By THERESA VASQUEZ
Special to the Parade
Lost and abandoned animals in the Laguna Madre area have found their voice in Friends of Animal Rescue (FOAR) on South Padre Island. As co-founders Jacky Conrad, Catherine Carter, and Sheree Donovan explained, the group’s mission is, “to assist homeless animals in finding forever homes and reuniting pets with their owners.”
The Friends of Animal Rescue displayed their commitment to that mission with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday evening, celebrating the opening of a resale dubbed Rescue Me Resale Shop located at 4908 Padre Blvd. Proceeds from the shop will benefit the non-profit’s efforts.
As numerous members of the South Padre Island community expressed their support in attendance of the event, Conrad discussed their partnership with the City of South Padre Island, saying, “We do not receive any funding from the city at this point and time, but when an animal is picked up by code (referring to the environmental health services division of the City of SPI) it is brought to us, and we hold it for 72 hours.”
FOAR is currently funded by donors, and Rescue Me.
She continued on to detail the process of finding a foster home for the animals, if the owner is not found. FOAR makes various attempts to locate the owner(s) by way of posters, Facebook postings, and petfinder.com.
If the owner of the pet is not located, the organization places the animal in foster care while they process potential adoption owners. Victor Baldovinos, Environmental Health Services Director for the City of South Padre Island, explained, “this has a positive impact on the city, our budget, and staff; it used to take time, and wear and tear on our vehicles, now we can take the lost animals to this location on SPI.”
The Friends of Animal Rescue is fortunate to have a veterinarian (Dr. Sara Stevens) serving in their organization, and who oversees the condition of the animals brought to the rescue site. As Conrad said, “Texas State Law requires us to hold the animal for 72 hours, and once the vet deems the animal safe, we place it in foster care. The animals are spayed, neutered, provided with complete vaccinations, and tested for heartworms; if they test positive for heartworms, we provide the treatment.”
The organization runs on complete volunteerism, and Conrad states, “we have over 30 volunteers, to date, and growing!”
Ultimately, as Conrad said, “The goal is to unite lost animals with owners.”
Several methods to apply for adoption of an animal are available. The fee for a dog adoption is $40, and $20 for cats.
For more information on the FOAR, or any questions regarding adoption or lost pets, call (956) 772-1171 or email the organization at friendsof firstname.lastname@example.org.