You've heard their name on KLTV 7 several times over the past few months. In the last two weeks alone, the SPCA of Texas has rescued more than 200 animals from East Texas. What happens to the animals next? We spent the day with the SPCA, touring it's facilities and learning more about the organization that's given hundreds of East Texas animals a new home.
The images of starving and diseased animals are hard for any pet lover to get out of their mind. Pictures like those from last September's puppy mill raid in Upshur County. There is hope, however, for the little guys, a place with their best interests in mind called the SPCA of Texas.
"It's bittersweet," said SPCA of Texas President James Bias. "We hate to think that animals are going to go through abuse, so it's really tough emotionally. The sweet part is we then see an end to their suffering." Bias has been involved in several rescues over the years. Many of the animals end up in Dallas, one of SPCA's two shelters. The larger shelter is in McKinney and is about 30 acres.
"If the animals are awarded to the SPCA, they will go through evaluation behaviorally and medically," said Bias. "If they need rehabilitation, we try to get them rehabilitated. Our goal is to eventually get them into a permanent caring loving home." That involves making sure every animal is spayed or neutered, like the dogs from the recent 200 animal rescue in Marshall.
"Today, these dogs have been spayed and neutered, and they are going to be ready for adoption either later tonight, or tomorrow morning," said SPCA Communications Director Maura Davies. Unlike other shelter's, the SPCA does not euthanize animals to make room for more. They take in animals on a space available basis and run completely on public donations.
"In some of these cases, the judge will order restitution, but we see very little if any of that restitution come our way," said Bias.
"We could not do anything that we do without the public," said Davies. "We don't charge municipal governments. We are here for the animals, and we exist because of the community." Through donations, the SPCA says it's been fortunate enough to build a beautiful outdoor play area for the dogs, but with noisy Interstate 30 just 30 feet behind it, they are now looking for a new place. Just a few miles from it's current shelter, the SPCA says it's found it.
"Hopefully, within the next 18 months we will be able to start construction on this amazing new building," said Davies. "It's a great opportunity for the SPCA to grow into the for seeable future and beyond." That includes more rescues, and ultimately finding homes for more animals like Lady, a Marshall rescue who now has a new, permanent home.
Lady is not the only animal adopted from the rescue in Marshall. So far, the SPCA says more than 40 animals have been adopted, or transferred to an animal sanctuary. Dozens more will also be available for adoption in the coming days.