We produced this multi-shoot video to showcase what the non-profit organization has been doing for communities across Houston for the past ten years. This video premiered during Unity For a Solution's anniversary celebration and fundraiser. The video had two goals: to educate the community about what it does and to raise funds to continue its mission. We interviewed many stakeholders including founding members, partner organizations, vets and Houstonians receiving free spay & neuter services. Transcript:
[MUSIC PLAYING] I couldn't go to work. And I couldn't come home from work, without seeing, just loose animals on the streets. I moved back to my neighborhood, where I grew up, over 15 years ago. And I was horrified with the amount of homeless dogs, dogs on chains, pregnant mamas.
It's such a big problem here in Houston. We need to do something to control them.
If you go around driving around, you'll see a lot of strays.
It's been estimated, recently, that there's over a million homeless dogs and cats in Houston.
You're going down a busy through street, and they just cross the road in front of you. The click moment, for me, though, I was behind someone that hit one of those dogs. I was like calling the emergency vet to pay money towards the bill because it was so sad. And I just realized like something has to be done.
The founding members of Unity for a Solution decided to form this organization because we were working with other rescue groups that were inundated. There were not enough fosters, not enough adopters, not enough funding. And they were overwhelmed. So we felt like we needed to start a coalition to become more of a unified voice to really address the root cause of the problem.
It's a safety issue. It's a public health issue. And it's an animal welfare issue.
It's all these groups coming together, not only the rescue groups, but civic associations, local businesses, individuals, the city level, the state level, really trying to get behind a big campaign to get in these underserved communities to start working on prevention.
When I started looking at how many of those animals we were microchipping that were unaltered, it was just really shocking. I mean, it was greater than 50%.[MUSIC PLAYING] [CAT PURRS]
There are a lot of barriers to accessing veterinary care. Some of those are transportation and geographical.
There you go. Good boy.
And then, also, some of it is just trust. A lot of people don't like to leave the neighborhood that they're in. So when you come to them, you make it more simple.
You break down those barriers. And you help people where they are, where they need it. He's so handsome. You only really feel that vet access gap for us.
We had the database. We had the people. We knew who needed these services. And they gave us the way to provide them.
Bringing the mobile spay/neuter unit to Acres Homes is really, I think, the biggest difference maker. It's been a really great partnership and really just inspiring, just everyone to come together to fix this issue.
We're advocating. We're in the community. We're providing free spay/neuter vaccination microchips for underserved communities.
We're speaking with our elected officials to strengthen our ordinances. And we're partnering with Texas Humane Legislation network to strengthen the state bill's.
Unity works with quite a few government officials. And we have some that were really close to some of the councilmembers, for example. A lot of the councilmembers they'll actually fund some of the community outreach events that we do have.
And they'll actually attend them. Sometimes, they'll sponsor part of the cost for some of those vouchers, as well. The voucher programs are including spaying and neutering, microchipping, and the core vaccines.
And these are for families that are in areas that really-- They cannot afford even the low cost services that we offer here at Emancipet. We are low cost, but the vouchers actually makes the services free for the families that are in need.
So this was a godsend that they have this for all of our dogs and cats. I need to get fixed.
It helps a lot. I mean, just the vet alone was $150 to get them fixed. And being a stray and they show up all the time, it gets expensive. So having an event like this, it actually helps out a lot.
Thank you, guys.
Everybody wants to do the right thing. But sometimes, they need that help and support.
It helps a lot for the population of the pets. And it's a surgery that's costly. And this helps a lot.[MUSIC PLAYING]
A lot of these people, they're seeing something that they've never seen before. And that is other people helping. And hopefully, it becomes contagious.
They're angels, to do this because I just didn't have the money to do it.
Unity, they're taking what is, I think, a critical need and just a gap for most rescues. And they're filling it.
We call it a wicked problem because it's not just because people cannot afford veterinary care. It's access to care. It's access to education.
It's so much more than just that. So you look at the wicked problem as a whole, and you look at the solution. So it's a multi-pronged approach.
The first step is pet owner education, making them realize the need for it. And secondly, making it affordable.
That cycle of information sharing in a positive manner, and really empowering people. I think, empowering our clients, empowering our community is very impactful, as well.
We need every organization as many as possible working together to, hopefully, get this under control, someday. If we are able to get a handle on this overpopulation problem, it'll make the whole city of Houston more attractive to people.
It's a collective effort. I can't imagine how this gets done without a collective effort.
Sit. Good boy.
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