Tuesday, December 31, 2013

This New Year's Eve, make amazing happen!

Trudy, a one-eyed beauty, found a wonderful home last weekend at the Rockwall Petco.

This New Year’s Eve, I’m reflecting on something that may seem utterly mundane to you. Every week throughout the year, a photo appears on this blog along with others in publications throughout our area. And every week throughout the year, that photo of an adoptable dog or cat results in an adoption.

But for something so subtle, it’s the culmination of a complicated process. To be precise: You make amazing happen every week.

To start at the beginning, our mission at Rockwall Pets is to stop the killing of healthy and treatable pets by municipal animal shelters. Shelter killing is the number one cause of death for healthy animals in the United States, according to the American Humane Society. When Pam and I first started working with shelters a few years ago, it irked us that our tax dollars were being used to kill innocent animals instead of “sheltering” them. 

We decided to cut through the forest of excuses in order to find solutions. When we began, over 1,500 pets lost their lives every year in the Rockwall and Royse City shelters. That number is now less than 100 each year.

How do we do it? Our preference is to lead by example, but we’ll beg, plead and fight each shelter if we have to. That’s where it begins to get complicated.

The process begins when a shelter decides it doesn’t value the life of a homeless dog or cat. Sometimes the pet has a serious illness or injury, but in the great majority of cases, the dog or cat is perfectly healthy. After one of our volunteers agrees to act as a foster home for the pet, another volunteer goes to the shelter to fill out any paperwork necessary to rescue the pet.

The pet then goes to our veterinarian, usually Dr. Keith Webb at Pet Doctor in Rockwall, for a full round of vaccinations, a medical exam, a spay/neuter surgery and a microchip. If the pet is ill or injured, we schedule a round of medications or even a major surgery. There’s a tremendous amount of work that goes on behind the scenes, from paperwork and data entry to bill paying and food management. It’s not an exaggeration to say that each pet is backed by a virtual army.

Our team of incredibly hard-working volunteers then brings each adoptable pet to weekend events at the Rockwall Petco and at fete-ish in the Bishop Arts District in Dallas. Some of the pets get extra recognition through photos on this blog and in area publications.

And then each pet goes home to make a family very happy. It’s obviously a long and complicated journey from death row to a loving home. Amazing, isn’t it?

But that’s why we can’t do it without you. We need you to adopt our pets. We need you to join our amazing team of volunteers. And we need your financial assistance. None of us gets paid to do this. We do it because we love animals and we believe in them. We don’t have a building, so we keep these pets in our homes. We don’t receive any government funding. None of us is rich (darn it). We manage to do this strictly through individual donations from caring people like you. Our dedicated volunteer team supplies lots of effort, caring, muscle, love, time, tears and good ol’ hard work. So we need you to help with the one thing we don’t have: The necessary funds to make sure each pet is healthy (nearly three-fourths of our annual budget goes to medical care for our pets).

We think we’re upholding our end of the bargain. Leading by example, we’re demonstrating an effective way to get pets off death row and into homes. We’ve increased the number of pets we’ve adopted out by 90% over last year. And we want to do a lot more. But we need your help.

When you see a weekly photo of a pet sometime during 2014, you’ll know the whole story. We need you to help us make amazing happen.

Michael Kitkoski
Executive Director

Rockwall Pets

Monday, December 30, 2013

Penny Lane is in my heart

Cuteness alert! Your New Year will never be happier when you have this adorable young dog by your side. Penny Lane is a boxer mix with a winning personality. She may look like pure sugar on the outside, but she has plenty of steely resolve inside. She suffered a broken hip, so she recently had surgery to repair it. Even though the scar is still plainly visible, Penny acts like nothing had ever happened. This brave - and cute - dog is ready to make this the happiest New Year ever! She's your Adoptable Pet for the week of December 30, 2013.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A special dog for a special year

When the New Year rings in, Mandy's wish is to be by the side of a very special person. This sweet dog deserves a new year of love. She's 11 years old, deaf and partially blind. She eats soft food only because her teeth are so bad. She had heartworms, but we're about to give her the second and final treatment for those. And because she can't hear, she's easily startled by sudden movements near her face. To make a long story short, Mandy has spent all 11 years of her life without any love. That's why she's hoping to ring in 2014 with a new lease on life and a very special person. Could that be you? This special dog is your Adoptable Pet for the week of December 23, 2013.

Monday, December 16, 2013

High wattage good looks

If you think your home is ready for the holidays, think again. Your season won't be complete until you add this handsome young dog to your family. There's no better way to impress your neighbors than by parading Petey down the street. He's only a year old, but his studly good looks are already operating at full wattage. And he's much smarter than any of Santa's elves. At 55 pounds, he's way too big to be a lap dog, but you'll want to get as many kisses as you can from this gorgeous boy. Petey is ready to make your Christmas complete. He's your Adoptable Pet for the week of December 16, 2013.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Putting on an act

Don't be fooled! Buttons will put on an act and pretend to be scared out of her wits when she first meets you. But she's as sweet and loving as they come. She's easy on the eyes as well! Buttons is declawed on her front paws, so she must be an indoor-only kitty. But you'll want her next to you at all times once you discover how incredibly wonderful she is! Meet her today at the Rockwall Petco. Buttons is your Adoptable Pet for the week of December 9, 2013.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Fighting for his life...and winning!

This little dog is a warrior. Vincent has an incredible will to live. He lost most of his left ear when he was hit by a DART train in Dallas. He survived that scare only to find himself within a whisker of being put down at the Dallas shelter. He's not only safe now, he's happy, sweet and very loving. The only thing that's been missing from Vincent's life is care and compassion. He's been fighting so stay alive so he can be a loving member of your family! Vincent is your Adoptable Pet for the week of December 2, 2013.