K9 Rescue Cycling
It is the mission of K9 Rescue Cycling to raise awareness to the animal overpopulation crisis in Houston and provide support for two fantastic animal rescue and welfare organizations.
Having adopted two dogs from area rescues in the last few years, I've learned a great deal about the crisis of animal overpopulation in Houston. There are currently 1.2 million homeless animals in the Houston area – many are dogs. Many of those dogs will have no chance at the life they deserve. Instead, they will die on the street or be killed in one of the many overcrowded shelters in Houston. Some will be lucky enough to be picked up by rescue organizations and some will find forever homes through adoption, but without meaningful change, the cycle will continue. For the last year I have been trying to find a way to support the fight against animal overpopulation and abuse in Houston. Sadly, I cannot adopt all the dogs or educate every Houston dog owner on the need for proper care and the importance of spaying and neutering pets. There are already some great organizations out there doing just that, but they need more help.
So, why did I choose these two organizations, Lola's Lucky Day and Barrio Dogs? There are hundreds of great rescue and animal welfare organizations in Houston, all of them dedicated to combating the overpopulation issue in Houston. I selected Lola’s and Barrio because for me, they represent what is needed to fix this crisis – save the dogs that need saving today, and break the cycle of animal overpopulation and abuse going forward.
What I really love about Lola's Lucky Day is that they choose the dogs in the shelter least likely to be adopted (i.e., mostly likely to be euthanized) and find them great homes through a partner rescue in Wisconsin. I love an underdog story. In addition, they spend a great deal of time and money in support of the Harris County Shelter and they make a difference every day.
What I love about Barrio Dogs is their commitment to addressing the root cause of the overpopulation crisis. Barrio isn't a rescue; they are an animal welfare organization dedicated to raising awareness in low-income communities about proper animal care. They encourage pet owners to properly care for their pets and spay and neuter. Through programs like Fix It and Youth & Paws (YAP), Barrio uses educational programs in local communities to break the cycle of stray and abused dogs.
So, what about the cycling? Cycling is my passion and it fuels my soul. I've been riding regularly for about seven years, and racing at the local, national and world level for the last 4 years. Cycling is a social sport, and is filled with people with generous souls. I’ve developed some of my best friendships while pedaling around the Houston suburbs on Saturday and Sunday mornings. There are thousands of casual bicycle riders and racers in Houston. On any given Saturday you will see hundreds of them riding along the roads in and around Houston. After a few years of racing, I realized that I wanted my cycling to become something more meaningful. I suspected there were others like me. Why not use that passion for cycling that exists in Houston to generate awareness and support for the rescue and education effort?
So this is where it all comes together. My hope is that K9 Rescue Cycling raises awareness about the animal overpopulation crisis in Houston, generates some additional funding and resources for two fantastic organizations, maybe creates some new volunteer, foster or adoption opportunities, and allows Houston area cyclists to feel like their passion for cycling has a higher purpose.