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Oodles of Poodles

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A Sugar Land couple finds the perfect pooch at Poodle Rescue of Houston

Written by Gail G. Collins | Select photography by Marisa Hugonnett

Sugar Land, TX News - When Beverly was rescued from a local Houston shelter, she was a brown, matted mess. Poodle Rescue of Houston (PRH) cleaned her up and two hours later, she looked like a fluffy, cream dream. The non-profit poodle haven assisted 800 distressed and homeless poodles last year alone. “Once we rescue dogs, we rehabilitate them and offer them for adoption to carefully screened families and individuals,” says PRH executive director Guinnette Peebles.

Peebles is a dog obedience trainer and owner of Prestonwood Kennels and has an affinity for poodles. When Bluebonnet Poodle Club asked for a volunteer for rescues, Peebles had the land for a dedicated facility as well as the know-how, so she accepted the job. The small-scale endeavor began in 1999 and grew quickly. PRH typically has 50 dogs in its program ready for adoption.

Poodle Rescue of Houston’s executive director Guinnette Peebles with poodle rescues Madison, Beverly, and Cash

Becoming Poodle Pet Parents
Sugar Landers John and Jane Jakubik had a white poodle named Prince for 19 years. Then, they owned two Siberian huskies. When the time came for another dog in 2011, the couple turned back to their first love, a poodle.

They wanted a female, and hopefully, a rescue dog. After calling breeders and alerting friends, they remembered a cousin, who had adopted from PRH. “I’ve had both kinds of dogs, but rescue dogs seem to know they’ve been saved, and they’re so grateful,” says Jane Jakubik.

When the Jakubiks visited the dogs at PRH, Jane instantly fell for Candy Cane. The name was given by PRH in honor of her December rescue.

Jane opened the crate, and the dog put her paws around Jane’s neck. Candy Cane was a replica of the Jakubik’s first poodle. “She was skinny as a bone, and her hair was shaved, but I knew when she filled out, she’d be perfect,” Jakubik says.

Candy Cane was spayed and her medical needs met before the Jakubiks brought her home. “Then, she walked through every room in our house, came back, and jumped in my lap,” says Jakubik. “That was that – she was home.”

Candy Cane is well-loved by all who meet her, and the pretty poodle has garnered some serious photographic attention. Her image is part of PRH’s charity calendar, and Petco displays Candy Cane’s picture in their grooming area.

PRH helped 800 homeless poodles last year alone

 

The Greatest Satisfaction
As a 501(c)(3), PRH has the equivalent of three and a half full-time paid employees, including a veterinarian and vet tech, who spay and neuter dogs and provide other medical services, such as heartworm treatment. Other employees handle transport services, kennel care, feeding, bathing, and brushing. Volunteers are instrumental in helping PRH get the word out about the adoptees.

They also help socialize and groom the rescues, so that they are ready and waiting for the perfect family. It’s a great deal of work that yields the greatest satisfaction when PRH matches their poodles with the right, loving home.

Beyond dog-centric volunteers, PRH needs donations to assist in paying for vet care. “Last year, we accepted several with broken limbs, usually as a result of being hit by cars,” Peebles says. “Other dogs are surrendered in old age, and may have failing eyesight. Many strays have severe dermatitis from mange, and about half are heartworm positive. All donations go the poodles.”

Sugar Landers John and Jane Jakubik with their rescue, Candy Cane

 

Adopt a Poodle
Adopting a poodle from PRH is straightforward. Interested people can go to PHR’s website and view the dogs online. The next step includes on-site meeting with the dogs to gauge a personality match and to fill out an application.

After interview approval by PRH, the prospective owner pays a fee that covers neutering or spaying and any necessary health treatments. If everything is in order, have a leash and collar ready to take your dog home with you. PRH transitions the dogs with familiar food and treats and provides any available background information to the new owners.

“The process couldn’t have been smoother,” confirms Jakubik. “Everyone at PRH is helpful and friendly – they really care about the dogs.” PHR reminds everyone: If you’re in the market for a dog, don’t shop, adopt. SLM

GAIL G. COLLINS is a writer who took her dog to three continents before making a home in the Houston area.

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