Last week, in response to Dallas Animal Services’ urgent call to remove dozens of dog shelters, residents of the Dallas area took home 160 medium and large dogs over the weekend.
A local no-kill shelter intended to move 150 exposed dogs for at least two weeks to “keep the line” from canine flu and upper respiratory tract infections. Attendance this weekend exceeded the Center’s expectations.
“It was a huge success,” said Whitney Bollinger, Assistant Director of DAS. “We were really optimistic that the community would show up and help us reach our goals, but we were really surprised. I just wanted to help.”
In total, Dallas-area residents have fostered 74 dogs, adopted 58, and sent 28 to rescue facilities. Foster parents encouraged him with a $150 gift card and provided free training, supplies and veterinary care.
Canine flu and URI have been plaguing North Texas shelters in recent months. In recent weeks, DAS has been working with experts from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine to try to stop the spread.
By eliminating this exposed group of large dogs over a period of three days, DAS was able to introduce healthy dogs into the shelter and divide the facility into two parts to contain the virus.
“We completely split the building into two separate shelters within one building,” Bollinger said.
Beginning this week, staff placed new and tested dogs in the unexposed half of the shelter, isolating them from the exposed animals that lived in the shelter by Monday. Each block has its own medical treatment area, and for the sake of safety, it is not possible to move between buildings.
“The goal is to continue to find positive results in both exposed and unexposed animals and to gradually reduce the number of animals housed here,” she said.
In addition to treating sick dogs, DAS receives 30-50 new dogs each day. Bollinger said he hopes the community will take advantage of this momentum and spend the holidays helping shelters find homes for more dogs.
“Because we are running these two different shelters in one building, capacity is particularly tight, so we try to get positive results for the same number of animals every day so that we don’t run into capacity issues. I have to find it,” she said. .
As of Thursday morning, the shelter had 65 uninfected dogs and 197 infected dogs, all seeking new homes.
The shelter is relaunching a $150 gift card program for foster parents who successfully adopt a dog for two weeks, thanks to fundraising partner Friends of DAS. Bollinger said this weekend’s incentives helped draw people to his DAS.
Local shelters now want to locate 30-40 medium and large dogs each day.
“This is truly a community effort, and everyone who came out and helped or shared our message made a huge life-saving impact,” Bollinger said.
The shelter at 1818 North Westmoreland Road is offering same-day foster care this week. The center is open from 11 AM to 7 PM most days and from 11 AM to 6 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. On Wednesdays, the shelter is open from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
Interested parties must bring valid identification to bring their pets home.