Texas Living

Adopting and Fostering Through Texas Animal Rescue Organizations

By Staci Parks 5.11.20

With several notable animal rescue organizations across our state working hard every day to provide the best in care and, ultimately, loving homes for pets — and with many animals in Texas needing a place to go as the COVID-19 pandemic hit — there’s never been a better time to support animal welfare organizations in Texas through making a gift or adopting.

Although some groups are not currently adopting out pets due to the shelter-in-place orders, others are still open. Groups that have closed adoptions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will rely on donations to help them continue to provide care for the animals who will be up for adoption when they’re able to open back up. For those whose doors are still open, any time your family is ready to adopt is the right time to add that new four-legged family member to your home.

“People who adopt are not only saving the life of the animal they rescue, but they’re making room in the shelters for another animal to come in and have another chance at life,” says Maura Davies, vice president of marketing and communications for the SPCA of Texas.

Here’s a guide to the benefits and process of adopting through a reputable Texas animal rescue organization.

Why Adopt?

There are many benefits to adopting through an animal rescue organization besides saving a life and getting a new best friend. These are a few:

  • Better temperament. These animals often spend a lot of time with staff members and volunteers, who give special attention to their socialization and behavioral needs. “That’s an amazing support mechanism for these little guys,” Davies says.
  • Lighter on the pocketbook. This shouldn’t be the only consideration when adopting, but it helps! On average, pet parents can expect to spend approximately $1,000 for a medium-size dog during the first year of ownership. When you adopt, many of the initial costs have already been eliminated through the animal’s care.
  • A healthy start. Most organizations spay/neuter and vaccinate their animals before putting them up for adoption, and some organizations, such as the SPCA of Texas, also microchip their animals and treat for heartworm.

Where to Start?

There are several organizations across the state doing great work, Davies says. However, with so many options, you need to know what to look for. The right places will treat their animals well and give you the information you need so you can ensure you’re making a safe and healthy addition to your household. Davies offers the following suggestions:

  • Explore the organization’s website. Key information — such as an address, phone number, and hours of operation — should be clear and present. Also look for a 501(c)(3) status and transparency of operations and procedures.
  • Get a word-of-mouth referral. If possible, ask members of your community about their adoption experiences with different organizations. You may be able to find this information online as well.
  • Ask for medical records. A legit operation can easily provide proof of vaccinations and spaying/neutering, as well as documentation on any lingering health issues.
  • See where the animals live. Be wary of an organization that can’t — or won’t — show you where the animal has been housed while in their care.

Where to Adopt

If you’re ready to adopt your new four-legged best friend, here are a few amazing animal rescue organizations across the state. There are other great ones out there — just be sure to do your research so that you feel comfortable making this decision. Here are a few places that can help:

Central Texas

  • Austin Pets Alive!, Austin: You can apply for adoptions and schedule meet-and-greets through their foster homes.
  • PAWS Shelter of Central Texas Kyle, Dripping Springs: You can fill out an adoption form online and schedule an appointment to meet a dog.

East Texas

  • Hope for Pets, Gilmer: Approved applicants can do meet-and-greets by appointment.
  • Pets Fur People, Tyler: You can apply for adoptions online.

North Texas

  • SPCA of Texas, Dallas, McKinney: Currently not accepting adoptions or placing animals into foster care, but check back as the COVID-19 situation develops.
  • East Lake Pet Orphanage, East Dallas: Apply for pet adoption online.

South Texas

West Texas

  • The Haven Animal Care Shelter, Lubbock: Grounds open on Fridays and Saturdays by appointment only. While the office is closed, you can meet outdoors or curbside.
  • Operation Pawprints, Lubbock: Typical adoption processes are ongoing and include a home check. You can meet and greet animals in your house.

Before welcoming your new pet, prepare by taking the right precautions.

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