Challenge-opened Houston-area animal shelter is still going strong 10 years later


A love for pets and a challenge posed 10 years ago were the catalysts that drove Dawn Kubisz to found the refuge without killing A New Dawn Pet Adoption.

Kubisz recalls that she volunteered at the Pasadena City Animal Shelter for several years. “One of the people who used to come over there all the time said, ‘Why are you here and not doing something like this on your own? Why don’t you run your own shelter? ‘ Kubisz said. “I told him I couldn’t. I’m disabled, it’s going to be expensive, it’s just too hard. But she kept pressing me and then she finally challenged me. I think maybe that’s what made it.

After setting up a 501 C (3) nonprofit, renting an office that had been used by a veterinarian, and setting up an adoption structure that Kubisz said would benefit both animals and families, A New Dawn Pet Adoption was born.

The adoption center can accommodate up to 10 animals at a time, all of which must weigh less than 20 pounds. They are usually collected from shelters in the region that euthanize the animals.

Only on 311 call highlights tiger kept in Houston home as tighter wildlife restrictions sought

“We have a small capacity, but that’s one of the good things about us,” said Carol Pickering, who joined the volunteer team about a month after opening A New Dawn. “The dogs have their own big enough rooms with their own blankets and toys, they have time to play outside and we have plenty of time to get to know them. They are controlled and happy before we find families for them.

Each year, said Pickering, the group has increased the number of animals it finds homes for. In 2018, it was 125 animals.

The group accepts pet adoption requests. To cover expenses such as spaying or neutering, vaccinations and microchips, the adoption fee for dogs is $ 160. For cats, the fee is $ 60.

What: kill-free shelter for small pets.

Or: 202 W. San Augustine, Deer Park 77536

Hours: Monday to Thursday noon to 5 p.m., Friday noon to 3:45 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The refuge is closed on Sunday.

For more information: Visit New Dawn on Facebook or call 281-904-0280.

Puppy adoptions can include a “puppy contract” requiring the animal to be brought back for final vaccinations or spaying and neutering when old enough.

The group verifies that prospective adoptions who already own other pets have spayed or neutered these animals and that these animals are up to date on beatings and care. Houses must have a fenced yard and dogs cannot be kept outside all the time.

Other dog-related questions relate to how the animal will be exercised and what would happen to it in the event of a change in family life, such as a divorce or the birth of a baby.

Photos of animals with their new families are posted on the group’s Facebook page.

Garage sale to pay the lighting bill

Maintaining an operation seven days a week hasn’t always been easy, Pickering said.

“It was definitely difficult at the start,” she said. “It’s always tough, but it was really tough back then. I remember that one month, around mid-June or July, we had a $ 1,100 and $ 13 bill in the bank. We had this garage sale in the parking lot – it was so hot that all the candles and pencils we had on the table for sale melted, but we were able to make enough money to pay this electric bill.

In the years that followed, A New Dawn, which is run entirely by Kubisz – she earns no salary – and other volunteers, relied heavily on fundraising and sponsorship.

“It would be great to have a business or a private sponsor,” said Pickering, “someone who could come in and say, ‘What do you need and how do I fund it? “”

Needs range from cash and carpentry to volunteers who can work regular hours.

“We have woodwork and doors and the like that need to be replaced, and most of us are women and we don’t know how to do that,” Pickering said. “We need blankets for the sling beds.

“The volunteers we have are great and we appreciate them, but it can be difficult to find volunteers for two shifts a day, seven days a week.

Subscribers: Pet adoption fees waived at Harris County Animal Shelter during Valentine’s week

Pickering said one of the group’s big fundraisers each year is a raffle, where one of the prizes people have always bid on has always been a big TV, donated by a local business owner.

“But he retired last year; So we’re looking for people who can make those kinds of donations – really, any help, ”Pickering said.

One thing they’ve been blessed with, said Pickering, is community support.

“We are so grateful,” she said. “We get so much dog food, dog toys, treats, blankets. “

What’s next for A New Dawn?

Kubisz said her dream would be to own her own building on a larger site where she could accommodate more animals.

“This is the dream – to continue helping the animals,” she said.

To learn more about the animals available at A New Dawn or how to help the group, visit them on Facebook or call 281-904-0280.

LIVING IN HOUSTON: Make the most of the city. Discover new trends, interior design, gardening and more at


Previous Olivia Munn teams up with The Shelter Project to promote pet rescue – The Hollywood Reporter
Next GHS students help a pet shelter