Rusk County Pets Alive celebrates one year of helping animals


HENDERSON, Texas (KETK) – Rusk County Pets Alive is a non-profit working to support animals in East Texas.

“We take in animals that need medical attention, animals that we have outlets for, and we match our rescues with possible adopters,” says Lisa Waugh, a member of the organization.

The group formed last August and modeled themselves after Austin Pets alive.

As they celebrate their one year anniversary, they say their main goal has been to save lives.

“People want to help the animals here, and they just need an avenue. Fortunately we get to be that avenue,” said Kelly Ballinger, a member of Rusk County Pets Alive.

They work closely with the Henderson Animal shelter, which previously had a high euthanasia rate due to lack of resources, and have made a large impact.

Animals available at the Henderson Animal Shelter

“Before we began the live-release rate was at 30 percent in June of 2018. Last month we were at 92 percent of live-release,” said Waugh.

As they continue to work in the community, members of the non-profit say there is still a lot of work to be done, and can use the communities help.

“We’re working on sustainability right now, and that requires volunteers and, of course, funding. We can always use funding. Our bills can get up to $4,000 a month just with our CPA,” said Ballinger.

In addition to supporting the group, donations can also be made to the Henderson Animal Shelter to help them achieve their goals.

“Donations are always welcome. Things like cleaning supplies kittens and cleaning supplies are always needed,” said Charissa Pool, the director of the Henderson Animal Shelter.

Kittens available at the Henderson Animal Shelter

Both Ballinger and Waugh said their main goal is to get the shelter to a 100 percent live-release rate, and continue to make Rusk County a pet-friendly place.

The group is opening a dog park in October to encourage a good relationship between humans and animals in the community.

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