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No Pet Left Behind with DFW Humane Society

By Allison Wilson

Irving is a community that goes above and beyond to care for its animals. The City of Irving Animal Services' partnership with the no-kill, nonprofit DFW Humane Society is one of only two similar animal welfare programs in the nation, and 30-50 percent of DFW's pets come from City of Irving Animal Services. DFW is "dedicated to giving homeless and unwanted pets a second chance in life through adoption."

"Most of the animals we receive in each year are a result of people issues and no fault of the pet," says Sarah Kammerer, Executive Director of DFW Humane Society. "Families who move, transfer, divorce or experience other life changes comprise the most prevalent reasons pets are brought to the shelter. We are fortunate to be able to keep these pets as long as it takes to find their forever homes. The majority of our pets are transferred in from free intake facilities that are not able to give them the time needed to find their perfect human. We hope that we are able to alleviate some of the overcrowding in other shelters while giving them space to receive more animals in need."

The DFW Humane Society houses about 80-100 animals at a time. Unfortunately, some of the dogs and cats do not arrive in 'adoptable' condition. Some are brought in with broken bones and other injuries that require surgery to prepare them for adoption. The DFW Humane Society has set up a "Guardian Angel Fund" to raise funds to cover veterinary costs. This fund is a restricted medical fund and is routinely used for leg amputations, emergency stabilization, orthopedic surgeries and general heartworms treatment, just to name a few.

"Ultimately, the DFW Humane Society would like to prevent animals from having to come to shelters in the first place," Kammerer says. "We have recently implemented a pet retention program that allows us, as funds are available, to assist pet owners with temporary and resolvable issues in order to keep their beloved furry family member."

The DFW Humane Society doesn't receive any state or federal funding and relies solely on caring individuals to survive. It is a constant struggle to raise the donations needed to care for the hundreds of animals received every year. The cost can be an average of $25,000 a month to provide basic care.

"We rely heavily on volunteers to help care for the animals," Kammerer says.

DFW volunteers participate in activities such as socializing, walking, bathing and providing TLC for pets. They also assist customers, help plan and run "fun-raising" events, visit schools to teach pet care basics and share info about the shelter at various events. All volunteers must become certified by registering, signing waivers and completing an orientation, where they learn about the shelter, its history, volunteer opportunities, funding and pet handling techniques.

To learn more about the animals and volunteer opportunities at DFW Humane Society, call 972-721-7788, or visit the shelter at 4140 Valley View Lane in Irving.

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Allison Wilson is an award-winning writer and communications professional whose...

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