The Adoption Coordinator at Fort Bend County Animal Services sounded an SOS call. Her urgent appeal to the public requested help adopting out homeless hounds.
“We’ve had an incredible influx of strays the past six weeks,” said Barbara Vass, adoption coordinator. “We are maxed to the gills.” According to Vass, the majority of the kennel animals are dogs, but not for long.
“Kitten season is coming right around the corner,” she said. “We’ll be full with kittens and mommies.”
Vass said the shelter typically takes in about “400 to 600 animals a month,” but recently the need has been overwhelming. “We had a 10-day period where we adopted out 50 dogs, but we had 40 dogs come in over four days.”
“Our goal is to adopt out as many animals as possible,” Vass said. “It weighs heavily sometimes.” She said about “90 to 95 percent are strays” and “five to 10 percent” are citizen turn-ins.
Vass said there are healthy animals in the kennel. “We have beautiful and amazing animals,” she said. “They came from somewhere; we want to find somewhere for them.”
The public can view and adopt pups and kittens, canines and cats, at the Fort Bend County Animal Services shelter, 1210 Blume Road, Rosenberg. Hours for viewing and adopting are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. According to Vass, there are additional hours to accommodate families.
“We are open Wednesday evenings, 5 to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.,” she said. “Saturday is our busiest day.” Vass mentioned a caveat about Wednesday evening viewings. “We close between 4-5 p.m. to clean the kennel.”
Vass is quick to praise Fort Bend County residents. “This community loves its animals and is willing to step out with emergencies and push lists.”
To contact Vass at the Fort Bend County Animal Services shelter, phone 281-238-2277 or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org via email.
To view pooches or felines for adoption, visit: Fort Bend County Pets – Fort Bend County Animal Services on Facebook or use the link: facebook.com/FortBendAnimal-Services/?fref=ts
Vass said families pay a small adoption fee that covers vaccines and spaying-neutering. “We rely on community vets,” she said. “We don’t have a vet on staff, nor a vet tech.”
Volunteer Allison Marlow administers a companion Facebook page to view dogs or cats at the county animal shelter. Visit: Pets at Ft. Bend Animal Control on Facebook or use the link: facebook.com/PetsAtFtBendAnimalControl/?fref=ts
“We want to let people know we are here,” Vass said. “We provide an amazing service to the community.” Seven animal control officers “cover 766 square miles of unincorporated Fort Bend County” according to Vass. “They work 365 days a year, seven days a week.”
Vass began her position as county Adoption Coordinator in November 2015. “Resources are slim in the shelter,” she said. “It is hard to do what we do without support from 501(c)(3) organizations.”
She referred to the assistance the county shelter receives from the non-profit organization, Saving Our Companion Animals–Fort Bend County (SOCA-FBC), an organization she founded prior to working for the county. She turned over the reins to new SOCA-FBC leadership when the county hired her.
Vass said SOCA-FBC assists with medical attention to incoming shelter animals, adoptions, fostering, and reducing euthanasia.
Vass said. “SOCA-FBC transported animals out of state to shelters in Colorado and Wisconsin.”]]>
“Volunteers Rita Garretson and Michelle Camp have done so much,” she said. “They beat the bushes to find a shelter out there to be a transport partner.”
According to Vass, a transport of “30 to 50 dogs” costs “$50 to $125 per animal” depending on needs. Costs includes transport company fees, vetting the animal, vaccines, and vet certificates. “It’s a very expensive endeavor,” she said.
The public can donate via the non-profit organization’s website, soca-fbc.org/ .
The county adoption coordinator said paper towels, bleach, Clorox wipes, and Dawn dishwashing liquid are always needed at the county shelter. She said Dawn “works as well as anything and is quite gentle” for the animals. “It is awesome for fleas,” Vass said, noting the shelter would not turn away donations of cat or dog food, either.
Fort Bend County Animal Services conducts outreach visits to third-grade classes, seniors, and middle school students. Other upcoming events include partnering with Patsy’s Pet Market, five Katy Kroger stores, and SOCA_FBC, Feb. 20, to benefit shelter animals. Volunteers are needed to collect supplies and donations for shelter use.
Other collaborations include a ‘Cats in Residence’ program at Petco in Richmond where county shelter cats are available for adoption on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. “They feature our cats,” the county adoption coordinator said. “Cats are there all the time.” The store is located at 24944 FM 1093.
Vass’ extensive experience working with abandoned animals has only deepened her affection for them. “You cannot help but fall in love with these animals,” she said. “You get attached being around them every day.”
As an act of love, Vass urged pet owners to identify and register their pets. “Microchip your pets,” Vass said. “Register your microchip with the microchip company.” She said if that is not possible, “Put a collar with a tag containing your phone number on the pet.”