Peanut was a little kitten with a big problem. The eight-week-old tuxedo had a badly infected wound, consistent with being thrown from a car. She’d been wandering the streets of Denton, Texas with her degloved chin for several days. Eventually an animal control officer (ACO) rescued her and took her to the Denton Animal Shelter where volunteers set out to find a rescue group willing to take such a graphic injury. Sadly for Peanut, no one showed any interest in her. Not willing to take “no” for an answer, Bette Sherman, chair of Denton Animal Shelter Foundation (DASF), put out the word that the foundation would pay for Peanut’s treatment and would even fully vet her.
When one rescuer heard about Peanut’s misfortune, she fostered the kitten and changed her name to Bette. The kitten’s injuries never fully healed, but she was still adopted into a loving home. Little Bette is just one of over a thousand needy pets helped by the DASF, an organization committed to improving the lives of animals in the Denton area.
DASF has a comprehensive approach to animal welfare that provides for the humane treatment of all Denton-area animals. The organization was cofounded by Bette Sherman and Mayor Pro Tem Pete Kamp in 2006 after Sherman learned of Denton’s great need for a new animal shelter. The old building, basically a warehouse for animals, was built next to the jail in a flood plain in 1979. It only holds 114 dogs and cats. While the staff was dedicated, the facility was old, dingy and lacked cage space for one of the fastest growing counties in the U.S.
In addition to housing the stray, abandoned and abused pets from Denton proper, the shelter also handles animals from the nearby towns of Corinth, Krum, Roanoke, and all of the unincorporated areas of Denton County.
DASF, the fundraising and marketing arm for the Denton Animal Shelter, formed a public/private venture to raise awareness for the need for a new animal shelter, as well as to raise funds to build an inviting, state-of-the-art adoption facility. It also funds welfare programs, including the medical fund that saved Little Bette.
After much negotiating over the new animal shelter, the city of Denton committed $3,000,000 toward the structure if DASF could raise $2,000,000. The foundation has met that goal. Architect Larry Connolly, AIA, with a 30-year career designing animal shelters and habitats, has been chosen to design the Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center. They’ll be breaking ground in early May 2012. The building will open in mid-2013.
The year they founded the DASF, the shelter’s live exit rate was less than 50%. That included reclaimed animals, adopted animals and those transferred to rescue groups. Sherman proudly says in the last two years, they haven’t euthanized a single adoptable animal.
Even the least adoptable creatures have fared well. Thanks to an anonymous sponsor who covers the vetting, all feral cats brought to the shelter are adopted as barn cats (or as “kitty projects” for those that are semi-feral). These fortunate felines are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, treated for fleas, tested for disease and microchipped. The shelter offers these cats at no charge.
Now that the first part of the foundation’s purpose has been accomplished, new goals move to the forefront: funding an onsite veterinary clinic, including equipment, supplies and the vet’s salary.
In keeping with the foundation’s ultimate goal of saving and rehoming all adoptable pets, the foundation will provide on-going funding for spay/neuter programs, as well as developing/implementing educational programs. The group also wants to fund a paid position with the city—a volunteer coordinator/program manager. DASF will be enhancing current programs already like the fund for emergency medical care for injured but adoptable animals.
DASF will continue to raise funds as well as awareness to benefit the homeless pets of North Texas for years to come. Help DASF help a needy dog or cat like Little Bette by picking them as your AdoptAShelter.com shelter (http://adoptashelter.com/shelters-organization-details/592/ ), then shop till you drop.
Category: Featured Shelter
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