August 10th, 2022
By Devon Krusko, Field Services & Community Programs Manager
I was immediately drawn to Karen Patterson, vice president of Fix West Texas, when we first met in 2021. She is fiercely committed to improving the quality of life for pets and people in her community. In fact, her passion and drive are so infectious, it’s impossible not to want to be involved in the work she’s doing! So I was thrilled for the opportunity to work with her again this past June when RedRover assisted Fix West Texas with two Pay-What-You-Can-Afford vaccine clinics in Midland and Odessa.
The overpopulation of animals in Texas is an ongoing crisis. Many dogs live loose on the streets, others are taken in by families, and some are cared for by community members. To help manage the issue, some homeless dogs are transported to rescues and shelter partners in states that have lower stray populations and higher adoption rates.
In communities with an abundance of stray animals and limited resources for both people and pets, vaccine clinics like the ones offered by Fix West Texas can be truly lifesaving. And for many homeless animals, Fix West Texas does more than provide veterinary care; they also help find them homes. In 2021 alone, they adopted out almost 600 cats from their clinic location!
In June 2022, RedRover committed to covering the cost of vaccines for up to 600 pets, totaling $5,000. Thanks to our generous supporters, we met our goal! That means 600 animals, both cats and dogs, are now protected from preventable diseases and have a relationship with a local veterinary service.
At the clinic, animals with medical concerns received veterinary care and are eligible for future services as needed. Families left with paperwork for spay/neuter vouchers and encouragement to email the mayor’s office to relay that these services matter in the community. Why? Because the work Fix West Texas does in and for the community is only possible through collaborative relationships.
Karen works tirelessly to bring critical services and funding to her community at little to no cost to the people she helps. When families can’t pay for services, they can instead donate towels to the clinic or an item to be sold in their thrift store. People who want to help in non-monetary ways can volunteer, help spread the word, or foster a cat.
When I arrived at the clinic each morning, my heart was full seeing families already lined up waiting. I loved meeting hundreds of people and pets that weekend and learning their stories. One family came with two trucks full of animals. I learned that they live outside of town where animals are often left to fend for themselves. Many of those stray animals find their way to this family who generously cares for all of them – a major financial undertaking. They were grateful that the clinic was available to make sure everyone got vaccinated.
Another family brought stray mama cats and kittens, and others had animals who were experiencing their first car ride and their first veterinary services – a big day for everyone, made better by the compassionate folks at Fix West Texas and hot dogs (for the pups!) to make the poke of a vaccine a more positive experience.
Partnerships and deployments like these demonstrate the importance of supporting the human-animal bond and building compassion and empathy in communities. Thank you for making this possible!
Learn how you can make a difference for animals through our RedRover Responders program at RedRover.org/Responders.