San Jacinto News-Times - Local News
Stories Added - July 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company

Pets looking for loving homes
San Jacinto News- Times - July 2008

SHEPHERD – Most of us in San Jacinto County are familiar with animal abuse – we see it all too often on our highways, feeling remorse for the unwanted, malnourished dog or cat meandering along the roadway, some barely able to stand, trying to fi nd food, drink or a loving hand of encouragement to ease the pain felt by neglect and abandonment. We’ve all wanted to do something, but for reasons of our own, we continue on our way down the highway with the heartbreaking scene indwelled in our mind and wishing people were more responsible. There is a group of people here trying to make a difference – Save the Animal Rescue Society (STARS) -- a volunteer group located on two acres of land just outside of Coldspring. Last year, during their fi rst animal sale adoption, local people offered homes for 15 animals. Added to the number of homes found for unwanted animals through the internet, a total of 25 orphaned animals found homes. “This really lowered our work load quickly. These animals would have been subjected to yet another year at the rescue center or worse being farmed out to other rescue groups that are not a no-kill group,” said Marianne Stovall, director of STARS. “STARS goal is to fi nd ways to combat euthanasia.”

According to Stovall, numbers of animals needing help peak in the summer months due to so many pregnant animals and their babies being unwanted and unplanned. “We do our best to help all these animals fi nd a home before they reach three months, but there are just so many that several slide through the cracks each year,” she said. Even though life at the animal rescue center is a far cry from where they have come from, it is not home sweet home. “Housing, nurturing and tending to 60 to 80 animals each day makes getting one-on-one attention very short lived. Volunteers at the rescue center would like to see these leftovers get what their siblings got. We are hoping to fi nd them a home of their own with parents that love them and pay attention to them and their needs,” Stovall said. “As much as our organization would hate to do it, we will be forced to farm some adoptable dogs or cats to rescue groups that are not a nokill group, thus introducing them to a possible chance of euthanasia,” she said. Larger dogs are the most diffi cult to fi nd homes for, according to Stovall.

“Their only fl aw is they are not six weeks old and they are big, but gentle and respectful,” she said. Each Saturday, until August 21, STARS volunteers will be located at Wal-Mart in Livingston, raising money for mounting rescue bills. They will have pictures of adoptive adult animals for sale at prices reduced to as low as $30 depending on the size of the animal. They will also have a few adult animal mascots to support the volunteers – just listen for the barks – Stovall said. Larger animals will be less in price because large adults are the hardest to place unfortunately, she said. “We must make room for the new babies to hopefully fi nd a home as well. So all you people who love large dogs and fi nd them no more problem than a small pet can cash in on animals that are altered (spayed or neutered), current on rabies vaccinations, current on life saving parvo and and distemper shots, have been wormed, are heartworm free and have been leash trained. That’s a great deal,” Stovall said. Shepherd ISD staff gets involved Shepherd Independent School District staff will host a huge garage sale Saturday, July 12, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. to help STARS raise funds for rescued animals during their second annual animal sale adoption. The event will be located at the Shepherd Community Center pavilion, across the street from Shepherd Primary School. The goal is to help the rescue center prepare for the bad winter months when donations are sparse, adoption rates go down, numbers of unwanted animals begin to rise again and there STARS From page 1 are still feed, supply and veterinarian bills to pay monthly. “We will be taking in donations also for two special animals, one is a Great Dane in Austin named Grant, who needs an expensive spinal surgery and one is ours, a mixed German shepherd named Brawny, who came in with both front arms broken. We hope to have him on site so you can view his injuries,” Stovall said. Barbecue sandwiches, chips and drinks will be available at the July 12 garage sale.

“We hope our county residents will make plans with us this summer to save some animals and help us stay a no-kill rescue group of volunteers by attending the garage sale or making a donation,” Stovall said. If you would like to donate towards Grant contact Paws of Austin and ask for Prima Mosi, director and see what you can do. Grant is also listed with BESTFRINEDS.ORG to get help nationally. If you want to help Brawny, just call or email STARS at 936- 203-7004 or email Vanessa at coldspringstars@hotmail.com. “Many local residents help by paying on our veterinarian bills such as Kathy Lacoste, Virginia Wingate, Faith Alvarez and Dr. Medda Rauhut who turned in a stray and donated toward all his bills to make him healthy and adoptable and Vanessa Evans who saved a pup by rushing him to the vet and then paying his vet bill,” Stovall said. Coldspring veterinarian Dr. Merry Vann Holmes donates by offering a low cost spay/neuter program to the community. “Other area vets offering help are Dr. Thiel, Dr. Curbo and Dr. Robinson who have all worked with several of our fosters, helping us improve life for the animals,” Stovall said. “Mark you calendar for our garage sale on Saturday, July 12 or look for us at Wal-Mart in Livingston,” she said. “This is your chance to help.”



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