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Fur Ball celebrates nearly 30,000 animal lives saved in Houston

September 24, 2018

Rescued Pets Movement has helped nearly 30,000 Houston-area homeless cats and dogs find forever families. Around 270 supporters celebrated and raised funds at the Fur Ball Sept. 20 at House of Blues.

Founded in September 2013, Rescued Pets Movement is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that gives second chances to approximately 7,500 homeless animals each year through rescuing them from shelters and rehabilitating and transporting them to other communities across the United States and Canada, where there is a higher demand for pets ready for adoption.

Laura Carlock, RPM co-founder, chairman of the board and new executive director, said the organization started when its five co-founders decided building strong relationships with animal welfare groups in other communities was the best way to keep homeless dogs and cats in Houston from being euthanized. With more than 50 years of related experience between them, the co-founders realized the pet overpopulation situation in Houston required a shift from the normal thinking of taking animals from local shelters and adopting them out to area residents.

“Because of Houston’s pet overpopulation problem, the adoption market is saturated, and traditional rescues are limited in the number of pets they can save,” Carlock said. “RPM’s supply and demand model has changed that calculus.”

RPM has about 20 dedicated staff members that work in different roles such as animal care technicians and foster coordinators that help find foster homes, Carlock said. She said saving so many animals each year takes a large network of people, including approximately 500 volunteers and foster homes.

“Without the tireless work of our volunteers, fosters, drivers, staff, vet team, partner veterinarians and partner animal welfare groups, RPM wouldn’t be able to save the thousands of animals we save each year,” Carlock said.

Cindy Perini, RPM co-founder and board member, attended the Fur Ball and said she was looking forward to raising a lot of money.

“It’s the biggest fundraiser we’ve ever had in our five-year history,” Perini said. “I’m so excited to get money to be able to afford the animals that we’re going to save — we can’t do it without the money. It funds our transport, the rehab, everything we do. It pays for the vetting, the clinic, all of that.”

The event honored Leslie Alexander, former owner of the Houston Rockets and major benefactor for RPM. Alexander has two “mutt” dogs named Elton John and Mick Jagger and said he gives to the organization because he cares about homeless animals and because RPM does a great job creating solutions for the pet overpopulation problem in Houston.

“If you love animals and their beings, you don’t want to see them harmed or hurt. They need homes and loving, and RPM satisfies that,” Alexander said.

Rescued Pets Movement is always looking for people willing to foster the pets it saves from death row. Carlock said the organization saves 10 to 50 pets a day. Also, she said RPM’s operating costs are more than $2 million annually, and RPM depends on donations. Community members can contribute funds to help the work.

Carlock said the work Rescued Pets Movement does is valuable to the Houston community and to thousands of animal lives spared every year.

“If we do not do the work we do, thousands of animals would unnecessarily die each year,” she said. “RPM strongly feels that giving back to our community is very important. Karma is a major driver, and RPM and their supporters’ karma buckets are certainly full.

To learn more about Rescued Pets Movement, fostering or donating, visit www.rescuedpetsmovement.org.

tracy.maness@hcnonline.com

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