After huge animal rescue, SPCA needs help

HOUSTON On Thursday, the Houston SPCA has been busier than ever. An employee at the SPCA, Tara Yurkshat, hasn't found much time to rest.

"I did not get a lot of sleep last night and I think my dogs are wondering who their mother is," said Yurkshat.

Up at 5am Thursday morning, she along with the rest of the crew have been dealing with quite a workload.

"We're not taking care of just the ones that came in last night. We have staff and volunteers taking the regular animals on the daily basis," said Yurkshat.

We first told you about the raid Wednesday night. The SPCA was tipped off to a home in northwest Harris County where they say a couple was keeping animals in deplorable conditions. They rescued 1,045 animals, everything from a miniature pony, exotic birds and snakes, to hundreds of rare and possibly illegal turtles.

"There are about 250 baby turtles these are protected by Texas Parks and Wildlife. These are protective species," said volunteer Sharon Schmalz.

While the animals are now being cared for by experts, it has been a challenge for workers. On any given day, the SPCA supports about 500 to 700 animals. With last night's raid, its meant their capacity has more than doubled.

"We are securing our workers to come in. We are making different schedules. We have volunteers on top of our normal staff pitching in to help the animals," said Meera Nandlal of the SPCA.

The agency is also asking for the public's help. They need items like newspapers to provide bedding for some of the animals, along with feed for the dozens of rare species of birds. All together it is a daunting task, but employees know has to be done.

"These animals need our help and we're going to do what we can for them," said Yurkshat.

The Houston SPCA desperately needs need the following donated items:

  • Shredded paper for the gerbils and hamsters
  • Newspapers to use as bedding for the many birds in our care
  • Finch food
  • Parakeet food
  • Food for large Hook Bill birds
  • Chicken and Duck food

You can find a complete list of the items the SPCA needs as well as information on making monetary donations to the organization at

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