Reports of animal neglect across north Texas have been common in the news lately. What is not grabbing headlines, however, are the efforts of the SPCA of Texas, which has taken the lead in animal rescues across the area. While cities are cutting back in animal services, the SPCA is expanding its role as the region’s largest no-kill shelter and animal adoption organization. Over 60,000 animals a year are helped through the services of the SPCA of Texas.
There is a common misconception that the SPCA of Texas receives support from local cities. “The SPCA receives no government funding,” according to Maura Davies, SPCA director of communications. “We rely solely on the public’s support.” In addition, the SPCA of Texas receives no funds from any other humane group or SPCA national organization.
Relying largely on private donations, the SPCA of Texas runs two area clinics offering low-cost veterinary services including spaying and neutering, as well as adoption shelters in Dallas and McKinney. The shelters are “no-kill” facilities; no healthy, adoptable animal is put down for age or lack of space.
The SPCA of Texas serves eight north Texas counties, including Dallas, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman, Rainier and Van Zandt counties. Every year, the SPCA of Texas receives more than 4,000 calls reporting possible animal abuse or neglect. With only five investigators on staff, it is a daunting challenge to look into all of the reports, but there are successes. Their investigations have led to several major animal seizures this year, including an August rescue of nearly three dozen malnourished farm animals in Van Zandt county, including three miniature horses.
The recent stories of animal abuse and neglect within the Animal Services department of the city of Dallas have been an issue of great concern for the SPCA, but it has not discouraged its cause. “We at the SPCA were horrified about the incident at Animal Services,” Davies said of the accusations that the city-run shelter manager allowed a cat to die while trapped within the building’s walls. “But we will continue to work with the city. We will continue to be a resource for animals there.”
If there is space available in one of their shelters, SPCA staff will go to the city shelter and rescue as many animals as they can. With limitations on space, the city’s shelter has to euthanize most of the animals brought in by abandonment or from animal control. Animals rescued from the city shelter are given a guaranteed new lease on life, thanks to the SPCA’s “no-kill” policy.
While there are limits to what the SPCA of Texas can do, plans are underway that will expand its services and the number of animals they can take in. Future plans include moving the Dallas shelter and adoption services to a new, larger facility in Lone Star Business Park near Interstate 30 and Hampton Road. “Our Riverfront location was never meant to warehouse animals,” Davies said. Making the move quickly to a larger facility that will allow for expanded services depends largely on the support and donations from citizens across north Texas.
For more information or to donate to the SPCA of Texas, visit their website at SPCA.org.
Sources: Interview with Maura Davies of the SPCA of Texas, SPCA.org