Hello, honey, Elvira Mistress of Felinity here. I'm more than just a great looking feline, I'll have you know! Bold, fresh, cuter than a speckled pup, and the most delightful pussycat in the world! You can call me Miss Elvira for short; just don't call me late for dinner, treats, a nap, or a snooze!
Welcome to an Elvira Factor Follow-up! You are about to enter the no bull zone! Grab your tails, felinity assembled; it's going to be a bumpy ride!
When I first addressed Houston's epidemic of stray dogs and cats, on February 20th, I thought things couldn't get more depressing:
1. Officials estimate that 1.2 million (yes, MILLION) stray animals roam the streets in Houston.
2. The city shelter (BARC) takes in about 2,000 animals a month and, as recently as 2012, BARC put down 57% of the animals it took in.
And yet...there is a co-operative effort between BARC and a new not-for-profit 501(c)(3) all-volunteer organization that transports animals from Houston and Greater Houston area shelters to other 501(c)(3) nonprofit animal welfare organizations that have demand for adoptable pets.
A few days after my post the Chronicle had a follow-up, front page, story, by Heather Alexander, that was quite troubling and frustrating.
The focus is on the weekly efforts of volunteers with groups such as Corridor Rescue (dogs) to rescue animals and the life and death decisions they have to make while doing so:
"It's a brutal system...we can only take in the most serious cases, the dogs with broken bones."
"Houston's problem is worse than Sochi's in Russia, euthanizing 85,000 animals a year because of over-capacity shelters and animal control officers who are unable to keep up with the breeding dogs on the street."
I can only image the cat situation.
Some rescues feed strays in order to keep them from looking for food in the neighborhoods and become more territorial.
According to the article our climate, here is such that it's breeding season all year long, thus leading to the serious issues the city faces.
The extensive bayou system, here, offers plenty of places for strays to find food, shelter and companionship.
On a positive note city animal control is develping some sort of detailed proposal to try to persuade the mayor & city council to give them more money for rescue and relocation efforts.
In addition to the new Rescue Pets Movement, mentioned in my last piece, this article mentions a program called "Healthy Pets, Healthy Streets" which offers free spay and neutering to pet parents in badly affected areas.
This article discusses all this and more.
What it doesn't do made me cranky.
The reporter makes an interesting revelation, but doesn't follow through with some useful information related to it:
More than 140 rescue organizations try to ease the crisis, but advocates say they are almost all maxed out and there are not enough people to adopt the animals they have.
140? Really? How many of those are cat related? Is there someplace where someone can find out the names, contact info and websites of these organizations? An office, or a webpage, for meows sake?
If there is why wasn't this info presented in the article, especially in the online version, and if there is not why was this fact not addressed in some fashion?
This blog is slowly building a Houston, Harris County, and Texas, resource list related to cats, and so far have 20 Houston area groups listed and would love to learn about and add more.
If no-one, with wider reach than us, has the "140" on a one-stop page somewhere then, hell, we would like to do it with regards to cats, at least!
I think Daddy Kiril and I will be doing some letter writing and e-mailing, soon.
Years ago, Nikita and daddy tried to reach out to groups in southern California, with no success.
That was then and one would hope that knowledge of pet blogging would have spread among rescue organizations and shelters, both city and private, since.
I intend to follow in Nikita's pawsteps and try to reach out in our new home.
Oh, and if there are any other cat blogs in Houston, besides us, and Harris County besides us and a friend in Spring, I'd sure as heck would like to discover them!
I'm nothing, if not one determined lady cat.
3/9/14 - 730am: Thank you to Sparkle the Designer Cat for being the 3600th comment left to this blog since it began on New Year's Day 2010!