Jumpstarting a jubilant July, the Operation Kindness animal shelter in North Texas is launching a new community initiative to bring accessible and affordable veterinary services to community members and their pets.
The program will work in low-income or remote areas, according to an Operation Kindness announcement, and will provide spaying and neutering services for cats and dogs, whether they are strays or pets. Other veterinary services for pet owners will include low-cost microchipping, vaccines, and general wellness exams.
“I’m very proud of the high-quality veterinary services we provide to the animals in our care,” Operation Kindness CEO Ed Jamison said in the announcement. “This new program will allow us to take services to people in the community — meeting them where they are. Our goal is to assist 8,000 additional pets per year through community initiatives.”
Southern Dallas and rural areas in North Texas have been called “veterinary deserts,” according to Operation Kindness, meaning services are too expensive for residents or absent altogether.
A study by Banfield Pet Hospital suggests that the lack of veterinary school graduates could result in a shortage of about 15,000 veterinarians in the U.S. by 2030, meaning 75 million pets would be without accessible veterinary care.
As part of the new community program, Operation Kindness hired a chief community initiatives officer, Meredith Jones. Jones has held leadership roles in several animal welfare organizations, including her recent role at the SPCA of Texas as the vice president of operations.
“I’m honored to join the team at Operation Kindness to launch this new program,” Jones shared in the announcement. “These services will strengthen the bond between pets and their owners, keep pets in their loving homes, and improve all animals’ health and quality of life in our priority communities.”
Jones has also worked for Pet Overpopulation Patrol, PetFix Northeast Ohio, and PetSmart Charities.
Operation Kindness has hired additional support staff and a veterinarian to support its endeavor.
Through the shelter’s partnership with Spay Neuter Network, it will be able to utilize a mobile surgery unit for serving rural areas.
Jordan Craig, the executive director of Spay Neuter Network, shared in the Operation Kindness announcement that it is about fulfilling an unmet need for animal welfare services in the state.
“We are always excited to find innovative ways to work together with partners like Operation Kindness to help fill in service gaps. We know we can’t fix the pet overpopulation problem alone, and sharing resources like our mobile unit will help increase spay and neuter accessibility across the metroplex and surrounding areas,” Craig said.
Other North Texas organizations currently provide low-cost animal welfare services, according to the Dallas Pets Alive website. For example, Dallas Animal Services hosts low-cost vaccine clinics twice a month.
Dallas residents who live in certain zip codes can take advantage of $20 spaying or neutering through the Let’s Fix This organization. The SPCA of Texas also spays and neuters dogs for $20, depending on the owner’s zip code. Owners who live in other zip codes or are seeking care for their cat can still access the SPCA’s discounted clinics for discounted spaying, neutering, and other services.
At the Humane Society of North Texas, pet owners can access low-cost spay and neuter services without income or residency requirements.
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