Dallas has officially joined the ranks of cities and towns across the country that have taken on the challenge of ultimately becoming “no kill,” with the goal of ending the killing of homeless dogs and cats. And I’m chairing the task force. So here’s the scoop, “hot off the presses” as they say:
Following the lead of cities like San Francisco, Austin, New York and Richmond, the City of Dallas created an official task force, the Dallas Companion Animal Project (Dallas CAP), charged with developing a blueprint for ending the killing of adoptable animals.
The goal of the task force is to guide the community in identifying and increasing easily accessible programs that will allow us to stop the killing of healthy, treatable companion animals. To do that, Dallas CAP will focus on getting the community more involved on all levels: reducing the number of animals given up and abandoned by their owners; making it easier and more affordable for owners to spay and neuter their pets; increasing the number of stray and loose animals returned to their owners; offering options to people considering giving up their pets; and increasing the number of animals adopted and those transferred to other shelters and humane organizations.
This past year, 20,684 dogs and cats—or 75 percent of the 28,392 companion animals that ended up in the City’s shelter—were put to death simply because there weren’t enough homes for them.
Ending the killing of adoptable animals is not about any one shelter becoming no kill. It’s about the entire community coming together and embracing all the components of a successful plan: spay/neuter, education, adoption and rescue, owner retention, behavior hotlines, responsible pet ownership.
No single agency or organization can possibly be responsible for all the components necessary to make Dallas no kill. We’re looking for individuals, businesses, corporations, associations, nonprofits, advocacy groups and animal-welfare organizations willing to be a part of this effort by lending their names and encouraging others to do the same.
The City of Dallas is ready to make the move towards no kill said Joey Zapata, Interim Assistant City Manager. “We have a new Mayor who firmly believes that Dallas should have the goal of becoming no kill; a City Council committed to supporting the task force; and a new shelter manager, Jody Jones, who played a leading role in making Richmond, VA, a no-kill community.”
Jones knows from her experience in Richmond that in addition to saving lives, reducing euthanasia rates community-wide would have other benefits as well.
“Working together to develop a successful no-kill plan will engage the community in the welfare of our animals and make Dallas a more pet-friendly place to live,” said Jones. “It will save taxpayer dollars and result in a more educated and informed public. It also will encourage private/public partnerships, and, most important, it will improve the quality of life for companion animals and people in the City of Dallas.”
So what do you think?
For more information about the Dallas Companion Animal Project or to get involved, email [email protected] or visit www.DallasCompanionAnimalProject.org. Find Dallas Companion Animal Project on Facebook or follow on Twitter @DallasAnimals.
Subscribe via email (above right) so you don’t miss any breaking rescue news, adoptable pets, happy endings, or special event invitations. Your email address will not be shared. You can also get DFW Animal Rescue on Kindle. Or follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
Copyright Rebecca Poling 2011. All rights reserved. Email [email protected] if you have a story you’d like to share.