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HOUSTON SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS Organization Name provided in the GuideStar Exchange* as of 06/08/2012: HOUSTON SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

Organization Name as listed in the IRS Business Master File as of 06/09/2014: HOUSTON SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

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AKA  Houston SPCA
Houston, TX
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GuideStar Summary

&1002;                GuideStar Exchange Committed to transparency ?
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&1002; Registered with IRS Legitimacy information is available
&1002; Evidence of Impact Expert Assessment and Reviews available
&1002; Financial Data Annual Revenue and Expense data reported
&1002; Forms 990 2012, 2011, and 2010 Forms 990 filed with the IRS
&1002; Mission Objectives Mission Statement is available
&1002; Impact Summary Impact Summary from the nonprofit is available
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Basic Organization Information

HOUSTON SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS Organization Name provided in the GuideStar Exchange* as of 06/08/2012: HOUSTON SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

Organization Name as listed in the IRS Business Master File as of 06/09/2014: HOUSTON SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

* The GuideStar Exchange allows nonprofits to regularly update key information directly to GuideStar. It provides richer and broader information about their programs, impact, finances, people and more.
Also Known As: Houston SPCA
Physical Address: Houston, TX 77024 8022
EIN: 74-1287171
Web URL: www.houstonspca.org 
NTEE Category: D Animal related
D20 Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs)
Ruling Year: 1948 


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Mission Statement

The mission of the Houston SPCA is to promote commitment to and respect for all animals and to free them from suffering, abuse and exploitation.

Legitimacy Information

This organization is registered with the IRS.

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Annual Revenue & Expenses (GuideStar Exchange,
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June 2012)

Fiscal Year Starting: January 1, 2011
Fiscal Year Ending: December 31, 2011

Total Revenue --
Total Expenses --

Revenue & Expenses

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Balance Sheet (IRS Form 990)

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Forms 990 Received from the IRS Additional Information
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Forms 990 Provided by the Nonprofit

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Financial Statements

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Annual Reports

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Leadership (GuideStar Exchange,
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June 2012)

Patricia Mercer

Board Chair (GuideStar Exchange,
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June 2012)

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People information was last updated by the nonprofit in June 2012

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Programs

Program: Sheltering and Adoptions (GuideStar Exchange,
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June 2012)

Budget:
--
Category:
Animal-Related
Population Served:
Adults
Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens
Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Program Description:

The Houston SPCA is committed to all animals and provides services to thousands of animals a year, including dogs and cats, rabbits, ferrets, other small mammals, birds, horses and farm animals. We also facilitate the care of all orphaned, injured, ill or oiled native Texas wildlife through our affiliate, The Wildlife Center of Texas (formerly Wildlife Rehab & Education). We are the only shelter in the Greater Gulf Coast area with the ability to provide humane, temporary shelter to big cats like lions and tigers and other exotic animals like primates and bears.   We assess all animals put up for adoption for health and behavior issues, and our shelter staff and volunteers are around to help potential adopters pick the dog or cat that is best suited to their lifestyle. Our shelter has the capacity to hold dogs, cats, birds and small mammals without overcrowding them or keeping them in discomfort. All animals in the shelter receive care and socialization by our staff and volunteers, and dogs are taken on daily walks outside, so that they do not spend all day in their kennels.  The Houston SPCA will not euthanize healthy, behaviorally sound dogs or cats due to age, time limits, or space. Once an animal is entered into the adoption system, he/she will only be euthanized if he/she develops a serious health or behavior problem. In 2010, over 10,000 animals found new homes. We proudly placed 100% of our healthy, behaviorally sound dogs and puppies and cats and kittens into loving new homes!     Hundreds of orphaned, sick or injured animals receive temporary shelter, love, and care in volunteer foster homes before placement. The Houston SPCA also fosters healthy adoptable animals when space is needed for incoming dogs, cats and small mammals. Foster care typically lasts anywhere from 7-10 days, or as long as 6-8 weeks. While animals are being fostered, the Houston SPCA provides the medical care, vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery, crates and linens, so that our volunteers can concentrate on helping the animal become well, without worrying about financial stressors. Fostering is a wonderful, rewarding experience that saves lives and gives animals a safe and loving place to live while they wait for their forever home. In 2010, over 1,500 animals were nurtured and cared for by over 500 volunteers until they were ready for adoption.    All animals adopted from the Houston SPCA are spayed or neutered prior to placement in their new homes. We will not let any animal leave our shelter without first taking this stebut it also helps to prevent health problems and behavioral issues, such as aggression. Animals that are sterilized live longer, more fulfilled lives, and will not contribute to the pet overpopulation problem that leads to the deaths of millions of animals each year. Last year, 5,800 adopted animals were sterilized in the Houston SPCA clinic.

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Program: Humane Education (GuideStar Exchange,
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June 2012)

Budget:
--
Category:
Animal-Related
Population Served:
Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Program Description:

The Houston SPCA’s Humane Education Department offers a range of age-appropriate activities for children from 2nd grade through 12th grade, with in-school animal welfare lessons and discussions, Critter Camp and the “Paw Pals” Girl Scout Patch Program. Offered twelve weeks throughout the year, Critter Camp is an unforgettable week long day camp experience that offers children a chance to learn about animals, the environment, pet ownership and future animal-related careers through fun and creative activities and hands-on interaction with animals.   Aside from a nominal fee for Critter Camp enrollment, all of the Houston SPCA Humane Education programs are offered as a free service to the community, so that children can access quality, age-appropriate humane education regardless of their economic status. Our programs are engaging, hands-on and easily adaptable, so that we can provide services to a wide and diverse range of children, including those with physical and mental disabilities.

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Program: Cruelty Investigations, 24-Hour Injured Animal Rescue and Disaster Response Services (GuideStar Exchange,
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June 2012)

Budget:
--
Category:
Animal-Related
Population Served:
Adults
Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens
Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Program Description:

Cruelty Investigations: Our Cruelty Investigations department is staffed by nine full-time cruelty investigators. These dedicated professionals are responsible for covering over 8,000 square miles with a total human population of approximately 5.2 million. Together, the Cruelty Investigations team drives almost 10,000 miles per month, providing a valuable service to the people and animals of Houston and the Greater Houston area. In 2010, the Houston SPCA Cruelty Investigations team responded to over 14,500 reports of animal abuse and neglect and was able to intervene on the behalf of 42,236 animals. They drove a total of 159,807 miles protecting the innocent.   Houston SPCA investigators work closely with other humane organizations and with law enforcement officials, both locally and nationwide, providing specialized training, assistance for cases involving animal cruelty, and manpower for coordinated rescue efforts. Though the demand for our services is tremendous, our commitment to the animals we serve never wavers. All reports of animal cruelty, neglect, and abuse are taken seriously and handled professionally. Our investigators are dedicated to upholding Texas’s animal cruelty laws and putting a stop abuse wherever it is found. The work of the Cruelty Investigations team is featured globally on Animal Planet’s “Animal Cops: Houston” television show.   24-Hour Injured Animal Rescue: The Houston SPCA is the only agency in Houston and the surrounding area that provides an injured animal ambulance and rescue service 24 hours a day, every day of the year, including holidays. In 2010, our injured animal rescue technicians responded to 18,614 emergency calls and rescued 3,385 animals from danger and distress.    Disaster Response: The Houston SPCA is the lead agency for disaster rescue, relief and resources in our region. Not only do we serve Houston and the surrounding area, but we also step in and extend our reach across the state, from the Mexican border to Louisiana, to respond to disasters and lend assistance to other shelters. When Hurricane Ike tore through the Gulf Coast in 2008, the Houston SPCA responded by standing up as the lead agency coordinating animal rescue and relief efforts, despite limited resources and a lack of power in the area. Through collaborated efforts between the Houston SPCA, other animal welfare agencies and volunteers from across the country, over 1,800 animal victims were rescued, cared for, and sheltered, including pets, horses and farm animals, and native wild babies displaced by the storm. Our rescue teams fielded 763 emergency requests to locate and rescue animals. Thanks to disaster relief efforts from the Houston SPCA and its supporters, many pets that were lost or left behind during the hurricane were able to return home, and displaced baby wild animals—particularly squirrels and birds—were rehabilitated and released.

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Program: PetSafe, Pet Facilitated Therapy, Pet Loss & aniMeals on Wheels (GuideStar Exchange,
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June 2012)

Budget:
--
Category:
Animal-Related
Population Served:
Crime/Abuse Victims
Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens
Adults

Program Description:

PetSafe: The PetSafe program allows families to flee from domestic abuse without being forced to abandon their much-loved pets to a violent or life-threatening environment. Through PetSafe, animals are given temporary boarding, veterinary care, vaccinations and spaying/neutering while their families work towards re-establishing a safe, stable life. PetSafe exists through a partnership between the Houston SPCA and local women and family shelters, such as the Houston Area Women’s Center. By partnering with these shelters, we are able to help human and non-human family members escape from violence and possible death. A network of eighteen shelters sends referrals to the Houston SPCA, and once they arrive at our shelter, pets are given quality, loving care by an experienced staff.    Since 1996, PetSafe has assisted over 200 families fleeing from dangerous and unstable living conditions, illustrating that these services are both needed and accessed. In 2010, PetSafe provided shelter to over 20 animals. The average length of stay in the program is approximately 30 days.    Pet Facilitated Therapy: The Houston SPCA recognizes the soothing and therapeutic effect that animals have on people, particularly those who are going through such hardships as loss, depression, medical issues and stress. In order to help spread some smiles in our community, the Houston SPCA offers a Pet Facilitated Therapy program, which is operated by volunteers from the Junior League of Houston. Each week, volunteers take Houston SPCA companion animals to visit local retirement homes, bringing fun, comfort, companionship and relaxation to Houston’s elderly.   Pet Loss: For most people, a pet is more than just an animal; it is a member of the family. When a pet dies, is lost or stolen, or must be relinquished, it can be just as devastating as losing a loved one. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to speak with friends and family about the loss of a pet. All too often, pet owners are met with well-meaning attempts at minimizing the feeling of loss through the notion that, as animals, pets are easily replaceable. In order to help pet owners cope with their losses, the Houston SPCA offers the Pet Loss support group, a safe, supportive environment where thoughts and emotions can be shared with those of similar circumstances, and where feelings of grief are understood and validated. Pet Loss is facilitated by a licensed professional counselor specializing in grief, loss and crisis counseling. This support group meets the first Tuesday of every month.   aniMeals on Wheels: The aniMeals on Wheels program exists as a partnership between Interfaith Ministries of Houston and the Houston SPCA. Through aniMeals, low-income, housebound seniors enrolled in the Meals on Wheels program receive free dog and cat food for their pets. No longer do Houston’s elderly have to make the difficult choice between feeding themselves or feeding their beloved companion animals. All food for aniMeals on Wheels is provided through generous donations from our supporters within the community. In 2010, we raised over 25,000 lbs of dog and cat food for Houston’s seniors.

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Program: Animal Behavior and Training (GuideStar Exchange,
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June 2012)

Budget:
--
Category:
Animal-Related
Population Served:
Adults
Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens

Program Description:

Last year, hundreds of pairs of pets and their owners received training through low cost classes, and thousands of people received free telephone counseling and email counseling which enabled us to address behavior issues immediately. Proper training and an understanding of animal behavior encourages responsible pet ownership and retention, and helps reduce relinquishment, abandonment and abuse. With thorough, consistent programs and activities, our animal behavior and training services can reduce knowledge deficits and have a strong, lasting impact on the bond between an individual and his or her pet. We offer classes for pets and their owners, and class registration is open to any dog or cat, including animals that were not adopted from the Houston SPCA. All classes are held one time per week and run for six weeks unless otherwise noted.    We offer the Good Start Class, Basic Training Level One, Canine Good Citizen Prep Class, Puppy Socialization, Kitten Kindergarten and Tricks and Treats. Good Start and Kitten Kindergarten are included in the adoption fee for all animals adopted from the Houston SPCA.

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Impact Summary from the Nonprofit

In 2010, a total of 20,461 animals were admitted into the shelter. Overall, we placed over 10,000 animals into lifelong, loving new homes and spayed/neutered all adopted animals prior to placement, totaling 5,800 spay/neuter surgeries. Through our online lost and found matching, we were able to return 310 missing dogs, cats and other animals to their owners. Volunteers from the community provided foster care to over 1,500 dogs, cats, puppies, kittens and other animals that were too young for the adoption program, sick, injured or simply in need of a break from shelter life. In a partnership with Interfaith Ministries of Houston, the Houston SPCA was able to raise almost 25,000 lbs of donated food for the aniMeals on Wheels program, a joint venture between the two organizations that provides dog and cat food to the pets of housebound, low-income seniors enrolled in Meals on Wheels. We also coordinated with the Louisiana SPCA to transfer 90 dogs from overcrowded shelters in the communities most affected by the Gulf Coast oil spill, finding them new homes and families in Houston.    Additionally, our 24-hour injured animal ambulance and rescue teams responded to 18,614 reports of animals in danger and distress. Our Cruelty Investigators looked into over 14,500 cases of cruelty and abuse, driving 159,807 miles protecting the innocent and participating in several large-scale rescues involving animals that ranged from small domestic animals to large exotics. Our investigators have worked tirelessly through 2010 and into 2011 to fight against animal cruelty, rescue animals from abusive and neglectful pet vendors and aid well-meaning, but overwhelmed, owners affected by the economy, age or other factors.

Expert Assessment

Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is recognized as a leader in this field by changing the conditions for animals in the greater Houston area. They have a model animal cruelty enforcement program, provide education to the community, and advocate for the betterment of animals. Read More »

Expert Reviews and Comments

2011 Philanthropedia Top Nonprofit

This organization is a 2011 Philanthropedia top nonprofit, recommended by experts as having high impact.

These expert reviews were generated through Philanthropedia's research methodology to identify high-impact nonprofits. Learn more

Evidence of Impact

Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is recognized as a leader in this field by changing the conditions for animals in the greater Houston area. They have a model animal cruelty enforcement program, provide education to the community, and advocate for the betterment of animals.

Reach
One of the largest humane organizations in the USA, that handles thousands upon thousands of animals, was featured on Animal Planet. They handle everything from parakeets to tigers and provide support to the entire state of Texas. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Programs
Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is recognized as a leader in this field by changing the conditions for animals in the greater Houston area. They have a model animal cruelty enforcement program; provided education to the community; and advocated for the betterment of animals. Other
Marketing
Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals serves as the animal rescuer for Animal Cops Houston (on Animal Planet), which has a huge educational impact. Other

Areas for Improvement

There are no summaries available for this organization.

Not Effective
The Houston SPCA relies on its name recognition and public misconception. Rather than having a positive impact on animals, this organization kills by far most of the animals that enter its doors--- at least, the last time it publicly reported its sheltering data. In the mid 2000s, the shelter conceded to a mayoral taskforce that it killed 65% of all animals it impounds (the national average is 50% and the best open-admission shelters in the state and country kill less than 10%). It seems that the Houston SPCA's placement on a list of high-impact non-profits is particularly disturbing and inaccurate given that the organization now refuses to publicly release its sheltering data. How possibly could it be named most impactful and effective if it won't even provide data on its impact on the animals it impounds? Worse still, the organization has a history of "raid and kill" efforts, in which it raids a hoarder/breeder, raises money off the efforts, and then kills all the animals it "rescued." A recent example of a raid of 200+ Rottweilers was an exception only because a volunteer from a breed-specific organization agreed to find homes for all of the animals. The Houston SPCA didn't. Even worse still, the organization has a mandatory policy to kill all dogs (including puppies) that look like they might be pit bulls, even though it has been statistically proven that shelters misidentify breeds roughly 90% of the time, and even though pit bulls have been statistically proven to not behave differently than any other breed of dog. Nonprofit Senior Staff
This group has failed to embrace the latest thinking in pet adoptions and has failed to step up to support their local animal services. It continues to embrace older-school methods of animal sheltering. Nonprofit Senior Staff
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