as if I’m Godzilla about to attack. After a few days, they realize they’re safe and behavior improves. After several weeks, they usually make great progress as their confidence grows.
When considering adoption, never reject a dog based solely on kennel behavior. Spend some time with them. Ask a staff member or volunteer to take them into the playpen. Give them time to adjust outside the kennels. Due to short staffing, they do not get out as much as they need, it may take a while for them to calm down or approach. Offer treats, toss the ball, and most of all, be ready to cuddle!
Allow them to show their true personalities and those diamonds in the rough will shine bright!
What to bring with you to the shelter for your visit:
–your adoption application
–an open mind
–a willing heart
–a bit of patience
–a baggy full of chicken or jerky to speed up the bonding process
Hopefully this article will give a better understanding of shelter dogs behavior and the community will become more willing to adopt the not so perfect pup, especially consider the urgents.
While thankful many who’s lives were on the line made it into forever homes over the past two weeks, some of our beloved urgent friends did not make it out and are no longer with us due to huge intake numbers. How can we prevent this in the future?
Be a hero.
Open your heart, your mind, and your home to one of the dogs below. They’re great partners and all display stress…
Newest Urgents and those who are still waiting for you…
My name is Bailey. I need a best friend. I’m having trouble finding that one person who gets me and who I can chill with. I’ve searched for a long time for my perfect person, I’ve been here since 5/16/17, and they’ve yet to come for me.
You see, I got a bad rap when first entering the shelter and things reported about me weren’t so positive, which may be why no one has chosen me as a forever partner.
Thankfully, I’m getting a chance to set the record straight. First, I’m a total sweetheart, and I put the A in adorable! I am a bit busy when I leave the kennel, but after I check out my surroundings, I settle down, and become quite docile. I adore sitting still and having my back scratched or belly rubbed.
My shelter friends agree, I probably wasn’t socialized much before I arrived at HSCT, so I will require training, but all pups need direction, therefore, I’m no different. I just want someone to be patient with me, and I’ll make an amazing companion.
My former owners said children scare me and I’m not a fan of cats. As far as getting along with other dogs, I ignored the others around me, so if you have a potential pup sibling, bring them along so we can meet. I’d love to go home with you.
Will you be my new best friend? I’m Bailey. I’m female, two and half year old, pittie mix. I’m also sprayed, so I’m ready to go home with you. Find me in kennel Y012 and my ID# is (A074582)
Hi Friends! This is Cheeko. I’m not sure why I’m still at the shelter! I’ve been here quite a while, since 5/11/17, and I don’t understand.
I mean, how can anyone not want me? I have the greatest smile, I’m incredibly cute, and I’m happy all the time. I adore people! I love to play, I’m always up for a game of ball. I’m also quite affectionate and am ready to sweep by and give a quick kiss or two while having fun.
Even though I enjoy life, once I’m out of the kennels, I’m a pretty calm guy! I’m also a smart one. I obey basic commands, and I won’t tug on the leash, which works great if you’re a walker. I’m a bit on the stocky side from not getting as much exercise as I need, so If you enjoy a morning or evening stroll, I’d be a great partner. Overall, I’m about as perfect as they come!
This great boy Cheeko went into foster care and then almost immediately, he was adopted into a lucky family.
Are you wondering why no one has picked me either? Maybe it’s because I’m waiting for you to come take me home. My adoption is sponsored, so I’m FREE to an approved adopter. I’m Cheeko, a male, two-year-old pittie mix, and I’m already neutered! You can find me in D048 and ID number is (A076869)
Sweet Guy Connor
Good day everyone! I’m Connor. I’m a handsome, gentle boy and I’m very shy. I’m not a fan of all the noise and ruckus around me, and I tend to want to hide in the back of my kennel. But the good news is, lately I’ve been emerging out of my shell.
Because I’m reserved, it’s been hard for anyone to get to know me. I’ve been keeping to myself since 4/16/17 and I think it’s time for the world to meet me. While I’m not leash trained, the HSCT staff believe I’ll easily learn, once I know you and relax.
Our fearful, shy guy, Connor captured Joshua’s heart, and he wanted to give the sweet boy a home! Joshua and Connor will make a great team!
Outside the kennel, I am interested in my surroundings. I inspected the grounds and thought they were okay. I let the nice people pet me, and I really liked that. Although I’m quiet, I have a sweetness about me that will melt my new family’s heart.
Honestly, I will do so much better in a home of my own where I can gain confidence and bloom. Are you that special person who’ll give me an opportunity to grow into the fantastic dog I know I can be?
My name is Connor. A year-and-a-half-old male Labrador Retriever Mix. You can find me in kennel Y008 and my ID# is (A076412) My adoption fee is sponsored, so I’m FREE to adopt to an approved adopter.
Charming Big Red
Hello! Big Red here! As you can see, I’m appropriately named because I’m big and I’m red. Even though I’m a larger boy, you will notice how stunning I am once I’m out of the kennel, which is something I would like to make permanent. While everyone here is kind to me, I’m past ready to find my forever home. I’ve been here since 5/15/17.
I’m a bit wary in an initial meeting, but once I’m comfortable, which takes about a half a second, I’m ready to become your best bud. I’m a lot of fun to hang out with, I have a personality that is as big as the rest of me. I’m pretty smart, too. I can obey basic commands, although I do need some leash work and a bit of help with manners. I get so excited once I’m secure, I tend to be a little overenthusiastic, but that’s not uncommon for younger dogs like myself.
After we get to know each other, you’ll find I am a big bundle of love. I’ll gladly be your lap dog. I like kids, cats, and other dogs, in other words, I like everything and everybody. So how about coming over to the shelter and let’s discuss making me a part of your family.
I’m Big Red. Male, Labrador Retriever Mix. I’m a year and a half and I’m already neutered. You can find me waiting in kennel Y034 and my ID# (A076918)
If you’re looking for a gentle, subdued chum, then look no further than me, Carmela. I may be standoffish when we’re first introduced, because I do have some trust issues. But a kind touch and soft words will change all that quickly, and after I begin to feel safe, I’ll stick to you like glue.
I’m a lovely girl, with a sweet personality, but I’m not fanatic about being left alone in these noisy kennels, and I’ve been in them since 4/19/17. Once outside, I enjoy petting, belly rubs, and just the simple act of someone loving me.
I do have a bit of separation anxiety, probably because I once had a family, and now I don’t, and that makes me sad. Unfortunately, I was left on my own for a long time before my arrival at HSCT, and I will require extra training, but the staff has been working with me and they are pleased at how fast I learn.
Because of my shyness, I probably would adapt better to a family with no other pets or children. Truly, I just want a quiet home of my own. Can you help me? If you’re patient and love the idea of a diamond in the rough, then I’m your girl.
I’m Carmela. I’m a female, two-year-old, Labrador Retriever Mix and I have been sprayed. You can find me in kennel R082, and my ID# is (A076482). My adoption fee has been sponsored, which means I’m FREE to adopt to an approved adopter.
New photos coming for Floyd and Siva–but don’t let these intake pics stop you from meeting these two great dogs.
Former urgent Floyd is a prime example of not having enough decompression time. He was adopted and because he wanted to play too rough with the little ones in the family, he was returned. Slow, controlled introductions are necessary, especially with small children.
Look who was adopted!
They’re off the urgent list and in their forever homes!
Harper, Miley, Cassie, Naymond, Natalie, and Kaydo!
Cassandra and Chip
Cassandra was kind enough to share her very heartfelt reason why she wanted to adopt sweet Chip.
When Cassandra went to the shelter, she had some specifics in mind. She preferred an adult dog, who was calmer, but one who would enjoy going for walks each day to help improve her physical health.
A year ago, Cassandra was in a bad car accident and was forced to move back home to recover. Like so many people who’ve been severely injured in mishaps, she became depressed over the slow healing process, and her need for painkillers to function.
She became anxious as she gradually put her life back together, and at times felt like giving up. Thankfully she didn’t. She continued her fight to get well, but sometimes it was still difficult for her to focus.
She felt a companion would help her concentrate and inspire her to regain interest in her hobbies. Perhaps a pet would also be encouragement when she returned to school, and assist her keeping her attention centered when doing homework or reading activities.
When touring the HSCT kennels, Cassandra spied Chip. Unlike the other dogs, who were loud and barking for her to notice them, he sat quiet and timid. He looked at her with his big, soulful eyes and lifted his paw for her to grasp.
That’s all the persuasion she needed. She knew Chip was the one, and she couldn’t wait to take him home, and give him the life he deserved.
Thank you, Cassandra for telling your moving story. Here’s wishing you and Chip have many, many happy years together.
A Special Adoption – Given the time, all dogs will find their forever family. Consider fostering.
Meet Bree. She was my first foster. She was extremely shy, fearful, and she topped the urgent list.
When we met, she cowered in the back of her kennel, and she refused to look at me. I knew I was in for a challenge, but I agreed to take her home.
The first few months were rough and it took a while for her to relax and trust me. But she did. She went from a nervous, scared girl and blossomed into a beautiful, confidant-dare I say, diva? But such a sweetheart.
I kept her for a year and during that time, she had a few inquiries, and only one serious, but she wasn’t a good fit. I began to worry no one wanted her, and I didn’t understand why. On July 5th, that all changed.
Tracy had seen this gorgeous girl’s photo and wanted to make her a part of her family. They met and the match was perfect. Now she’s getting tons of love and is being spoiled like she deserves . Happy life, you two! Debra Jupe
July 4th is upon us, and throughout the country celebrations are gearing up to bring us loads of fun, food, and fireworks.
While the public may be enjoying the festivities, our pets are not. More animals are lost on July 4th than any other day of the year and noisy fireworks are to blame. Because of the noise, they can become frightened and escape backyards and even break out of windows from inside homes in search of a safe haven.
A local Facebook page, Central Texas Lost and Found Pets are an active group, and their village goes beyond assisting those who have missing or have found wandering pets. They also aid surrounding shelters and are huge supporters of HSCT.
I invited the current admins to give a bit of history about the page, and also offer advice on how to keep your pet secure, what to do if your pet is lost over the 4th, and how to handle the situation if you find a roaming, frightened pet: i.e. keeping it out of the overflowing shelters.
First, let’s meet these selfless volunteers who dedicate their time and themselves to help the community protect our roving family members
Founder, Tiffany Green
I began to follow the Waco shelter Facebook page during the summer of 2012. The intake numbers were incredibly high, and one of the main reasons was because owners were not reclaiming their pets.
I couldn’t believe it.
The unnecessary large number of pets and strays entering the shelter generated my decision to create a group where people could share their missing or found animals with hopes to reduce HSCT flow coming in.
The first year was fairly slow, we started off with just a few members. Since then, we have grown considerably. Our following is now over 25,000, and we add about 1000 new members every month. Daily posts are up to 10-20 a day and more on holidays and during storms.
We work closely with area shelters and animal controls. Our group cover seven counties, McLennan, Hill, Bosque, Falls, Bell, Limestone, and Coryell, and we are in constant contact, assisting in matching reported lost pets who’ve entered their facilities with their owners.
We’ve grown large enough that we’re offering 10$ microchip. Micro-chipping is a safety feature every companion animals needs to have, it gets them home much quicker. Many of our members are armed with Microchip scanners. They spend their time and money traveling to scan a found pet and return it to their owners. Generous members also donate to the vet care of many found pets, and have saved many lives.
We’ve repeatedly seen that it truly takes a village to reunite a family, and our village is the best. We’ve had many amazing admins and moderators on our team who have come and gone, but each have left their mark. We are thankful for each one.
I lived in McLennan county for 9 years. We left in 2013 and moved to Minnesota. The group was still fairly new, and I wasn’t ready to just walk away, so I continued to work from afar. I’ve been married for 10 years. I have a six-year-old daughter, and a 10-year-old yellow lab. I left a large piece of my heart in central Texas, and it will always be a home to my family. I will continue to work hard for the animals of central Texas!
The explosion in West, Texas happened a short time after I created the group. We attempted to be a hub for missing pets and for others found in the town. We were such a small army, our help was minimal, but we did contribute. Knowing how much we’ve grown, I am confident that we would be an prepared in an emergency, and we’d be an asset to city shelters and animal control.
Tiffany Green, founder of Central Texas Lost and Found Pets.
I started following CTLAFP shortly after the West Fertilizer Plant Explosion. I lived in the area and was struggling to find ways to help. I found the Facebook group and noticed the countless dogs brought to the shelter, most likely separated from their families after the accident.
I shared their photos, hoping to reunite lost pups with their owners. The group began to expand during those months, and countless displaced pets were returned to their homes. Witnessing those heartwarming reunions, especially with people who lost everything, was breathtaking.
At that point, I was hooked. Tiffany asked me to help admin shortly after I moved out of the region. I was honored and jumped at the opportunity. Thanks to this wonderful group, I have met some amazing people and made bonds that’ll never break.
The Waco Shelter is just one of the many shelters we help. But HSCT staff are closest to my heart. We spend hours every day sharing and praying. We cry when shelter dogs are lost, and we rejoice when they are saved through adoption, foster, or rescue.
This group is more than a village of animal lovers. We are family. Jenny Luper
I’m Kayla and I began CTLAFP journey in March of 2016. I initially joined to help return pets to their owners and get them safely back into their homes. My positioned altered after I rescued a stray husky in the pouring rain.
It was then my status changed from just assisting to admin. Shortly after I rescued another northern breed on the side of the highway. This occurrence propelled my need to learn more, support the husky breed, and educate the public.
Since I’ve joined this great group, I have fostered over 25+ pets. My involvement with CTLAFP has been a satisfying and rewarding experience. I can’t find anything more fulfilling than returning a pet to their family or keeping them safe until they are placed in a forever home.
It takes patience and a true love for animals to do what we do. Our amazing members sustain us as we continue to grow. We love the difference we are making as a team. Through it all, we’ve gained strong friendships and irreplaceable bonds with numerous fur babies!! Kayla Reyes
I became a member of this group when it was in the beginning stages, boasting only a few hundred members. I wasn’t active until a couple of years ago when a Code Red plea came from our local Humane Society. They were out of space and needed help saving dogs. I reached out that day and became foster to Silas.
Although I didn’t plan on fostering more than one dog, I ended up gaining a second. Mack appeared on my road a few weeks later. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find his owners, but with Tiffany’s help, he was eventually adopted into an amazing family.
After that, I fostered most of the strays that showed up near my home, which increased my activity on the CTLAFP page. I’d offer helpful advice and try to match lost and found pets, and search for the owners of my sweet fosters.
This page has motivated me into becoming involved in the rescue world. My fosters are dogs off our site. Along with fostering, I transport, rescue, and volunteer. Dozens of dogs have stayed in my home, some hang around up to a year before finding their families, and for others, it’s mere hours and a rescue will step up and agree to take them.
As an admin, I host adoption events, microchip clinics, assist in managing our main page, adoptable page, and the foster page. It’s a lot of work, but enjoy every second!
Everything that I do is for the animals. I want to see every cat and dog go to loving homes or to be reunited with their families. Erin Castillo
I grew up in the country and seeing “dumped” pets was normal. Several years ago, I saw an emaciated dog walking down the road. I thought to myself, he needs help, but how can I help?
Animal control is closed, it’s nighttime. I don’t know what I to do. Why did I even care? This was normal, right?
We had just brought home our first dog. He was a puppy, and this was all new to me. I couldn’t bring home a big, ill homeless dog.
But this poor animal compelled me to start researching lost pets. Unfortunately, those sites didn’t exist at that time. Years passed, I created a Facebook account, and I scrolled down my news feed, and I see someone is searching for two missing dogs.
Once again I conducted a study. I discovered a few social media pages, but those involved were from a different world. The pages were full of drama, and the conversations were inappropriate and unbecoming. I did not find them helpful.
Eventually, I came across CTLAFP, only it was a group. Still new to FB, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to become a member. But I watched them. I could read, but because I wasn’t a member, I could not comment.
Every day I would check to find out the newest posts. People who commented actually loved their pets (like I love mine) were missing them dearly. Everyone was respectful and their emotion’s radiated.
The organization impressed me. If I wanted to see an update, I read the original post, I didn’t have to search for the latest information. It was all right there for me to search! People celebrated happy endings…wait…what…the admin truly wanted to help, and the members were a family.
One day Titan, a beautiful lab went missing after a car accident. Everyone rallied to find him…and I witnessed an extraordinarily special feat. I had to join, so I became a member. In the beginning I wasn’t active, but read every post.
Admin hosted an event at Gander Mountain last year, they asked if any members were available to keep an eye out on the page. I was free, and I was hooked. I felt like I was making a difference. Soon after, I became a moderator, and a year later, an admin.
I’ve learned so much. A dog found in the country is not always “dumped”. Strays are usually lost pets trying to find their way home, and always chip check (even if it’s a kitten).
To this day, I can still see that emaciated dog, only now I know how to help if the encounter ever occurs again.
Every day is something new. We learn, we grow, we laugh, we cry and we do it together. I understand Tiffany’s vision, which became a reality, and we’re making a difference and helping the voiceless. Krissa Ferguson
I spent the better part of 25 years in Central Texas and came across Central Texas Lost & Found Pets while helping another local northern breed (huskies, malamutes, etc.) rescue and adoption group.
Part of my responsibilities was to locate these specific breeds, raise awareness, and publicize the obligations when owning this type of dog. I also posted lost, found, and shelter pups.
Northern breeds placed in shelters were extremely high and many I shared to my other group came from CTLAFP. Eventually, I was asked to assist CTLAFP, but I was worried I wouldn’t have time to commit to both. Later, I joined CTLAFP as a mod, and then as an admin, and I’ve never looked back.
We call our members a “village” and the surrounding communities that makes up our Village. Members blow me away with their tenacity, compassion, and generosity. We have grown into a family, and like all families, we’ve experienced our ups and downs.
From the elation of finding a pet that’s been missing for years or grieving the death of an animal a member rushed to the ER. Our souls are poured into this group, the members, and (most importantly) those that can’t speak for themselves: the pets.
I am honored and humbled to serve the voiceless, and have gained some fabulous sisters along the way. Those I serve with are some of my closest friends, and I will always treasure and celebrate our friendship. Courtney Camejo
Kathryn our friend and rescue sister, isn’t with us today… but her infectious smile and love for these animals drives us to continue the work that she so passionately committed her time in Waco to. Two organizations were lucky enough to call her their hero: The Humane Society of Central Texas, and Texas Cattle Dog Rescue. In her short 1.5 years in Waco, she fostered over 30 dogs for these organizations, including one special dog named Sarah who captured her heart and stayed with Kathryn until the last moment. Kathryn fought an incredible battle with cancer and will remain forever a CTLAFP Admin.
Avoid tragedy and protect your furry family member!
According to national statistics, animal control officials across the country see a 30-60% increase in lost pets each year between July 4th and 6th. In fact, July 5th is one of the busiest days of the year for shelters.
Statistics also show that only 14% of lost pets are returned to their owners. What’s even sadder is many pets will never make it out of the shelter or back home. Inexperienced and frightened, a large number will die in the streets because they are confused and their inability to dodge oncoming traffic, or because they travel so far, they’re never found.
Pro activity helps.
Make sure your pets – cats and dogs alike – have identification tags with up-to-date information. If you have horses, you might consider marking a safety (breakaway) halter with your contact information and leaving it on your horse during this stressful time.
If your pets aren’t already microchipped, talk with your veterinarian about microchipping. Waco and CTLAFP hold affordable clinics often. This simple procedure can greatly improve your chances of getting your pets back if they become lost.
If your pets are microchipped, make sure your contact information is up to date on the registry.
Take a current photo of all of your cats, dogs, and horses – just in case.
If your pet has historically been anxious on this holiday, or if you have reason to expect potentially harmful reactions, consider behavioral therapy to desensitize your pet and reduce the risk of problems. Some pets may need medication. Consult your veterinarian.
Make sure the environment is safe and secure. How?
Leave your pets at home when you go to parties, fireworks displays, parades and other gatherings. Loud fireworks, unfamiliar places and crowds can all be very frightening to pets, and there’s great risk of pets becoming spooked and running away
Consider putting your pets in a safe, escape-proof room or crate during parties and fireworks.
Keep horses and livestock in safely fenced areas and as far from the excitement and noise as possible.
If you’re hosting guests, ask them to help keep an eye on your pets to make sure they don’t escape. Placing notes on exit doors and gates can help both you and your guests remain vigilant.
Keep your pets inside. Leave on a radio, television, or anything loud enough to help drown out the loud noises
Keep sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal, and kabob skewers away from curious pets.
If you’re traveling out of town for the holiday, consider leaving your pets at home with a pet sitter or boarding them in a kennel. If you need to bring them with you, be sure you know how to keep them safe.
A Message from Central Texas Lost and Found Pets:
Secure your pets before the 4th. They don’t understand fireworks and to them it’s loud, bright and scary. 4th of July is the biggest day for our group and we worry weeks in advance about the number pets that will get out and possibly not make it home the way they left . We scanned more deceased pets last year on the 5th then the entire month of June.
If your pet does escape or you find a lost pet:
Ask us for help. We are always glad to see if we can find a foster, scan for a chip or network to get a found pet home. It’s what makes it all worth it. Getting that pet home safe and quick.
Local shelters, including the Humane Society of Central Texas are already experiencing large intakes due to early firework mayhem. No one wants animals put down and personnel are scrambling to keep everyone safe until their forever family comes.
But they can only do so much.
We, as a community must also do our part.
(Note: surrendering any animal to the shelter will involve a fee, even if the pet does not belong to you) Avoid tragedy and protect your furry family member!
Newest Urgents and those still waiting! The following animals lives are on the line, and may not be here after July 5th.
Step up and adopt or sign up to foster.
Save a life
As of Saturday, July 1st, all urgents are sponsored and FREE to adopt to approved adopters.
NOTE: Have a staff member or volunteer take your potential adoptee out of the kennel and to the play area. They learn behaviors and tend to jump to get noticed, but they are not normally jumpy dogs. Give them a chance to show you who they are, and don’t discount the shy ones. They all just want to go home with you.
Adoption Fee is Sponsored! Tammy is still on the urgent list and this youngster is waiting for her hero to come rescue her. Are you her hero? Tammy: Kennel # Y031 Came in on 4/10/17 (A075044) Labrador Retriever mix Female, 7 months
My name is Tammy. At seven months old, I’m the baby of the urgent group. I’m a delightful little girl. I acted like a perfect angle during my photo shoot. I obeyed all commands, walked well on a leash, and when I was inside my kennel, I gave everyone tons of sweet kisses.
I must confess, I have had some behavior issues in the past, but HSCT resident trainer, Chris has been working on improving my disposition and says in time, I’ll be a fine addition to a family, and my issues will stay in the past. I’ve been here since 4/10/17 and I’m ready to make a fresh start toward my new future.
So how about giving me a chance to prove what an awesome, lovable, girl I am? It just takes patience. Trust me, you’ll find me irresistible once you get to know me. You can find me in my Kennel Y031, and my ID # is A075044. I’m Tammy, a Female, Labrador mix, and I’m a delight! Come meet me!
Tango found someone who wanted to be his partner and now is dancing in a home of his own!
Adoption fee sponsored. Poor Tango is still looking for his dancing partner in a home with a family of his own. Will you two-step with this sweet boy? Came in on 4/1/17 Tango A076239 American Staff Mix Male, 2 yrs
Ladies and gentlemen!
My name is Tango and I’m a dapper gent with loads of curiosity and oodles of charm. (Oh, and I’m possibly potty trained.) As you can see, I’m a dressed for success kind of guy, with my smart, black coat and my feet are white, like I’m wearing spats. While I am a bit on the bigger side, I’m not at all jumpy or over excitable, and I can be quite friendly. Mainly, I just like to chill while looking my best, of course!
Yeah, my kennel mates make fun of me for being dressed up all the time, but hey, a guy’s got to be prepared. My forever family may be right around the corner, and I want to be ready. Actually, I am ready! I’ve been here since 4/1/17, and that’s a really long time. Though the staff here is wonderful, I’ve overstayed my welcome, and I’m hoping to be adopted soon.
If you’d like an introduction, come to Kennel D071. My ID number is A076239. I’m Tango, I’m a stylish 2-year-old, Male, American Staff Mix, and I’m ready to go home.
Hello Madam’s & Sir’s
I’m Cadet, and I’m extending a canine salute. Like my name suggests, I obey orders when given. I sit when told, march perfect on a leash, (I’m never out of step) and I don’t hop on my commanding officer.
But when I’m at ease, I’m a laid-back fellow, who just wants to be loved. Because I’m a bigger guy, it’s hard to tell that I’m the sensitive type, especially with a name like Cadet, but I’m extremely calm and perceptive. I should be a great fit in any family, and I’m certainly ready to become a civilian, and just be a pal.
You see, I’ve been on my tour of duty here at the shelter since 5/4/17 and I’m eager to receive my furlough and settle down. Can you give me my discharge papers and take me home? I’m Cadet. I’m a 2 1/2-year-old, Male, Pittie Mix. My kennel # is YO32 and my ID tag is A076713.
Lovely Aspen says come cool off with me! Who will be this girl’s swim buddy? Kennel # Y030 Came in on 4/20/17 Aspen (A076513) Labrador Retriever Mix Female, 2 yrs
Hey, I’m Aspen. As my name suggest, I’m a casual girl that strolls in like a cool breeze after a hot summer day. I’m tall, sleek, and quite the beauty, and while I could use a bit of leash training, I’m a lovely sight wherever I go.
Don’t misunderstand, I’m more than a pretty face. I’m interested in the world around me. I love exploring, and seeing what I can discover. The problem is, I’ve traveled the entire shelter, (I’ve been here since 4/20/17), and it’s nice and all, but I want to move on and investigate other things. What would make my situation even better is if I had a partner to go sightseeing with me.
Is that you? I’d so love to find an active home with a bunch of corners for me to sniff. Come by and meet me. I’m in Kennel Y030 and my ID# is A076513. I’m Aspen, a 2-year-old, Female, Lab. I’m also already sprayed.
Lovely Aspen says come cool off with me! Who will be this girl’s swim buddy? Kennel # Y030 Came in on 4/20/17 Aspen (A076513) Labrador Retriever Mix Female, 2 yrs
Cool dude, Satchmo’s new owner spotted this former urgent, and knew he had to have this handsome gym. Have a great life, Satch!
Hey man! The name’s Satchmo, and I’m a jazzy guy, a bit on the shy side, but once I come out of my shell, you’ll find that I’m a pretty cool dude to hang out with. I’m easy going, walk nice on a leash, and I like to have a good time, although I won’t be the life of the party, I’d rather spend time with my person on the sidelines.
Problem? I don’t have a person yet, and I’ve been waiting since 5/3/17 for someone to come find me. I don’t understand why they haven’t. I’m such a pleasant boy. I’m very handsome, mid-size, and not too high energy. I just like to explore my surroundings and then settle on the sofa,
Do you have room for me? Head on over and see if we jell. I bet we will. I’m Satchmo. I’m a 2-year-old, Male, Lab Mix. I’m in Kennel Y023 and my ID # is A076690.
Irresistible Harper is now loving her new life with her new family!
Hi! Hi! My name is Harper, and I’m the cutest, sweetest little girl with a funny personality! I like everybody, including other dogs. I full of fun, and I have the friendliest smile! I can’t wait to find me a home and spread my cuteness everywhere!
Besides being a cutie, I’m a great leash, walker and I really enjoy playing, but I’m medium energy, so I won’t drive my family crazy by requiring a lot of exercise. I just need a bit of ball time and I’m good. I’m awesome cuddle bug, too, I just need someone to cuddle with. I’ve been at the shelter since 4/25/17, and it’s time I find my snuggle buddy.
So, won’t you come get me and cuddle with me? Come find me at Kennel Y007 and my ID# is A076597. I’m Harper, Female, 2-year-old, Lab Mix.
Long time HSCT resident and great girl, Kuna found her forever home. So happy for this awesome pup!
Amazing girl, Kona found her a brand new family!
Adoption Fee is Sponsored. Kuna is a perfect dog outside the kennels. She’s gentle, calm. and has amazing manners, but she’s still waiting for a home. Why hasn’t anyone adopted this beautiful girl? Kennel # Y005 Came in on 4/9/17 Kuma (A076330) Pittie Mix Female, 3 yrs
Adoption Fee is Sponsored! Who’s looking for the best behaved and sweetest girl? Look no further, because Kuna is the one for you! Kennel # Y005 Came in on 4/9/17 Kuma (A076330) Pittie Mix Female, 3 yrs
Hidey Ho! My name is Kuma! I am a super calm lady who has a huge smile and great personality. I’m so happy, I grin all the time. I love being with people, and I give the best hugs, but do I like interacting with other dogs? Not so much. If you’re looking for a single girl, I’m definitely the one you want to choose.
As you can see, I have a beautiful, dark copper coat that shimmers in the sunshine. I’m a mid-sized pup and in great shape, I’d be perfect for apartment living. I’m curious, but medium energy, and would enjoy a daily stroll since I walk quite well on a leash. Unfortunately, I don’t get out as much as I’d like, because I don’t have my own family, yet. I’ve been waiting here a while, (4/9/17) to find my new home.
How about I come live in yours? Come visit me and let’s chat. I’m in Kennel Y005 and my ID # is A076330. My name is Kuma, I’m a 3-year-old Female, Pittie mix. See you soon!
Consider adding one of these wonderful dogs to your family, and don’t overlook those gorgeous black dogs! There are far too many in need.
Don’t let these wonderful dogs become a 4th of July statistic. Give them the chance they deserve. Go adopt!
These five were recently added to the urgent list. We will be taking new photos and adding new bios next week, but don’t let that stop you from meeting these amazing pups and consider adding one to your family.
(Click on the photo for names)
Cyndi and I went in to meet Kaydo and get better photos, and write his bio only to find out he’d been adopted! He was waiting to go to the vet, then off to a better life!
Look who was adopted!
While intake was heavy and lives are still at risk, HSCT did have a lot of adoptions this past week. Here are a few of the lucky ones who are relaxing in their forever homes.
Everybody have a wonderful holiday, but before you begin your celebration, share this information far and wide. Lets keep our beloved fur family members safe and at home during this 4th;
Saving the homeless and the voiceless takes a village. To keep the wheels turning in the right direction and emotions in check, the village requires effective leaders.
Today, I want to shine a deserved spotlight on a fabulous leader. She is dedicated to the welfare of the displaced animals who have landed at the shelter, and she labors tirelessly to locate a safe place for them to go.
I’m sure those who frequent HSCT have witnessed Rescue Director, Lana Crow busily zipping in and out of the reception area, many times with a pup cuddled in her arms while she’s hard at work.
If you’ve yet to meet this devoted lady in person, then you’ve probably watched the Humane Society of Central Texas Facebook videos where she’s introducing to the public the shy, the seniors, or other hard to place pets.
Lana doesn’t spare the reality of what the Humane Society faces on a daily basis, yet she has been kind enough to share a bit of her life and give us the “why” she is committed to those without a voice.
Rescue is definitely in my blood. I was born and raised in Hillsboro, Texas. For 43 years, I owned and operated as business, Antique Villages, but in between family and my job, I rescue animals, which has been my personal mission for over 60 years.
My first save was at the age of four when I found a puppy at my family’s lake house in Whitney, Texas. I named him Rusty, and he became a faithful member of our family, living to the age of 21.
After Rusty, I constantly brought home strays and sought to find them homes. As an adult, I took pictures and posted them at grocery stores, feed stores, and veterinary offices to help re-home or find lost animal’s owners. Needless to say, I’m thrilled with today’s technology. It makes my quest much easier.
As time went on, I wanted to do more. I began volunteering at the Humane Society of Central Texas in 2012. Once on the inside, I realized too many lives were lost, the live exit rate in 2012 was around 30%, and more animals needed to be moved into rescues and homes.
In 2013, I was offered the position as Rescue Director. I didn’t think twice. I sold the building I used for my business, moved my company to the Hillsboro Antique Mall, and heightened my goal to save more lives. Let me just say, I’ve never regretted my decision.
While my objective is to protect all animals in need, the old, scared, sick and injured really tug at my heart, and they are my passion.
One incident in particular stands out: I hadn’t been at the shelter a long period when I received a call concerning a terrified female Golden Retriever. She was so frightened, she wouldn’t allow anyone to touch her. I headed that way the second we hung up, hopeful I could help her.
I didn’t realize how scared she was until I arrived and saw her trembling and cowering in her cage. Convincing her to leave the kennel wasn’t easy. It took a while, but with a lot of sweet-talking, I eventually succeeded in coaxing her out.
She held onto me so tight, she didn’t want me to put her down. So I didn’t. I took her home. For weeks, I struggled to bond with her and as time moved forward, the sweet girl became calmer as she learned to trust.
Once I deemed her ready, I contacted Golden Rescue. Thankfully, they had space and accepted her into their program. It wasn’t long after a loving family adopted her, and she now happily lives in a wonderful home.
Goldie and others like her provide me with great joy and those victories are what keep me going. Recognizing I possess the ability to improve and have a positive effect in the life of an animal facing a not so bright prospect—I can’t think of anything better.
Five years later and a lot has changed. The Humane Society of Central Texas now maintains over 90 % exit each month. We are proud of that, and the wonderful improvements that HSCT and the City of Waco have accomplished. We’re also proud to be a part of the incredible progress in helping McLennan County’s unwanted animals become wanted, and placing them in loving, forever homes.
And we’re striving to do more.
My future hopes are to remain a part of this great HSCT staff and volunteers as we keep caring for these precious lives. Everyone involved is determined to present each animal a satisfying outcome.
I pray to God every night to provide me with the strength and courage, so I can continue to help our four-legged friends in need. Rescue is very stressful and it takes a toll, yet I can’t imagine my life without aiding these beautiful animals who’ve lost their way. The communities support, and the knowledge we do make a difference assists us through the tougher days.
Being a part of HSCT and the City of Waco Shelter is a blessing. My fellow co-workers are awesome. They don’t mind assisting this “old grandma”, especially when it comes to saving our furry residents. I thank you all, and I love you all
We are a lifesaving team.
We are truly the “little shelter that can.”
“I have never lived without a dog or cat in my home. I have a real connection with animals. Some people don’t get it, but then I don’t get them. It’s just who I am. Other than my grandchildren, saving homeless animals lives is true passion, and saving their lives makes me whole.” Lana Crow, Rescue Director at the Humane Society of Central Texas
Editors note: Lana works 24/7 to get these sweet fur babies into rescue. She is always on the job! Thank you, Lana for your great service to the community. You’re one in a million!
Pups in Immediate Need
The following dogs have been waiting a long time for their families to come find them. With the 4th of July upon us, they are in real danger of losing their lives due to limited space.
Open your heart and your home. Adopt or Foster and save their life.
Note: If you’re interested in adopting, have an employee or volunteer take the dog out of the kennel and into the playpen. They learn bad habits from each other and many will jump and appear overzealous in their cages when they’re actually calm. They just crave attention.
Henderson the Hoot
Who remembers Henderson? Well everyone should. This boy spent five long months at the shelter before going into foster. But he’s no longer a foster child, this boy’s been adopted!
Why does no one want Henderson? This fantastic guy has been at the shelter since March and he leads the pack, and not in a good way. He’s handsome, he’s extremely intelligent, and he’s very sweet! Even better, his adoption fee is sponsored. Go get this boy and save his life! He deserves a forever home.
Why is Handsome Henderson still here?
Handsome Henderson is the only previous urgent that hasn’t found a home. This perfect boy is becoming stressed inside his kennel and he needs an adopter or foster ASAP!
I’m Henderson. They tell me I’m a stunning guy, and I’m full of personality and charm. As you can see I have a great smile! I might be potty trained, but could use a bit of leash training. I’m a pretty smart guy, so that shouldn’t be a problem for the right person.
I’m a little on the energetic side, but that’s probably because I’ve been at the shelter a long time (since 3/11/17). They’re really nice here, but I’m past ready to find my person and start enjoying my life.
I’d love to be a part of a family who would include me in their activities, and I’m longing for them to hurry and rescue me.
Is that you?
Henderson is a two year old, male, pittie mix and you can find him in Kennel # D054. His ID is A075943. Henderson is currently 3rd on the urgent list.
Napoleon the Great
Super long time urgent, Napoleon found his forever home! This well-mannered, intelligent guy will make his new owners a great companion!
Adoption Fee Sponsored Good looking Napoleon is a staff favorite. He’s intelligent, serine, and an all around great dog. Why no one hasn’t snatched this special guy up is a huge puzzle. Why not go meet him. You’ll find him a favorite, too! Kennel # D049 Came in on 3/19/17 Napoleon (A076049) American Staff Mix Male, 1 yr
My name is Napoleon and I need a quick escape. This is a nice place and all, but I’ve been here since 3/19/17. I’m told I’m a staff favorite because I like to hang out with people. I also walk easy on a leash, and I obey commands quite well.
I’m looking for a new best friend to take me for a long walk or maybe a swim. Or we can just sit on the couch and chill. I’m good with giving kisses if you’re up for a belly rub every now and then.
I have a lot of energy, but it’s the good kind. I don’t jump or bark when I’m in the playpen, and I don’t seemed to notice the other dogs around me. I’m close to as perfect as you can get. So how about it?
Can I come live with you?
I’m Napoleon. I’m a year old., male American Staff Mix. You can find me in kennel # D049 and my ID # is A076049. At the time of this post, Napoleon is fifth on the urgent list.
Sweet Miley is a gentle, young girl just needing some love. How much longer will she have to wait until someone realizes this girl is a true gem and gives her a home.
I’m Miley, and aren’t I just the cutest little love bug? I have the prettiest fawn coat, and the most soulful, brown eyes. My disposition? I’m a total sweetheart. I know I’m a bit rambunctious in my kennel, but I can’t help it. I have so much love to pass around, and I just want to get out and start giving it to everyone I meet.
Once I’m outside, I calm down quite a bit. Overall, I’m a gentle lady, but I’m still young, and I would benefit from daily exercise and some added training would be nice, too. After I feel safe and secure, I’ll be a great addition to any family.
I’ve been waiting since 3/23/17, and I so want my new mom and dad to come find me. I’m a good girl, and I’ll do whatever it takes to find a loving home.
Come by and lets play a while. See if I’m not the perfect fit for you!
I’m Miley. I’m a year old, female, Labrador Retriever mix. You can locate me in kennel #D060 and my ID is A076111. I sit at #6 on the urgent list.
Giffard is a doll and it’s baffling why he’s on the urgent list. He’s a bit wild in the kennel, but outside, he displays his intelligence and his manners. Go meet this boy, better yet, adopt him. You won’t regret it!
Adoption Fee is Sponsored Adorable guy, Gifford hasn’t found a home? This is a puzzle. Ignore his kennel behavior and take him outside and you’ll find a well-mannered pup. Kennel # D062 Came in on 4/2/17 Gifford (A076247) American Bulldog Mix Male, 4 yrs
How about this great story? The Turner family in Denton saw lovable Gifford on Facebook and it was love at first sight. They instantly filled out the adoption forms, and did all the necessary work over the phone, and now he’s off to his happily ever after!
Yo! Gifford here!
Who’s looking for the best dog in the world? Yeah, I’m a big lug, but I’m a gentle, loving soul who just wants to find a good home. And why wouldn’t I? I have a great smile and my tail wags all the time, which tells you I’m just a happy fellow who deserves a happily ever after.
I walked fantastic on a leash, I easily romp around the play pen and I don’t jump or bark. I don’t react to my surroundings, my attention stays on my human playmates. I also seemed to be potty trained, so that’s a definite plus, right?
I’m in great shape, good looking, and I’d make the perfect companion to just about any family. My only flaw? I can scale a fence, so you’ll either have to have a high fence or keep me on a leash when I’m outside. FYI: I’m a smart dude, and when a shelter employee warned me to stay away from the edges of the playpen, I minded, and I didn’t try to escape during my photo shoot.
So what are you waiting for? My stay has been since 4/7/17 and I’m ready to go home. Come get me!
I’m Gifford. A male, 4 year old American Bulldog Mix. I’m in kennel # D062, and my ID is A076247. I’m seventh on the urgent list, and I prefer not to move up any higher.
Gorgeous Tilly is still waiting for you to come meet her! This girl is a total entertainer, sweeter than watermelon, and will add load of fun into your family.
My name is Tilly, and I’m a playful, fun girl. I really like to be busy, so if you’re into throwing a ball, going for a walk or run or any kind of puppy games, then I’m the lady you’re looking for.
I’m very lovable, extremely pretty, (as you can see I’m always ready to pose for the camera) I’m interested in the world around me. I seemed to catch on quick, so I can be easily trained, and I’ll be an awesome addition to your family.
I’ll probably relax once I get home, but right now, I’m a bit excitable since I was brought in on 4/3/17. Being cooped up for months can get a bit trying after a while. After I get settled, I’m sure I’ll want to snuggle on the couch.
So come meet me, and spring me. I’m ready to go home!
I’m Tilly. Female, two year old Labrador/Terrier Mix. I reside in Kennel # Y026 and my ID is A076243. I’m eighth on the urgent list.
We were so excited to find out one of the big guy’s Naymond found his furever home! His family definitely hit the puppy jackpot when they adopted him.
Another urgent is safe. A family hit the jackpot when they adopted big, handsome Naymond. ! Yay for Naymond!
I’m Naymond. Isn’t that just the coolest name? If fits me to a tee, too, because I’m about the coolest dog you’ll ever meet. (Just FYI, my ears were voted the coolest in the shelter!) I have lovely markings and I’m an overall smart looking dog.
I’m one of the bigger males around here, but size doesn’t matter. When I’m out of the kennels, I have amazing manners. I’m mellow, smart, I sit pretty, and don’t pull on a leash. If you give me a chance, you won’t find a lot wrong with me.
I’ve been a guest at the shelter since 4/4/17 and it’s time for me to bid adios to these nice people and go to my forever home. Is that home yours? Come meet me and find out. The crew at my photo shoot were very impressed with my behavior, I bet you’ll feel the same.
I’m Naymond. I’m male, 1 3/4 year old Boxer Mix. My kennel is # D045 and my ID is A076272. I’m neutered so I can leave right away!
Our girl Wednesday tops the list Adorable Blake is # 2
And sweetheart Chico is #4
Punky Brewster was adopted and returned…again. She’s a great dog, but potential owners need to listen to the employees and volunteers when they say Punky doesn’t do well with other animals.
Summertime is never a good time for any animal shelter and HSCT is no different. From May to September, they remain at code-red status, and they try extra hard to keep available space for incoming pets, sometimes they’re forced to to the unthinkable due to overcrowding.
July 4th is the worst time of year for shelters. Dogs and cats especially are afraid of the loud noises, and escape back yards to flee from the ruckus. Many wind up at the shelter, which causes overpopulation and unfortunately multiple, adoptable animals lose their lives just for lack of space, which could be prevented with just a little attention and responsibility from owners.
This year, do the your animals, the community, and HSCT a favor. Secure your pet. Don’t assume they’ll be “okay” left alone in the backyard.
Look Who Found Their Forever Home !
Thirteen year old Annie entered the shelter with not a lot of prospects…until her sweet, new mom, Debbie came along. Debbie couldn’t bear the idea of this senior girl sitting alone with no home to go to. So she gave her one! Happy life, Annie!
Malone was on the urgent list when Tiffany decided he needed to come home with her. This wonderful boy has two fur brothers, one being Clive, another urgent who Tiffany adopted the week before, and he also has a human sibling on the way. Have a wonderful life, Malone!
Linda and her husband have been wanting a companion pup for a long time. She came to the shelter to search for their new family member and sweet Riley’s calm demeanor and adorable face sealed the deal. Good luck to Riley and her new family!
The wonderful Sanchez family fell in love with the beautiful Nola just from her photograph on the HSCT website. They rushed over to meet her, and instantly made her a part of their family. She’s going to be a very happy girl!
And a special happy tails to Drew, the big guy featured in the previous blog. This amazing fellow is waiting for his neuter and then he will be heading for his forever home.