Every three months, our nonprofit agency The Dr. Jane Foundation awards grants for animal rescue groups across the country. From the October 2019 round of funding, we are excited to thank grant winner CAMO Rescue for their continued work in saving dogs from homelessness and the uncertainty of being in a shelter.
Located in Houston, Texas, CAMO Rescue is a nonprofit animal rescue group that works to save dogs in shelters and on the streets. They work with shelters in the area to move dogs at risk of euthanasia into foster homes, and ultimately find their forever family!
“We try to concentrate on euthanasia lists, and dogs on the street or headed to the pound,” said founder Holly Dool. “Last year we rescued over 800 dogs, a few cats and a couple of pigs.”
Holly started helping dogs in her area when she realized how bad the homeless animal situation was. She became an animal advocate, appearing on the local news fourteen times and petitioning the mayor and city manager to reinstate the local shelter committee. Holly even worked to help raise funds for a remodeling of the local shelter.
But a shelter remodeling wasn’t enough for Holly or the animals. There were still a lot of homeless dogs in the area and many on euthanasia lists at shelters.
Holly turned her own shop into a makeshift kennel and started taking in as many dogs as she could. Before she knew it, Holly had about 35 dogs on her property and worked to find new homes for them on the weekends. She knew she had to find an even more efficient way to save a larger amount of dogs.
“I switched from doing it all myself to being foster based,” Holly said. “We probably have about 70 to 80 foster homes spread out among Houston and Dallas.”
Now, CAMO Rescue is an official non-profit that saves dogs that other rescues won’t take due to fearful nature or medical needs. The rescue currently has about 100 dogs available for adoption at foster homes in Texas.
“We tend to take a lot of sick or injured dogs that other shelters can’t take,” Holly said. “To date, we have never euthanized a dog for behavior. We put them with a trainer here in Houston, sometimes for several months and then she’ll tell us what kind of home they need.”
CAMO relies on donations and foster homes to continue operating. All funding from donations and grants goes straight to medical bills, supplies and boarding.
The biggest challenge for a nonprofit like CAMO is finding new foster volunteers. Whenever a dog is introduced to a new foster family, there is a quarantine period where they need to be kept separate from other animals before they are allowed to mingle. Once the dogs go through the quarantine, they are free to live with an available foster family.
“I’m working towards buying a little house or facility so I can keep 10 to 12 dogs in quarantine,” said Holly. “Hard-to-find fosters is our biggest issue and it is with any rescue.”
When the dog is ready to be adopted from a foster home, it’s important that the new family is qualified by CAMO. The rescue group requires references and a homesite inspection.
“We are selective with where we place our animals,” said Holly. “We don’t want these animals to end up right back where they came from.”
Throughout the years, CAMO has had multiple success stories when it comes to saving dogs and finding them a forever home. About three years ago, a tiny, paralyzed yorkie was left in front of a local shelter in a box. The shelter emailed CAMO and Holly picked the dog up right away. Through nutrition, homeopathy and physical therapy, the yorkie was miraculously able to make a 100% recovery.
“I got another picture of a dog who wandered up to a business on the side of a highway who was extremely sick,” Holly said. “He spent two weeks at the vet with fluids and meds and he survived. The foster sent me a picture a year later and it's amazing the difference, it doesn’t even look like the same dog!”
It’s stories like this that drives CAMO Rescue to continue saving dogs in their area. They recognize that dogs are an integral part of the family, should be treated as such and are turning that into a reality for dogs every day. That’s why they received one of the grants for animal rescue groups awarded by The Dr. Jane Foundation!
If you want to learn more about how we give back, click here and read more!