As the leading lifesaving shelter in Texas welcomes in the new year, Operation Kindness reflects on a successful 2021 full of growth and outstanding achievements in the animal welfare industry. These new milestones are due to the organization's team and the community's generosity that goes above and beyond to provide additional opportunities for animals to receive quality medical care and find loving, responsible homes. Operation Kindness' accomplishments over the past 12 months position the shelter as a national leader in animal advocacy and with more determination to increase its lifesaving endeavors to support dogs and cats in need.
"While Operation Kindness and our community members have faced many challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a generous outpouring of love, support and kindness from amazing individuals committed to helping animals this past year," said Ed Jamison, chief executive officer of Operation Kindness. "Thanks to our shelter staff, volunteers and our wonderful supporters, 2021 was an incredible time for us. We're grateful for all our success, and we look forward to what the new year has to offer. We're heading into 2022 with just as much determination to help as many animals as we can. We promise to continue making a positive impact in the lives of others."
Operation Kindness increased adoptions by 74% over 2020, added 27 new rescue partners to its list that provide mutual support in times of need, found over 4,500 animals loving homes and invested $2 million in its medical team to continue providing life-saving medical treatment for animals that might need medications, surgery or dental cleanings.
Operation Kindness' notable accomplishments of 2021 include:
- Bringing in 4,643 animals into the shelter, an 86% increase over 2020 and nearly a 4% increase pre-pandemic
- Adding 37 new rescue partners that provide mutual support in times of need, including humane societies, municipal shelters, rescue groups and veterinarian partners; rescue partners provide food, shelter and other necessities during natural disasters or increased animal populations
- Providing a safe environment for 77 dogs and cats that were transferred from Hurricane Ida's path
- An increase of adoptions by 74% over 2020, meaning more animals found loving homes
- Increasing the number of dogs and cats that spent time in foster care to heal from medical surgeries, giving birth, bottle feeding and more; foster services increased 28% over 2020
- Investing $2 million in its medical care team to provide additional lifesaving opportunities
- The medical team arranging 78% more spay/neuter surgeries, administering 7% more heartworm treatments and providing 85% more medical exams in the on-site hospital
- Distributing additional necessities such as food, litter, and treats thanks to 87,904 pounds of donated items to the Pet Food Pantry
- Accumulating 16,700 hours of volunteer support, while 620 animals received behavioral support
- The official opening of its renovated facilities, new lobby, the pet meet and greet rooms, the new cat hallway, Bear’s Den and the expanded backyard
As the animal welfare landscape continues to shift, Operation Kindness is keeping its sights on local, regional and national trends that impact the health and safety of homeless dogs and cats. Hoping to play a more prominent role in the wellness of animals by continuing to envision a world where all pets have loving homes, the shelter is currently focusing its attention on these upcoming discussions:
Supporting Homeless Cats
Because cats enter shelters at twice the rate of dogs and are more likely to be euthanized, Operation Kindness believes that helping homeless cats will be a large part of the conversation in 2022. To support the welfare of cats, the nonprofit organization is introducing a new neo-natal kitten nursery at the shelter later this spring. The unit will provide 24-hour care for kittens that require special, medicalized treatment.
Disaster Response Assistance
As natural disasters become prominent in certain regions, working ahead of severe weather events creates much-needed shelter space for lost and displaced animals during storms. Operation Kindness supported its rescue partners during Hurricane Ida to move 77 homeless pets out of the storm's path. The shelter will continue working with rescue partners in hurricane-prone areas, including Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. Additionally, they're prepared to coordinate response and assistance to help with any local severe weather events in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
Keeping Families Together
Many circumstances cause families to consider giving up their pets and placing them in a shelter for a new home, one of them being natural disasters. To prevent families from surrendering their pets and splitting families apart, Operation Kindness will focus on being a resource to keep pets and their owners together while also reducing the burden of extra animal care on shelters. Plus, it's a win-win for families to keep their beloved pets.
Pet Acquisition Sources
Where families acquire pets will be key in 2022, so Operation Kindness is focused on increasing the number of families and individuals who choose to adopt. Its focus will be on reducing barriers to adoption by being more accessible and inclusive.
For over 45 years, animal wellness, including kindness and compassion, has driven the purpose of Operation Kindness. Animal homelessness is a heartbreaking and complex issue, but with generous community support and help from the shelter team, additional lives of dogs and cats can be saved. With a mission to prioritize animal health and safety, the nonprofit provides extensive services to dogs and cats that benefit their quality of life. From medical care to pet education, foster and volunteer opportunities, Operation Kindness is changing lives for the better.
For more information about Operation Kindness and its mission to care for homeless animals, visit www.operationkindness.org. To learn more about the organization's increased success, head over to the 2021 Impact Report for additional details. Support Operation Kindness' mission through adopting, fostering or donating to animals in need.