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What We Do

According to, over 350,000 dogs and cats are put to death in animal shelters throughout the United States every single year, just because they didn't have a home. The overpopulation of pets in the Wharton County area is staggering and there aren’t enough homes to handle the volume of unwanted cats and dogs.

The mission of Wharton County Stray Pet Outreach Team, or "SPOT", is to educate the public on the plight of abandoned pets, and to provide humane care, treatment and suitable homes for animals without owners. We fulfill that mission by working with residents who rescue stray and unwanted dogs and cats in our community.

In the realm of pet rescue, education plays a crucial role alongside the fundamental pillars of adoption, fostering, and rescue efforts. Beyond the immediate act of saving animals in need, educating the public about responsible pet ownership is paramount. Knowledge regarding proper care, nutrition, training, and understanding the commitment involved in bringing a pet into one's life is essential. By fostering a culture of informed decision-making, potential pet owners are empowered to provide loving and sustainable homes. Education not only enhances the well-being of rescued animals but also contributes to the prevention of future instances of abandonment, neglect, and/or unwanted litters of puppies and kittens. In the realm of pet rescue, the emphasis on education establishes a foundation for compassionate and responsible relationships between humans and their animal companions, fostering a community dedicated to the welfare of all creatures great and small.

When a homeless dog or cat is brought into SPOT, it enters our “Adoption Prep Program.” This is the rehabilitation component of our organization. In the Adoption Prep Program, the animal receives appropriate vet care, vaccinations by SPOT volunteers (called “SPOT Shots”), treatment for worms and other parasites, preventative medication (to prevent fleas, heartworms, etc.), heartworm test (if 6 months or older) and, most importantly, a collar and SPOT ID tag. We believe a collar and tag document the transition from “homeless” to “adorable adoptable.” If a rescued or surrendered animal is an adult, they also receive a behavior assessment by an animal expert and may be quickly spayed or neutered.

Once the rescued dog or cat is healthy, we either find a loving home within the community or we contact our partners in other states and request a transfer. We only partner with no-kill shelters or rescues throughout the country to relocate these rescued animals and place them in loving, caring homes. This program of rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome means our partners, with trained, professional staff, screen adopters and ensure our rescues are fixed in a timely manner.

SPOT does not have a shelter facility; we rely on fosters who open their hearts and homes to homeless dogs and cats. Your involvement through donations or sponsorships, fostering, and/or volunteering helps us continue to find loving homes or appropriate placements for Wharton County’s unwanted animals. Please help us continue to make a difference in our community.

Get to Know Us

Combining a love for animals with a desire to do something about the stray pets in Wharton County, a group of concerned citizens, led by County Judge John Murrile, met in March 2008 to form an organization called Wharton County Stray Pet Outreach Team (SPOT). SPOT was incorporated in June 2008 and received its non-profit status in February 2009.

SPOT is a support system for people who choose to rescue homeless dogs and cats in Wharton County. SPOT has rescued, cared for, and placed more than 5,000 animals since our beginning.

Initially focused on rescuing abandoned dogs and cats, SPOT established a Spay-Neuter Program in 2013. This program is designed to help residents get their pets fixed and prevent unwanted litters which lead to the abundance of strays in our county. In 2014, the Trap-Neuter-Return or TNR Program (what we call our Barn Buddy program) was added to address the problem of community or stray cats. In addition, SPOT has made numerous presentations to civic and church groups, schools and youth organizations to educate county residents on responsible pet ownership.

Now celebrating our 15th year, SPOT is still hard at work rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming homeless dogs and cats.

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is made up of community volunteers. If you would be interested in becoming a SPOT volunteer, please call or email us. We look forward to hearing from you!

President - Christine Stransky
Vice President/Animal Care - Becky Baron
Vice President/Education - Cathy Armendariz
Secretary - Haley Gerke
Treasurer - Becky Burrell
Fundraising - Melanie Cochrum
Public Relations - OPEN

Our Mission

The mission of SPOT is to educate the public on the plight of abandoned pets, and to provide humane care, treatment and suitable homes for animals without owners.