The residents of Oak Forest know Jamie Cupps and her doggie daycare/boarding facility Paws Pet Resort very well. Her name frequently pops up on Facebook neighborhood organization and rescue pages; if you are seeking boarding or daycare for your pet, help with a rescue situation, or grooming for an anxious pup, people recommend Jamie (and Paws) over and over again.
Jamie’s passion for animals has made her one of the most-loved and trusted names in pet care and rescue in Houston. Although Paws is a for-profit boarding and daycare facility, Jamie devotes a portion of her boarding space to rescue organizations at a reduced fee, and in an effort to do even more she is currently preparing for her third annual Dog Days of Summer pet portrait fundraiser on Saturday, September 19. Held every year since Jamie opened her doors, this year’s proceeds—and dog food donations—will benefit Adore Houston.
The idea for Dog Days of Summer came about after Jamie met Kevin Falcon, of Falcon Photography, at her grand opening party. “After we met, we really just wanted to do something together and I enjoy doing pet photography, so it seemed like a natural fit,” explained Falcon. “Jamie chooses a different charity every year, and we split the proceeds with the charity and give them a big food donation, so they get a little food and a little money to keep them going.”
Sessions for the Saturday, September 19 event are by appointment only, and will be held at Paws Pet Resort located at 3425 Couch Street. The ten minute “mini-sessions” cost $35, plus a 33-pound or larger bag of dog food. (No Beneful, please.) One 5x7 portrait is included in the price, plus Kevin offers customers an addition discount on any other prints they order from the Dog Days of Summer session.
“We’ll meet about a week after the event, at Paws, and review the images together,” explained Kevin, who has a lot of experiencing photographing dogs and is practiced at bringing out their best.
“I’m always looking for that huh? expression, that one with the little head tilt? I don’t know if you can write that noise exactly!” laughed Kevin, who also offered tips for owners for the day of the photo shoot. You’ll obviously want to bathe and groom your pet before the session, but don’t forget to exercise them as well. Arrive a little early, allowing time for a bathroom break, and bring a favorite toy. The toy may or may not end up in the shot, but it could be useful in getting a good photo or relaxing your dog.
In addition to raising funds, Adore Houston founder and director Angela Madeshko hopes to also raise awareness of Houston’s worsening stray animal problem. Adore currently has more than 100 animals in its program (you may remember the amazing Apollo); foster-based, they can only take in as many animals as they have available fosters.
“The local government has taken some initiatives to address the problem, but it’s not enough because the problem is so big,” explained Angela, who described the current rescue system as “maxed out”, even with out-of-state transport and organizations like Emancipet on the job.
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“The lack of fosters is a real problem,” Angela continued. “Jamie and Paws Pet Resort have been an integral part of our rescue. They house several of our [animals]—and other local rescue organizations—and Jamie is just very rescue-oriented. She is always thinking of ways to help everyone, and promote everyone.”
In addition to their work directly with dogs—street rescue, re-homing, shelter pulls—the Adore volunteers are also deeply involved in advocacy and awareness, which is why Madeshko and Adore work with Unity for A Solution. Unity is a collective of Houston-based rescues and rescue-minded organizations that go beyond rescue action, promoting and raising awareness of free spay/neuter services, vetting alternatives, and political advocacy. Madeshko and her colleagues are reaching out to the current crop of mayoral and city council candidates, but they know that raising awareness is just the beginning.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us here in Houston,” said Angela. “The key to that is everyone working together, and we’re trying to set that example. We’re all really busy in rescue, we’re always all operating in crisis mode—and almost all of us work [jobs] as well—and we’re all stretched so thin, but if we work together and find the time, we can be successful.”
To make your appointment at Paws Pet Resort for the Saturday, September 19, Dog Days of Summer pet portrait event call 281-560-3686. Interested in fostering or adopting? Visit the Adore Houston website.