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DFW Humane Society Continues to Serve Pets During Crisis

Irving – In a city that is celebrating essential workers, there are some people whose work is going unnoticed. It is not a surprise, most of those they help do not say much, have four legs, and a tail. The DFW Humane Society responded swiftly and urgently to the Shelter in Place orders as those who rely on their support could not wait for their kibble, walks, and back scratches. 

Nothing quite like this crisis has happened in the organization’s 53 year history. Yet according to Michael Whiteside, the group was able to smoothly transition to a paid employee staff.

“Like many others, new routines, processes, and procedures challenge us every day,” Whiteside said. “However, as a small non-profit organization, our resourcefulness and creativity serves us well in uncertain times. Although some adjustments have been more challenging than others, we continue to adapt and focus on our mission of giving unwanted pets a second chance in life through adoption.

“We already operated with a small staff, four full-time and two part-time kennel attendants and two administrative employees, so we are able to stay fully staffed currently. The change that has impacted our staff and pets the most is the suspension of all volunteer activities.

For everyone’s health and safety, volunteers are not allowed to work in the shelter. Our volunteers not only work hard to help staff with cleaning, but also they offer crucial activity and interaction for our pets. Even though our volunteers cannot work in the shelter, they are still lending their time, talent, and treasure through fostering pets, gathering donated items, and even making masks for staff to wear.”

Whiteside encourages people to keep their animals during this pandemic.

“According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the CDC has not received any reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States, and we have no information that suggests pets might be a source of infection for people with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19,” Whiteside said. “Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control said there is no evidence the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread to people from the skin or fur of companion animals. The Humane Society has suspended owner surrenders during this time and does not have information to suggest an increase in owner surrenders.” 
Additionally, the DFW Humane Society has resources for families who may need assistance feeding their animals.

“We have provided pet food assistance for many years now,” Whiteside said. “If we have food available, anyone needing assistance can call the shelter and request food. We do not have any forms to fill out or screening. We will provide food no questions asked. Our ability to provide food is based on what we have in stock.

“Pet food for the program comes from generous donors who donate food to us, so stock levels can vary. Additionally, there are national organizations like Red Rover that have some pet assistance resources available to help with things like temporary boarding.”

Dogs and cats are available for adoption at the Humane Society, although the procedure has changed. Whiteside suggests interested people look at the DFW Humane Society website before coming to the shelter.

“Choose one or two you would like to meet,” Whiteside said. “Call us at 972-721-7788 and make arrangements to come meet the pet(s). We are unable to allow visitors to wander around the shelter on their own at this time, but we do want people to come meet a pet that piques their interest.

“Right now, our adoption fee is waived for all available pets. We have some wonderful dogs and cats that are waiting patiently for their forever homes. Many of our dogs are also available to foster if that’s a better option for some.”

According to Whiteside, all adoptions include “spay or neuter, microchip and microchip enrollment, up-to-date age-appropriate vaccinations, a general de-worming, a goody bag with a starter bag of food and toys, and a free wellness exam with a participating vet within 10 days of the adoption (currently, these exams might be impacted by the veterinarian’s policies and procedures during the stay at home orders).

The DFW Humane Society is also in need of the following items: dish soap (any brand), canned dog food (pate preferred, any brand), soft dog treats, rubbing alcohol, sanitizer wipes, and hand sanitizer. Whiteside also suggested people make financial donations to the shelter, saying those donations are critical to providing daily care, food, and interaction to the pets that are in the shelter.