Highland Village Adoption Center (HVAC) is only two cats or dogs away from its 2,010 adoption. The organization is confident that on either Saturday, August 28 or Sunday, August 29, the magic number – 2010 – will be realized with the adoption of a homeless cat or dog by a qualified individual.
The year’s success speaks volumes for the hard work of the organization. HVAC began in December of 2007 as a three-weekend effort called Home For The Holidays. The initiative, founded by pet activists Tama Lundquist, Tena Lundquist Faust and Tim Moloney, was created to help eliminate homelessness among dogs and cats. The organization got its start when Highland Village, one of Houston’s most popular shopping landmarks, was approached and immediately agreed to donate rent-free space for the effort. With this support, the organizers set a goal of adopting 90 dogs and cats in nine days and were amazed when they were able to find new homes for 242 pets during the three weekends HVAC was open. The success has continued and now adoption number 2,010 is only two animals away.
“Through the efforts of so many dedicated volunteers, we have saved more than 2,000 pets from homelessness or worse. We hope that anyone wanting to provide a happy home for a furry friend will join us at Highland Village this weekend and help us realize the goal of number 2,010,” said Ms. Faust. “We wouldn’t have been able to accomplish this without the support of our volunteers – and the generosity of Highland Village.’
As the effort has grown, HVAC has evolved into a major rescue effort for homeless animals. Originally funded with grants and private donations, today HVAC is run by adoption agency Buster’s Friends, a nonprofit 501c3 organization dedicated to helping homeless and abandoned animals in Houston. The homeless animals that HVAC offers for adoption are from Houston’s Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care [B.A.R.C.]. The animals are chosen weekly from B.A.R.C, sparing them from euthanasia. HVAC volunteers wash, walk, feed, play and ready the animals for adoption. All of the HVAC adopted animals are spayed or neutered and individuals who are interested and qualify to adopt a pet are asked to support HVAC by underwriting the $40 to $60 cost of the procedure.
“We knew immediately when Tena and Tama approached us with the idea for the adoption center, that Highland Village could help,’ said Haidar Barbouti, CEO of Highland Village. ‘Every weekend, we have hundreds of shoppers and so we provide a natural venue to showcase the animals. Plus, we’re centrally located and easy to find. We are very pleased to support HVAC and look forward to celebrating the group’s success with adoption number 2,010.”
Because Highland Village underwrites the majority of HVAC’s overhead costs, Buster’s Friends is able to kennel or foster all dogs and cats between adoption events to ensure no pet rescued from B.A.R.C. ever has to return. Along the road leading to today, HVAC has been fueled by thousands of volunteers, hundreds of donations, seven adoption agencies, three Houston area kennels, two temporary spaces within Highland Village and one goal – to eradicate homelessness among Houston’s stray cats and dogs.
Highland Village Adoption Center, www.bustersfriends.org
4056 Westheimer Road, a few doors down from Williams Sonoma
Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sundays 12:00 to 5:00 p.m.
A Houston Retail Tradition, Highland Village has been Houston’s most distinctive and appealing retail venue for over 50 years. Nestled in the heart of Houston between the fashionable River Oaks residential neighborhood and Uptown Houston, the upscale lifestyle center is easily accessible for both shopping and dining. Today it is home to a carefully edited collection of upscale boutiques, national retailers and restaurants such as P.F. Changs, Williams Sonoma, Restoration Hardware, Mecox, Cole Haan, Tootsies, Sprinkles and Escalantes Mexican restaurant. www.shophighlandvillage.com