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David Minton

Animal shelters prepare for special day

Profile image for By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe
By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe

Animal shelters in Flower Mound, Lake Dallas and Lewisville will join more than 35 other shelters across the Dallas-Fort Worth area Saturday for “Empty the Shelter Day.”

Participating shelters are waiving adoption fees to encourage people to adopt a pet so that by closing time at 5 p.m. Saturday, all the pens, runs, rooms and yards are empty.

Chelsea Stachyra, director of animal services for Lake Dallas, said the shelter has been preparing for a while, even making improvements to the cat room.

“We’ll have extra volunteers and staff working that day to help,” Stachyra said.

The shelter currently has about two dozen cats and 10 dogs that will be available Saturday. Lake Dallas will waive the $50 adoption fee. Adopters will still be required to have their new pet spayed or neutered. State law requires that step, she said.

Flower Mound is participating in the event even though the city’s shelter doesn’t typically charge an adoption fee. Christine Hastings, the city’s manager of animal services, said the shelter was happy to jump on board when word got out about the event.

The empty the shelters program began as an initiative in Irving. When the invitation went out to make it a regional event, “it became very large very quickly,” Hastings said.

Flower Mound will have about 27 cats and 10 dogs available for adoption Saturday.

Carrollton and Lewisville also are participating, but Hickory Creek and Denton are not.

Lt. Chris Summit, of the Denton Police Department, said that the city’s experience with free adoptions has been mixed. People who adopt at free events tend to return dogs and cats to the shelter more frequently compared to those who pay the regular fee of $60, he said.

Denton frequently offers promotions that lower that already-subsidized price even further, to $30.

The city’s animal services staff has found value in having people pay a little bit up front to become an animal’s new, forever home, he said.

“Pet ownership requires some level of responsibility and commitment,” Summit said.

A full list of shelters participating in Empty the Shelters Day is online at

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.


Listed below are animal shelters in Denton County offering free pet adoptions Saturday for “Empty The Shelter” Day.

Flower Mound — Flower Mound Animal Services, 3950 Justin Road

Lewisville — Lewisville Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, 995 East Valley Ridge Blvd.

Lake Dallas — Lake Dallas Animal Shelter, 687 North Lakeview Drive