I wrote this story for the July issue of Insite Magazine. It is a compilation of many of the animal rescues and shelters in the Brazos Valley area, and the work they do to find loving homes for the creatures. You can read the text below:
Many factors, not just college students dumping animals they can no longer care for, cause Bryan and College Station to have high populations of homeless animals. It’s also more than just unwanted dogs or cats. Multiple Brazos Valley organizations work hard to make sure creatures from reptiles to horses find loving homes or safe sanctuary. Whether it’s to adopt a new member of the family or to make a donation to carry on the mission, browse the list of organizations below that provide vital local animal rescue services.
Aggie Feral Cat Alliance of Texas
An on-campus organization at Texas A&M University, AFCAT works to care for and manage the herds of stray and feral cats on campus. Population control is managed by trapping and fixing strays. Cats are also tested for infections, vaccinated, and microchipped. If the cat is deemed truly feral, it is released back where it was captured. If a cat is friendly, or if a mother cat has a litter of kittens, AFCAT will try to foster them out and help find forever homes.
According to faculty and student coordinator Stephanie Heath, AFCAT currently has a littler of 10 kittens in need of foster homes. AFCAT is a nonprofit organization, and only euthanizes captured cats if it is a medical necessity. They work closely with BCS Spay, a similar organization that operates off-campus in the Bryan and College Station area.
Aggieland Humane Society
Although they primarily handle dogs and cats, Aggieland Humane Society is also the rabies control authority for College Station, so they house and treat a variety of animals from snakes to bats. They also help strays and lost animals. On any given day, the society can have 30 to 100 dogs onsite available for adoption.
Dog adoption events are held every Saturday at the Petsmart on University Drive. Needed donations include Science Diet dog food, toys, and washing machines and dryers. Aggieland Humane Society has the goal of being a no-kill shelter, but that is a challenge with so many animals coming through their doors.
Bryan Animal Center
Operated by the City of Bryan, the Center works hard to save as many animals as possible, says program coordinator Alma Garcia, but it is not a no-kill shelter. In 2015, 1,480 animals were saved through fostering, reclamation, and adoption. There is a foster program, with 40 cats and 20 dogs currently living with foster families. View their animals at Petsmart on Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. During the month of July dogs can be adopted for only $10.
The Bryan Animal Center has a need for kitty litter, dog toys, and other items that make a healthy and happy pet environment. They are located at 2207 Finfeather Road in Bryan. Call (979) 209-5260 or visit their Facebook page for more information.
Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society
Co-founder and Executive Director Jennifer Williams says since starting in 2005, 817 horses have come through the College Station facility whose primary mission is to aid law enforcement by taking in abandoned, neglected, and stray horses. They currently are caring for about 40 horses.
The society needs fosters, money, hay and feed, and trailers to help move the horses from place to place. The secondary goal is to educate people about caring for horses by hosting meetings. A fundraiser/adoption event is held in Austin every October.
Contact the society at (888) 542-5163; email firstname.lastname@example.org; visit http://www.bluebonnetequine.org or find them on Facebook. Monetary donations may be mailed to P.O. Box 632, College Station, TX 77841.
God’s Little Creatures Rescue
Della Carroll started God’s Little Creatures Rescue on a whim and a prayer in July 2003. Carroll was living on three acres with her aging horses wondering what to do with her land after the horses died. Carroll says she raised her hands and asked God what he wanted her to do with the land, and the idea of rescuing dogs came to her.
This no-kill shelter will celebrate its 13th year of operation in July. Carroll and several dedicated volunteers work hard to find fosters and homes with 35 dogs currently in need of a family. They show dogs at Petco every Saturday and provide spay, neuter, and microchip services for any adopted dog for a $150 donation. Monetary donations to God’s Little Creatures Resuce are always welcome, Carroll says, but more volunteers, fosters, and public attention are also needed.
Long on Love Dachshund Rescue
After fostering and then adopting a dachshund in 2007, Tami Meal began her own dachshund rescue the following year. The breed, Meal says, is often overlooked when it comes to rescues with only five dachshund rescues in the entire state of Texas; they are always full.
Meal currently has five dachshunds living in foster homes, and four others in need of loving families. What the rescue needs most is more foster homes.
To contact Long on Love, call (979) 229-4776 or email email@example.com.
Long Way Home
Daniel and Gwendolyn Inocencio started Long Way Home 20 years ago just after they married. Today, this nonprofit rescues any animal they can, but the main focus is dogs and cats. Long Way Home has three divisions: adoptables, pit bull rescue, and the sanctuary. The adoptables division works to get animals out of kill shelters and into loving homes. The pit bull branch works solely with the breed that has incorrectly been labeled “dangerous” and is commonly found in shelters, says Inocencio. Animals deemed too old, too sick, or too mean to be given away find a caring environment to live out their lives in the sanctuary division.
Keeping the large operation going is difficult, and donations are always needed, say the founders. Besides funds, Gwendolyn Inocencio says blankets and old towels are needed for puppy litters and older dogs. Currently about 50 dogs and 10 cats need homes.
Second Chance Veterinary Rescue
This small organization is run out of the Aggieland Animal Health Center and Pet Resort. A nonprofit, no-kill program, the group makes a lifetime commitment to any animal they care for. They currently have a 6-month-old Husky mix, a 5-week-old puppy, and a 2-year-old domestic medium hair cat in need of loving forever homes. Second Chance accepts monetary donations, as well as any physical materials people wish to give. They have a close relationship with Long Way Home Rescue, and will frequently give unneeded donations to them, so another rescue will benefit.
Second Chance can be reached at (979) 764-7387 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find them at 13223 Wellborn Road, College Station and on Facebook.
Urgent Animals of Hearne
Deb Fatheree started urgent Animals of Hearne three years ago due to a desperate need in her community – so little animal control space that many of the dogs that came in were euthanized.
“They deserve a chance,” Fatheree says. “I don’t know how you look at a hundred dogs and decide which five will die.”
In the three years since Fatheree began fostering and adopting dogs out, animal control hasn’t had to euthanize a single animal due to lack of space. Many of the dogs are sick or injured. Currently, they have close to 150 dogs and cats in need of adoption. Monetary donations are used to pay vet bills. Money, food, and travel kennels are always in need.
Fatheree can be reached at (979) 279-6388. Find them online at robcocoshelteranimals.rescueme.org/ or on Facebook as “Urgent Animals of Hearne Robertson County.” The animal control facility is located at 402 West 3rd Street, Hearne.