I THINK we did it!
August 05, 2016
Rescued Pets Movement’s mission is to provide a second chance for thousands of homeless dogs and cats through rehabilitation and transport to forever homes in communities throughout the country that have a need for adoptable pets.
Imagine a city with approximately 800,000 to 1 million homeless dogs and cats roaming its streets. The city’s limited intake, no-kill rescue groups and shelters are so overburdened with animals, they cannot help. No one is looking to adopt because the city is already overrun with animals needing homes. The multiple kill shelters around the city are euthanizing upwards of 85% of the dogs and cats that enter their facilities because they have nowhere to put them. The city’s pound—a shelter obligated by law to take all animals turned in and to pick up stray animals—is receiving over 100 animals per day. Some days they take close to 200. The city is scrambling to implement better spay-and-neuter programs, but the hard truth is that it will take years to feel the positive effect of those programs. In short, in this city, the homeless animal problem is overwhelming, and no program can even make a dent. As a result, thousands upon thousands of adoptable dogs and cats are killed every single year in this city—not because they are too sick to save, but because of a lack of space.
This city is Houston, Texas—the fourth largest city in the United States. Houston has one of the worst animal overpopulation problems in the country. With the help of local rescues and educational programs, Houston’s City Pound (BARC) worked hard to tackle the daily onslaught of dumped animals, but the mountain of efforts was not making a dent in the number of adoptable pets being saved from the shelter. Morale was low, and BARC’s save rate was even lower.
To actually make an immediate and significant impact—as opposed to a mere dent—in the save rate at BARC, BARC’s management realized that it needed to partner with an organization that could operate on a mass scale to get animals out of BARC alive and into forever homes. With a partner that could save a substantial number of animals on a daily basis, combined with efforts already in place to increase adoptions and encourage spaying and neutering, BARC believed it would be able to increase its struggling save rate, even if minimally. But BARC’s staff felt that the possibility of finding such a partner was a pipedream.
In September 2013, that dream became a reality in the form of Rescued Pets Movement (RPM). Like BARC’s management and staff, RPM’s founders were depressed and exhausted from trying to save pets in a city with no room. As a result, the RPM founders put their heads together and created a rescue model that was unheard of in Houston. This model was to save pets from death row, rehabilitate them in local foster homes, and then transport those pets to other areas of the nation that have a need for adoptable pets (whether because of the lack of a year-round breeding season, strong spay-and-neuter laws that not only required individuals to be responsible and spay and neuter their pets but also put backyard breeders out of business, and a different attitude towards owning a rescue). To save these dogs and cats on a massive scale, RPM built (and continues to build) solid relationships with reputable shelters and rescue groups in areas of the United States and Canada where there is a need for adoptable pets and then transport the pets there.
The model is simple supply and demand, and it works! In late 2013, RPM partnered with BARC and has helped change the face of rescue in Houston. Because of this partnership, in just under 3 years, RPM has saved almost 15,000 death-row dogs and cats and has been instrumental in increasing BARC’s save rate from a mere 37% to a recent high of 96% in November 2015.
Because of its innovative program and the thousands of hours invested by RPM’s volunteers and foster families, there is now hope in Houston for our homeless pets. Houston is still a long way from losing its title of being one of the worst cities for homeless animals in the country, and RPM still has much more work to do. With your donation, you will become part of a movement that is making a real, cognizable, and significant impact in the number of homeless animals roaming Houston’s streets. Please donate to help us continue (and even intensify) that impact and help keep the dream a reality!