Help us Heal Hearts this February
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REDCOLLAR RESCUE primarily rescues dogs who are on "Death Row" at shelters. City-run shelters do not have the resources to provide medical care to sick or injured animals. One reason that a dog may be put down at a shelter is that the dog may test positive for heartworms. Heartworms are parasites similar to intestinal worms except they reside in the heart. Heartworms are spread between animals through mosquito bites and so there is risk of infection year-round in the South. It takes a little over six months for the larvae to develop into adult worms that can be detected by a vet's blood test. As the worms develop and grow, they start to block blood flow through vessels in the heart and thus place strain on an animal's organs. Left untreated, heartworm disease can advance from symptoms like coughing and fatigue to severe organ damage leading to death.

All responsible pet owners should have their pets on heartworm prevention, which comes in the form of a monthly edible pill available from a vet. Heartworm prevention is safe, easy, inexpensive, and highly effective, and thus prevention is far superior to treatment. Treatment of a heartworm infection is complicated and more expensive, however today's treatment methods are also very effective and so thankfully a heartworm infection is by no means a death sentence!  REDCOLLAR RESCUE utilizes two courses of treatment - often called "fast kill" and "slow kill" methods - under the direction of our veterinarians. The "fast kill" method involves a series of muscular injections of an adulticide formula which causes the adult worms to die. This method is highly effective against high worm burdens but it also carries some risks and the cost ranges between $500-1000. Under the "slow kill" method, a series of tetracycline antibiotics are given orally in several intervals to kill a bacteria which helps the heartworm survive. In addition, regular monthly heartworm preventative is given. This method keeps larvae from maturing into adult worms while the existing adult worms die off on their own. This method is generally recommended for early-stage infections and treatment lasts slightly longer. Treatment costs are $150-300. Under both approaches, the activity of the pet during treatment should be limited to low-intensity activities so that pieces of the dying heartworms do not obstruct blood flow in the animal's lungs. Ideally these pets get plenty of snuggle time with foster or forever families for several weeks and then they receive a clean bill of health and can return to regular activity with no lingering issues.

In the month of February, where we celebrate Valentine's Day and the symbols of love and strong hearts, we would like to invite our supporters to help us heal the hearts of the RCR adoptables who are currently undergoing heartworm treatment. To support these worthy hearts, you can donate at our website, participate in our Heal a Heart campaign, foster a pup who is recovering from their treatment, or adopt a formerly heartworm positive pet and enjoy years of healthy love.

For more information on heartworms, visit the American Heartworm Society webpage.

HELP HEAL A HEART by purchasing an RCR shirt!

Proceeds from our February 
Heal a Heart campaign will go towards medication and shelter for our adoptables who are currently undergoing heartworm treatment. Slow kill treatments range from $150-300 per pet and Fast kill treatments start about $500 and can exceed $1000 in some cases. Please consider purchasing a shirt, donating direct through our webpage, or sharing our campaign through social media to help Heal a Heart of an RCR adoptable so they can have a chance at love!
RCR Novella

Did you know that regular dental cleanings are just as important for your pets' wellness as they are for yours? In addition to causing bad breath, tarter build-up on your pet's teeth can cause periodontial disease - the most commonly occurring disease in adult pets. If left untreated, this disease can lead to tooth loss, gum infections, and serious heart, lung, and kidney problems. Help prevent this disease by exploring home care options for both dogs and cats and speak with your vet about whether it might be time for a professional cleaning. Soon your pets will have a smile just like Novella's! Just check out that pearly white yawn!
Happy Tails!

January was a great kick-off to the new year for RCR and the 32 happy tails who started 2015 in their new forever homes! See the celebratory smiles of the newest RCR Alums and their forever families by scrolling to the bottom of our Happy Tails Album. This month, celebrate the season of love by becoming a foster or forever home for one of our adoptables. When you foster or adopt, you change two lives - that of your new furry kid or foster and another precious pup that is able to pulled from a shelter and placed in the open foster or boarding spot! Now that's a sweet Valentine treat!

A REDCOLLAR RESCUE volunteer recently shared the story of how he became involved in animal rescue. In lieu of a training tip for the month, we wanted to pass his story along to our supporters and to inspire anyone who helps a homeless pet to see it through.
One day in December 2012, I left work and took my normal route home via a 70+ MPH toll road. I noticed cars slowing and moving out of the fast lane. I had no idea why until I realized that there was a dog walking in the tiny left shoulder. I had to make a decision within 5 seconds. I pulled into the left lane and stopped my car. I knew that I was risking both of us being hit by cars.  As I stopped, the dog stopped and I got out of my car. I could see now that he was a pit bull. He and I sat there for about 5 minutes as cars whizzed by. He was more scared of me than I was of him and the poor guy even urinated on the road. I picked him up and put him into my small 2-seater sports car.  All I asked of him was to not bite me.

As we drove he just sat there with a look of relief on his face. We both were nervous but at least we were safe. I went by the Houston SPCA to get him scanned for a microchip and to ask if they could help. Much to my chagrin (and my own ignorance), they told me he would be held for 3 days and then killed due to his breed. I was animal lover, but I had been oblivious to the effects of breed discrimination and shelter crowding. I was disgusted. I had just risked my life and his -- I was not about to send him to a certain death in a shelter.

I decided I would take him home and find a no-kill rescue to take him in. Like most others, I had no idea that there are no “no-kill” shelters in Houston. So next I reached out to several rescue groups. In their replies, I slowly started to have my eyes opened to the ongoing problem in Houston. Stray dogs were all over and rescues were “full.” Without physical shelters, rescues had nowhere to “put” this dog. No one had empty foster homes and everyone was struggling to find adopters and make ends meet. They all warned me -- in open-intake shelters, homeless pets had almost no chance of making it.

I already had 2 dogs and a cat in my house. I had to keep all parties safe until I came up with a plan. So I set up a crate in my garage for him with food, water bowls, and a heated bed. Fortunately, it was December in Houston so the garage was not sweltering hot or brutally cold. And if the weather turned, I had a spare bedroom as back up. As the days and weeks went on, I took him to a vet and paid for him to be vaccinated and neutered. I took a little time from my current pets and made sure that he got love, attention and exercise, even if only for a brief time. Although at first he showed signs of abuse and fear, he slowly came around to me and learned how to play with toys and chase balls. He became a loving, loyal, playful and goofy dog with a small investment of patience and consistency.

Although I was networking him online with courtesy posts to find him a forever home, he was growing on me.  After about a month of him living in the garage, I had a trainer come and help me integrate him into my home. Just 8 weeks after I rescued him, he was living peacefully in my house with 2 other dogs and a 5 lb cat. One month after that, he no longer was confined to a crate when I was not home. He slowly and surely showed his loyalty, appreciation and love as time moved forward. He became the hit of the dog park with his big green eyes. He was well behaved in public and on patios in the city.

As I look back, there was a plan and a reason I found him. And maybe people will think this is crazy to say - but God put him in my life for a reason. This isn’t a public service announcement for pit bulls, although yes, I now have a huge soft spot for them in my heart. But the moral to this story is that when it mattered most, I became my own rescue, albeit for just one dog.  I reached out for help, thinking it would be easy… when the help couldn’t come because there were too many others asking, I decided to help myself help this one dog. 

I asked for donations from a few of my friends. Some folks sent toys and dog food, some sent small sums of money. I took care of the rest as best I could and sometimes that meant a little credit card balance. I sought out advice and learned as much as I could to save this one dog. It took patience, a few baby gates, a crate and a little help from some humans, but I learned how to be my own rescue.

Finding this dog led me to do more to help more dogs. Sure I’ve always loved animals and I donated money here and there. But this new dog opened my eyes and led me to reach out to several great rescues trying to save animals and help with the problems in our city. Since that year, I have continued to volunteer for those groups in Houston in different capacities. I have made great new friends (human and furry alike) and I have made a difference in the lives of many homeless pets. Because I truly believe that all pets deserve the same chance at life and a forever home as my rescue pal did, no matter the breed or the backstory.  

So in closing...this is the story of Buddy. The choice of name ended up apropos because he is now my best friend. A 5 second decision, followed by a firm commitment to see this one dog through to whatever end was in store changed my life and his life and the lives of dozens more homeless pets and their future forever families.
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Sat, Feb 14
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Check us out at @redcollarrescue!!  We post a couple of pictures a day of our adoptables and it's the perfect place to get a daily dose of doggie cuteness guaranteed to brighten even the worst Monday.
Did you also know that there are loads of free reposting apps for Instagram?   These apps let you repost our pictures which gives our adoptables even more publicity!  You never know, it might be YOUR re-post that helps an adoptable find their new family member!   
Have a RCR alum or foster?  Tag us on Instagram and use #redcollarrescue!  You can also view the @redcollarrescue and #redcollarrescue feeds when visiting our Facebook page on the computer (not available on mobile devices) - see the drop down under "More"!
Thank you to all the fabulous foster families and volunteer photographers who provide all the pictures!

What better way to celebrate love and friendship than adopting a special bonded pair! Even when these pups had nothing, they had each other. If you're looking for love, why not bring home two hearts?

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support REDCOLLAR RESCUE every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to RCR. Simply bookmark the link above to support us each time you shop!
RCR Wassail

The need for foster homes never goes away - each foster home directly translates to another life that can be saved. If you've ever thought about fostering but have questions about the process, please check out the FAQs on our foster page. Our foster coordinator is ready to answer any other questions you may have, so email us if you are ready to provide a temporary home for a very deserving dog! If you can't foster, please consider a recurring donation to help sponsor a dog in boarding. Boarding costs $300-400 monthly per dog, so every dollar helps save another life!

Click Wassail's photo to meet him or view our album of adoptables in need of foster homes!
Saving a life can change yours. Foster. Adopt.
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