Pet Owner Outreach is an important component of the Dallas Companion Animal Project’s plan to make Dallas a No Kill Community. Helping pet owners with limited financial means find and utilize available resources to better care for their pets means keeping those pets in loving homes and out of shelters and rescues. Here’s what they are doing, how, and what you can do to help.
What DCAP Is Doing:
Keeping pets in loving homes and out of shelters and rescues is an integral part of the DCAP plan. To that end, DCAP supplied over 40,000 lbs. of pet food to low income food banks, the homeless, and local rescue groups between August of 2012 and March of 2013. They have worked with Crossroads Community Center in downtown Dallas, Angie Manrigurez, Duck Team 6 and others, and secured donations from Bark to Basics, Pet Supplies Plus, Dallas Animal Services, Elliotts Hardware, and caring individuals who were able to purchase pet food at wholesale cost for the project thanks to Eloy at The Green Pet.
DCAP chose to work closely on this program with Crossroads Community Center because it is an established and very well organized Outreach Center. Crossroads is a joint venture between the downtown First United Methodist and the Presbyterian Churches (the Stewpot) and provides low income families with food, clothing, career counseling and other amenities. In addition to simply providing pet food for Crossroads’ clients, DCAP volunteers developed a survey (in both English and Spanish) to find out how many pets those clients owned, if they are spayed or neutered, and if they are registered in the City of Dallas. So far they have received completed questionnaires from over 250 Crossroads recipients, showing over 80% of Crossroads Clients have pets that are not spayed or neutered, although they would all like to get that done for their pet. Spay/neuter resources are plentiful here in Dallas, but DCAP volunteers think finding transportation to get those pets to spay/neuter clinics could be a challenge. They are also facing challenges getting in touch with those folks who wish to spay/neuter their pets to set up appointments because of the language barrier.
If you are bi-lingual (English/Spanish) and would like to volunteer to make calls and help set up spay/neuter appointments from your home evenings and weekends, DCAP could use your help. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. DCAP is also looking for help creating simple, informative stickers to place on the bags of food being handed out to make it as easy as possible for the pet owners to make their own surgery appointments, and simple, one-page handouts (in English and Spanish) for Crossroads 40+ satellite locations. If you have experience in simple desktop publishing and can help out, or know a printer who might donate printing, please get in touch with them.
More Pet Food Needed:
According to the latest figures from Crossroads, 300 lbs. of pet food lasts approximately two weeks when distributed at a rate of one bag per household. If the food is distributed on a per “pet” basis, so that families with multiple pets get more than just a single gallon bag of food each month, DCAP will need to significantly increase the amount of food being supplied, and today DCAP received word that Crossroads has run out of pet food altogether. Now, not only do they need to restock the cupboards for the main Crossroads location, they are also hoping to begin providing food and services to the 40 smaller Crossroad satellite locations. Those locations are key to reaching out to even more low income residents with not just food, but spay-neuter coupons, low-cost vaccination clinics, and other resources to help them keep and care for their pets.
It’s easy to donate pet food to the Crossroads Project:
- You can drop off unopened bags of dog and cat food at Petropolitan Dallas, 408 S. Harwood, Downtown.
- Or you can double your donation by calling Petropolitan at (214) 741-4100 to purchase FreeHand Dog Food to be donated to DCAP. For every bag of FreeHand purchased for DCAP Community Crossroads Project, FreeHand will donate a second bag to the project - pound for pound, scoop for scoop, meal for meal!);
- Or make an online credit card donation at http://www.prestodonate.com/cgi-bin/order.pl?ref=DAnimal123&fm=1 and choose DCAP Community Crossroads Project and the DCAP program coordinators will purchase whatever food they need most for the project.
Find out more on the DCAP website at http://dallascompanionanimalproject.net/ or find them on Facebook at facebook.com/pages/Dallas-Companion-Animal-Project.