DAS Seeks Canine Foster Families


Dallas Animal Services Officer With Dog | Image by NBC DFW

Amid an increase in canine upper respiratory infections, Dallas Animal Services (DAS) is asking for the public’s help in making room for more dogs. Those who volunteer to foster medium or large dogs can earn a $150 gift card, and DAS will pay for all boarding costs.

Canine respiratory infections have been rising nationwide, and shelters across Texas have been pushed to their limits as more dogs fall ill. The condition, commonly known as kennel cough, causes a honking “goose-like” cough and nasal discharge.

Canine respiratory infections are also highly contagious between dogs, spread by coughs, sneezes, and face-to-face contact with other dogs. Worsened by the fact that infected dogs can often be asymptomatic, the infection has spread like wildfire through crowded shelters.

DAS staff divided the facilities in half at the main shelter on North Westmoreland Road to keep infected dogs quarantined, operating each side of the shelter independently. The goal of the plan, developed by the University of Wisconsin–Madison Shelter Medicine Program, was to reduce contact between sick and healthy dogs and slow infection rates.

“It will be taxing on the team, but we understand the importance of addressing this promptly to avoid endemic illness in our shelter,” stated Melissa Webber, DAS director.

For the plan to work, the North Westmoreland shelter needed more open space. On December 8, the shelter issued its first call for help, and 150 dogs were designated for foster care.

According to a recent press release, North Texans went above and beyond in helping the effort and successfully placed 160 dogs in foster homes that weekend. Participating foster families received a $150 gift card, and DAS also covered the cost of any veterinarian bills.

The plan worked well, and DAS extended the incentives for the next 100 medium to large dogs. After a same-day application process, residents can foster a dog for 14 days and receive their reward from the Friends of DAS afterward.

DAS encourages people to walk in and check out their selection of dogs at the main shelter on 1818 N. Westmoreland Road. Operating hours are 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; 1 p.m.–7 p.m. Wednesday; and 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

If you enjoyed this article, please support us today!

Formed in 2021, we provide fact-based, non-partisan news. The Dallas Express is a non-profit organization funded by charitable support and advertising.

Please join us on the important journey to make Dallas a better place!

We welcome and appreciate comments on The Dallas Express as part of a healthy dialogue. We do ask that you be kind. Kind to each other and to everyone else in your comments. For more information, please refer to our Complete Comment Moderation Policy.

Subscribe to Comments
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments