The Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation

Rescued Horse Care

Grant Information
Categories Environment , Community
Location Texas
Cycle Year 2011
Organization Information
Organization Name (provided by applicant) Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Organization Name (provided by automatic EIN validation)
Contact Information
Contact Name Donna Burke
Phone 713-869-7722 x158
900 Portway Drive
Additional Information
Used for The Houston SPCA will use this money for feed, hay, supplies, medication and veterinary care for the horses, donkeys, goats, pigs and other farm animals at the shelter. We have capacity for over 200 horses and other farm animals at our two locations in Houston and Waller, TX, and currently we have about 70 horses, chickens, pigs and goats. Nearly every equine that comes into our care is a victim of cruelty and neglect, and funding will help support the rehabilitative care they need before they can be placed with a permanent, loving home.
Benefits Supporting the Houston SPCA’s equine and farm animal care services has a direct impact on saving animal lives. Nearly all of the equines and farm animals at the Houston SPCA’s barn and ranch locations have been rescued by our world-class Cruelty Investigations Team from life-threatening situations of cruelty, abuse and neglect, requiring. Not only do we give these abused horses a second chance at life, but we also improve the lives of adopters, as animal companionship reduces depression and stress and increases morale, psychological wellbeing, empathy and socialization.
Proposal Description Established in 1924, the Houston SPCA is the oldest and largest animal protection agency in the Gulf Coast area. The mission of the Houston SPCA is to promote commitment to and respect for all animals and to free them from suffering, abuse and exploitation. Our vision is that we will lead our community to appreciate the value of animals. At the Houston SPCA, we work to protect all animals, large and small, domestic and exotic, furry and feathered.

In pursuance of our mission, we have provided animal welfare services uninterrupted for over 87 years. The Houston SPCA offers a comprehensive array of services and supports to promote life-long placements into homes. Our services include sheltering for relinquished, stray, injured and abused animals; domestic and farm animal adoptions, all of which include spay/neutering/gelding, vaccinations, microchipping and more; a network of foster homes for animals that are ill, injured or immature; lost and found matching; humane education, including in-school activities and Critter Camp; a world-class Cruelty Investigations team whose work can be seen on Animal Planet’s Animal Cops: Houston; Houston’s only 24-hour injured animal rescue ambulance; PetSafe, a free, temporary boarding service for pets of people escaping domestic violence; an animal behavior helpline and training classes; disaster relief services; Pet Loss, a support group for grieving pet owners facilitated by a licensed professional counselor; aniMeals on Wheels, a collaboration with Interfaith Ministries that delivers free cat and dog food to the pets of housebound seniors; and pet therapy offered to nursing homes by Junior League of Houston volunteers.

All programs and services of the Houston SPCA—excluding adoptions, pet-training classes and Critter Camp—are free of charge, and we are proud to report that we place 100% of our healthy, adoptable animals into lifelong new homes. Not only that, but the Houston SPCA does its part to promote the long-term health of the animals in our community. All animals leaving our facility are spayed/neutered/gelded and vaccinated.

Many of our services are unique to the Houston SPCA. Ours is the only animal welfare organization in Houston that can provide shelter and long-term, quality humane care to horses. Our barn at the main shelter and our 60-acre Waller County ranch can, together, house over 200 equines and farm animals. In order to promote adoptions of these difficult-to-place animals once they have been physically and emotionally nurtured back to health, the Houston SPCA has started to host Open Barn Days for approved adopters to come and visit with our horses and farm animals, rather than have to schedule an appointment with the Houston SPCA. Open Barn Days alone have accounted for over 70 adoptions of horses and farm animals this year, and we currently have approximately 70 horses in our care right now.

The economic recession has had a two-fold impact on the Houston SPCA. Our entire community is suffering, causing donations to fall as demands for services rise. This is particularly evident in our Cruelty Investigations and Injured Animal Rescue services, which account for the majority of horses and other farm animals at our shelter. Just last month, our Cruelty Investigators were called by the City of Prairie View Police Department to rescue seven emaciated horses and two mules who were tethered to trees in record-breaking Texas heat without adequate food and water. Earlier in the year, we also rescued over 30 neglected horses and donkeys at the request of the Coryell County Sheriff’s Office.

Nearly every horse that comes into the Houston SPCA’s custody is malnourished and in need of rehabilitation prior to adoption. Many have not been groomed or provided farrier or dental care. Others suffer from unattended injuries and have not known a gentle touch for a long time. We provide all horses with quality veterinary care, grooming, farrier care, food, and space to roam. Due to the range of care and services our horses receive, the equine care component of our animal services can be costly. We consider the health of the horses—and the joy they bring to their new families’ lives—worth every expense.

The Houston SPCA respectfully requests a total of $3,000 from the Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation, to be allocated on feed, hay, supplies, medication and veterinary care for horses and other farm animals. The Houston SPCA spends an estimated $2.30 per horse, per day for feed and hay alone. While this seems like a low number, it can quickly add up to a significant expense. Assuming we maintain an average of 70 horses per day through the remainder of 2011 and into 2012, that totals out to approximately $616 a day, or $4,830 a month on feeding horses. Annually, this amounts to nearly $60,000 in expenses, not including the cost of veterinary care, grooming and other services.

The Houston SPCA has a long-standing history of responsible management of funds. Over 80% of our funds go towards the operation of our services, all of which support the Houston SPCA’s mission. A $3,000 gift from the Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation will ensure that our life-saving and community-serving efforts can continue through this time of economic hardship, when our animals need help the most. As a long-standing animal welfare organization, the Houston SPCA would not be here today if it was not for the ongoing support of our community. Our budget is funded by individuals, foundations and businesses that support our mission. We receive no funding from the government, United Way or organizations like the ASPCA or HSUS.

The Houston SPCA is a 501(c)(3) organization, a careful steward of funds with more than 87 years of fiscal responsibility and a four-time winner of the Better Business Bureau Award for Excellence. We are grateful for the support that the Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation gave us in 2010, and we hope that you will continue to support our equines as we prepare them for a new life in a loving, permanent home.