Houston Newsmakers: Animal shelter crisis - Texas leads the country in animal shelter deaths

Also: Communities in Schools focus on mental health; Black Man Project focuses on mental health needs

Puppy at Humane Society waiting for forever home (KPRC)

IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Host Khambrel Marshall speaks to two representatives from City of Houston BARC and Houston Humane Society to address the overcrowding crisis at animal shelters.
  • Two Houston-area groups are putting focus on mental health first at schools and for Black men.

Seeking solutions for crowded shelters

Cory Stottlemyer, Deputy Shelter Director, BARC, Macey Staes, Houston Humane Society Marketing Coordinator (KPRC)

There is not one day in the Houston region when thousands of animals are not roaming freely in our communities. It is a problem animal shelters of all kinds are grappling with.

Texas leads the nation in animal shelter deaths. According to the Best Friends Animal Society, for every ten dogs that enter an animal shelter, only four are adopted. That means the others are euthanized.

Cory Stottlemyer is the Deputy Shelter Director for BARC, the City of Houston shelter facility, and says responsible pet ownership is an ongoing challenge.

“It’s a lifetime commitment,” he said. “It’s something we have to remind people of this time of the year especially, who want to bring a pet home for the holidays. This puppy is sweet now but it is a 15+ year commitment.”

The Houston Humane Society is different from BARC in that it is a nonprofit and totally dependent on donations.

“We do our best to make sure that every animal that comes through our doors gets the proper medical treatment and gets their chance, a second chance is really our goal,” said Macey Staes, Marketing Coordinator for the Houston Humane Society. “But it’s hard because when there’s no space left what do we do with these people walking in?”

There is much to discuss about this issue so you are invited to take part in the KPRC 2+ Livestream Roundtable this Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 2 p.m.

Watch the KPRC 2+ livestream player below:


Communities in Schools focus on mental health

Lisa Descant, CEO, Communities in Schools of Houston (KPRC)

For 43 years, Communities in Schools (CIS) of Houston has been collaborating with school districts to support students’ educational needs.

Last year, CIS served more than a quarter of a million students with help from 300 community partners.

Most recently the CIS focus has embraced the mental health status of their students and Lisa Descant, CEO of Communities in Schools says those relationships and the results of them, have been inspiring.

“Our mission is to create a community of support insuring students are successful in school, graduating on time and prepared to achieve in life, college, career, family, ready to take on the world at graduation,” Descant said. “It’s about the relationship. It is seeing that student on their best day and on their worst day and knowing that they have CIS to turn to.”


Black Man Project focuses on mental health needs

Brian Ellison, Founder & CEO, The Black Man Project (KPRC)

Black men seek mental health help less than half the time when compared to their non-Black counterparts.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, one of the biggest reasons for this disparity is the lack of insurance.

But Brian Ellison has been living a different reality. With both parents incarcerated and a grandparent stepping in to raise him, the anxiety and stress he saw and experienced needed a kind of healing not readily available in his community. He started the Black Man Project which focuses on group therapy for the mental health healing he says his community needs.

“We talk about coping skills, and anger management skills. We tap in and do meditation. We talk about how to be a better spouse. What does accountability look like and how to be a better friend to yourself and your future self,” he said.

Funded in part by the Houston Arts Alliance and the BIPOC Arts Network and Fund, there will be three free sessions in the 3rd Ward with the first one Saturday, December 10th.

To sign up, click here.

For more information on this week’s Houston Newsmakers

· Cory Stottlemyer, BARC Deputy Shelter Director

· Website: https://www.houstontx.gov/barc/

· Macey Staes, Houston Humane Society Marketing Coordinator

· Website: https://www.houstonhumane.org/

· Lisa Descant, CEO Communities in Schools of Houston

· Website: https://www.cishouston.org/

· Brian Ellison, CEO & Founder The Black Man Project ,

· Website: https://www.theblackmanproject.com/


About the Author:

Journalist, meteorologist, community leader and volunteer.