Frisco STYLE Magazine

June 2011

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PETS Goin’ to the Dogs BY KATIE MINCHEW Monica Evans and Roni Seely’s love of pets extends beyond their own canines. ACCORDING TO the Humane Society of the United States, an estimated six to eight million dogs and cats enter shelters in the U.S. every year. Three to four million are euthanized. This devastating statistic is what brought Roni Seely and Monica Evans to organize a new non-profit organization bringing the first “forever home,” a no-kill shelter, to Frisco. The group, called Habitat 4 Paws, is bringing its new facility to town because, they say, Frisco is the perfect fit. Currently, dogs and cats found loose on the street are taken to Collin County Animal Services, more widely known as animal control. “A lot of people don’t even know where their lost pets are taken,” says Ms. Seely, president of the board of directors for Habitat 4 Paws. As for the dogs and cats rescued from the streets without owners, she says, “City shelters have adoption programs but just can’t adopt them fast enough. We need a rescue facility to help with the overflow.” That is where Habitat 4 Paws comes in. H4P, for short, will go into city shelters and rescue as many animals as possible. “You know walking in that you can’t take them all,” says Ms. Seely, “but knowing that JUNE 2011 we are not only adopting and rescuing, but solving a huge problem, is rewarding enough to keep us happy until we can.” H4P will adopt animals, spay or neuter them, vaccinate and microchip them, then test them for common diseases, all while searching for responsible, caring homes. The energetic pair first met when Ms. Evans went to fill out an application to volunteer at the SPCA one day; Ms. Seely was her trainer. “It was hard work but when I saw Roni walking all the biggest dogs, I thought to myself, “If she can do it, I can do it too,” Ms. Evans remembers, grinning. The two became fast friends and eventually left to start Second Chance SPCA together in Plano. Last July Ms. Seely had a new vision. She was encouraged by friends and mentors to think big and that is precisely what she did. Once again, Ms. Evans dedicated herself to her friend’s strong dreams and in August they began the necessary paperwork to form Habitat 4 Paws. Frisco is one of Dallas’ biggest suburbs, yet it lacks a facility of its own for stray dogs and cats. Those interested in volunteering at an animal shelter or adopting a pet and live in Frisco, have to go elsewhere to serve. Ms. Seely says, “People in this city are ready to help, they just need a place to go.” The H4P team is currently in search of a facility to fulfill their bold goals for the organization. “We only need 2,500 square feet,” Ms. Evans insists. “We need a small building like an old fire station or house, even, with a big field where the dogs can run and play and explore,” chimes in Ms. Seely. These are two of the most enthusiastic pair of businesswomen you’ll come across. Perfect for dealing with their future clientele. “We’ll know all of their little personalities, being able to steer adopters in the right direction. You know, you wouldn’t want a quiet retired couple to take home a bouncy, energetic lab.” H4P won’t solely benefit Frisco. The organization also plans to hold monthly pet food drives for other facilities in need. Take for example the recent fires at Possum Kingdom Lake. Many families were forced to leave their pets behind for city shelters to pick up. The owners may never see their family dog or cat again. When H4P finds a facility with lost animals they will take them and keep them safe until their families come to get them. H4P FRISCOSTYLE.COM 31

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