BEAVERTON, Ore. (Portland Tribune) – Beavertonians will get their pick of the litters this weekend as 35 dogs once on euthanasia lists in Texas get a second chance at finding a forever home.
For the last 20 years, shelter dogs on kill lists in Texas — a state brimming with unwanted dogs and cats — have been saved by Texas nonprofit Animal Rescue Kingdom, an organization that gets the pups up to date on procedures and shots before transporting them to adoption events in states where shelter overcapacity is less of a burden.
Every six to eight weeks, that mission lands Animal Rescue Kingdom founder and owner Carlos Davis and a van full of dogs in Oregon, where prospective adopters can meet the pups available and potentially walk away with a new family pet.
The group’s next journey north is set to begin Wednesday, March 8, in advance of a Saturday, March 11, adoption event in Beaverton.
Davis said in Texas, many pets are never spayed or neutered to prevent breeding — which can mean trouble when they escape the yard. As a result, Texas has an overpopulation problem in animal shelters and rescues.
“They’re calling it a dog problem, but it’s not really a dog problem. It’s a people problem,” Davis said. “They’re doing what they do naturally.”
With shelters and rescues full and dogs on the euthanasia list, Animal Rescue Kingdom picks up dogs off the kill lists, gets them healthy, and transports them to find safe homes in states outside of Texas — like Oregon and Washington on the West Coast and New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island on the East Coast.
Davis said Animal Rescue Kingdom answers to the state veterinarian of Oregon to hold these adoption events in the state, and the organization’s partnership with PetSmart puts potential adopters at ease about the care of the dogs prior to adoption.
Dogs make the nearly 2,300-mile trek via a van operated by Animal Rescue Kingdom. The trip to Beaverton will take about 42 hours, beginning Wednesday — the drive is closer to 32 hours but gets extended when you consider walking and taking care of 35 dogs while in transit.
Some people adopt a dog by checking Animal Rescue Kingdom’s PetFinder listing, though most dogs find their forever homes at adoption events like the one in Beaverton this weekend.
“We adopt more dogs because when we bring them there, people get to sit on the floor and play with them and ask questions about them,” Davis said.
Davis said the PetFinder page should be up to date by Wednesday evening with the dogs that will be headed to Beaverton this weekend.
Last year, the nonprofit adopted out about 1,100 dogs from Texas. But Davis said that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the number of dogs that don’t make it out of the shelters.
In 2021, 61,245 cats and dogs were killed in Texas shelters — about 168 animals per day — according to nonprofit Best Friends Animal Society, which tracks animal euthanasia at shelters across the United States.
In comparison, shelters in Oregon put down 625 dogs and cats in 2021, according to Best Friends Animal Society.
Davis said adoption events like the ones this weekend in Oregon and Washington allow even more dogs to be rescued from the euthanasia list in Texas shelters.
“When you adopt a dog, you save two,” Davis said. “With organizations like mine, when one goes out, another comes in. We can’t take another dog until we lose a dog.”
About 35 adoptable pups will be available for adoption from Animal Rescue Kingdom from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 11, at the Beaverton PetSmart, 12375 S.W. Walker Road.
On March 12, the Texas dogs that didn’t find new homes in Beaverton will be available for adoption at a PetSmart in Bellingham, Washington.
The Portland Tribune is a KOIN 6 News media partner