Dallas animal shelter offers $150 to foster a dog in big New Year push
A special event to save dogs' lives is returning to Dallas: Dallas Animal Services, the city's animal shelter, is reviving a program to get dogs out of the shelter with a financial reward for those who participate.
From Friday January 6-Sunday January 8, anyone who comes in to foster a dog gets $150.
DAS, along with many shelters and boarding facilities, has seen an increase in canine upper respiratory infections (URI), including the canine influenza virus (CIV), which began surfacing in the fall.
Getting dogs out of the shelter helps prevent them from getting sick.
In November, DAS began working with the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine on a plan to create a clean break in its building and stop the spread of illness.
DAS Director MeLissa Webber says the turnout was amazing, especially given the time of the year, with hundreds of dogs being rescued.
"We are so grateful that despite the busy holiday season, residents showed up in large numbers to foster or adopt dogs," Webber says. "While we have certainly been celebrating this community response, traffic is now slowing down and the hard work isn’t over yet.”
“DAS is now halfway through the clean break process and 53% of our dog rooms are housing unexposed animals,” she says. “Now we need your help to continue this momentum and get us across the finish line.”
Their goal this weekend is to find adopters, fosters, or rescues for 188 dogs. Anyone who fosters an exposed large dog gets a $150 gift card, in addition to supplies and medical care.
DAS also provides fosters with training, supplies including crates, bowls, and food, and covers 100 percent of the foster dog’s veterinary care, including 24/7 online chat with medical personnel.
Not all dogs within the population are sick; many have fully recovered from URI or have never shown symptoms but were housed near a sick dog. DAS is encouraging fosters and adopters to practice #DoggyDistancing for all dogs adopted from DAS, regardless of status.
Anyone interested in adopting, fostering, or rescuing dogs from DAS should come to 1818 North Westmoreland Rd. during the following hours:
- Friday January 6, 11 am-7 pm
- Saturday, January 7, 11 am-6 pm
- Sunday, January 8, 11 am-6 pm
Though URI is rarely life-threatening in dogs, it spreads quickly and is challenging to contain in a shelter or boarding kennel environment. URI in dogs is like the human flu. Most experience mild to moderate symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, lethargy, and congestion that resolve with rest and hydration within 1-2 weeks. In rare cases, dogs can develop secondary infections such as pneumonia that require additional treatment.
Cases of URI and CIV are spreading throughout the Dallas area, with many boarding facilities and private veterinary clinics reporting an increase of illness in the community. DAS has created #DoggyDistancing to encourage owners to isolate their dogs. Until cases in the area decrease, owners should avoid taking pets to doggy daycare, dog parks, pet stores, and boarding facilities.
“If you could not participate in December, this is your chance to be part of the solution and get involved with the Dallas90 family,” Webber says.