State of the Shelter
State of the Shelter Address 2013
Happy Second Anniversary! Two years ago, we moved into our new home. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make it possible and to everyone who continues to support us. We owe so much to so many! In 2012, CAP adopted 4,540 animals into new homes, reunited 475 lost pets with their families, transferred 216 animals to adoption partners, provided phone counselling for thousands of pet owners and trapped/neutered/returned 2,382 feral cats to their community colonies (twice as many as in 2011!).
In designing our new shelter, we collaborated with PBK Architects to meet the special needs of our furry friends while keeping the facility environmentally friendly. We are pleased to report that by incorporating the latest technology, we have reduced energy consumption by 27% per square foot.
With efficiency in mind, we found another way to make contributions work as hard as we do in caring for our homeless friends. We opened a clinic on site to provide medical care and spay/neuter surgery for all adopted animals before they go to their new homes. Two staff veterinarians and animal care technicians keep it operating, six days a week.
At CAP, spaying and neutering is a guiding principal. Thanks to dedicated volunteers and staff members who trap feral cats day and night, we are able to take our philosophy beyond our shelter to neighborhoods throughout Houston. Did you know that one un-spayed female cat can have 12,000 descendants in just five years? And, one male cat can impregnate as many as 1,000 females during his lifetime. This year, because of our Feral Cat Assistance Program (FCAP) there will be 25,000 fewer feral cats on the streets of Houston, a staggering accomplishment by itself.
But, there is much more to do. There are an estimated 750,000 strays living a rough life on the streets of Houston. The number is enormous, but at CAP we take it day by day, dog by dog, cat by cat. Each one of these dear four-legged creatures who come through our doors receives loving care and undivided attention thanks to an army of volunteers who work in the shelter as well as in our clinic. They clean crates and habitats, prepare food for the animals, wash food bowls, walk dogs and cuddle puppies and kittens. Last year, they contributed more than 10,000 hours.
Because we believe team work is fundamental to tackling the problem of the hundreds of thousands of unwanted, abandoned animals, we partner with our colleagues at other shelters and rescue groups to make the best use of all of our resources. Recently, Chris Newport, a spokesman for Houston's Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care (BARC) stressed that "Houston needs a conversation with itself about pets, one that addresses people's reluctance to spay and neuter them...."
We help take that conversation to thousands of people each year through our humane education and community outreach programs. In 2012, we worked with 45 schools and more than 75 community groups promoting spay/neuter, responsible pet ownership and pet care.
As we begin a new year, we invite you to visit CAP's shelter and see for yourself how people like you have made a difference. There are so many ways for you to help, and we would love to work side by side with you to fulfill our mission of sheltering, rescuing and placing homeless animals in loving homes, in addition to advocating respect and compassion for all animal life.