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Houston Council approves $265,000 for Rescue Pets Movement

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Ria Vandright speaks on Rescued Pets Movement July 8 2014
photo by Marc Pembroke

On Wednesday July 9, Houston City Council approved an allocation o $265,000 from the BARC Special Revenue Fund to support Animal Transport Operations by Rescued Pets Movement, Inc, a non-profit organization that transports pets to no-kill services in Colorado for adoption. RMI is a non-profit organization that has been working with BARC for more than 4 years.

Currently, BARC receives and cares for 25,000 dogs and cats, far more pets than they can place in Houston. However, in Colorado, where spay and neuter programs have been in place longer, there is a growing demand for adopted pets. RMI has been networking with “no kill” shelters in Colorado to transport pets from BARC to locations where new owners are waiting. Under an existing agreement, RMI will have the responsibility of identifying appropriate non-profit 501(c)(3) shelters in Colorado with no-kill policies, and for transporting animals available for adoption to those locations.

Three officers of RMI spoke on Tuesday to explain the program. Ms. Ria Vandright, Ms. Ann Knight, and Ms. Lisa Belfort outlined the operation and assured council members that she knew of the locations and remained in contact with the new owners of pets, usually receiving photos and follow-up letters.

To date, the operation has saved 3000 dogs and cats from at a cost of $80,000, entirely funded by private sources earmarked for that purpose. All transported animals are shipped with health documents and certificates. BARC now has an all-time high live release rate of 70%, However, the balance o the cost for this year, projected at $365,000, needs to be assured in order for the program to continue successfully, saving an additional 6000 animals.

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