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Photo courtesy Tri-City Animal Shelter
Save animals, expand care
Is there even enough space when it comes to sheltering animals and saving lives?
This was the question asked by the folks at the Tri-City Animal Shelter & Adoption Center, which serves Cedar Hill, Duncanville, and DeSoto. Now they are excited to have added the Lifesaving and Learning Center to their facilities, which will have a gentle opening on August 28th.
“We knew that many animal shelters had successfully carried out in-house neutering / neutering for their animals. It took up space and we were sad to believe that we might have to compromise our precious animal space to make this possible, ”said Tammy Miller, director of Tri-City Animal Services. “Then we remembered the vacant building right next door that still belonged to the three cities. We reached out to contractors to get an idea of the feasibility of using this building for this purpose, estimates of the renovation costs and so the idea began.
“When we were sure this was the right direction, we discovered that the building was a little too big for an operation. Knowing that education is a big focus for Friends (of Tri-City, shelter support group) and TCAS, and because we believe that education is essential for the betterment of the future, we wanted to see how this can best be done in this area could fit.
Photo courtesy Tri-City Animal Shelter
Birth of the life saving and learning center
“We have long worked with Cedar Hill ISD, Duncanville ISD and DeSoto ISD through their various craft and STEM programs. It wasn’t a long leap to realize that this space can be used to develop these critical partnerships, and so the idea of a life-saving and learning center was born. “
The building is around 4,500 square meters and stands alone next to the existing animal shelter. In addition to adding a classroom with the benefit of being able to follow surgeries in real time and ask questions (through a technology grant made possible by Texadia), two very large rooms are also added to enlarge the treatment areas.
“These areas not only purposefully increase the number of animals we can treat, but also in a peaceful environment in fear-free colors with a large, safe outdoor play area,” Miller explained.
Provision of training opportunities in veterinary medicine
This operating suite and on-site medical center, dedicated to caring for shelter animals without the need for transportation or capacity issues, will allow animals to spend less time in the shelter and free up staff for more practical animal care. Isolation rooms will protect the health of the general animal shelter population, at the same time shorten the recovery time for sick animals and offer more comfort during this longer stay. “
Friends of the Tri-City Animal Shelter and Adoption Center Mary White said, “As the name suggests, the new life saving and learning center will save more lives and provide educational opportunities in veterinary medicine. Since there is enough space for medical care, the animals in the shelter can receive all of the on-site health care instead of in communal veterinary clinics.
“On-site veterinary care will also cost the community less to treat homeless, lost and abandoned animals, improving health outcomes with limited resources. The operating room in the new facility has an adjoining classroom that allows K-12 and college students to follow procedures live, helping advance learning goals in the local community. “
Increase in the community cat program
Although primarily a shelter animal place, Miller said it will allow the shelter to expand its community cat program, where any citizen of the three cities can neuter or neuter a wildcat for free.
“Feral cat and grooming programs will still have room for expansion. More children will have a great chance of a humane education. All of these will help save lives, ”Miller said.
“We hope that all animals will be sterilized before they go to the adoption pen. This enables the animals to go home on the day of adoption. We work hard to make our shelter as close to a home experience as possible, but it’s still no substitute for the real thing. From homeless people home happy and as fast as possible is always our goal. “
While the shelter mainly takes care of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens, other pets such as birds, rabbits, hamsters, ferrets or snakes often come to the shelter.
“We are also very proud to have two well-known licensed wildlife rehabilitators on our team who help rescue thousands of injured or orphaned wildlife each year,” said Miller. “This room will give us an area away from the apparent threat of a cat or dog for these highly stressful creatures while they wait to be transported to a longer-term rehab facility.”
TCAS looks after around 7,000 animals every year. Last year they found homes for over 900, almost as many were reunited with their owner, and over three times as many were supported by one of their programs, such as z, and Wag on Wheels. For more information on these programs, please visit their website at www.luvpets.org.
“It’s important to know that we need community help to move all of these programs forward, but what is most urgently needed right now is our transportation program,” Miller said. “This is a program that uses donations to bring animals to northern states where overpopulation has been under control for much longer and therefore has more homes than here.”
Tri-City shelter needs volunteers
Miller said the need for volunteers has also increased.
“Oh, my goodness and definitely yes! We always need volunteers and we literally couldn’t do what we do without them, ”she said. “For us they take photos, bathe animals, build humane traps, wash laundry or dishes, walk dogs, socialize and calm cats, conduct adoption interviews, bottle feed, care for other volunteers, look after other volunteers and the list goes on and on further .
“We are now developing a voluntary job description for a rescue technician. We’re looking for a few people willing to come over on surgery days that focus on calming and monitoring the animals while they are recovering. You will be trained in extubation as well as in monitoring breathing, capillary filling times, body temperature and other vital parameters in order to ensure a quick and safe recovery after an operation. “
Miller added that it would not have been possible without the support of the three cities’ administration and councils, the Friends of Tri-City parishes.
“We are proud that your Tri-City Animal Shelter & Adoption Center receives exemplary reports of its annual surprise inspection from the state health department year after year. However, a beautiful building, clean accommodation and good quality basic services are not enough to maintain the premiere status our home is known for or aspires to be, ”she said. “To this day, TCAS continues to provide this high level of care with one of the lowest tax-dollar ratios of animal services in the entire Best Southwest. Our friends at Tri-City are continuing all their hard work to fill that void. “
Speaking of Friends of Tri-City, Miller listed several donation options including:
- Gala sponsors are required for the Paws, Claws and Outlaws Gala on November 6th. This is the Friends’ largest annual fundraiser and helps with most of their life saving programs.
- Lilly’s Fund, a generous fund created in loving memory of a TCAS alum. This fund is specifically designed to help with medical problems such as broken legs, eye enucleation and other medical problems that animals sometimes suffer from the dangers of being on the road.
- Covid-19 Response and Animal Husbandry Programs, which are funds that help people keep their pets during these troubled times.
- Community cat program that supports the cost of neutered repatriation and return to field programs to prevent unnecessary euthanasia of wild cats and stop overpopulation.
- Dog Park Fund to create a uniquely safe, off-leash dog park for pet owners and puppies from all three cities. This should be centrally located right next to the animal shelter, where even dog owners can drop by the animal shelter, fall in love and expand their family.