The Humane Society of Flower Mound has a program that sends dogs from packed North Texas shelters out-of-state for a better chance at adoption.
The program, called "Love on Wheels," finds dogs in local shelters that either aren’t getting adopted, or are at-risk due to overcrowding, and takes them to a partner shelter in the Syracuse, New York.
"Their shelters are not overflowing the way they are here in Texas,” said Stacy Smith, director of the HSFM.
Smith said the society has personally visited the Syracuse shelter and found it to be a good partner that would ensure the dogs get a good home.
The program has been going on for about 15 months. Smith said that within that time, they’ve sent about 600 dogs to Syracuse - most of them were adopted within days of arrival and all have been adopted.
Smith said the stray population isn't as high in other areas of the country as in Texas. Part of it may be due to spay and neutering education, she said.
Local shelters said there is definitely a need to look at dog adoption options.
The Lewisville Animal Services Center is nearly 100 percent at capacity right now, and director Ethel Strother said they’re not alone.
"Incredibly full and most of the shelters are this time of year right after puppy-kitten season,” said Strother.
Strother said a lot of pet owners tend to forfeit or abandon dogs this time of year, which contributes to the overcrowding.
Many shelters, like Lewisville, are taking to social media and working with groups like HSFM and rescues to try and get animals into loving homes.
The "Love on Wheels" program works primarily with smaller shelters in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that don’t get as much adoption traffic and, thus, are much more likely to have to euthanize.
However Smith said they have worked in the past with larger shelters like Lewisville, the Colony, and even animal rescue leagues.
The program also sent about 15 dogs to New York from a hoarder bust in Celina last summer. All the animals sent have been adopted.
Smith said the program does come with a price. It takes about $150 per dog to get them to New York, along with volunteer time to transport the animals.
The Humane Society of Flower Mound is run solely by volunteers on a budget comprised of donations.
Smith hopes eventually they’ll be able to expand the program to work with other local shelters and send to shelters in other states.