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