PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

December 4, 2013

Animal rescue organization to hold fundraiser Saturday

Erinn Callahan
The Port Arthur News

GROVES — The Southeast Texas pet rescue group BFF Pet Adoption will partner with Nederland Animal Shelter Helping Hands to host a fundraiser at Kizmet Studio and Koffee Bar, 6039 39th Street, Groves.

The event will feature a silent auction and raffle, as well as entertainment provided by Steve Sodman.

All funds will go toward veterinarian costs for animals rescued from the shelters. These costs can range from $80 if the animal is perfectly healthy to $1,500 if the animal requires surgery or medication for diseases such as scabies or parvo, Kerstin Mullins, vice president of BFF Pet Adoptions, said.

“Every bit of money we raise will benefit a dog,” Mullins said.

Because BFF is entirely dependent on volunteers fostering pets in their own homes, there is no shelter space, Mullins said. She estimated that the organization was currently fostering between 60 and 70 dogs, and a scarcity of funds makes caring for those dogs complicated.

“We're low on funds because we have to make sure we guarantee the safety of the dogs we already have in rescue,” Mullins said. “A lot of the funds come out of our own pocket. We do have support from the community, but it’s still never enough.”

BFF Pet Adoptions takes in animals from shelters as far as Woodville. The organization focuses on last-minute rescues —animals who would be euthanized if they remain in the shelter much longer. Most shelters will not euthanize as long as there is enough room, but if an owner surrenders a pet, the shelter can technically kill that animal right away, Mullins said.

The shelters receive an overflow of pets during the holiday season, Mullins said, and there is a similar trend right before summer vacation.

“It's like emptying the Gulf of Mexico with a teacup,” Mullins said. “We have a huge problem here.”

Mullins said she hopes the fundraiser will bring something more valuable than funds — awareness.

“Not everybody can foster, not everybody can adopt, but if everybody would share a picture of a dog on social media once a month, we could find homes for these dogs,” she said. “I wish people would pay more attention.”

Email: ecallahan@panews.com

Twitter: @ErinnPA