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There has been a lot of talk in Dallas lately about transport programs as a way to save more lives, and they continue to grow in popularity nationwide. But like so much in animal welfare, transport programs are more complicated than they seem, and without proper planning can do more harm than good.
Luckily, the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators recently released the Companion Animal Transport Best Practices document, outlining the optimum ways to design and manage a transport program.
If you’ve ever toyed with the idea of starting a transport program, you probably want to check out the information on transport programs on the SAWA website and then sign up for the free ASPCA Pro webinar that provides an overview of the guidelines.
If you’re interested in checking out a successful local program that recently transported their 2,000th dog, check out Humane Tomorrow’s Love On Wheels Program.
Today, Dallas Animal Services announced DAS “field data” is now available on the City of Dallas open data portal. A quick review show information is provided by incident, is listed by Service Request # and shows the activity type, subtype, priority, address, council district, animal type, and the result of the Officer’s investigation, the Officer’s name, ID#, comments, the date/time of the call, the time dispatched and the time completed, the animal identification number if impounded, the tag # if available, Mapsco number, and if that’s not enough – the Geo-codes are there as well.
There are currently 6,175 calls listed. The majority are from October 1st to November 17th, with some going back as far as February. According to the announcement, the information will be updated weekly.
At first glance, this appears to be an exceptional tool that the public and animal advocates can use to better understand the volume and type of calls DAS deals with every day and the challenges they face. It should cut down quite a bit on Open Records Requests, which hopefully we free up more staff time to focus on saving more lives.
The only concern I have is that the Officers are identified by first initial and last name, as well as their ID#. That seems unnecessary to me, particularly in light of recent increases in bullying on social media and attacks on law enforcement. I worry for their safety and would much rather see just the ID#s listed, but that’s just my opinion. I know the staff and how much they care, and I worry about them.
If you’d like to explore the new portal for yourself, simply visit the DAS site on the City of Dallas Open Data Portal.
Thoughts on the new system?
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The Humane Society of North Texas (HSNT) worked in collaboration with Callahan County Sheriff, Abilene Animal Control, Rescue the Animals (SPCA for West Texas), and Abilene Police Department in a lengthy investigation regarding suspected animal neglect and cruelty at the … Continue reading
This week is a milestone for the Dallas Animal Services PetSmart Everyday Adoption Center. The center, built and paid for by PetSmart Charities and staffed by Dallas Animal Services officially opened on November 3, 2013. Three years and 6,000 adoptions later, it’s still going strong. Committed animal advocates, working together, made that happen. They should be proud. Watch the video.
On Saturday, November 12th, House of Blues will be the place to cut loose, have some fun, and release your inner animal as the Dallas Companion Animal Project presents Howl At The Moon – a magical evening filled with a myriad of fun and surprises. Guests will gather for music, food, cocktails and a silent auction overflowing with uniquely curated items that appeal to pet lovers, including artworks from designers and “experience packages” to sweep you off your feet and into an adventure.
If you love and appreciate the important role that animals fill in our lives, then you understand DCAP’s mission to focus on the future of the community by strengthening the connection between people and animals. Howl at the Moon benefits DCAP’s outreach efforts:
- SpayDays offering free and low-cost spay/neuter to low-income families who could not otherwise afford to alter their pets,
- Pets For Life Dallas, a boots-on-the-ground, grassroots effort to make education and resources available to pets owners in under-served areas in southern Dallas, and
- The Lucy Fund, providing emergency financial assistance for pet owners who cannot afford critical veterinary care for ill or injured pets.
Tickets are on sale now. Don’t wait. Release your inner animal, and help keep pets with the people who love them.
Early voting in Texas started this morning. Wouldn’t it be nice to know the choices you are making are people who will help animals and support legislation to make communities more humane?
The Texas Humane Legislation Network has made it possible to do just that with their comprehensive guide to the candidates they have endorsed, and why. It only takes a minute to find out if your elected officials vote humanely.
Step #1. Click here and enter your address to find out who your elected state officials are. (If you already know, go to Step #2).
Step #2. Click here and scroll down to find your candidate.
I did it. My State Senator is Don Huffines and my State Representative is Linda Koop. Sadly, Don Huffines is not endorsed by THLN – but Linda Koop is. Easy-peasy.
So go vote – and vote humane!
The infamous BCG Report said in order to make Dallas a more humane community, someone would need to provide 46,000 low-cost spay/neuter surgeries for southern Dallas each year for the next three years. That, at a cost of $ 7.5 million dollars from an unspecified source (Santa? Easter Bunny?). It’s going to be a huge undertaking to raise the money and do the surgeries – I suspect more so than BCG realized. And it’s going to pretty much be left up to Dallas’ non-profit organizations to do it. How will they raise the money? How will they handle that many surgeries? Will it be up to the same groups who’ve been at it for years or will new groups step up to the plate? Only time will tell.
For now, the same groups that have been on the front lines in the fight against pet overpopulation for years aren’t slowing down – they are there every day fighting the good fight: Dallas Companion Animal Project, Dallas Animal Services, Spay Neuter Network and the SPCA of Texas. Tomorrow they start chipping away at those 46,000 surgeries, and providing free vaccinations while they are at it. Turnout is expected to be significant, and appointments are not needed for vaccinations, although I’m sure they’ll appreciate if you have your dog on a leash and cats in carriers. Appointments are needed for spay/neuter surgeries, which are free if you live in 75211, 75217 or 75227 (just call 972-472-3500), and there is still space available.
That there is still space available is disappointing, but not terribly surprising. One of the biggest challenges DAS, DCAP and SNN encountered taking the Pets For Life program into underserved areas, is that without boots-on-the-ground, door to door pre-event promotion providing event awareness, education about the need for spay/neuter, and motivation for those who need it, you often can’t even give free surgeries away. It would be interesting to find out if the people in the area of this event got the message, as it is worrisome that there are spots still unfilled at this late date. The BCG report talks about cooperation, coordination, marketing, and mobile units, but seems to be missing that one very vital aspect. That’s the danger in relying on anyone with no animal welfare expertise to write a roadmap for a more humane community.
Regardless, if you want to help make Dallas a more humane community, please consider donating to one of the groups on the front lines – the links above will take you directly to their websites. [Shameless plug here for DCAP which is where my heart is. Also, if rumors are true, there is renewed confusion surrounding donations made directly to DAS, so do those through DCAP if at all]. If you can’t donate, consider volunteering with one of these groups for their next event. And if you can’t do either, you can surely share this article and make sure everyone you know who needs to get their pet’s vaccinations updated knows about the event tomorrow.
Saturday, October 22
9 a.m. to Noon
Pleasant Oaks Rec Center
8701 Greenmound Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75227
-Free vaccinations for your pet – no appointment necessary
-Free spay or neuter, by appointment only, and while space remains, for residents in 75211, 75217, and 75227
The irony here is just too much to pass up. Not so much a hack, but an intentional overwhelming of certain servers designed to bring down the hosting service(s) used by Twitter, Etsy, Reddit, Netflix, etc. And it worked. Probably kids. More annoying than harmful. Nonetheless, the irony can’t be overlooked.
CNN has the full story here, “Widespread Outage Darkens Internet”.
Happy National Cybersecurity Awareness Month everyone!
Just too much loss lately. Way too much. There is nothing I can say as eloquently as Teresa has, so I will just share the short tribute she did for Culture Map.
Revered Dallas animal rescuer Paige Anderson passes away at 50