Special shelter is pet 'halfway house'

DEER PARK, TX Her center is located at 202 W. Augustine in Deer Park, and from the moment you enter, you recognize it's something special.

When Laurie Dodson volunteers her time, she loves every second.

She said, "It's like a Christmas present every day."

That's because she knows aside from saving animals, she's also working for an inspiring boss.

"It's very rewarding," Laurie said. "It's also very rewarding to work for Dawn because she's someone you can look up to and think, 'Wow! If she could have done that what a difference could I have made?'"

Dawn is the founder of A New Dawn Pet Adoption. After years of watching animals euthanized in city pounds, she made it her mission to give them a second chance.

Dawn said, "They had no idea what it was like to be petted or to be loved."

What's truly amazing is that besides running a no-kill shelter, Dawn also struggles with cerebral palsy. It's something she says the pets actually help her with.

"The more I move, the better off I am and they keep me moving," she said.

And move they do, running around this unique shelter.

"I call it a dog halfway house," Laurie explained. "They all have their own little room and they have beds. They're not locked in a cage. Doors are never closed on them."

The center opened up a year ago and it has been a success, but with the rough economy, things have been tight.

"It takes a ton of money to keep it going," Laurie said. "We don't own this building so we have a rent and light bill."

Despite that, though, volunteers manage to keep the animals healthy, happy and cared for until they're adopted. It's a dream one special woman had and is now making a reality.

"Some of our guys are more abused and when they go home, it's so neat to see that," Dawn said.

The non-profit center runs solely on donations. That's why they're holding a special fundraiser this Sunday at the Pasadena Convention Center. It's happening from 1:30pm to 5:30pm inside Campbell Hall. Aside from monetary donations, the center is also looking for volunteers.

For more information, visit their website at www.anewdawnpetadoption.org.

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