An Embarrassment Just 3 Years Ago, Dallas Animal Shelter Is Leading the Way on Data-driven Results

Anecdotes about pitiful dogs and cats in need melt our hearts, but this cold, hard fact should trouble us even more: 12,000 pets are surrendered annually by their owners to Dallas Animal Services.That awful “dumping ground” number — and how to reduce it — was just one of the tough issues tackled Wednesday in a no-frills hotel meeting room near DFW International Airport during a rare gathering of large urban animal operations leaders. The very fact that these shelter leaders came together for a specific task — the development of unified metrics that can be expanded nationwide — is unusual in the animal services world. And their choice to come to the Dallas area deserves a hearty hip-hip-hooray.Just three years ago, our shelter was a joke. Management essentially ignored a loose dog crisis in southern Dallas, ran off would-be rescue partners and stonewalled anyone who dared say a critical word about DAS.Not until the deadly mauling of South Dallas resident Antoinette Brown by a pack of dogs in May 2016 did City Hall finally quit dragging its heels. The changes city leaders made eventually led to the hiring of DAS Director Ed Jamison, Assistant Director Ryan Rogers, and in turn, a topnotch team of shelter and field experts.  Continue reading...

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