According to Dallas Pets Alive Founder/Executive Director Leslie Sans,
“Is your adorable pet next to you right now? Maybe laying by your side or your lap, begging for a head scratch or a belly rub. Now think for a moment about being put into such a dire life situation where you have to consider giving your companion up and surrendering them to a shelter. Can you imagine what that would feel like?
“Every day families and individuals across North Texas have to face this horrible decision because of life circumstances so dire they might have to choose to give up their pet. At Dallas Pets Alive one of the primary reasons behind the work we do is our deep commitment to keeping families whole . . . and when we say families, we believe that our furry family members are a part of what makes a family complete.
“Our Positive Alternatives to Shelter Surrender (PASS) program, established in 2016, works to help Dallas area families keep their pets in their homes and out of the shelters by providing medical care, training, temporary boarding, and other resources to residents in need. PASS is designed to primarily serve the low-income community of Dallas County, and those with life circumstances that increase the risk of shelter surrenders, including: people experiencing domestic abuse, homelessness, and individuals seeking mental health or substance abuse treatment. While the program keeps families together, it also keeps kennel spaces open at local shelters.
“PASS has seen a steady increase in the number of requests for pet assistance as people go back to their ‘normal’ lives. In June this year, we received 231 requests for help which is 18% higher than June of 2020. Our local shelters are also feeling the strain. Many of our shelter partners have moved back into full capacity and are having to make euthanization decisions for the first time in over a year. Clearly the world changed last year and well into 2021 for rescue pets and their families and as an organization we must continue to serve our community so pets can stay out of shelters and in homes.
“One of our clients says it best. She found herself homeless after experiencing a domestic violence situation, and was accepted into a shelter who has a kennel for pets, however would not allow her pitbull to stay due to breed restrictions. She was devastated, fearing the worst she would have to surrender her beloved baby. We were able to step in and get her the temporary housing for her pet. She said, ‘If it wasn’t for the PASS program I wouldn’t have him and I would be devastated. He is my best buddy. Special thanks to DPA. True lifeline.’
“This North Texas Giving Day double your impact by giving to not only pets in need but their families as well with a gift to DPA. Together we can help keep families whole and pets out of shelters!”
* Graphic and photo provided by Dallas Pets Alive
In 12 years, Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $375 million into the North Texas community. In 2020, more than $58.8 million was raised through more than 106,000 donors benefiting over 3,200 area nonprofits.