Animal-Loving Karen And Jeff Banister Step Up To The Plate As Honorary Co-Chairs For Operation Kindness’ 25th Annual Canines, Cats And Cabernet

Alexandra Banister, Jacob Banister and Jeff and Karen Banister*

Texas Rangers General Manager Jeff Banister is a familiar name in the sports pages and on the evening news. But what some might not know is that he and his wife Karen Banister have two kids, Alexandra and Jacob, two Labradors (Bella and Scout) and two Maltese (Gracie and Cooper).  

Since the baseball season ended last month, the folks at Operation Kindness took advantage of the pooch-loving Banisters’ down time and arranged to have them serve as the honorary co-chairs for its 25th Annual Canines, Cats and Cabernet at the Omni Dallas on Saturday.

Nelda Cain Pickens (File photo)

According to Operation Kindness CEO Jim Hanophy, “Canines, Cats and Cabernet gets bigger and better every year, and we are honored to celebrate our 25th anniversary of this event with Jeff and Karen Banister. We know that with their support we will be able to knock this year’s event out of the park.”

But the Banisters aren’t the only ones cheerleading for the organization. Operation Kindness supporter Nelda Cain got involved with the no-kill shelter through her friend/OK Board Chair Kathy Kinser. As Nelda explained, “I have loved getting to know the powers that be at Operation Kindness and feel my efforts are entirely worth it. It is the oldest no-kill shelter in Dallas and serves the entire county including Fort Worth. It is also amazing what a following the organization has attracted, as the work is needed and successful.”

One of the highlights will be the furry guests of honor that have loved staying at Operation Kindness, but would love to find permanent homes.

Hoss*

Abby*

Cupcake*

Marlon*

In addition to a dinner and a live and a silent auction, there will be a raffle for a seven-night stay at an RCI Resort in the city of the winner’s choice plus a $500 Visa gift card for airfare. Chances are just $50, but are in limited supply.  

Tickets are the gala are available here.

* Photo courtesy of Operation Kindness

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 Giving Day Booster: Operation Kindness

“As the original and largest no-kill animal shelter in North Texas, Operation Kindness is about doing even more to save the lives of homeless cats and dogs. We have adorable fluffy purebreds and mixes that need some medical care, updated vaccinations and nutritious food to help them heal and be ready for adoption. But, some of the animals we take in have very special and sometimes extreme circumstances that would cause them to be euthanized anywhere else.

Sonny*

Sonny*

Copper*

Copper*

“When these extreme cases come through our door, they’re safe. There is no count-down clock ticking their life away. At Operation Kindness our very compassionate staff and volunteers work hard to heal these very special lives. Through an extraordinary blend of superb medical care for their physical issues, nurturing in a natural environment to help heal emotional wounds, and good manners training, these animals are transformed into happy, socialized pets ready to relish the second chance they’ve been given.

Cotton's Friend*

Cotton’s Friend*

“Thanks to the $117,000 we raised on North Texas Giving Day, we could afford to give a second chance to a number of very special animals and I’d like to tell you about one – Davy, a handsome two-year-old Saint Bernard/Border Collie mix.

“Few ever survive a direct hit by a school bus, but after suffering a broken left leg and the collapse of both lungs that left him unable to move, Davy, is doing more than just surviving…he’s thriving. When Davy came to Operation Kindness he received extensive medical care including surgery to save his leg; pain killers and antibiotics; and daily technical medical care to ensure the pins holding his leg remained clean and properly set. For several months Davy worked with our volunteer physical therapist re-learning to walk on his healing leg. The best news of all…Davy was adopted this month and will soon go home to relish his second chance.

Crixis*

Crixis*

“In the past 12 months, Operation Kindness has helped more than 4,500 homeless animals find new homes. But that’s not enough. We need more financial support to make the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex a truly humane community. Because we receive no government funding, the Communities Foundation and North Texas Giving Day are a very critical component in our fundraising strategy. This year on September 17, you can help continue our efforts throughout the Metroplex. Bookmark our giving page and donate starting at 6 a.m. and your donations will be amplified! We’re grateful for your support!”

-By Jim Hanophy, Operation Kindness Chief Executive Officer

* Photo credit: Lesa Truax Photography and Lynn Handley

Operation Kindness And Austin Street Center Clients Come Together For Hugs And Hopes For Brighter Futures

The very best things happen when two non-profit organizations come together to help their “clients.” Such was the case when two organizations — Austin Street Center and Operation Kindness — held a private get together for homeless two- and four-legged types. Open arms were filled with tail waggers. Here’s a report from the field and we apologize for the quality of the photos. Unfortunately, the pooches were just too happy to hold still:

“On Tuesday, August 18, the homeless men and women at Austin Street Center were visited by volunteers of the four-legged variety. Along with their pals from the team at Operation Kindness, pups Rosemary, Merlin, and Little Bear spent the afternoon soaking up plenty of love—and gave plenty back.

Austin Street Shelter and Operation Kindness clients

Austin Street Center and Operation Kindness clients*

Austin Street Shelter and Operation Kindness clients

Austin Street Center and Operation Kindness clients*

“Austin Street Center and Operation Kindness share a goal of keeping the most vulnerable off the streets, so when Austin Street’s Director of Operations, Laura Gorecki, found out that her favorite place to volunteer was looking for a way to give back, she knew the Operation Kindness team would be welcomed with open arms at Austin Street.

“Laura said, ‘I just know how much joy dogs can bring, especially to folks who are facing difficult times. It felt like a natural match.’

Austin Street Shelter and Operation Kindness clients

Austin Street Center and Operation Kindness clients*

Austin Street Shelter and Operation Kindness clients

Austin Street Center and Operation Kindness clients*

Daniel Roby, executive director of Austin Street Center, said, ‘As we work to create a healing environment for our guests, we recognize the unique ability of animals to provide a therapeutic element in helping some of the most isolated members of our society, rediscover what a healthy relationship looks like.’

“Operation Kindness also served lunch and dropped off donations of clothing, shoes, and toiletries they had collected at their shelter.

Rosemary delivering donations

Rosemary delivering donations*

Jim Hanophy, Operation Kindness CEO, says, ‘It was very touching to see people light up when they interacted with the dogs—they told me stories about their dogs, some of which were sad, but overall they really enjoyed getting to share their memories.’

Daniel Roby, Austin Street and Operation Kindness clients and Jim Hanophy

Daniel Roby, Austin Street and Operation Kindness clients and Jim Hanophy*

“The Operation Kindness team had a wonderful time, and plans to return to Austin Street later in the year—this time with kittens.’

“Jim concluded, ‘At Operation Kindness, we are so grateful for the support we get from the community, and we believed that it was important for us to give back to the community in some way. What better way to do so than sharing the unconditional love that our animals have with the fine folks who benefit from the support of the Austin Street Center.’”

* Photos provided by Austin Street Center

Mangy Dog Fetches $250,000 For Operation Kindness

Thanks to a skinny, mangy Great Pyrenees, Operation Kindness broke ground today to expand its facilities for large dogs. The expansion was funded through a $250,000 gift.

Thank you notes should be written to Norma and Jack Carney and “Ben.”

MySweetCharity’s Make-Believe-Benefactor: Holly Forsythe

Holly Forsythe

“It would have to be for a non-profit fund that distributed it evenly to five groups that help rescue and find homes for animals, as well as change the laws to protect them in the future. Those five groups are

All of these groups play such an important role in Dallas and Texas for their fight to rescue animals, as well as protect them for the future.”

Holly Forsythe

A Question That Has Been Bothering The Animal Lovers At MySweetCharity

Each week a list of the adoptable dogs and cats that are to be euthanized at the Dallas Animal Shelter is sent out to rescue groups and “friends.” The reason for killing these perfectly healthy and user-friendly critters like Cassidy (pictured) is lack of space at the DAS.

The media, especially the television stations, promote individual pets from no-kill facilities like the SPCA and Operation Kindness on a regular basis. While that is to be applauded, it does pose a question —

Why don’t the media outlets promote the adoption of DAS animals that are slated to die?

SPCA and OK friends, please don’t think MySweetCharity is trying to shoot down your efforts. But if it’s a question of preventing the death of a good animal. . . well, isn’t that what it’s all about?

BTW, Cassidy’s death is scheduled for the morning of Tuesday, October 12, unless he’s adopted.