We have [almost] arrived! Since our inception, Operation Pets Alive has been working hard to help Montgomery County become a ‘No-Kill’ Community. In ‘no-kill’ parlance, this means our shelters are saving over 90% of the animals they intake each year. Though the road to no-kill has been filled with twists and turns, our volunteers and supporters have tenaciously stayed the course to help our community achieve this major milestone. It is rewarding to know that, seven years later, we are just about there!
The Montgomery County Animal Shelter just posted a 92.5% live release rate for 2017, and the Conroe Animal Adoption Center was close behind posting a 88.7% live release rate for the year. Is our work here done? I don’t think so.
OPA will be taking a deep breath and considering adjustments for the future. In fact, changes are already underway:
- New management at both shelters has squarely set their sights on increasing the live release rates.
- OPA continues to assist both shelters with medical expenses, but we have now moved beyond simple x-rays to more serious procedures.
- We launched OPA in 2011 with a major focus on transporting pets from our over-full shelters to other parts of the county. Now, many more rescue groups have established transport programs adding to our overall life-saving efforts.
- Hurricane Harvey challenged OPA, and the rescue community, to work together to move animals out of shelters to safety, quickly and in great numbers. OPA answered the call, engineering no less than four flight and ground transports within the span of a few weeks to clear the shelters for Harvey victims.
- During 2017 OPA increased adoption venues, which remain open to animals from both shelters, as well as our own OPA pets, as a second means to move animals out of crowded shelters and into homes. As a result, we saw a 30% increase in local adoptions during 2017.
- OPA has joined forces with Texas Litter Control and the Bruce Knapp Fund to TNR even more of Montgomery County’s Community Cats thereby reducing births and shelter intake. OPA also saved over 100 additional feral cats, at risk in the shelter, pending the approval of a feral cat program for the city of Conroe.
In 2018, we’re charting new territory through a grant to introduce Dogs Playing for Life™ programs at both local shelters. This structured playgroup program will enable our community to save more lives by giving shelter dogs much-needed exercise and socialization during their shelter stay.
OPA has seen our all-volunteer organization grow in both the magnitude of volunteers and achievements. And further, thanks to the generous support from our community, we have continued to fund that growth through donations.
I am honored to be associated with such a dedicated and capable group of animal lovers and to be a part of an organization that has helped our community achieve a laudable ‘No-Kill’ milestone. Kudos to all! Looking forward to more progress in 2018!
Marcia Piotter, President, Co-founder Operation Pets Alive!
How OPA Impacted Homeless Pets in 2017
Because of your support, Operation Pets Alive rescued a total of 3,125 homeless pets in 2017 from within Montgomery County. Take a look at our breakdowns. A total of 1,842 dogs and 1,283 cats were saved from our County Shelters, and within our community. During 2017 OPA transferred 921 dogs and 245 cats,via ground and air, to partnering shelters and rescues in other areas of the country where a greater demand exists for adoptable pets, and a 99.9% save rate amongst those transferred ~ mainly through our ‘Pups On Trucks’, ‘Flights For Life’, and ‘Cat Taxi’ Programs. OPA had a great year for local adoptions with 806 dogs and 623 cats finding forever homes within our Community ~ a 30% increase from last year! In addition, OPA helped hundreds of other pets in our community through other Programs. Our low cost Spay/Neuter Program assisted families by altering 99 pets. We also helped over 150 pets-in-need from MCAS and CAAC with outside veterinarian services. Our TNR Program alone, ensured that 302 community cats were spay/neutered and vaccinated, so they could live safely in our community without reproducing.
An awesome job by volunteers, fosters, partners and our supporters!