Advocacy group gets green light to add eye-catching mural on animal shelter
Published 12:16 am Thursday, August 31, 2023
GROVES — It’s easy to miss the Mid County Small Animal Shelter at 5001 McKinley while driving down Pure Atlantic Road in Groves.
The building does not have any outstanding features, but that is soon to change thanks to animal advocacy group Mid County Paws of Hope.
Cheryl Richie, Debbie Jones and Carol Heintschel asked city leaders for and were granted permission to have an eye-catching mural painted on the building, all at no cost to the City of Groves.
The mural would feature lifelike paintings of two dogs. One is named Diesel, who was part of an animal cruelty case, and Lily, who was rescued from the streets but sadly died before she was to go to her new home, Jones said.
Both dogs have special places in the hearts of the volunteers with the organization.
While the dogs’ likenesses would be on one side of the door of the building, the other side would feature paw prints.
“People drive around that corner (now) and don’t even know what it is,” Richie said of the nondescript building that serves the communities of Groves and Port Neches.
Jones explained the organization has an annual garage sale to raise necessary funds, and this year’s sale went well enough for the decision to commission local artist Valerie Simoneaux.
Paws of Hope also was able to present scholarships this year to graduating seniors who are going to become veterinarians, Jones said.
Volunteers with the group go to the shelter once a week, take photos of the dogs and try to get them adopted. Once the dogs are adopted, the group pays for the first vetting and to spay or neuter the pet.
Sometimes this leads to dogs being adopted out of state and, as in this week’s adoptions, out of the country. Paws worked with Furever Homes Dog Rescue of Southeast Texas, which is based in Lumberton, and from that collaboration seven to eight dogs mutts are now headed to Canada to forever homes, Jones said.
“The passion is to make sure the dogs are spaded and neutered,” she said. “We use Spurklock vet and NVC in Groves.”
George Bellows of Gb Dumpsters in Port Neches donated the painting supplies for the project.
The mural is set to be painted next week, weather permitting.
Richie said everyone is excited about with the project.
“We’ve wanted to do it over a year ago, and it’s been one brick wall after another,” she said. “We finally got it on the road.”