Islanders change the lives of animals in need – and their own – for the better
Dorothy Trevino promised herself “no more pets” after hers had recently died. One morning in July 2019, however, she went out to get the newspaper only to discover a poodle mix on her doorstep. The poodle was in pretty rough shape, she said.
“I don’t know how long he’d been on his own, but he was probably 3½ to 4 pounds underweight,” Trevino said. “His bones were sticking out. He had burrs all over him, and he had mattes in his hair. He looked horrible.”
A retired behavioral psychologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Trevino gave the dog some food and water and put out word of her find.
“He seemed like such a good dog,” she said. “I couldn’t believe he didn’t belong to somebody.”
She took him to the vet for his shots, and a friend suggested taking him to the Galveston Island Humane Society, which suggested she look after the dog for 72 hours. If no one had claimed him by then, shelter workers told her, she could adopt him.
“I said, ‘Do you realize in 72 hours I’ll be madly in love with this dog?’” Trevino said. “They said, ‘That’s what we’re counting on.’”
Sure enough, “in 72 hours I was at their door adopting him,” she said. “So, he’s been mine ever since, and he’s been the best dog in the world. I don’t know why I ever said I didn’t want a dog.”
Trevino calls her dog Mikey.
Stories like his — another pet saved from the streets, or worse — keep the Galveston Island Humane Society going, but so does money. After skipping last year, the society’s 2021 fundraising gala, scheduled for Sept. 25 at the Galveston Island Convention Center, couldn’t come at a better time.
Themed “Deep in the Paws of Texas,” it promises “definitely one of the best parties in town,” Galveston Island Humane Society Executive Director Caroline Pate said. The shelter took a hit during the pandemic, and needs community support more than ever, Pate said.
“As things are opening up, people are going back to work; or they’re not going back to work, and they’re losing their homes and they’re having to move to apartments that don’t allow pets, or they’re moving in with family that doesn’t allow pets,” Pate said. “Whatever their circumstances may be, now they’re giving up their pets. So we are really right now at an all-time high.”
Susanna Mayberry, a Galveston Realtor and humane society donor, has adopted six rescue dogs and is fostering another. Taking in animals that have been abandoned or otherwise abused is an opportunity to “let them know that there is love out there, and people can love them and give them a good life,” she said.
“You can definitely tell the love of a rescue. They know what you’ve done for them.”
Humane society advocates have long urged people to adopt pets, rather than buying them from breeders.
“Tell everybody to adopt, don’t shop,” said Maureen McCutchen, an attorney, society board member and dog mom to three “kooky” adoptees.
“A lot of people say, ‘Oh, I don’t want to adopt a dog, you don’t know what you’re getting,’” she said. “Well, you don’t know what you’re getting with a puppy either, and these dogs are so grateful when you bring them out of the shelter and bring them home. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Trevino certainly won’t dispute that point. During the pandemic, Mikey was “a lifesaver,” she said.
“Many people say yeah, he was destined to be your dog — he was destined to be at that front door,” she said. “I don’t know for sure if I believe it, but I know one thing: I’m sure glad he was at that front door.”
Find more information about the Galveston Island Humane Society and its PAWS gala at galvestonhumane.org.