The Official Houston SPCA News Page

www.HoustonSPCA.org


Animals, Volunteers Benefit Together at Houston SPCA

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Wiping beads of perspiration from her forehead, Marti laughed as she watched Elvis the terrier cross inspect the grounds of the Houston SPCA campus. Holding tightly to his leash, she watches as Elvis bounds around the trees which line the adoption center. Under the heat of another summer morning in Houston, the committed volunteer said the benefits are well worth the sweat equity.

Marti, a retiree who moved from Nashville, Tenn., in January, was looking for a place to make new friends and contribute her experience and resources. She said she found everything she wanted at the Houston SPCA.

“I just know these animals give us so much and we need to take care of them,” she said. “It’s our responsibility. I learned the Houston SPCA was a well-organized agency, and I just decided it was the perfect place to spend my time and energy.”

Marti isn’t alone.

Last year, volunteers logged over 39,000 hours helping animals in need at the Houston SPCA, contributing more than $500,000 worth of services—the work of about 30 full-time employees—in nine separate volunteer concentrations, said Volunteer Services Manager Robyn Gearhart.

Participants who join the volunteer program have the opportunity to work in a variety of roles, from helping in admissions and the adoption desk, to serving in the barn, cattery, small and large dog centers, to even lending a hand in surgery.

Rachel, a senior at Jersey Village High School, said she discovered a calling for animals—and great benefits for her college applications—while working in the large dogs section of our adoption center.

“It has impacted my life completely because I have always loved animals and the ability to get volunteer hours while helping a cause that is important to me is a great thing,” she said.

Best of all, Marti said as a volunteer, she’s benefited personally almost as much as the animals have under her care.

“You get great training and great support from the volunteer management department, there are other great volunteers to meet and work with,” Marti said. “The staff is incredibly helpful, and they are always willing to teach you how to do things in the best possible way.”

“If you like well-run, well-organized, efficient and effective volunteer programs, this is the place to be.”

Please click here for more information on how to become a volunteer at the Houston SPCA. Further volunteer-related questions may also be directed to Robyn Gearhart via email at rgearhart@houstonspca.org or by calling 713-869-7722, ext. 123.

Volunteers must be at least 16 years old, and able to commit to at least two hours per week for a minimum of six months.

Founded in 1924, the Houston SPCA provides the most comprehensive array of animal adoption, shelter, rescue, rehabilitation and other programs and services in the Gulf Coast area.


Support Houston SPCA by Shopping Amazon

How would you like to support the mission of the Houston SPCA and save on electronics, toys and more? Shopping on Amazon is just one of a few other ways to give back to animals in need in the Houston area by designating the Houston SPCA as your favorite charitable organization with AmazonSmile.

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same prices and shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the Houston SPCA.

How to Pick Houston SPCA as Your AmazonSmile Charity

1.) Navigate your web browser to the AmazonSmile website at smile.amazon.com, and login to your Amazon account using the sign in form as illustrated below.

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2.) When prompted, type “Houston SPCA” in the space provided under “Select a Charity.”

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3.) When the “Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals” appears, click the yellow “Select” button to continue.

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4.) Now, every time you want to shop online, visit smile.amazon.com and a portion of your purchase will automatically benefit the Houston SPCA! Thank you for supporting our mission with your purchases.

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A Parent’s Guide to the Houston SPCA Critter Camp

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The Houston SPCA’s Critter Camp is one of the only hands-on animal experience camps offered in the Houston area.

If you have been thinking about sending your children to Critter Camp but want to know a little bit more about the curriculum, this guide will give you a bit of insight into what we do every day during the summer!

20150312_130524The Basics

The Houston SPCA Critter Camp is located at 7007 Katy Rd, Houston, TX 77024. You are probably thinking, ‘That isn’t the same address as the Houston SPCA!’—and you are correct! Our camp is located in our administration building on the same campus as the Houston SPCA. We have lots of space in our giant camp room, and we visit the Houston SPCA shelter every day!

Critter Camp runs from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday through Friday during the summer. There is an option to extend your kid’s camp day to 4:00 pm for an aftercare fee of $100 per week.

Campers should bring their own lunch and bottle of water with them each day to camp. We provide an afternoon snack and bottle of water to our campers each day after all of our fun activities!

Registering for Critter Camp

How do parents sign up for Critter Camp? To sign up for the Houston SPCA Critter Camp, please visit http://www.HoustonSPCA.org and fill out the online application. The first page of the application asks for general information about your child, family contacts, and what camp dates your child would like to attend.

After hitting “Submit Registration,” you will be taken to a payment page and can fill out your payment information. We require an online registration for your child. If you have any questions, you can direct them to education@HoustonSPCA.org.

How do parents find out if their child is accepted into a camp session? Parents will receive an e-mail confirming their online payment right away. If you do not receive this e-mail, please check your spam folder as the e-mail can be filtered out on some occasions. If you did not make a payment after submitting your initial registration, please e-mail education@HoustonSPCA.org. After payment is received, parents will receive confirmation of their child’s session dates within 5 business days via e-mail.

1If a parent would like to sign up their camper with a friend, we will make every attempt to ensure that your child is put into the same group as his/her friend. However, if it was not requested prior to the start of camp, there is no guarantee that we can change groups.

We do have certain grade-level requirements for our Critter Camp sessions. Our camps are designed for children who are entering 3rd through 10th grade. Some material may not be suitable for children who have yet to graduate from 2nd grade. We do not accept registrations for any campers who have not graduated 2nd grade.

Click Here to Register for Critter Camp 2015

Check-In / Check-out

For the safety of all of our campers, parents must come inside the camp building and sign-in their child each morning. Every afternoon at pick-up, a parent/guardian or designated driver must sign-out each camper with a current photo ID. Campers are not allowed to leave camp without being signed out.

Dress Code

Each camper is required to wear close-toed shoes and long pants. Your children will not be allowed to interact with any animals if they do not have the proper attire. We will attempt to call home and ask that the proper attire is brought to camp in the event that a camper is not dressed in appropriate attire. If the proper clothing is not brought by 12:00 PM, the camper will not be able to interact with our animals at the shelter that afternoon.

Critter Camp Chronicle PicAnimal Interactions

Each animal encounter is planned with the animals’ best interests in mind. It is important to remember that these are not our personal pets—they are animals who are temporarily housed in unfamiliar surroundings. The campers will get to play with and help socialize various animals in a group setting each day however the goal of camp is to teach responsibility, compassion and knowledge of our companion animals.

All campers will learn the proper technique for playing with our animals. Safety is our number one priority at all times. Campers will not be able to clean, feed or walk the animals as there are specific procedures our staff follows when performing these tasks.

We understand that many children have allergies to dogs or cats. We will attempt to make the animal interactions for your child as fun as possible however with very severe allergies, we may not be able to allow your child to interact with our animals. Please discuss your child’s allergies with the camp director before signing up for Critter Camp.

Click Here to Register for Critter Camp 2015

Critter Camp Session Themes 2015

We have 5 different Critter Camp session themes available this summer: Critter Camp with Easter Seals of Greater Houston, A Voice for the Voiceless, Operation Rescue, Critter Communication and, our most popular session, VetCAMP. Each camp session includes daily interactions with our adoptable shelter animals, a variety of animal-related educational lessons, guest speakers from the Houston SPCA staff, arts and crafts and more!

Critter Camp with Easter Seals of Greater Houston (for campers entering grades 4 – 6):

The Houston SPCA is proud to partner with Easter Seals of Greater Houston for another year of Critter Camp fun! This Critter Camp session is very special as 20 returning Critter Campers will be joined by 20 Easter Seals campers to enjoy learning about animals, doing arts and crafts and playing with adorable shelter pets each day.

A Voice for the Voiceless (for campers entering grades 3 – 4):

If your children have ever wanted to help out an animal shelter, this is the perfect camp for them! Each day campers can choose a different fun activity to help our orphaned animals at the Houston SPCA, as well as learn all about animal care, community service and what happens every day at an animal shelter. Each day will bring new opportunities to help the animals and bring awareness to your community! This is the perfect introduction session if your campers have not attending Critter Camp before.

20150312_091521Operation Rescue (for campers entering grades 3 – 7):

Campers will explore the world of animal rescue as they learn about the Houston SPCA’s investigation and animal rescue teams, how to help families and pets prepare for a natural disaster and how animals can even help rescue people. Each day our campers will meet guest speakers who work in the animal rescue industry, learn lessons about animal safety and interact with the Houston SPCA’s adoptable shelter animals. This Critter Camp session is an amazing experience for our campers, especially those who are fans of Animal Cops: Houston!

BRAND NEW! Critter Communication (for campers entering grades 3 – 10):

For all campers who wonder why animals do the strange things they do, this camp session is perfect! All week we will learn about different animal behaviors, communication techniques and basic training practices that will help your camper better understand your pets at home. And of course, we will spend hands on time playing with our shelter animals every day!

MOST POPULAR! VetCAMP (for campers entering grades 5 – 10):

Does your camper want to be a veterinarian when they grow up? If so, sign your children up for a week of exciting education that will help them prepare to enter the world of animal care. You will learn all about animal anatomy and physiology, medical conditions, common diseases and what you need to do to be ready to work with animals. You will also hear from some of our very own Houston SPCA veterinary staff members to see if you have what it takes to be a vet!

Critter Camp registration is open and filling up fast! Click Here to Register for Critter Camp 2015

Early registration prices ($275 per week) last until May 3, 2015.

Regular registration ($295 per week) begins on May 4, 2015.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us! Send an e-mail to education@HoustonSPCA.org.


$15 Cat Adoptions Until April 15 at the Houston SPCA

All fantastic felines six months of age and older at the Houston SPCA are $15 to approved adopters through April 15, 2015. Limit two per household. Each Houston SPCA adoption package is worth well over $400 and includes:

• A health evaluation, age-appropriate vaccinations and rabies vaccination for felines three months and older
• Spay / neuter surgery
• Deworming
• A HomeAgain microchip with free lifetime registration
• A toy or treat courtesy of PetSafe
• A complimentary overall wellness examination from a VCA Animal Hospital
• An adoption gift courtesy of Hill’s Science Diet

To make choosing the adoption option as easy as possible, the Houston SPCA, 900 Portway Drive, is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please note the Houston SPCA will be closed Easter Sunday and reopen for adoptions Monday, April 6.

*Cats must be six months of age and older. Limit two per household.


Houston SPCA Announces Adoption Promotion

(HOUSTON – April 1, 2015) – All fantastic felines six months of age and older at the Houston SPCA are $15 to approved adopters from April 2 through April 15. Limit two per household. Each Houston SPCA adoption package is worth well over $400 and includes:

• A health evaluation, age-appropriate vaccinations and rabies vaccination for felines three months and older
• Spay / neuter surgery
• Deworming
• A HomeAgain microchip with free lifetime registration
• A toy or treat courtesy of PetSafe
• A complimentary overall wellness examination from a VCA Animal Hospital
• An adoption gift courtesy of Hill’s Science Diet

To make choosing the adoption option as easy as possible, the Houston SPCA, 900 Portway Drive, is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please note the Houston SPCA will be closed Easter Sunday and reopen for adoptions Monday, April 6.

*Cats must be six months of age and older. Limit two per household.


Please Avoid Giving Baby Rabbits and Chicks for Easter

The Houston SPCA advises against giving live animals, such as bunnies, chicks or ducklings, as Easter gifts.

While adorable, these baby animals are fragile and require specialized care. Rabbits can live up to 10 years. The annual cost of caring for a rabbit is about the same as a cat or dog and includes such expenses as an indoor bunny condo or pen, litter and a litter box, a carrier, spaying or neutering, veterinary care, and quality nutrition.

Live baby birds, such as chicks, ducklings, and goslings can carry harmful germs like Salmonella. And, many jurisdictions have ordinances prohibiting the keeping of animals like chickens, ducks and geese.

Instead, we suggest stuffed toys and chocolate rabbits for your child’s Easter basket. To help give orphaned, abused and neglected animals a second chance at life, make a donation , on behalf of your child, to the Houston SPCA.


You Shop. Amazon Donates to the Houston SPCA.

Did you know that if you have an Amazon.com account, your purchases could result in automatic donations to the Houston SPCA? It’s true and it won’t cost you a dime.

The donations come from Amazon, BUT you have to sign up to make it happen. It’s easy. All you have to do is log on to your Amazon account through http://smile.amazon.com.

The site will prompt you to choose a charity. Locate the option to pick your own charitable organization and type in Houston SPCA. Here’s what that looks like:
Smile Amazon Charity Choice Image

The Houston SPCA is already on the Amazon list, and will likely show up once you start typing. After you select and confirm the Houston SPCA, you are ready to shop! Not every item you purchase will be eligible for the Amazon donation, but tens of millions of items are.

VERY IMPORTANT: In order for the donations to be made, you’ll need to shop directly from http://smile.amazon.com, so take a moment now to bookmark it.

The Amazon Smile Foundation donates 0.5% of the item’s price for eligible Amazon Smile purchases. The percentage might seem small, but if enough people sign up it could make a big difference.

To learn more about the program, click here.

Every little bit helps us help animals, but we also need your donations to support our lifesaving programs and services which include the Houston area’s only 24/7 animal ambulance and the area’s largest animal cruelty investigation team featured on the Animal Planet series, Animal Cops: Houston.

The Houston SPCA receives NO funding from the government or United Way and NO financial assistance from other animal welfare groups like the ASPCA.

The Houston SPCA provides the most comprehensive array of animal welfare services on the Gulf Coast ONLY because of donations from people like you. Please consider making a DONATION TODAY.