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I Once Called ‘Clear the Shelters' a Feel-Good Gimmick. Here's What Changed My Mind: DallasNews.com

As the fees-waived adoption event again kicks off across North Texas, Dallas Animal Services looks very different than it did in 2015

Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News

Spend any time in the world of animal advocacy and you’ll encounter issues and incidents in which dog and cat lovers’ emotions outrun the facts.

Back in 2015, I too fell into that passion trap.

Frustrated by Dallas Animal Services’ flagrant disregard for the loose dog crisis it had allowed to wreak havoc on so many southern Dallas neighborhoods, I responded with a harsh column about whether the city was genuinely considering the welfare of cats and dogs that it was giving away in the annual “Clear the Shelters” event.

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Five Augusts later, as the fees-waived adoption event has again kicked off across North Texas, I want to be on the record with a different point of view. My turnaround is the result of looking more deeply into the research, getting comfortable with a vastly improved Dallas Animal Services -- and realizing that my 2015 column was interpreted by some as proof that poor people don’t deserve pets.

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