When exactly is the high season for adoption at the Humane Society of North Texas?
“Every. Single. Day,” wrote Cassie Davidson, director of communications for the HSNT, in an email to the Star-Telegram. “I mean, sure, we see an influx of puppies and kittens in the spring, but because Texas doesn’t have the inclement weather that the northern states do, we have a much longer puppy and kitten season.”
She’s not kidding.
The animal shelter found homes for 7,393 animals in 2021 — even after having to shut down for a period to clear out a distemper outbreak. Of the animals who were adopted, 90% were cats (3,565) and dogs (3,107). Other animals who found homes through the shelter include 178 rabbits and 42 donkeys and horses. On rare occasions, the animal center finds itself receiving out-of-the-ordinary drop offs.
“For me, it’s hedgehogs. We don’t see them often, but we do have them surrendered. And they’re adoooooorable,” Davidson wrote. “(When I was a volunteer), we had a tiger, camel and anaconda … oh lord I would have just died if I had seen the anaconda.”
Livestock is apparently another group of animals the center sees often. According to Davidson, donkeys are by far the most popular. “Our equine & livestock mascot is a mammoth donkey named Zeb,” she added.
This being Texas, the next most popular livestock animal is the longhorn.
“I mean, who doesn’t want a hunky bovine wandering in their pastures?” she said.
Hitting a more serious note, Davidson said “When you adopt, you are, in essence, saving two lives. The life of the pet you’re adopting, and by opening a kennel for an incoming pet to our shelter.”
Adoption helps “weaken the overpopulation cycle, you slow mass breeding facilities,” she said.
Picking a young or old animal both have their advantages. “Maybe you don’t want to potty train?” she said, which makes an older animal a good choice.
“I have an affection for senior pets — two of my three (pets) are over 10 years old — and I love it,” she said. “They sleep, eat, and sleep some more. They play when they want to, don’t chew anything, follow me everywhere, and are my companions.”
Her passion for animals is obvious. Davidson has been on staff at the shelter the past five years. Before that she helped out as a volunteer. All told, she has worked with the animals for over 13 years.
The Humane Society shelter has 115 people on staff, 465 active volunteers, 375 active foster homes and nearly 2,000 foster families waiting to help. It costs the shelter $9.7 million to operate this year, nearly half of that money going to pay for staff ($5.5 million).
The shelter has advocated and cared for animals in need for 117 years — making it the oldest animal welfare organization in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Since its founding, the organization has been known as the Fort Worth Humane Society (1905), Tarrant County Humane Society (1910) and since 1982 as the Humane Society of North Texas.
It accepts abandoned, injured, neglected or mistreated animals in order to find them caring homes. A large part of its mission is raising awareness for the respect of animals – ensuring legal, moral and ethical protections.
It operates five pet adoption centers in Tarrant and Kaufman counties, as well as four PetSmart Cat Adoption Centers and an equine and livestock ranch located in Johnson County. Services at the adoption centers include low-cost spay/neuter surgeries and vaccinations. It also helps find the owners of lost pets, investigate claims of cruelty to animals and offers humane euthanasia for pets.
Help care for the animals as a volunteer
The HSNT depends on an army of volunteers to help care for the thousands of animals that go through its doors. Duties for volunteers range from being a foster parent to organizing events for the group – including walking dogs, playing with cats, assisting in adoptions and helping with animal cruelty cases. Here are other positions sought by the organization:
PetSmart Cat Socializer
Those interested in volunteering need to fill out an application. Volunteers must at least be 16 years old, and those ages 16 and 17 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian. Volunteers are required to serve at least four hours a month in a shelter or Humane Society events. There is also a one-time fee of $30 to volunteer.
The Humane Society also seeks partners from the community through its Group Volunteer Program – where business and organizations can assist in the shelters or help with events.
No time to volunteer? Help with a donation.
Where are the adoption centers located?
Benbrook- Waggin’ Tails, 9009 Benbrook Blvd., Benbrook, 817-249-3647
Hurst Adoption Center – 900 TCC Rd., Hurst, 817-788-7216
Kaufman County Pet Adoption Center – 1904 EUS Highway 175, Kaufman, 469-376-4120
Keller Regional – 330 Rufe Snow Dr., Keller, 817-743-4711
Saxony-Forte Cat Adoptions – 1840 E. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth, 817-332-4768
PetSmart Bryant Irvin – 4465 Bryant Irvin Rd., Fort Worth, 682-209-0529
PetSmart Lake Worth – 6572 Lake Worth Blvd., Fort Worth, 682-209-0529
PetSmart Montgomery Plaza – 415 Carroll St., Fort Worth, 682-209-0529
PetSmart Ridgmar Mall – 1300 Green Oaks, Fort Worth, 682-209-0529