This is where it begins. The joining of two of my passions - cycling and dog rescue. Having adopted two dogs from Houston rescues in the last few years, I've learned a great deal about the crisis of animal overpopulation that exists in Houston. There are currently over one million homeless animals in the Houston area. For about a year now I have been trying to find a way to support that fight against animal overpopulation and abuse in Houston. Sadly, I cannot adopt them all or educate every pet owner on the need for proper care and the importance of spaying and neutering. Lucky for me, there were already some great organizations out there doing that, they just needed more help.
And then there is the cycling. Cycling is a staple in my life. Its 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. I primarily race track (Velodrome), but also enjoy road cycling and even mountain biking. 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, why Lola's Lucky Day and Barrio Dogs? There are hundreds of fantastic rescue and animal welfare organizations in Houston, all of them dedicated to helping alleviate the overpopulation issue in Houston. What I love about Lola's Lucky Day is that they choose the dogs in the shelter that have the least chance of adoption (i.e., the highest chance of death) and find them great homes through a partner rescue in Wisconsin. I love an underdog story. They spend a great deal of time and money in support of the Harris County Shelter and they make a difference every day.
Barrio Dogs is trying to fix the root cause of the overpopulation crisis. It isn't a rescue, but an animal welfare organization dedicated to raising awareness in low-income communities about proper animal care. We put special emphasis on encouraging pet owners to spay or neuter their pets. Through programs like Fix It and Youth & Paws (YAP), Barrio engages the local communities through educational programs to break the cycle of stray and abused dogs.
So this is where it all comes together. My hope is that this cycling club creates greater awareness about the overpopulation crisis in Houston, generates some additional funding and resources for two fantastic organizations, maybe drives some new volunteers, fosters or adoption opportunities, and allows Houston area cyclists to feel like their passion for cycling has a higher purpose.
I hope you will visit us often, come cycle with us, and maybe make a donation or spend some time volunteering for an animal welfare organization or at a local shelter.