RIO GRANDE VALLEY/PALMHURST - A local rescue shelter housed in Palmhurst, Texas is known as Franklin All Animal Rescue Team (F.A.A.R.T.), a non-profit organization run by the few volunteers who have a certain philosophy.
“We’re one-hundred percent volunteer, non-sponsored by corporate or anything like that,” said Gesus, F.A.A.R.T. founder. “We rescue any breed, not just the pretty ones. We help a lot of the [stray animals] most needed.”
The Franklin All Animal Rescue Team parted ways with another local organization in 2014 when agreements we’re no longer met.
“We severed ties for different philosophies of doing things and we’re basically doing everything on our own,” Gesus said.
Since parting ways, F.A.A.R.T. has helped dozens of dogs that come through the rustic gates of the residence. Gesus shared many stories of the strays he’s been able to help but most recent is the story of Red.
Red is a female Belgium Malinois who was brought in Dec. 5, 2019, by an individual who saw her in bad shape. Before photos of Red are shared on F.A.A.R.T.’s Facebook page that does not compare to the dog she is now. She was seen running around in her capacious kennel wagging her tail and fully furred.
“She looked really bad. She was bleeding from all her legs, from her face… she’s under a year old and when you see her pictures to now it’s just a whole different rescue,” Gesus said.
Panther and Joe, two male dogs also share a rescue story.
Panther, an on-guard black male Pitbull came in with spots on his body who is now fully-vetted and neutered.
Joe, a calming brown Boxer was a “bait dog” referred Gesus. He was malnourished when he came to the rescue shelter but is slowly making a full recovery.
Another remarkable story that tells the rescue shelter’s way of ‘philosophy’ was Alondra.
“I’m not exaggerating when her head was bobbing 115 times a minute,” Gesus said. “The vet said [Alondra] had distemper and wanted to euthanize her and I said ‘no, she has the will to live.’ We’re very much against euthanization.”
After returning from the vet visit, Gesus placed Alondra with another dog meantime, while he thought what to do with her.
“As the days went on I started to see an improvement and within thirty days her bobbing had stopped.”
Gesus believes it was the companionship she needed.
It’s stories like these that F.A.A.R.T.’s philosophy can give the stray population another chance at life but for the better. However, not spaying or neutering pets is why the population is so high.
“If they’re not spayed or neutered, a lot of people are gonna continue the multiplication. The shelters get grants from the state or city and they’re part of the problem. We don’t work with the shelters… it’s a business and anyone can get a puppy from there and still breed them,” Gesus said.
He shares that the Valley’s culture does not tend to the well being of these animals the way they should.
“Texas is the number one state for euthanization - from Brownsville, all the way to El Paso and the Laredo area, we are number one in the whole country. As far as euthanization, animal abuse, animal neglect, backdoor breeders and unlicensed sellers… you have to have a license if you’re selling several dogs.”
If wanting to buy a family pet, it is best to retain a receipt from the licensed seller to protect you. Many examples include selling an already ill dog with parvo or distemper without the buyer’s knowledge.
“You have an allegation, that’s all you have. There’s no case without the receipt,” Gesus said.
The rescue shelter does not charge for adoption fees but if a potential owner is wanting to adopt, they have to meet certain conditions before the dog is given to them. Of the six years that F.A.A.R.T. has been rescuing the accumulating 60 - 70 dogs, only six have been adopted out.
-individual(s) must care and make time for the adopted animal(s)
-current pet(s) must get along with the adopted one
-has to get approved by F.A.A.R.T.
Gesus works with Marisa W., the rescue shelter’s director with the help of other local organizations’ generous donations. Volunteerism and donations of puppy food (wet) and pee pads or newspaper are currently needed.
For more information visit their Facebook page at Franklin All Animal Rescue Team. To donate in-person call first at 956-346-8738. F.A.A.R.T. is located on 3701 North Stewart Road Palmhurst, TX.