’WOOFSTOCK’ COMING TO DEER PARK IN THE FALL

Source: Houston Cronicle (Extract)
Posted: June 18, 2021

Al Garces Jr. isn’t taking credit for the name of a highly anticipated Deer Park event this fall, but with a guitar hanging on his office wall and a complete set of drums to the right of that, we’re not so sure.

“Woofstock” is a dogs-only adoption event that will be Saturday, Sept. 25 in Dow Park, 610 E San Augustine St. The Deer Park Animal Control and Adoption Center, 4221 Luella Ave, will join forces with shelters from Pasadena, La Porte, Humble and Friendswood for the gigantic attempt to find homes for dozens of dogs.

Garces, who is the city’s animal control supervisor, is counting down the days for this cooperative effort among area cities to reduce the number of dogs that need a forever home.

Woofstock, which will surely have the tune to Elvis Presley’s hit “Hound Dog” blaring throughout the park, will be another way for people to learn of these animal shelters and their needs.

Check out future columns for more information on the event as the date draws near.

“For this event, the big part will be getting our name out. We’re a small city,” Garces said. “We do have a very successful shelter here. We’ve been really lucky since moving into this new building. We’re barely been here three years. There’s still a lot of citizens that don’t even know we have a new shelter.”

He said it’s an uphill battle to get people from other areas to adopt an animal from his facility because they think they must live in Deer Park. Not so, said Garces.

“We do get a lot of people from Deer Park (who adopt pets), but at least half of them live outside of Deer Park,” Garces said.

Few adoption facilities have this story Garces likes to tell.

“We had a family come all the way from Canada for a specific dog. It was crazy,” said Garces, recalling that day in 2018 when the couple walked in. “They didn’t even call us. They just came and the dog they wanted was already adopted and they wound up adopting something else.”

When it opened, Deer Park’s adoption building enabled the number of dog kennels to increase from 10 to 24 on top of six quarantine cages, while cat “hotel rooms” went from 12 to 30. There’s a couple of get-acquainted rooms for people looking to adopt a cat, and there’s an outdoor play area, complete with artificial turf, for dogs to romp as potential adopters can sit on a bench and get to know them.

Now with the pandemic loosening its grip, there’s no longer strict requirements to enter the building. It’s back to normalcy at the Deer Park Adoption Center.

“We’re not by appointment only. We’re open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays,” Garces said.

Whether Garces’ drum set leaves his office for Woofstock remains to be seen, but if he leaves Dow Park with fewer dogs needing a home, he’ll be quite satisfied.

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