LETTERS FROM KATHY & OTHER GUEST WRITERS

VOLUNTEERS … IT’S TIME!! WE NEED YOU!!

Finally!! The Sandra Sue Benson Animal Adoption Center opened last summer!  How long have we all waited??  Well, in the beginning …  I lived in San Diego, CA and would come out to Ingleside to visit my dad twice a year since he moved here in 1995.  I remember the first time I drove past the “volunteers needed” sign in front of the center’s land about 10 years ago and I told my dad I was going to move out here to Texas after I retired and I wanted to get involved in the animal center.  He was delighted of course! I retired in 2009 from the City of San Diego and did just that!  I moved out here in 2010 and was anxiously waiting for it to open.

I watched them build the building and clear the land. I couldn’t wait until it opened!! The center is finally here!!!!!

I became a member in 2015. I love coming to the center and spending time with the animals (and my fellow volunteers). I feed dogs and cats, I clean litter boxes, I pick up dog poop, I walk dogs, I hold puppies and kittens, I take animals back and forth to Dr. Floerke’s office, I get involved in fund raising.  AND … I get to love each and every animal that comes to us. Plus, one more good thing, I have made good friends here!

My volunteer coworkers tease me because sometimes I cry when someone drops off an animal and I cry when one is adopted.  Mostly happy tears when we find an animal a home, some sad tears when I hear the stories of why some people “surrender” their pets to us to find a home for them. I tell you though, it’s worth every tear!

So, you folks out there that love animals and need a purpose in life or just need something to do.  Please come and help us at the animal center.  We need people twice a day, in the morning and in the afternoon to clean, feed and walk the dogs.  You can come once a week or you can come as many times as you want. Trust me, it is the most rewarding job you will ever have. We are also open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 2pm to the public.  Please come down and visit, get to know us, and spend a little time with the animals! Our next fundraiser is a Golf Tournament on April 24th and if you want to get involved, let us know!!

A DOG’S LAST WILL & TESTAMENT

Before humans die, they write their last will & testament; give their home and all they have to those they leave behind. If, with my paws, I could do the same, this is what I’d ask … To a poor and lonely Stray I’d give my happy home, my bowl and cozy bed, soft pillow and all my toys, the lap which I loved so much and the hand that stroked my fur and the sweet voice that spoke my name. I’d will to the sad, scared shelter dog, the place I had in my human’s loving heart, of which there seemed no bounds.  So, when I die, please do not say, “I will never have a pet again, for the loss and pain are more than I can stand.”  Instead, go find an unloved dog, one who’s life has held no joy or hope, and give my place to him. This is the only thing that I can give …. The love I left behind!

– Kristone


FIRST TIME PET OWNERS: HOW TO BE A GREAT PET PARENT

Preamble

Opening your home and your heart to a new pet is a big step. Being a great pet owner isn’t always easy but it’s worth it. There are many responsibilities to take on and new commitments to make.

Adopting a Pet-Friendly Lifestyle

When your pet moved in with you, his old world disappeared and he has had to adjust to new smells, new sights, and a new home. Make the transition easier by establishing a routine and being attentive.  Pay attention to how well your pet is adapting to his new surroundings. Are there any issues within the home or yard that need to be fixed? Keeping your home safe for your pet will help them and you feel more comfortable. Make time in your day to bond and spend quality time with your pet. They will commit their loyalty to you if you play with them or take them outside everyday. It is good for them to be accustomed to you leaving for certain periods of time, but be sure to have things set up in your home to entertain them while you are out to prevent them from getting bored and destructive.

Take Care of Your Pet’s Health

Your pet is now part of your family and will need your help to stay healthy or to take care of health issues when they arise.  Schedule yearly veterinarian visits and keep all of your pet’s vaccinations up to date. Preventative care can help your pet live a healthy life.

Elderly pets may have special needs due to arthritis, weakness, or other health problems. It may become more difficult for an elderly pet to climb stairs, so you could use a ramp or make a comfortable place for them downstairs.  Your pet’s eyesight could start to deteriorate and you may have to adjust some of their activities to make it easier on them. Making small adjustments to your home can improve your pet’s quality of life and keep them happy in their elderly years.

Don’t forget to pet-proof your kitchen along with the rest of the house. There are certain types of people food that could be harmful to pets. Put child locks on your cabinets to prevent pets from getting into food or cleaning supplies. Keep all poisons and chemicals locked up out of reach as well.

Be Patient

Things won’t always go as planned, but patience goes a long way.  When your pet does something crazy, try to stay calm. They will respond and learn from reassurance and consistency more than they will from anger and frustration. Take a moment to assess the situation to check if their might be something you can do to curb that behavior in the future. Are they getting enough exercise? Did they get into something that could have been kept out of reach? Many times there things we can do to help them not get into trouble.

Over time your pet will learn to love and trust you. Caring for a pet and making it part of your family will enhance your life as much as theirs and you will have made a long-lasting friend.

– Jessica Brody (via email)

BUILDING UPDATES

PHOTO GALLERY: SPCA SAN PAT COUNTY BUILDING AS IT PROGRESSED

Land Purchased 2010
Building Ordered 2014
Construction 2014
Progress 2014
Construction 2016
SSBAAC
Ribbon Cutting 2016
Group Photo 2017
Memorial Bricks
Statues in the Garden
Christmas 2016
Video: A Peek Inside

SANDRA SUE BENSON ANIMAL ADOPTION CENTER

Open House Was Held On 8.27.2016

The SPCA San Pat County animal shelter building which we named the Sandra Sue Benson Animal Adoption Center is now open for business. We have several adorable kittens, cats and dogs ready for adoption. Come see our pets between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. We are located at 4630 FM 1069 in Aransas Pass, Texas which is about a half mile past Walmart on the same side of the street.
|  Ph: 361-332-1445  |  Map

BUILDING UPDATES IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

  1. November 2010: Land is Purchased … On to the Building! It is located on HWY 1069 just past Walmart and Lowes.
  2. November 2011: The building and the utilities complete will be approximately $250,000 total.
  3. February 2013:Our building fund is now at $122,881.
  4. February 2014: We have just received a $50,000 grant from the Ed Rachal Foundation to start our building. This puts our total fund for the building at $200,654.20.
  5. June 2014: We have just received a donation for $100,000.00 from Arthur Benson.The building plans are being drawn. .Building fund is now $300,000 plus.
  6. November 2014: The building has been ordered. The plans areapproved and staking out for the cement and plumbing stubs will start any day.
  7. December 2014:. The fill dirt for the building is in place and packed down.
  8. March 2015: Construction has begun on the building site. Dirt has been hauled in, leveled, and the plumbing stubbed in. The cement has been poured for the floor. As of March 27, the building is starting to go up. The workers are putting the steel columns together.
  9. May 2015: The outside of the building is now up.
  10. December 2015: The inside of the building is almost completed. We need furnishings. The fill dirt needs to be leveled and probably more dirt brought in. The forms for the dog runs (at the rear of the building) are ready for the concrete. The septic system is complete. We need to get the water connected to the water line in front. And we need to add our name to the building, SANDRA SUE BENSON ANIMAL ADOPTION CENTER, SPCA San Pat County.
  11. January 2016: Inside of building is coming along nicely. We have front desks, washer, dryer, refrigerator, and small dog and cat cages. The cat rooms are looking nice with trees painted on the walls with cat perches on the trees. Cat furniture is being built and beds and litter boxes have been installed. Now on to the dog rooms.
  12. The shelter is close to being open. The main thing we need now is a fence around the center and front part of the ground. This is for the safety of the animals and of the humans who care for them.
  13. Our fence has been ordered and will be installed as soon as the ground gets dry enough to allow trucks in to add more fill dirt around the building. Then comes the fence. And then we will be ready to open. In the meantime detail work is being done on the smaller things. Staining and finishing of the railing and front flower gardens has been completed. Dona Farrar is our new shelter director and she is getting everything all fancied up for the grand opening that will be coming SOON.
  14. Our complete 4 acres has been cleared and all the trash hauled off. The land looks good. Lots of good things will happen here in the future. The fence is about 2/3 completed with the outside fence still to come. Time frame is 10 to 14 days if no problems. We have the signs on the building now. Grand opening is now being planned for the end of August. We will be sure to publish the information when it is for sure.
  15. Open house was held on Saturday, August 27, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It was a lovely event!

FERAL HOPE FOR SAN PAT CATS FERAL COLONY PROGRAM

PETCO and the SPCA San Pat County Board have partnered to operate the Feral Hope for San Pat Cats Program for feral colonies in San Patricio County, Texas. Feral Cats from existing colonies, wild roamers or cluster kitties are eligible for our “Spay, Neuter & Return” program which operates until funds are expended. PETCO funds this program to humanely help reduce the feral cat population. Since 2009 our PETCO grant has successfully neutered over 800 cats. SPCA rescues existing felines from over–breeding and from the terror of being pursued and exterminated. In addition to neutering, the PETCO grant includes rabies shot and ear–tipping. The positive implications of the no–growth policy include …

  • Calmer cats
  • Less fighting
  • Fewer chases
  • Less sickness and dying

The SPCA of San Pat County rehabilitates these animals in that they become less threatening to humans around their habitat and therefore, are less threatened themselves. This de–escalation of years of repetitive negative behavior is a win/win situation for all involved.

The SPCA of San Pat County rejoices with PETCO in our successful completion of this extremely successful and humane program for animal protection and for education within the community.

Various News Articles – December 2011

SPAY AND NEUTER VOUCHERS ARE AVAILABLE NOW TO SAN PATRICIO COUNTY RESIDENTS

Spay and Neuter Vouchers Now AvailableNEW! NEWS! We have just received a new grant to spay/neuter dogs. This grant is available now. Floerke Veterinary Clinic in Taft, McCoy Veterinary Clinic in Sinton, or Portland Veterinary Hospital in Portland will be providing the services but you will first need to get a voucher from SPCA San Pat County. Additionally, you must be a resident of San Patricio County, Texas in order to qualify for a voucher.

Vouchers for spay and neuter veterinary cost assistance funded by the current grant are available to San Patricio County residents only. These generous vouchers are redeemable at participating veterinary clinics within the county. If you are a San Patricio County resident who wants to take advantage of this spay and neuter cost assistance opportunity, please call us at 361.332.1445 to apply for one of these vouchers for your pet. Specific details as to the exact monetary value of each voucher will be disclosed once you qualify for assistance.

Please note that these vouchers are available only as long as grant funds last, therefore they are distributed on a first–come–first–serve basis. All vouchers must be used within thirty days of receipt otherwise they will expire in which case they will become null and void. There are no exceptions to this thirty–day requirement for cashing in a voucher. Vouchers are accepted at Floerke Veterinary Clinic in Taft, McCoy Veterinary Clinic in Sinton, or Portland Veterinary Hospital in Portland. They cannot be used at any other veterinary clinic so please be sure to make an appointment with one of these veterinary clinics as soon as you are awarded a voucher in order to ensure that it will not expire and become unusable.

BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS IN PORTLAND

Wendy Hughes, Barbara Atwood, Becky Hutchison, and Pat Danczek, shown left to right, were at the Blessing of the Animals in Portland. Reverend Amy Lawrence gave the blessing to all animals present. A basket was set up for contributions for SPCA San Pat County and we received $70.00 in donations for the animal shelter.

mahjongg winners2011 MAHJONGG TOURNAMENT

The 2011 Mahjongg Tournament was a huge success. A big thank you to Sherilyn Hunt for organizing and coordinating the event. A big thank you to Sherilyn Hunt for organizing and coordinating the event. A donation of $3,224.16 was made to SPCA San Pat County. The winners from left to right: Sherilyn Hunt, event coordinator; Sandi Keirn, 3rd place; Barbara Wallen, tied for 1st place; and Faye Dunbar, tied for 1st place. A good time was had by all!

DENIM & DIAMONDS CASINO NIGHT UPDATE

Over 400 tickets were sold for the 4th annual Denim & Diamonds Casino Night. This year was Salsa Style with Mexican Food, The Jason Southern Band, a gambling area, and a large silent auction. Professional dancer Fonzie Zapata and Pat Martinez, our own SPCA member, demonstrated a salsa dance. Casino night raised $19,707.71 for the SPCA San Patricio County animal shelter. Congratulations to all who worked hard for this, our biggest fundraiser of the year. Also a big thank you to Pat Martinez, our fund raising chairwoman for heading up this event.

Various News Articles – November 2011

RABIES CLINIC

Becky Hutchison with the Blood Drop
December 5th to 10th/$5.00 Rabies Vaccines/call for appointment, 361.364.4551. McCoy Veterinary Clinic in Sinton, Texas.

FALL FESTIVAL 2011

Fall Festival 2011 at the First United Methodist Church in Portland was a chance for us to spread the word about SPCA San Pat County and our programs. SPCA had a good showing of members including Barbara Atwood with the Windfest Kite; Becky Hutchison with the Blood Drop; and Pat Zylks with the IBC Free Bee. Other members also attended.

CASINO EVENT RAISES MONEY FOR SPCA

There are so many homeless pets around who have no idea how hard folks are working to build a safe place for them to live in San Patricio County. Saturday night was the Fourth Annual Denim & Diamonds Casino Nightheld at the Aransas Pass Civic Center hosted by the SPCA San Pat County. The crowd was huge and the music was wonderful, provided by the Jason Southern Band. Casino games covered one side of the Civic Center while dozens of great silent auction items covered tables on the opposite side. In between were hundreds of people having a great time enjoying the evening. Over 400 tickets were sold for the event.

Pat Zylks with the IBC Free BeeFundraising Chairman Pat Martinez said they have already purchased 3.9 acres of land on 1069. Now they are trying to get the utilities and a parking lot so equipment can be brought in. The building is the next item. Pat said, “The first year we raised $11,000. The second year we raised $18,000.The third year we raised $22,000..This year we raised $19,000. Our thanks to everyone who donated and attended our biggest fund–raiser of the year, Casino Night.

The long–term goal is to build and maintain an animal shelter that will serve the needs of San Patricio County. Animals will be housed in a humane manner while waiting for a loving home. People will be able to adopt a homeless animal from a brand new facility in the future.

While they work on the long–term goal of building an animal shelter, they will also have an education section that teaches people about the need to spay or neuter their pets. They are in need of funds for the following items: educational materials, traps for feral cats, spaying and neutering feral cats, and grant writing salary to raise large amounts of money.

They are also in need of volunteers to raise funds, provide foster care, and many other tasks. Monthly meetings are open to the public and are held the first Thursday of the month at 6 pm in the Aransas Pass Public Library, 110 N. Lamont, Aransas Pass. To get more information, please call 361.332.1445.

– Lee Harrison, The Ingleside Index

A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT OF SPCA SAN PAT COUNTY

Greetings!

I would like to introduce myself. My name is Neal Floerke, President of the SPCA San Pat County. The new board for 2010 consists of Carole Howard, Vice President; Pat Martinez, Secretary; Debra Keller, Treasurer; Dona Farrar, Member At Large; and myself.

From previous newsletters, I trust you are aware that land for an animal shelter has been acquired and paid for. Our goal for the near future is to hopefully prepare the land for site work – water, sewer and electricity – then begin building a shelter. At this point, our biggest obstacle is funding this much needed project, and we appreciate any help you can offer. Our latest DJ&T grant for spaying and neutering of dogs has been completely used, and we are now in the process of applying for another one. Our PETCO Feral Cat Grant is also coming near to completion. So far we have been able to TNR (trap, neuter, release) over 200 feral cats. We are hoping to be fortunate enough to receive another grant to continue with this extremely needed work in our county.

In addition, bylaw revisions, a financial audit and a membership drive are all being undertaken at this time. With everyone’s help, both physically and financially, we are confident that the goals of the SPCA San Pat County will be greatly achieved. Control and care of animal populations is not only vital, but essential for their survival in our county, communities, and for the people who reside here.

Neal Floerke, President
SPCA San Pat County

FUNDRAISING A FULL–TIME JOB

Ever wonder how the Shelter is funded? We get no funds through U.S. Humane Society, or United Way, No City, County, State or Federal funding…no Stimulus Plan includes our shelter …we work for every nickel. Two garage sales a year, aluminum recycling, donations, and our annual Denim & Diamonds Casino Night fund our shelter. Other contributions come from memberships and memorials. We thank each and every one of you who have continued to make SPCA San Pat County a part of your donations. We are so fortunate to have such a generous community.