Carrollton—Operation Kindness presented the grand opening of their Carrollton location on Thursday, July 29. The animal shelter closed to walk-ins during the pandemic and is now reopen to the public.
During the pandemic, pets could be seen online and were available for adoption by appointment only visitations to the shelter.
“It was a little restricted with COVID,” Natalie Buxton, marketing director of Operation Kindness, said.“Now we are opening up. The appointments are not required, and we’re going to be opened every day of the week.
“Since the pandemic, there’s a big demand for adoptions. A lot of people, especially as they were home last year, wanted to have a companion. They had the time, and so they brought animals into their homes.”
Over the past several months, the facility has been expanded to almost twice its original size.
“We have 120 enclosures for animals in our hospital,” Buxton said.“Pre-construction, we had 54 kennels in our hospital. In our main facility, we also have 120 enclosures, compared to about 90 before construction. We added on a new medical wing on the other side for our hospital for all of the patients in our care. We basically took what was here, made it better and then made it bigger.
“In the backyard, we have off leash dog parks.Before, we had four of them, and now we have 12. There are a lot more opportunities for the animals to get outside and go for walks and be enriched and have these better spaces while they have to be with us,” she said.
Most of the animals come from 41 partnered animal shelters that have reached capacity.
“So far, in 2021, we’ve transferred 1,496 animals from rescue partners into our care,” Buxton said. “We even go further out, like rural areas, because they need help too. They have different kinds of dogs, and they have smaller shelters.We go out to Bell County, Waco and lots of other places around Texas too.”
As guests walked around the facility, volunteers were available to help them.
“I greeted them, then explained a little bit about the various cats, like the free roaming cats,” volunteer Lorraine Jameson said. “We have two special needs cats down there. It’s been a very rewarding experience. There’s all kinds of ways to help,and it’s been wonderful.”
“We have two types of volunteers,” volunteer manager Rick Garcia said. “We have foster volunteers, who are people who take care of [the pets] as well as shelter volunteers. As of today, 1,900 for shelter volunteers, and as of yesterday, 2,026 foster homes.”
The main mission is to take in as many animals as possible into the no-kill environment until the pets find a home.
“My favorite thing about the new facility is the quality of life for the animals,” Buxton said. “Every space was designed to give them the best quality of life while they’re here. Ultimately, we want them to get into a home. But while they’re waiting for that, we make it as nice for them as possible here.”