Houston rescue steps up to help unvaccinated, unwanted dogs in the Plum Grove area

Ezra Khan, Doug Hall and Kosandra Ramirez administer medications to a dog while it is being restrained by its owner. The dog bit Ezra just moments afterward.

While many people were celebrating Mother’s Day on May 9, a group of volunteers with This is Houston animal rescue were immunizing and treating 75 dogs at a pop-up animal clinic in the Colony Ridge communities south of Plum Grove. By 11 a.m., the surge of people seeking treatment for their animals had depleted all of the medications that were donated to the animal rescue, and the clinic was forced to close early.

The dogs were dewormed and vaccinated, and tested for other medical issues. Each dog owner left with a small amount of dogfood, flea, tick and heartworm preventatives, and a leash and collar.

Jenny Rodriguez, a spokesperson for This is Houston animal rescue, says the group is now planning a return trip to the Colony Ridge area this Sunday. Because there is a concern that they will once again be inundated with people seeking assistance, the location for the clinic is only being disclosed by email and after persons are vetted by volunteers.

Jenny Rodriguez (right), Lisa Hilton (seated), Kim “Brat” Hilton and Lidia Martinez volunteered hours of their time on Mother’s Day to help dogs in need in the Plum Grove area. Dogs running at large is a real problem in the Colony Ridge communities, according to Rodriguez, a spokesperson for This is Houston Animal Rescue.

“Our rescue has taken in about 30 dogs from the Cleveland area just this year. We have 5 to 10 fosters in the Houston and Kingwood area and all of them are over capacity,” she said.

The needs of the community are outweighing the ability of the rescue, said Rodriguez, which is why she is challenging other dog and cat rescues to get involved. This is Houston animal rescue works with dogs only.

“We need other rescues to step up. We can’t take in every stray out there. That area is a high traffic area for dumping of animals. There is no one out there to see them do it so it goes unnoticed and unstopped,” she said. “Then there are other people who are being evicted from their properties and leaving their pets behind to fend for themselves.”

Adding to the concern is that most of the animals who came to the Mother’s Day clinic tested positive for parvovirus, a highly contagious virus that has a high mortality rate if left untreated.

“Almost every single pup we’ve taken in has had parvo. That’s a big concern because people don’t want to help parvo dogs because it’s so expensive to treat and can be transmitted to other dogs,” Rodriguez said.

They also discovered one case of canine brucellosis, a bacteria that in rare instances can be transferred to humans. Because the bacteria is so hard to eradicate, the treatment for life may be necessary. The bacteria was found in a dog named Ozzy, whose situation was made worse because he was already suffering two broken legs. Rodriguez said Ozzy was shot by someone in the neighborhood and then abandoned.

“We don’t know if we will ever be able to adopt Ozzy. We are committed to fighting for a dog’s life,” she said, adding that euthanization is a last resort only used for hopeless cases.

This is Houston is an all-volunteer animal rescue that relies on donations for medicine and vaccine purchase. Information on donating to the clinic or learning more about the May 23 clinic may be requested by emailing help@clevelandtxpets.org.

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