(January 31, 2013) After a disorienting ramble that lasted several chilly days, Kevin wasn’t scared when a Dallas Animal Services truck stopped nearby. The little Shih-Tzu was relieved. His matted, urine-soaked fur carried two pounds of dried feces. He had a gaping neck wound that was filled with maggots. He had an upper respiratory infection and was infested with heartworms. And he’s blind.
So the feel of a warm human hand brought some much-needed relief.
Just a year or so ago, Kevin would have been a candidate for euthanasia at an animal shelter. But times have changed for the better, so employees at theDallasshelter immediately began shaving off Kevin’s fur. They gave him medication to kill the maggots. And they lubricated his crusty dry eyes.
A few days later, Kevin was rescued by Rockwall Pets. He began receiving heartworm treatments. He began an intense daily regimen of eyedrops in an attempt to reduce the scarring on his eyes. And he received attention and love for the first time in months.
Kevin is another success story in a new collaboration between Dallas Animal Services and Rockwall Pets. By working together, the lives of many pets have been saved during the past several months. It continues to be a labor of love.
The effort has led not only to the rescue of a wide range of ill and injured pets, it’s resulted in loving homes for all of them. Whether it’s senior pets with no teeth, blind dogs and cats, pets needing extensive surgery or frightened pets who are terrified of the shelter environment, Rockwall Pets has rehabilitated them and found them a new home.
“It’s hard to find a group that is so dedicated to helping the animals in need,” said Danielle Fry, the rescue coordinator for Dallas Animal Services.
The love for the animals has already resulted in several milestones. When Rockwall Pets rescued Holly, who was nearly covered in thick scabs from a severe outbreak of mange, it was the first time the Dallas shelter had tried to save a dog with skin conditions, according to Barbara Mehlman, a long-time volunteer in Dallas. She credits shelter manager Jody Jones, who has been running the department for a year and a half.
“Jody Jones is making an impact,” said Mehlman. “And what Rockwall Pets and she are doing is groundbreaking. It’s bringing this huge killing machine to a halt.”
Before Jones’ arrival, barely one-fourth of the pets at theDallasshelter got out alive. That number has improved to just over 40%. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but the collaboration with groups like Rockwall Pets show that Dallas is on its way to saving all healthy, adoptable and rehabilitatable pets. Rockwall and Seagoville remain the only certified no-kill communities in North Texas, since those shelters save over 95% of all the pets in their care.
For Kevin, his timing couldn’t have been better. In a matter of days, he went from a freezing, filthy life on the streets ofDallasto the warmth and love of a happy home. As Valentine’s Day approaches, that’s what true love is all about.
Adopt a pet from Rockwall Pets at the Rockwall Petco from 1-5 p.m. on Saturdays and 1-4 p.m. on Sundays.
“Rescuing Pets: A Labor of Love” is our cover story in the Jan/Feb 2013 print edition.View the print edition here: