Special Pals gets new executive director, launches new foster program

By R. Hans Miller | Times Senior Reporter
Posted 5/7/20

Special Pals Shelter, located at 3830 Greenhouse Road near Katy, has appointed Becky French as president. The organization has also expanded their services to help other fur-friendly organizations …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Special Pals gets new executive director, launches new foster program

Posted

Special Pals Shelter, located at 3830 Greenhouse Road near Katy, has appointed Becky French as president. The organization has also expanded their services to help other fur-friendly organizations the nonprofit announced last week.

“We are thrilled to add Becky to the Special Pals team,” said President of the Special Pals Board of Directors Melissa Houser. “Her passion for animal rescue and her experience with animal care will help us continue to grow our life-saving mission in Houston.”

New Director

French comes to Special Pals after serving as clinic director for Houston’s Rescued Pets Movement, a Special Pals press release said.

Special pals is a limited-intake, no-kill shelter located near where Katy addresses fade to Houston addresses. It is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that shelters dogs and cats and provides alternatives to euthanasia, adoptive homes, education and resources for pet owners such as low cost vaccination clinics.

French said she has about 14 years of experience in animal rescues and nonprofit organizations in Houston and Washington state.

Erin McCollum, who served as acting director prior to French’s appointment to the position, will continue working at the local nonprofit.

“In Washington, the capacity for taking in animals is completely different,” she says. “Shelters up there accept lots of animals from outside of their immediate area, and that is more challenging for us in the Houston metro area because our animal population is so massive.”

Rescue Resource Center

Special Pals has also expanded its program to become the Special Pals Rescue Resource Center, said Special Pals representative Katy Heerssen. New services will include rescue boarding as part of the services offered to help animal rescue organizations in the region.

“We recognized a need in our community for a ‘hub’ for animals, particularly dogs,” Houser said. “Groups often find themselves without a temporary place to keep dogs while foster or transport arrangements are made. We’ve been calling that the ‘bottleneck’ and our aim is to ‘break the bottleneck’ between at-risk and adoptable for Houston’s homeless animals.”

The idea of the expansion is to ensure that animals supported by Special Pals are placed in foster homes, adopted or placed on an out-of-state transport to a new home, French said.

“With this new focus we will see the number of animals that find homes through Special Pals jump from hundreds to potentially thousands every year,” French said.

French said that the low-cost spay and neuter surgeries previously offered by Special Pals have been put on hold temporarily while the organization finds a facility that will work for that purpose.

Adoptions offered at Special Pals will continue, French said, but the new partnering with other nonprofits that support pets will allow the organization to have more of an impact. The low-cost wellness clinic for pets will also be resuming soon, she said.

French said the clinic offers discounted vaccines, microchipping and preventive medications for fleas and heartworm. The clinic is focused on getting back to work following the near-shutdown it has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.

“We are making plans to host clinics while following recommendations from the COVID-19 pandemic conditions,” French said.

Disclosure: Special Pals Shelter is one of two Katy-area organizations Katy Times partners with for our weekly “Pet of the Week” feature.

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here