On “Rescue Feature Friday” we highlight one of our amazing partners so that you can learn more about the nonprofits that work so hard every day to end animal homelessness and suffering.
Today, we’re excited to feature Citizens For Animal Protection! With funding from our grant, they were able to prepare the animals in their care with medical care, spay/neuters, microchips, shelter, nutrition and enrichment.
Keep reading on to learn about the work they do #ForTheAnimals!
> What is the mission of Citizens For Animal Protection?
Caring for pets in need through sheltering, adoption, humane education, spay/neuter services, low-cost wellness and community outreach.
> When was your organization established?
> How did you become involved in your organization and what is your current role?
Sandi Mercado, Executive Director. I met Kappy Muenzer, now the Executive Director Emeritus, when I came for a tour of the shelter after being introduced by a mutual friend. I was so impressed with the mission, the staff, the facility, and the culture, that I stayed in touch and helped with consulting on a few small projects. When Kappy made the decision to retire from CAP, she called and asked me if I would be interested in interviewing for the position of Executive Director. In August of 2017, I stepped into this role and so began my passion for animal welfare.
> Do you work with your organization as a paid or volunteer, full-time or part-time member?
Full-time staff member.
> What keeps you motivated to continue your work?
Every time a stray, surrendered or abandoned animal finds a safe and loving home, I know we have saved a life. Every time a feral cat is vaccinated and spayed, I know we have helped to control disease and overpopulation. Every time a pet survives and thrives after an injury or medical condition, I know we have made a difference. And every time I see a smile on the faces of adopters, I know that we have brought joy and love into their lives.
While this can be a highly emotional and challenging field, we all look forward to seeing the positive impact we are having on the people and pets in our community, and know that the care we have given to each and every animal has changed their lives for the better.
> What are you most proud of accomplishing?
In the last few years, CAP opened a low-cost wellness clinic to the public. Additionally, we are collaborating with Houston PetSet and RPM to transport animals; have increased our live-release rate to 92%; adapted our programming and services to continue to meet our mission during the pandemic, through a freeze and several hurricanes/floods; increased our foster base to more than 200 families; resumed and increased outreach and education programs; performed free public spay/neuters for COVID affected families in conjunction with Houston PetSet; and engaged more than 450 volunteers.
> What is something about your organization that the average person might not know?
Through life-saving adoption and transfer programs and a lot of hard work, we have maintained a placement rate of over 92% for all homeless pets surrendered to our shelter in 2020. This is a wonderful follow-up to our 2019 placement rate of 91%. Although these rates qualify us as a “no-kill” shelter, we prefer not to utilize that label, because our goal is to focus on the individual well-being of each animal, and that no decision be made based upon a placement percentage.
> Describe your vision for the future of animal welfare in the Greater Houston area.
I look forward to a time when the public understands the importance of spay/neuter, and is able to access these services easily and affordably.
Thank you, CAP, for all you do #ForTheAnimals! Photos courtesy of Citizens For Animal Protection.