Los Fresnos News

PAWS for a CAUSE: Humane Society of Harlingen

by Bill Keltner

Director Kim Warunek points with justifiable pride to the work of the Harlingen Humane Society, and especially the Spay and Neuter Clinic operated by the Society during the past five years.

Warunek is the Executive Director who oversees the operation of this urgently needed animal care public service facility. “What we are doing at the Spay and Neuter Clinic is provide a low cost option for families that may not be able to afford full-price service for their fuzzy, family members,” she said. “Oh, yes,” she added, “it’s indeed a family matter when people have to part with a pet, or check them in for surgery. Our people have witnessed many tears shed for their little family members.”

“The Humane Society exits for the purpose of helping pet owners, and to salvage abandoned and abused animals that are brought in by citizens and animal control officers around the Valley.” She continued, “During the past five years, this facility has spayed or neutered 17,000 cats and dogs–that puts a big dent in the animal overpopulation problem existing here in the Valley. This 10-20 minute operation is a real act of love by the owners for their pets. The animals don’t feel anything as they are anesthetized. They get follow-up care, and the owners get instructions for the recovery period of a few days.

Harlingen Humane Society, your pet’s best friend.

Harlingen Humane Society, your pet’s best friend.

The surgery protocol provides for pre-operative and post-operative pain relieving injections.

She had a few words for people who abuse animals: “It is absolute cruelty when an animal is abandoned, abused o just dropped off on the highway somewhere, by some uncaring, irresponsible owner.” she said. “Most of these poor animals suffer until they finally die a painful, pitiful death.”

Warunek noted that there are animal abuse and cruelty laws on the books, but they are difficult to enforce. “We get animals in all conditions of abuse and neglect. It’s a tough situation for everybody involved in animal rescue,” She said.

The Humane Society is greatly appreciative of the work of the four professional, veterinary doctors who leave their practice and come to the clinic for surgery each week on a rotational basis. They are: John Montalbano, DMV and Noe Ramirez, DMV of the Country Vet, Shelley Mitchell, DMV of Arroyo Veterinary Clinic; and Clarissa Downey, DVM, of Paws and Claws Clinic. The work of the Clinic is supported primarily by funds from private and corporate sources and the City of Harlingen.

Kim Warunek loves her work with the Humane Society. She has been in animal care and sheltering for over 13 years. She literally takes her work home with her: “At my house, I have six personal dogs that I just can’t part with–they are beautiful dogs, and they were dog rescues,” she explained.

Finally, she pleaded: “You too can be a real hero to your family cat or dog. Please call to schedule a date for your pet to be spayed or neutered if you really love it. Or, visit us to find that newest, fuzzy-faced member of your family. They are waiting to be picked up—they will love you for it.”

The other day, a grandpa came in with his grandson to pick out a puppy. They found one. It’s guaranteed that the experience will be a moment they’ll both share for a long time.

If you would like to get involved with the services of the Harlingen Humane Society, call (956) 425-7647, or visit them at 1106 Markowsky Avenue, Harlingen, Texas.