The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Get up and foster

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Photo by Photo courtesy of Zoi’s Animal Rescue

Zoi’s is a local animal rescue looking for fosters and volunteers in the BCS area. 

Volunteers from a local rescue have joined together to raise awareness and provide care for stray animals. 
Zoi’s Animal Rescue hosts adoption events every Saturday and Sunday at both PetSmart locations in College Station from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The center focuses on fostering animals and getting pets adopted by community members. Zoi’s provides all pet care to fosters and has a variety of animals, but mainly deals with dogs. 

Founder and President Debbie Stellas started the rescue back in 2007 in Oklahoma. After witnessing cruelty towards stray animals, Stellas said she decided to make a change and started the organization. Since then, Zoi’s has helped hundreds of animals find their forever home. But her job is not finished yet — Stellas wants to continue growing the Texas branch. 

“In October of 2003, we rescued two pups,” Stellas said. “The female had a birth defect which made her front leg draw up. We named her Zoi, which in Greek means life. She has a strong, iron will and remarkable determination. We named our rescue group in honor of her.” 

The rescue’s motto “Do what we can, when we can, the best we can,” encompasses the passion it has for the animals under its care. Zoi’s Animal Rescue is a foster-based local rescue organization that takes in a variety of domesticated animals in the Greater Bryan-College Station area, Stellas said. They have been working in the area for 10 years and need more volunteers and foster caregivers to maintain its overwhelming number of animals. 

Stellas’ love for animals has turned into her career. Zoi’s now takes dogs, cats and pigs. She and her team of five volunteers take care of several animals in their own homes alongside managing the rescue. 

“There were a lot of unwanted animals and no one was doing anything about it,” Stellas said.

Vice President of Zoi’s Sandy Prochazka has been with the organization for six years. She handles all veterinary affairs, pays the bills and works with possible adoptees. She also fosters eight animals in her home while working at the center. Prochazka said her busy schedule is worth the trouble when she sees how happy her animals are. 

“I absolutely love it,” Prochazka said. “Getting to hold a little puppy and seeing her lay on my chest. All they want is to be hugged and pet and loved. When I get a snuggle from any of my animals, it brightens my whole life. I just feel so lucky.” 

Prochazka works closely with the adoption process. She said Zoi’s is looking for volunteers to come to PetSmart on the weekend and help set up, take down and walk the dogs.  

Volunteer and foster caregiver Claudia Price has worked at the rescue for over two years and has increased her involvement to meet the needs of the rescue. She is Zoi’s social media chair and deals with fundraising and marketing. Price said she has always had a passion for animals and wanted to make an impact on the community.

“My husband was outside one day and this poor injured dog came up to him, so he called me,” Price said. “The dog was injured and maimed very badly and we knew we couldn’t afford to take him in, so I went online to look for help. And Zoi’s made a comment and asked me to foster, and they would provide the pet care. I have been with Zoi’s ever since.” 

The rescue helps animal control and aids local law enforcement. 

“We mostly help with strays,” Price said. “That’s not to say we won’t take in other types if there’s a need, but we focus on strays. Especially since we are in the Brazos Valley, it is a rural area that does not have animal control or access to shelters. We kind of provide that service by helping with the stray population. That’s really how [we] get our animals.” 

Zoi’s is looking for volunteers and fosters who can dedicate their time and effort to aid in their animal relief goals. They’re also asking for donations via email or Facebook to help with purchasing equipment and upkeep. The group currently has 27 adoptable dogs and is run completely by volunteers.

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