CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It could be any number of things, but nonetheless, the animals of Rural TANK Rescue need more help.
Rural TANK Rescue takes in animals in need, brings them back to a healthy status, then fosters them until they can be adopted.
“Every day it’s more," said Tessa Hennigan, one of the volunteers. "And we’re to the point where we’re having to turn people away."
An influx of stray dogs has the rescue searching for more resources to care for the dogs.
“I'm not sure if it’s the pandemic," said Rural TANK Rescue founder Kayla Denney. "I don’t know what’s causing the amount of animals that are now on the streets. I think people were bored at home, so they got an animal. Didn’t fix it and now people are going back to work and the dog kind of just got forgotten about.”
They get animals like Koa, a black lab who was shot in the spine at 6 months old and is paralyzed. The rescue was able to save her, now she’s happy living in her wheelchair.
“Probably have about 80 dogs in foster care and some cats, and that takes a lot of food and a lot of toys to keep puppies busy; play pens, supplies," Denney said. "We’re in desperate need of puppy food, puppy treats, pee pads, cat food. And we try to give — not only do we use it for our animals but we give it to the public. So, that's another big reason why we run out so quickly.”
“It gets really expensive," Hennigan said. "Kayla is one of the few rescues that provides everything for fosters, where a lot of rescues only do food or medical. And Kayla supplies everything, So, fosters have nothing out of their own pocket.”
The rescue has about a dozen volunteers and have grown their network to 60 foster families. They typically will have a dog somewhere between two weeks and a month before they're adopted. Denney said most the adoptions go to the New England area, since they don't have as bad of stray problem like South Texas.
Foster families are still needed with the rising number of dogs taken in.
“So a lot of people say they don’t want to foster because it’ll break their hearts, but really the dogs will die otherwise or they’re going to live on the streets," said Denney. "And what I always say to our fosters is we break our hearts to save theirs."
Denney said she started the rescue in 2019 while living in Rockport.
“What I learned when I moved to San Patricio county is that 'San Pat' doesn’t have many rescues there," she said. "It’s very little help. And so what we’re focusing on is trying to help the people in the rural areas that want to help.”
The rescue focuses on helping strays in South Texas, but will occasionally help throughout the state.
If you want to make a monetary donation you can use paypal with the handle firstname.lastname@example.org, use Cash App with the handle $RuralTANK, or make a donation through their website ruraltank.org.