Lone Star Animal Welfare League

Lone Star Animal Welfare League The Lone Star Animal Welfare League hosts voucher days which help provide low-cost spays, neuters and microchips for families in need.[/caption]

Laura McConnell was a volunteer at an animal shelter in 2007 when she saw a yellow Lab that had already been stuck with a needle escape from a euthanasia room and die in front of her. When she asked why the seemingly healthy dog had been put down, she was told it was because the dog had not been vaccinated in time.


Nine years later, as the president of the Lone Star Animal Welfare League, McConnell and the rest of the organization’s board have rescued and found homes for more than 2,600 Labs and Lab mixes.


“Our tagline is, ‘Bettering the lives of our best friends,’ and that’s what we try to do,” McConnell said. “We saw the need for a Lab rescue group because there were so many big dogs—especially Labs—being euthanized in shelters because a lot of rescue groups don’t take the bigger dogs because vetting them is more expensive.”


Formerly known as The Woodlands Dog Park Club, LSAWL was established as a nonprofit in 2004 with the initial purpose of raising money for rescue groups to cover emergency veterinary costs.


Over the past decade, the organization has evolved into an animal welfare advocacy group through several different initiatives.


Through the Fixing Montgomery County program, LSAWL works to spay and neuter animals in the Greater Houston area at a reduced cost for families in need. To date, the organization has provided vouchers for more than 4,000 low-cost spays and neuters for cats and dogs as well as more than 2,000 vaccinations.


According to McConnell, on average, a spay or neuter surgery can cost $300-$400 per animal. LSAWL is able to provide vouchers for the same service for only $20.


“That’s the problem—I mean [the cost] is high,” McConnell said. “But it needs to get done because spaying/neutering is crucial in our area. If it’s not a high priority, we’re never going to decrease the number of animals coming into our shelters and being euthanized.”


LSAWL also provides $10 microchips, which can cost $35-$65, McConnell said.


For LSAWL’s Lab Rescue program, which began in 2007, organization members serve as foster families for animals prior to finding them a permanent home.


“We’re all about making sure that it’s the right fit for the right family,” McConnell said. “We do vet checks and home checks to make sure the house has proper fencing and to find out where the dog will sleep and stay all the time. We will absolutely not adopt any outside-only dogs—they have to be a member of the family.”


In addition to the organization’s own programs, LSAWL has fought for the welfare of animals in other local facilities.


According to McConnell, the Montgomery County Animal Shelter did not do any adoptions in 2004, so the only way animals could get out of the shelter was through rescue groups. In addition, the facility had a three-day holding limit, which resulted in a 90 percent kill rate.


“We fought for an adoption room to open, we fought for vaccinations on intake and we paid for a no-kill expert to come and do a review of the shelter in 2006,” McConnell said. “There were a lot of changes that happened because we were persistent.”


LSAWL also raised funds to build the dog park located behind the Montgomery County Animal Shelter.


Throughout the year, LSAWL hosts several fundraising events, such as the annual Mutts & Putts Open Golf Tournament, which took place June 27 and raised $20,000.


In 2016, Gillman Subaru North chose the organization as its local charity of choice during its Share the Love event. The dealership donated $16,000.


The next voucher day will take place July 30 at 19110 Unity Park Drive, Magnolia, and is sponsored by LSAWL, Texas Animal Society and Montgomery County Precinct 2.



MOST RECENT

Texas Central
Texas Central Railroad bullet train project receives rulings on safety framework, selected alignment

Construction for the high-speed bullet train system is slated to begin in the first half of 2021 and to be completed in 2027.

The deadline to register to vote for the Nov. 3 election is Oct. 5. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Here's how to register to vote in Montgomery County

Find out early voting dates and the deadline to register.

Conroe ISD's six high schools will host football games at Woodforest Bank Stadium and Moorhead Stadium this fall. (Courtesy Conroe ISD)
Conroe ISD football season kicks off Sept. 24 with new ticketing plan, precautions in place

A new prioritized ticketing system will be in place this fall due to limits on capacity at the district's two stadiums.

Montgomery County commissioners met Sept. 22 for a regular Commissioners Court meeting. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Homeless shelter plans advance with Montgomery County approval, $1.8M in federal funding

Federal funds will help Montgomery County purchase and rehabilitate a building that will be used to help shelter homeless families.

The deadline to register to vote in Harris County is approaching. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Here’s how to register to vote in Harris County

Sept. 22 is National Voter Registration Day, a nonpartisan, civic effort to encourage eligible U.S. citizens to confirm their voter registration status in time for the upcoming election.

Takeaways include changes to reporting methods and a slight increase in active cases. (Community Impact staff)
Montgomery County makes progress on backlog; school districts begin reporting cases: Five COVID-19 updates the week of Sept. 15-21

Of the county's total cases, 50 have reportedly come from the Joe Corley Detention Center and 207 from the Montgomery County Processing Center.

See how home sales, median prices changed in August in The Woodlands area

Median home prices increased across The Woodlands area compared to the same time last year.

Materials for the Houston Planning Commission meeting scheduled Sept. 17 show aerial views of Mitchell Island, where The Howard Hughes Corp. has plans to build 58 houses. (Courtesy Houston Planning Commission)
Plans to build 58 homes on Mitchell Island in The Woodlands' East Shore area draw resident opposition

The Howard Hughes Corp. originally planned for 19 homes on the island, but the plan now calls for 58 houses in an area where residents said eagles are frequently seen.

Another 1,372 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Harris County over the Sept. 19-20 weekend along with 48 deaths caused by the virus. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: Texas Medical Center positivity rate under 5% for two straight weeks

A low positivity rate is one of three metrics medical center officials are tracking that they say may indicate a declining spread of the virus.

Free COVID-19 testing will be available to festival staff, participants and patrons every weekend of the festival this fall. (Courtesy Steven David Photography)
Free COVID-19 testing at Texas Renaissance Festival and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Free COVID-19 testing will be available to festival staff, participants and patrons every weekend of the festival this fall. (Courtesy Steven David Photography)
Texas Renaissance Festival to offer free COVID-19 rapid testing throughout season

Additionally, a free drive-thru testing site will be set up in Todd Mission on Sept. 19.

Montgomery County will now include antigen cases in its total case counts. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery County to begin including antigen positive cases in COVID-19 daily reports

Antigen cases will now be included in total case counts. However, a breakdown of antigen versus PCR cases will be available.