Thursday, November 6, 2008

Facing financial woes, Dallas County's Humane Society shelter turns away animals

Dog and Kitty City was recently featured on The Dallas Morning News. Here is the story featured on their website:

" The Humane Society of Dallas County's shelter has stopped accepting surrendered animals for the first time in its 30-year history because of financial problems.

The no-kill shelter, Dog and Kitty City, is facing a double whammy: Donations have fallen roughly 75 percent since last year and adoptions have dropped 25 percent as fewer people are willing to take on the extra cost of caring for a new pet.

The shelter, near Love Field, is about $2,000 short of meeting its monthly budget of $12,000 for November, leaving it financially unable to spay and neuter cats, said Sandra Mustafa, the shelter's director. The shelter currently has about 300 cats and 20 dogs.

"We live on donations, but right now, they aren't coming in," Ms. Mustafa said.

Many large shelters in the Dallas area – such as Operation Kindness in Carrollton – reported drops in donations and adoptions this summer as gas prices skyrocketed, but area shelters have not pointed to any significant ongoing problems.

James Bias, president of Texas' Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said a slumping economy doesn't always affect pet adoptions and shelters.

"There isn't a correlation that we have seen," he said.

But Ms. Mustafa said her operation has to compete with other shelters that are better-known in the area.

"We are living in their shadows," she said.

The shelter has also had to cope with road construction at Manor Way and Denton Drive that has made it difficult for walk-ins to access the facility.

"We used to have people walk in and check out the pets," said Theresa Fonseca, a shelter employee. "Now, people only come because they saw a specific animal on the Internet. It isn't the same anymore."

The shelter still tries to care for animals that it finds abandoned on its doorstep, but funds remain tight. Workers launched a raffle to raise money, but so far, donations haven't flooded in.

"I am just hoping," Ms. Mustafa said. "That is all that I can do at this point. Somehow, some way, it will work out."

- By DAN X. McGRAW / The Dallas Morning News

You can view the video here: Dog and Kitty City on The Dallas Morning News


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