More Than Just Pets
January 7, 2011, 11:26 pm
Filed under: Outreach

I find that it is so easy with work, as with most things in life, to just go through the day completing tasks.  Marking something off of a task list has always been one of my very favorite feelings.  But sometimes in doing that, I forget the bigger, warmer, fuzzier picture. I forget that each day people who love their pets as much as I love mine turn to us to provide the very best care for their furry family members.  Today, we received the most excellent reminder of what this work is really about and I just had to share it with you.  Below is a poem written by a client by the name of Beth about her dog, Strawberry.

Strawberry”s Story

Strawberry was a feral wolf dog, an outcast from her home.

A babe in the woods she wandered, soon to have pups of her own.

Some good folks took her in at last. The pups were born and grew up fast

These folks had love, but they had no vet.  Who’d save the day???


Now Strawberry and her family will never be alone,

Together for a life-time in their forever home.

Their future will be bright, I bet, thanks to the folks at Emancipet.

God bless the staff, the volunteers and vet, and all the folks who support


Beth, like most of our clients, knew that Strawberry and her pups needed her help and she wanted to provide them with the very best. Her poem was a reminder that what we do is about more than “just pets.” It’s about the families who open their hearts and their lives up to pets who need them – and if you ask Beth, everybody wins!




Picture Worth a Thousand Words
July 19, 2010, 8:50 pm
Filed under: Outreach | Tags: , , , , ,

I saw both litters of puppies in the video below in the lobby this morning as I was heading to the clinic for my daily dose of cute. I asked the human parents how they came across such sweet little ones – their stories are the kind we hear all too often.  The first Good Samaritan told me that she woke up to find a box of Labrador puppies on her doorstep. The other said that she found the box of Schnauzer/Pit Bull puppies in her neighbor’s yard, without food or water. They were relinquished with no argument from the uninterested owner.

While I reap the benefits of hugs, kisses, and puppy breath – these little lives are an all-too-cute example of dogs that were not wanted or planned for by a family committed to caring for a new pet.

Not wanting to put additional burned on our already crowded shelter system, both foster parents have decided that they will care for the little ones until they can place them in loving permanent homes. They are committed to getting all of the dogs spayed/neutered, knowing that is the only way to end the cycle of unwanted litters in our community.

Pet of the Week
July 7, 2010, 5:43 pm
Filed under: Outreach | Tags: , , , , , ,

There is so much cuteness at Emancipet that I feel bad keeping it all to myself, so I’m sharing it with you! The debate over what makes the cutest pet is a heated one that happens almost daily inside the walls of Emancipet. Since I have the password to the blog, I win this time with a sweet puppy that visited yesterday named, Princess Charlie.

When I tell people what I do, they always say, “Oh, I couldn’t work there.  I would want to take all of them home.”  Well, the vast majority of our patients only visit us for the day for services, and go back to their loving families at night, which makes taking them home with me a real no-no. Princess Charlie was here visiting Amber, our wellness technician extraordinaire, for her first round of puppy shots and will be back soon to be spayed.

Spay Street
March 15, 2010, 9:44 pm
Filed under: Outreach

We all know the story about the man who stood on the shore watching a beautiful woman who was dancing on the sand.  As he walked closer, he realized that hundreds (or thousands if you like the drama) of starfish had been washed ashore and were dying on the beach.  It was getting dark and the man asked why she even bothered to try to save some of the starfish – there were just too many – they couldn’t all be helped.  She continued to pick them up one after another and said, “But I just saved that one.”

The first time I heard that story, I was moved.  The second, third, and tenth time – I was over it.  But today I have visions of starfish swimming in my head.

I had the opportunity to ride along with our Spay Street program coordinator.  Spay Street is a door-to-door community outreach program that provides resources and education to pet owners in Austin’s neediest communities.  Thanks to a generous grant, Emancipet is able to provide free spay/neuter and other basic services to these pets in need. I understood the program before, but seeing it in action gave it a whole new meaning.  In just two hours time, we covered about 3 blocks. Some homes had boards covering openings where windows should be, others had gates so flimsy I wondered why they even bothered.  There was one common theme: lots and lots of dogs and cats.  As we approached each house, the barking was often loud enough to bring residents to their front door. Laura, the program coordinator, explained why she was there and that she had the resources to provide much needed services to their pets.  The van used for transporting animals to the Emancipet clinic was full after just over an hour. Many pet owners were thankful and even a bit relieved. I must have heard, “I don’t want anymore” at least a dozen times. One house had a small, sweet puppy who was clearly very loved.  The man explained that this puppy had a sibling, but that sibling was nowhere to be found.  Another house had 8 Chihuahuas living together in a large yard.  The family had gone to the City of Austin Rabies Vaccination clinic the week before and had gotten all of them their shots.  We were able to bring in the dogs that had not been spayed or neutered to keep them from adding to the brood.

When the van was full and we had to drive away, I couldn’t help but feel like there was so much more that we needed to do.  But, like the lady dancing on the shore, I know we made a real difference in the lives of the handful of pets we were able to help that day.

Reaching Out
March 5, 2010, 10:07 pm
Filed under: Outreach | Tags: , , ,

If you would have asked, I never would have imagined a few years ago that I would be doing what I am today. I knew I wanted to help “people” so I received my graduate degree in Social Work. Long story short, I adopted my first dog, Miko, who is the love of my life and quickly taught me what so many already knew- that pets are some of the best “people” around.  Years later, I jumped at the opportunity to interview with Emancipet and here I am.   

My position in outreach involves coordinating events, managing volunteers, media and the ever-so-popular social media relations, and communications. I have found over and over again that people are genuinely interested in the work we do and I want to share that with you here.  Hopefully, you will find my journey into this work as exciting as I have.  If there is something you want to hear more about – tell me and I’ll fill you in.