Becky Whitlock

  • I have always been a big advocate for abused and abandoned animals, and have supported, volunteered and adopted from many shelters from Ft Bend Co, Galveston, Houston and now East Texas (Anderson Co). In Galveston, we had the Feral Cat Program which was awesome, need to implement that in each county throughout Texas. Recently, on October 6, two stray dogs showed up on our farm. They were both females around 7-8 months old in horrible condition, I was able to catch them, but not knowing if they had mange due to their hair loss etc or any other contagious diseases, I took them to my local veterinarian and asked them if there was any faculty or help here in Anderson County for strays or abandoned animals. They said not really, so I asked them if they could look them over and make sure that they weren’t contagious due to my other pets and livestock that we have so I could take them and care for them until I could find a shelter or help for them, since it was late on a Saturday afternoon. Good news per them was it wasn’t contagious mange, but demodex (red mange) and it is treatable, but bad news was they charged me $305, and that was doing me a favor they said. So, I took them home and they said to bring them in once a week for 6 weeks for an injection to cure the demodex. That Monday, I went up to BARC our local shelter and asked them about strays etc and their policy. I told them that the vet said you all would not take them etc, they said not true. So, that following Wednesday, I took them up there so they could vaccinate, worm, spay, micro chip and evaluate them for me since their vet was coming in on that Thursday for clinic rounds. I told them I could pick them up on Monday and keep them so I could pay for their medical care and to see if they will work out here on the farm. They did not charge me for their services, which was nice of them. In return, I sponsored 4 adoptions for them and told them I would help out in anyway that I can in supporting them and their cause here in Anderson County. That following week I took them back to my vet for their weekly shot for their condition, but noticed they had a cough/runny nose. Never said if anything was wrong with them or if we should run tests etc for any infection. So, I asked the shelter who they use that might help me out, so they suggested another vet here in Palestine. Roxy, was running 105 fever so, he put them both on antibiotics and rimadyl for respiratory infection thinking they picked up kennel cough, costing me $189 for that visit, then a week later returned due to Red running fever, changed antibiotics/meds asked if it could be distemper, said maybe, but no further testing done, that visit cost me $158. Then this past Saturday, the 10th took them back in for their treatment and a followup told him that Roxy wasn’t feeling good again, took temp, fever 105, so he put them back on more antibiotics etc, cost $69, that Sunday night, Roxy turned to the worse, Monday morning she couldn’t walk, eyes glassy, body limp and cold, so my husband said lets go back to our other vet and see what he thinks. He said most likely got distemper, then laid blame on shelter dogs and shelters, saying they mean well, but don’t have the resources etc, we had to euthanize them, the only humane thing to do since they were not responding to antibiotics and they were suffering and charged us $250 after all we had spent and done trying to help these poor babies. My heart is peeled with sadness not being able to save Red & Roxy, but my anger lingers on how messed up our animal health care and veterinarians are today. It seems as though they take advantage of people who want and try to help take care and have animals as pets. No wonder there are so many abandoned animals and strays today. If only we had a better means and cost effective way for people to spay, neuter, vaccinate and get proper treatment for their pets. Yes, there are low costs places, but it still isn’t that cost effective for some of those who can’t afford it. There, needs to be a better system and resources for our local shelters, so they can access animals on intake for viral diseases and outbreaks. I don’t blame them at all, they don’t have the funding or proper resources to have vet techs and veterinarians on hand all the time. Our State has one of the biggest and best veterinarian schools, can’t we get a State funded program for each county to have access to for these situations. Local Veterinarian and animal hospitals should partner with their local and county shelters to have a program that citizens and communities can have assistance with spay, neuter, vaccines and treatment for strays, abused and abandoned animals. It not only helps control the animal care and population, but it also helps out our shelters from having to euthanize animals as well. We as humans, should stand up and be the voice for these poor innocent animals that God has created. It’s not their fault, it’s us humans fault for not taking care of your pets and the animal population! People in their community need to be aware and support their local shelters, don’t think they are all bad or cruel because they have to euthanize animals, do you honestly think they want to or enjoy it, absolutely not, volunteer at one and you will see for yourself. God Bless those that have to do that job, it’s heartbreaking and hard for them, just ask them, I did and do. I found out that our local BARC Shelter not only takes in for Anderson County, but also 6 other surrounding counties, that’s messed up right there, and people wonder why they have to euthanize as many as they do…CRAZY!

    I’m writing this in honor and memory of “Red & Roxy” two stray sisters who deserved a better life….

    Becky Whitlock

    Palestine, Texas

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  • SIGN OUR PETITION: Tell Texas Legislators Dogs Deserve Adequate Shelter


    Every year we receive hundreds of calls and emails about dogs left outside suffering in the extreme Texas weather. We know law enforcement, the media, and everyday Texans are sometimes helpless to do anything when they see a dog succumbing to a heat stroke. That’s partly because every jurisdiction in Texas handles these cases differently. Why? Because we do not have a single definition of “adequate shelter” that everyone can use. If the horror stories of animals freezing to death or dying in the Texas heat haunt you, you can do something NOW.


    Please help us change the fate of Texas animals. They can’t afford to wait.

    Passing our tethering bill next session will allow us to include a statewide definition of "adequate shelter" as a minimum standard of shelter that all pet owners should have to meet. Once we have this definition in place, local law enforcement and animal control officers will be able to act swiftly.


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