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October marked the first month of the Fiscal Year for Dallas Animal Services (DAS) and a major milestone as they celebrated exceeding a 90% annual Live Release Rate for dogs and cats for the first time in DAS history in Fiscal Year 2020 (October 2019 – September 2020). DAS recently presented this accomplishment, along with other annual data and our Human Animal Support Services (HASS) work, to the Dallas Animal Advisory Commission, where it was received positively.
As a tier 1 pilot shelter for HASS, DAS continued to focus on the health and safety of people as well as pets. DAS provided emotional support to employees through the City of Dallas Employee Assistance Program (EAP), boosted staff morale through a tele-badge ceremony for Animal Services Officers and provided frequent stress relieving activities for employees like morning yoga and employee shout outs. The City of Dallas recently ended a hiring freeze and DAS has been working to fill open positions quickly and efficiently.
DAS also worked to safely bring additional volunteers back into the building and create new volunteer roles, including many remote opportunities. DAS volunteers and these new opportunities have continued to keep the length of stay short and quality of life for pets higher while limiting the use of staff resources.
In the community, DAS participated in neighborhood walks with Dallas Code Compliance to hand out information about DAS and partner resources for pet owners and continues to help pet owners struggling to keep their pets by connecting them to the call center helpline with DAS partners at Spay Neuter Network and Dallas Pets Alive! The DAS Aggressive Ops team has focused heavily on hot spot areas where loose dogs are more abundant to increase public safety. DAS has also begun to do off-site adoption pop-ups at the PetSmart Every Day Adoption Center in North Dallas, increasing the amount of people who can see and adopt a DAS pet.
This month, Dallas Animal Services (DAS) is continuing to focus on providing resources to pet owners in need. DAS will be distributing physical copies of our Pet Resource Guide, which lists helpful resources for those who are facing hard times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. DAS is also working to create more awareness of the many lost pet resources we offer, including text support and independent apps, through social media and a press release to local media.
Hurricane Laura Response
In an ongoing effort to keep people and pets together as part of the HASS model, Dallas Animal Services (DAS) has directly helped nearly 90 pets affected by Hurricane Laura with our quick and proactive response. By taking in adoptable pets from coastal shelters so they can have a greater capacity to help reunite pets separated from their owners and by temporarily housing and caring for the owned pets of evacuees staying in shelters that would not allow pets, DAS has helped keep families together during this time of crisis.
DAS has created this resource guide to assist DFW residents who are struggling to care for their pet due to financial hardships. We hope this community based solution will help keep people and their pets together and reduce the need to surrender a pet
Meals on Wheels
In order to support more pet owners in Dallas, DAS has teamed up with Meals on Wheels to provide participants of the program assistance in transferring their pets to veterinary clinics for care and delivering pet food to participants.