ED BECHT: Animal Advocate, Champion For Homeless Dogs
By Central Florida Humanitarians // October 19, 2013
2013 CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN
ABOVE VIDEO: Ed Becht has a full time job with the sheriff’s office, but his “second job” is caring for the shelter animals. The plight of these castoff creatures is his passion. “I see it as my calling,” said the West Melbourne resident and pet parent of six. “I love animals.”
Ed Becht is all heart, particularly when it comes to soulful eyes, wet noses and wagging tails.
The sheriff’s deputy assigned to court security at Viera Courthouse spends his free time advocating for the homeless dogs at the county’s South and North Animal Care Centers.
Becht goes so far beyond the call of duty in helping animals that the county earlier this year named him the first recipient of its Volunteers Stars Light up Brevard Award.
Homeless animals can certainly use a champion like Becht. The shelters must euthanize thousands of healthy animals every year, simply because homes cannot be found for them.
Becht and 600 other volunteers for the shelters know they are racing against time to find good homes for unwanted dogs and cats.
The shelters house these animals as long as possible, but the influx of animals is so great that homeless pets that have lingered too long at the shelter must be put down to make way for others that may have a better chance.
Many of the dogs just need a little “makeover” and some socialization to catch the eye of a prospective pet parent.
Becht bathes them and pretties them up and takes them out for walks to help socialize them and make them more adoptable. What he does is working. A large number of the animals under Becht’s care find forever-homes because of his efforts on their behalf.
On weekends, you will usually find Becht, shelter dogs in tow, at Petco or at adoption events throughout Brevard.
He constantly speaks to the public about the need to spay or neuter pets and the importance of adopting animals from the shelters rather than purchasing them from a store or breeder. If there is fundraising to be done for the animals, Becht is the man to do it.
Becht has a full time job with the sheriff’s office, but his “second job” is caring for the shelter animals. The plight of these castoff creatures is his passion.
“I see it as my calling,” said the West Melbourne resident and pet parent of six. “I love animals.”
For shelter volunteers like Becht, their task is always a monumental challenge. Adoption events may help unite one or two animals with new homes, while hundreds wait.
“Sometimes, as hard as you try, there will be no adoptions,” said Becht.
Despite the best efforts of shelter staff and volunteers, all too often no homes can be found for countless friendly, loving animals. For every success, there are many failures. Shelter work can be emotionally draining for animal-loving volunteers.
“Euthanasia is a fact of life when working at the shelters,” said Becht.
Every adoption is a victory to be savored, but Becht never forgets those animals that were not as fortunate. He remembers their names and their personalities, missing them almost as much as if they had been his own.
“You become very attached to them, and it is very painful, but you continue because there are always other animals that need you,” he said.
ABOUT THE 2013 CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN AWARDS
The Central Florida Humanitarian Awards were created to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that dedicate their Time, Talent or Treasure to help people in need locally – and around the world.
This year, more than 30 deserving humanitarians will be honored during the Gala, which will be held Thursday, Nov. 7 at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, with the festivities beginning at 6 p.m.
“Over the years, our editorial team has had the distinct honor and pleasure of identifying and featuring the many members of our community who give back so much and are dedicated to reaching out and helping others, here and throughout the world, in a multitude of ways,” said Maverick Multimedia Editor-In-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo.
“We remain firmly committed to identifying and telling those stories and providing a timely media platform to recognize Space Coast and Central Florida residents’ altruistic contributions on a regular basis in our magazines, as well as SpaceCoastDaily.com,” said Dr. Palermo.
This inspiring and compelling event is sponsored by Brighthouse Networks, Health First, Brevard Physicians Network, MPAC ACO, Community Credit Union, Knudson Brain & Spine Law Injury Office, Florida Pain, Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine, CentralFloridaMedicine.com and SpaceCoastDaily.com.
FOR MORE INFORMATION or to make a reservation to attend the Central Florida Humanitarian Awards Gala call 321-615-8111 or e-mail SpaceCoastMedicine@gmail.com.