Brownsville community supports pet adoption event

Jul. 10—Visitors to PetSmart on Saturday in Brownsville found an opportunity to meet potential "fur-ever" friends at the Brownsville Animal Defense's (B.A.D) weekly adoption event outside the store.

B.A.D is a nonprofit that works to educate the public about humane dog care while finding safe and loving homes for the dogs in their care to create a no-kill community in the Rio Grande Valley.

Each week on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., the group sets up outside the PetSmart on Morrison Road with their dogs who are ready to find a home.

"We are just so happy that PetSmart allows these agencies to come out here and help to rescue all of these dogs that unfortunately were abandoned by people," PetSmart Merchandise Inventory Leader Adrian Diaz said.

This event occurs ahead of PetSmart Charities' National Adoption Week from July 11 to 17, which helps to place pets in need into loving homes each year.

This week the group brought 12 dogs to the store out of the 45 that are or will soon be available for adoption. Of those dogs not at the event, there are three mother dogs with a combined total of 27 puppies that they expect to be available for adoption at future events. The puppies are around six weeks old, so they need to get a bit older before finding homes.

For applicants interested in adopting a dog from B.A.D., there is an application in addition to a home check before the dog can go home with someone.

"There are times that if we feel the application is above normal—we will let you take the pup home, but of course, we will do the house check," B.A.D. President Tony Lopez said.

Primarily B.A.D looks for signs that the owner is in a stable situation and can financially afford the routine medical care, food and other expenses that come with the dogs.

The adoption fees are $150 for adult dogs, while puppies are $165. All adoptees have been spayed or neutered, have had their vaccinations and are microchipped.

"We are looking at about 45 dogs that all need homes, fostering or adoption—but with all that, we need donations," Lopez said.

Lopez says the group is currently in need of monetary donations but also necessary items like pee pads, puppy-formulated food from Hill's Science Diet, Purina Pro and Purina One and PetAg 2nd Step Esbilac Powder Milk Supplement for Puppies.

Volunteers for events to come out and help are needed and—most importantly—fosters for their dogs.

"We have great support from the community—but I just need more help," Lopez said.

Harlingen resident Rachel Leal, 49, has been fostering dogs with B.A.D since March of this year. She has five dogs of her own but is fostering a dog named Lilly.

Leal says it was daunting the first time she had to introduce her foster to her dogs, but she has worked out a system of bringing them together one by one and her dogs understand now that these furry strangers are just passing through.

"It's a bit of an investment emotionally— and a little bit financially, but it's very rewarding when you can get them placed in a good home," she said.

For future events, adoptions or for more information, visit B.A.D's Facebook page at "Brownsville Animal Defense — BAD" or