2015 Shelter Appreciation Week Contest
The National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week Contest was continued in 2015, with the winning group receiving a $1,000 grant to aid in its life-saving work. The two runners-up received flea prevention to keep their adoptable pets flea-free.
Entrants were asked to describe what makes their groups unique and how they impact their communities. The contest entries were judged by a panel of judges, and the ten finalists moved on to voting. The winning group was Lone Star Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso Rescue of Texas. This group is based in Houston, TX, but rescues and fosters dogs across the country. Lone Star will use the $1,000 grant to cover heartworm treatment for three dogs currently in their care. Once the dogs are healthy, they will be up for adoption.
The runners up, Mid-Atlantic Pug Rescue in Henrico, VA, and Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Wellington, FL, both received flea prevention for their adoptable pets.
The winning entry:
Lone Star Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso Rescue is a 100% volunteer operated, 501c3 charitable organization based in Houston, Texas and dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of abused, abandoned and neglected Shih Tzus and Lhasa Apsos.
We are a village of volunteer fosters located in various parts of the United States who open our homes to these precious dogs. We don’t take the easy dogs that can be adopted into new homes the following day or week. We take the ones that need extensive care to help them overcome emotional and physical abuse, skin conditions, heartworms, and other major health problems. At any point in time, there are at least 250 dogs in our volunteer foster homes.
Our hard working volunteers drop everything to rescue dogs from shelters, the side of the road, or even from families who can no longer care for their pets. In every case, our mission is to take them on their “Freedom Ride” to their new foster home and eventually place them in their loving forever home.
We are fortunate in that Houston has the greatest veterinary medical professionals and facilities in the Nation and they graciously open their doors and treat our dogs on a moment’s notice.
Our organization takes care of all veterinary expenses, including all shots, blood work, surgery, tests and any other procedures our veterinarian(s) deems necessary to make our dogs adoptable.
Over the last few years, Lone Star has become an Emergency Responder in the rescue world for dogs who require extensive medical care. Shelters in our community and surrounding areas and even surrounding states, call us and say “No one else will take this dog, will you?” Our answer is always “Of course!”
Our adoption coordinators work tirelessly to raise funds for all vetting expenses that each dog requires, recruit potential adopters, and arrange for our adopters to meet the dog of their dreams. We believe it is very important to correctly match a new dog with their prospective family. Adopting and caring for a dog is a serious and time consuming responsibility and not one to be taken lightly. Consequently, we take the time to ensure that all of our fosters and adopters are carefully screened to ensure that they are capable of taking care of a rescued dog.
One of our most memorable rescue stories began on Halloween, 2014. No one knows exactly what happened to this dog, but we got a call from a local shelter regarding a dog that was found on the side of the road and brought in. He had been spray painted purple and his back feet were mutilated, perhaps in a trap. We named him Grape.
Teresa Schwartz Osborn, Lone Star’s director, picked up and fostered Grape. Teresa cared for him through his many extensive surgeries and nursed him back to health in order for him to be adoptable. Grape was later adopted and is now happily living in Orlando, Florida with his new family and his fur brother.
Our goal is to try to make sure that no dog’s story ends at a shelter from euthanasia or on the side of the road. Please help Lone Star Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso rescue make this goal a reality!