Texas FDs raise funds for animal shelter with calendar photoshoot

In a fundraising and awareness campaign, the Spring Fire Department has partnered with the Harris County Animal Shelter to produce the department’s first calendar


Chevall Pryce
Houston Chronicle

SPRING, Texas — The Spring Fire Department aids the community year-round with emergency services, but on June 6, a group of firefighters at Station 75 took turns posing with puppies and cats to aid another cause — helping their four-legged friends find a forever home.

In a fundraising and awareness campaign, the Spring Fire Department has partnered with the Harris County Animal Shelter to produce the department’s first calendar, featuring photos of Spring firefighters with animals currently up for adoption.

The calendar is one of many ways HCAS is trying to promote adopting and fostering animals. (Photo/ Spring Fire Department)
The calendar is one of many ways HCAS is trying to promote adopting and fostering animals. (Photo/ Spring Fire Department)
 
Spring Fire Calendar Shoot on FOX 26

Thank you FOX 26 Houston's Damali Keith FOX 26 for coming out to Spring Fire Station 75 last night to highlight our first ever calendar shoot with adoptable pets from the Harris County Animal Shelter. Several of the pets have found homes DURING the shoot with firefighter families but many more need YOU!

Posted by Spring Fire Department on Friday, June 7, 2019

The calendar’s scheduled release is the second week of October during Fire Prevention Week. Proceeds from calendar sales will go to Friends of County Pets — the nonprofit benefiting HCAS — and the Spring Firefighters Assistance Fund, which aids injured firefighters.

Tracee Evans, communications director for the Spring Fire Department, said the concept originated at the beginning of the year, although firefighters had occasionally joked about making a calendar in the past.

“(The firefighters) wanted to do it for a cause other than just the fire department,” Evans said. “We banded around a lot of different ideas and causes and we kept coming back to animals.”

Evans said she sent a casting call to every firefighter on staff to recruit models for the photoshoot, which featured a range of shelter animals — from cats as old as 12, to small puppies.

“For a lot of these guys, it just comes back to what they can do for the animals,” Evans said.

Kerry McKeel, senior communications specialist with HCAS, said that 60 to 100 animals enter the shelter daily during the summer, although the shelter only holds 200 and needs help with overcrowding.

The calendar is one of many ways HCAS is trying to promote adopting and fostering animals, she explained.

“Summer is our busiest season starting right around May to about September,” McKeel said. “We’re always looking for fosters too because when people foster, it becomes an extension of our facility so we’re able to save more lives.”

She urges dog owners to obey leash laws when pets are not confined to their home or backyard. Preventing a pet from becoming lost helps keep shelter space free for other animals.

Many of the firefighters at the station have rescue animals of their own including Michael Alaniz, apparatus operator with Spring Fire Department for more than five years. Alaniz has two rescue dogs and said the department helps animals during their daily operations.

“We’ve done CPR on dogs and cats, we’ve pulled them out of trees and chimneys, we’ve pulled dogs’ heads through fences,” Alaniz said. “We do a little bit of everything, so we’re helping them too. We’re actually getting a chance to help an animal looking for a home. It’s another thing we can do to help out.”

Firefighter Walker Kuykendall said that at the end of the day, he and his fellow firefighters just want to help the animals, even if the photoshoots are fun.

“One of my dogs I got from a shelter, and she’s a sweetheart,” Kuykendall said. “We need to raise awareness that dogs need homes too.”

chevall.pryce@chron.com

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©2019 the Houston Chronicle

 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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