Williamson County is full of organizations waiting to help you find your perfect furry companion. More importantly, they are committed to saving the lives of lost and abandoned animals and help them find their forever homes.
WILCO ANIMAL SHELTER
Lost and abandoned animals find a safe haven at the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter, the only shelter solely dedicated to caring for furry friends in, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Hutto, Leander, and the surrounding area. Despite constant overcrowding, the shelter has maintained a 90 percent save rate for 12 years, thanks to a community that always answers the call for fosters and adoptions when the shelter reaches critical capacity. Community Programs Coordinator April Peiffer says, “We have had critical capacity issues all year, and we hope for community’s support every day through adoptions, fostering, volunteering, and donating. This will help us answer the community’s call to our service—saving lives.”
Another part of that life-saving mission is volunteering, which provides extra hands-on help that raises the quality of care for the dogs and cats. The transport program also allows the shelter to send dogs to other areas of the county, while the off-site adoption program helps animals get adopted at partner stores.
Scan the code for more on fostering, adopting, donating, and volunteering. The shelter also needs donations and sponsors for the 13th Annual Fur Ball Fundraiser Nov. 5 at the Sheraton in Georgetown. Email [email protected] for more information.
GEORGETOWN ANIMAL SHELTER
In May, Georgetown was ranked the fastest growing city in the U.S., and as the human population skyrockets, so does the pet population. Since the 1990s, the Georgetown Animal Shelter has averaged 1,750 annual pet and wildlife intakes, works to reunite lost pets, and helps animals find new homes. “Despite our small size and growing animal population, we have achieved ‘no-kill’ status with a 90 percent or greater save rate for seven consecutive years and are on our way to making it eight!” Animal Services Manager April Haughey says.
To support pets and their owners, the shelter operates a food pantry and participates in the Emancipet Voucher Program to assist residents. The shelter also offers low-cost microchipping and city licenses to promote quick reunions.
Shelter staff work with local businesses and organizations to host adoption events, donation drives, education, and special promotions. Plus, make plans for the Kittens in the Library adoption event Aug 12 and Oct 4.
To support your local shelter, consider:
- Volunteers are a vital part of shelter operations, and they offer a variety of opportunities. For more information on volunteering, visit Pets.Georgetown.org/Volunteers.
- Friend of the Georgetown Animal Shelter: Friends help the shelter with funding for emergency veterinary care and shelter improvements. Learn more at FriendsOfGtownShelter.org.
LIVING GRACE CANINE RANCH
What happens when someone is no longer able to care for a pet? Rhonda Minardi asked herself this question when her mom was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer and her mom was less concerned about herself than her lifelong pet companion, Lucy. A few years later, Rhonda came across a local shelter giving tree. After realizing all the remaining pets on the tree were senior dogs, she delivered more then $3,000 in goods to fill every wish list request. She also learned Texas shelters have the highest rate of euthanizing unwanted senior pets with no place to call home.
One year later, she founded that home—Living Grace Canine Ranch—a 501(c)3 animal welfare organization, in Bertram, Texas. “It was a new chapter for old dogs and the people who love them,” Rhonda says. Today, thanks to Rhonda and her community of support, 98 dogs live at the ranch and 22 live in family homes as part of the Forever Foster Program.
Animal lovers can support Living Grace by:
Becoming a Sponsored Angel of Sanctuary Sweethearts with a monthly donation at LivingGraceCanineRanch.org/residents. A $12 monthly donation provides medicine for seniors with conditions like diabetes and kidney and heart disease.
Donate to the Doggie Dental ‘22 Project, which is working to raise $76,000 for medical equipment to treat ranch residents with dental diseases.
Host a Let’s Shake Paws Party at The Ranch. A fundraising event team will plan every detail so guests can experience Living Grace’s motto, “Where Love Resides.”
Email [email protected] or donate by mail: 723 W. University Ave, Ste 110-142, Georgetown, 78626.
TEXAS HUMANE HEROES
When overcrowded shelters reach a point at which they are forced to euthanize, Texas Humane Heroes steps in. Texas Humane Heroes was established in 1979 as the Humane Society of Williamson County before acquiring shelters in Leander and Killeen and rebranding. It is a no-kill nonprofit organization that rescues dogs and cats from overwhelmed shelters throughout Central Texas. Just this year, 1,511 of their animals have found forever homes, including George (below) after he spent more than 600 days with the organization. “We couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t being adopted as he was the best dog ever!” marketing manager Sam Rogers says. “A couple weeks ago, he found his forever home. Our whole team was ecstatic and so proud of George.”
Two full-time veterinarians work at Texas Humane Heroes, enabling the organization to take in animals with extreme medical needs. “Just this year we took in a dog with a massive 6-pound cancerous tumor, a dog with multiple broken bones in her legs, a dog and cat with broken pelvises, and several animals with traumatic injuries that required amputation, surgery, or rehabilitation,” Sam says.
Texas Humane Heroes currently houses 255 animals at both shelters and is always in need of donations and volunteers.
After a fire claimed her home and the lives of four of her dogs, Regina Roberts (photo right) searched for a way to overcome her depression. She and her husband Gary found it by starting Harley’s Angels Dog and Cat Sanctuary (named for one of their dogs whose persistent barking during the fire saved their lives) and dedicating their lives to helping animals faced with adoption challenges like age, size, and medical or temperament issues.
Harley’s Angels’ mission is to help residents heal, trust, and learn social skills so they can be placed in loving homes. “However, for many of them, this will never happen,” Lisa Dixon with Harley’s Angels says. “So for those, Harley’s is committed to them for their lifetime.”
Today, Harley’s houses 44 dogs in cottages in Florence and has helped countless more, from an injured Yorkie that was hit by a car that now lives the life of a senior in Sun City, to a bubbly pit bull in need of ongoing cancer surgeries as well as a foster home.
For those who wish to support Harley’s Angels, the organization is in need of:
- A volunteer groomer, trainer, and veterinary services.
- Fostering or adopting.
- Building and maintenance assistance and supplies.
- Funding for utility bills, vet bills, chicken and organ meat, kibble, medicines, and supplements for residents.
- Volunteering/funding from church groups, scout groups, men’s groups, ball teams, and other organizations looking to serve the community.