The “rescuers” are just people with full-time jobs who take in animals and help out where they can.
Inez Moy, hospice social worker and Pettus resident, takes in strays and works to get them healthy and adopted at her own expense.
Moy, who grew up on a farm near Poth, has always been an animal rescuer at heart.
“I was the kind of kid to take in an injured bird,” she laughed.
Her biggest rescue achievement as a child was saving a baby rabbit from a bulldozer and nursing it with a doll bottle.
“I wanted to be a vet but I couldn’t stand the surgeries,” Moy said.
The interesting thing about the so-called stray dog problem in Pettus, said Moy, is that most of the wandering dogs technically have owners.
The dogs, however, are not confined. The owners neglect to spay or neuter their pets, causing literal volumes of dogs to wander the streets.
“It makes me so angry that people don’t spay and neuter their pets,” Moy said.
The animal lover said other Pettus residents have begun taking matters into their own hands, often shooting, running over or abusing roaming dogs so that they will not come back.
“You can’t go through Pettus without seeing a dead cat or dog,” Moy said.
Moy currently has four rescued dogs at her home. She recently got a puppy adopted as well.
The rescuer’s personal sacrifices include paying for heartworm treatments, which cost around $600, buying 60 pounds of dog food every two weeks, personally picking fleas and ticks off animals in danger of dying from blood loss and taking care of other routine medical procedures.
Moy estimated that she has spent $2,000 this year on rescued pets’ medical bills alone.
Dogs often come to Moy abused. Dolly, who Moy plans to keep, whimpered every time her new owner raised an arm at first. That dog was emaciated and tattooed with welts when she arrived.
“I think people who treat animals cruelly are cruel to people,” said Moy. “Animals feel love and pain like people do.”
Magnus came to Moy with a broken leg, broken tail and damaged eye. Moy learned Wednesday that he also has heartworms. After he receives the expensive treatment for that, the friendly dog will need a good home.
“I wish more people would look at animals which have been abused,” said the rescuer. “The ones I’ve fostered and adopted have been wonderful.”
Moy has started the local organization “Cause for Paws” with co-worker Cory Boemer. The two bonded over owning three-legged dogs.
The organization’s ultimate goal is raise money for a no-kill shelter in Beeville. But as Cause for Paws is very new, they want to start by helping out Williams Adoptables at the Williams Veterinary Clinic, raise awareness for adopters on how to care for their pets and perhaps establish some kind of spay and neuter discount program.
Cause for Paws currently has 10 members and wants to expand.
“If I won the lottery, I would build an animal shelter,” Moy said.
Suzanne Lopez at Williams Veterinary Clinic has seen it all when it comes to rescued animals, from blown-out eyes to pus running out a dog’s ears.
Her exhaustion was evident.
“I was up all night feeding kitties,” she said.
She, like Moy, said it can be difficult to get damaged pets adopted.
“One eye or one leg [missing] is not a crisis,” said the exasperated rescuer as she surveyed the room of injured dogs and cats at the clinic.
Lopez said she has spent $32,000 of her own money caring for rescued animals in 2010.
“I’m basically paying to work here,” she said. “But somebody’s got to take them.”
To join Cause for Paws or to donate to that organization or Williams Adoptables, call Exclusive Home Health & Hospice at 358-2468 and ask for Inez Moy or Cory Boemer.
Cause for Paws will hold an “Adopt a Pet for Christmas” event Sunday, Dec. 12, at the Williams Clinic. Each adopter will get a free leash, collar and bag of treats with his or her new pet. All available pets will be spayed or neutered and brought up to date on shots.
Sarah Taylor is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or at sarah@mySouTex.com.