Operation Kindness Pet Food Pantry And Royal Vaccination Fund To Assist Pets Of Financially Strapped Families

This past Saturday area animal shelters were busier than a bee at the Arboretum. The occasion was “Clear The Shelters,” that literally adopted out a lot of the pooches and felines. The Dallas Animal Shelter alone found new homes for 324 dogs and cats.

Of the thousands of animals at area shelters, some are strays, but many are family pets that have been turned in due to lack of funds. According to Operation Kindness CEO Jim Hanophy, “Economic reasons account for 25% of the pets surrendered per year.”

That’s right. Many man’s best friends and felines had to be turned in because the money just wasn’t there for food and health care.

Adopted cat (File photo)

In the past the North Texas Food Bank’s Food 4 Paws and the North Texas Food Pantry have helped provide food for pets whose human companions are strapped for funds.

Recently, the North Texas Pet Food Pantry has relinquished its program to Operation Kindness. The new program will be called Operation Kindness Pet Food Pantry.

North Texas Food Pantry President/Founder Cheryl Spencer reported, “I’m so honored that the hard work and effort that went into the North Texas Pet Food Pantry will be sustained by Operation Kindness. This pet food pantry is such a vital part of the community and I’m grateful that it will be continued on.”

In addition to providing free pet food, cat litter and flea and tick prevention for up to three months, Operation Kindness is “launching the Royal Vaccination Fund to help provide low-income families with access to rabies, parvo and distemper vaccinations. This program is inspired by an Operation Kindness foster family who experienced the devastation of distemper, when their foster dog Princess lost six puppies to distemper.”

Survivor of distemper (File photo)

To get things rolling Artist for Animals has “matched the first donation of $2,500.”

Anyone who has seen a dog suffer from this incredible painful and contagious disease knows that this undertaking is an excellent idea.

Of course, Operation Kindness is eager to have donations of money and dog and cat food from individuals and companies. But the Carrollton-based, no-kill adoption center is also looking for volunteers “to assist with donations and supply pick up and pet food distribution.”

Any pet owner in need of the services provided by Operation Kindness Pet Food Pantry or the Royal Vaccination Fund can apply online. Once they qualify for the programs, they can pick up for the food at Operation Kindness on the third Saturday and Second Wednesday of every month between noon and 3 p.m.  Eventually, the plan calls for distribution locations throughout the community.

Jim’s vision is “a world where all cats and dogs have loving, responsible, forever homes and this pantry is going to help keep pets out of shelters and in their homes.”

North Texas’ Clear The Shelters Goes Nationwide Saturday Thanks To NBC And Telemundo

The teachers are starting to get their classrooms all fixed up for the flood of students to hit schools in the days ahead. But they’re not the only ones preparing for an overload of peeps. The area shelters are readying themselves for this Saturday’s Clear The Shelters (aka Empty the Shelters).

Former shelter pooch

Former shelter pooch

Former shelter feline

Former shelter feline

Last year’s event was a real barn-burner, with 38 North Texas Shelters adopting out more than 2,200 pets.

According to DFW Humane Society of Irving Executive Director Sarah Kammerer, “It was the best day I have seen here in 21 years.”

This year’s day-long event has been expanded to include more than 50 shelters throughout North Texas with adoption and spay/neuter fees being waived.

Evidently word got around thanks to NBC and Telemundo and now it’s become a nationwide program including 19 markets across the U.S. and Puerto Rico with 300 shelters matching homeless pets with new homes.

Telemundo 39 President/GM John Trevino reported, “We teamed with NBC 5 last year and more than 2,200 homeless animals were adopted in a single day. It’s wonderful when we can help the community unite around a common, worthwhile goal.”

Post adoption coverage will be provided by NBC News’ TODAY Show Co-Host Natalie Morales hosting a 30-minute special on Saturday, August 22, at 6:30 p.m. on NBC 5. Telemundo 39 will air their post adoption special on August 22 at 10:30 a.m. with Elva Saray and Jessica Carrillo hosting.

This opportunity is a win-win-win one. The overloaded shelters lessen their loads. Deserving pets get homes. The new owners get a new BFF.