It is heartening to see the efforts of many who have come to the aid of Denton County’s abandoned animals this week.
On Monday, 50 Maltese were dumped near U.S. Highway 377 and Stonecrest Road. On Tuesday, about 40 Cavalier King Charles spaniels were abandoned on Lois Road near Sanger. Law enforcement officials suspect the animals came from a puppy mill, especially now that state law requires dog breeders with 11 or more animals to be licensed and inspected.
The news made national TV and newspapers this week as volunteers rushed to help the Humane Society of Flower Mound and the Humane Society of North Texas in Fort Worth handle the sudden influx of animals — animals in need of special care.
Officials told reporters the animals required significant grooming and would need evaluations after lives that appear to have likely been spent in cages.
Because the dogs spent most of their lives in a cage, they will be very shy and fearful of all kinds of things, from leashes to new flooring and even to open spaces, says Stacy Smith, vice president of animal advocacy for the Humane Society of Flower Mound, which received the Maltese. The Cavalier King Charles spaniels were taken to Fort Worth.
“We’ll be really careful how we place them,” Smith said. “A lot depends on the human exposure they had between 6 and 14 weeks. If they had good, kind human contact, that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”
Many calls for adopting the abandoned animals have begun pouring in, but the Humane Society of Flower Mound is asking future families to go through training to learn how to support their new pets. Adoptions began Sunday in Fort Worth and were expected to begin Wednesday in Flower Mound.
But even if you don’t want to add to the family just yet, there are other ways to help the animals. Grabbing extra bags of high-quality dog food, picking up additional bottles of shampoo, sending bleach and paper towels and more can make a big difference to both groups.
That extra help means they have enough supplies to help the abandoned animals and to continue to tend to the other animals already in their care.
Businesses have also offered their services, particularly dog groomers whose expertise has surely come in handy.
All of this is occurring at a time when the Denton Animal Shelter Foundation is finding new homes for many animals, having adopted out more than 1,000 since Aug. 1 as part of the ASPCA $100,000 Rachael Ray Challenge, which ends Oct. 27.
All animals deserve a safe, friendly and secure environment to live their lives. We’re thankful for the many people and businesses that have given locally and across the region, as well as those who’ve added to their families.