Dallas' Animal Shelter Is Chock Full of Really Cute Animals, and That's the Problem

Categories: Animal Welfare

DAS12.jpg
Emily Mathis
This kitten is wearing a sparkled bow tie, for pete's sake. You know you want him.
The first sight at the Dallas Animal Services shelter is a group of kittens tumbling on each other as they play in a plate glass cage. Beyond that, and closest to the entrance, are the young, healthy, friendly, especially cute and wide-eyed cats and dogs. Parents with young kids peruse the rows of cages. Some animals reach through the bars of their cage to playfully bat at passerby, while others make their best please-love-me eyes.

But while families casually walk past the rows of animals, Dallas Animal Services workers quietly cross their fingers that the pets will each be adopted as quickly as possible -- especially the older, less cute ones. Because as Unfair Park recently detailed, DAS is currently stressed with near unbearable numbers of animal surrenders and strays.

With a facility fit to accommodate 650 animals, Jody Jones, manager at DAS, says the shelter is seeing up to 150 animals brought to the shelter every day. "It's a combination of breeding cycles for animals -- they typically give birth around May -- and then at around eight weeks, all of a sudden they're moving now," she says. "The other thing is, you have people are home, they're on vacation, they're moving. There's all these things going on in their lives in the summer."

Jones says that between pet owners' decisions and the biological calendar, the shelter is particularly inundated with animals in July and August every year.

Jones has been working at the shelter since July 2011, and was a part of the major renovation to shelter facilities that year. But despite a decreased euthanization rate, Jones says there are still too many healthy animals being put down to help accommodate the surge in animals.

Past the newer models are the less sought-after animals: older dogs and cats, sick ones, skittish ones. Jones says that these are often the first to be put down, and so are in most need of adoption. In a push for adoptions, the shelter is veritably giving the animals away. DAS animals are on sale for $30 on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays during August, and some that have been there long enough are completely free. In addition to adoption, the shelter is continually campaigning animals to be spayed and neutered, in order to cut down on future strays.

"Finding that balance of service and resources is always a challenge at this time of year," says Jones. "Unfortunately, it's every year and there's really nothing you can do about it, short of encouraging spay and neuter, and adoption."


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18 comments
rusknative
rusknative

great idea....we got too many abandoned starving animals.....lets pack them up and send them all to Guatemala, Honduras, and Central America for a better life and opportunity, and to save us money to care for those nations poor kids they sent here.

Tim.Covington
Tim.Covington

I always recommend people adopt. Our 3 cats are:
1. Kitten from feral litter at a friends complex. He is now 20 pounds (no fat on him) and sleeping in my lap.
2. A wonderfully well mannered cat that someone in my neighborhood abandoned. 

3. A kitten we just adopted from another feral kitten litter.


I have had dogs that have also been rescues. IMO, rescue pets are the best. And, slightly older is better to, that way you know their personality.


If nothing else, donate money to programs that pay for spaying and neutering animals. This is the best way to reduce the number of unwanted pets.

ryan762
ryan762

The dog I adopted from the Dallas Animal Shelter in 2005 appears to still be alive (she sleeps a lot).

roo_ster
roo_ster

Always dangerous to head to the local animal shelter.  Lots of cute puppies & kittens and older critters with neat personalities.

But...we need to keep the pet count low as a couple relatives with pets are nearing the point they can no longer care for them and we intend to adopt when the time comes.  I can explain away 3-4 pets (one of which was ours originally) if I can claim that we inherited them from incapacitated relatives.  More than that, though, and things get too crowded, smelly, and would lead to accusations of our keeping a menagerie.


Were we in a rural locale, I could take on more and turn them into outside crtters.

basilispeople
basilispeople

I adopted a siamese kitten there last month there and we just love her - 

wilme2
wilme2

I rescued three kittens abandoned on my front porch in May.  There was one I had trouble finding a home for, and thought about taking him to DAS.  Luckily I held out and found a good home.  I sort-of assumed such cute little kittens would have been a hot commodity at the shelter and would have been adopted right away, but it sounds like this time of year there is a lot more supply than demand...

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

I don't know if I could eat a whole one.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

So many people are hesitant to keep a dog or cat because of the expense, and rightly so.  The Humane Society of Dallas has a foster care program that will pay for the animal's food, care, supplies, and medical attention.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

@Tim.Covington My latest rescue dog (Coppell Animal Shelter) passed away after 10 years of devotion; daughter has promised to help me "shop" when she returns from out-country.  


Mutt rescues are the best dogs ever.   SPCA and Operation Kindness

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@roo_ster

We've been adopting kittens to keep the rodent count down on our little farm, but the local coyote population seems to have different ideas for our little friends.

So far over the past 3 years we've adopted 4 kittens that had been abandoned at the vet where a friend of ours works, but only one has been smart enough to last - he sleeps on the roof of the house.

rpoling1
rpoling1

@TheCredibleHulk @roo_ster  -  Kittens are an easy target for coyotes, but they'll often pass on an adult because they can and will fight back. Try www.barncats.org - Peggy will know what you need. 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk  How 'bout I bring over Big Kitty? Black Belt, you know.  Teach those coyotes a thing or two.

roo_ster
roo_ster

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz 

MMK, a full-grown cat is still at risk from coyotes.  Individually, the yotes weigh more and they usually operate in packs.  If kitty-cat can not climb a tree soon enough or such, it will lose the fight and get eaten.  Really, it is less about the fight in the kitty than the wariness and smarts of the kitty to be where it can not be get at by yotes.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz

She could try. The last one they took was just a baby yet, but prior to that they grabbed Lenny, and he was a 20 lb. bruiser with good, feral instincts.

We've taken shots at a few of the coyotes, but they are elusive and don't show themselves much. There's been a ton of construction along the Hwy. 78 corridor out our direction and that seems to have them moving around quite a bit near us.

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