Adoption Center in Pet Store Saves Cowtown Strays

Unique program allows city to stop euthanizing healthy dogs and cats

By Scott Gordon
|  Monday, May 3, 2010  |  Updated 11:04 PM CDT
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Fort Worth Adoption Center Moves Into Pet Store

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A unique city-run adoption center inside a pet store has allowed Fort Worth to stop euthanizing healthy stray animals.

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Fort Worth Adoption Center Moves Into Pet Store

A unique city-run adoption center inside a pet store is such a success, Fort Worth has stopped euthanizing healthy stray dogs and cats.
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A unique city-run adoption center inside a pet store is such a success, Fort Worth has stopped euthanizing healthy stray dogs and cats.

The center, inside a PetSmart near Interstate 20 and Hulen Street, celebrated its grand opening on Saturday but opened unofficially 10 days earlier.

Like many cities, Fort Worth has rounded up far more stray animals than people have been willing to adopt, meaning many perfectly healthy dogs and cats have had to be put to sleep.

But since the center opened, not a single animal that can be adopted has been euthanized, said Brendon Bennett, the director of Fort Worth's Code Compliance Department, which oversees Animal Services.

"That's the first time in the history of the Fort Worth shelter that that has happened," Bennett said. "I'll tell you, it makes me feel really good."

In its first two weeks, the center has found homes for 90 animals, four times the number typically adopted from the city's animal shelter, he said.

Bennett credits the store's location in a busy strip shopping center with its success.

Thirteen-year-old Shelby Bennett and her family were one of the first customers.

"The first thing we saw was this huge orange cat," she said. "And so we got in, and we kind of knew he was the one when we got him out and played with him."

Bennett, the city official, said he hopes the pace of adoptions continues so the city doesn't have to resume putting healthy animals to sleep.

"The Fort Worth way is to do everything we can to prevent an animal from being unnecessarily euthanized," he said. "So this facility has given us and these animals an opportunity they wouldn't otherwise have had."

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