Shelter decontamination: Pets need homes and you can help

August is not only back-to-school month, but also homecoming month for animals in shelters across America, including those overseen by Fort Worth Animal Care and Control (FWACC).

This is the month of Clear-the Shelter, a national campaign sponsored by NBC Universal (Channel 5 and Telemundo in North Texas). Free adoptions take place throughout the month.

With shelters everywhere, including Fort Worth, having plenty of animals for adoption or adoption is not a problem. However, at times, finding homes for pets can be a challenge.

“Our adoption numbers are down slightly from last year (about 500 adoptions), but they are equal to our four-year average,” said Brandon Bennett, director of public health and rule compliance for the city of Fort Worth. “It is necessary to note that the last fiscal year (October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021) was a record adoption year, so a decrease of about 500 adoptions from a remarkable year may not indicate a decline in adoptions overall.”

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“Our shelters are fully operational, but we have a revolving cycle of animal intakes/surrenders that we must balance with adoptions, adoptions, rescues and transfers,” he said.

Conclusion: Animals need owners to love and care for them. And here you can help.

Those interested in adopting can go to any of the four FWACC adoption sites (two PetSmart stores and two shelters). Also, they can search for pets online at or to select a site of their choice and visit that site.

The four sites are:

  • North Animal Campus, 351 Hillshire Doctor, Fort Worth.
  • South Animal Campus (Chuck and Brenda Silcox Center for Animal Care and Adoption), 4900 Martin Street, Fort Worth.
  • Hulen PetSmart Charities Accreditation Center, 4800 SW Loop 820, Fort Worth.
  • Alliance Petsmart Accreditation Center, 2901 Texas Sage Trail, Fort Worth.

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“We encourage everyone to view our website which contains all the animals we have available. If they find an animal they want to know more about, they can come to one of our locations and spend time with the animal to make sure it is right for them and the animal,” Bennett said.

“Plus, they can walk and visit our animals in the kennels,” he said. “Once they find their permanent friend, it only takes a few short minutes to complete the necessary paperwork before they can take their new loved one home.”

While dogs and cats are the primary animals for adoption, other animals, such as rabbits and chickens, can also be adopted.

Bennett said adoption is also an option.

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“We always need patrons and it’s a great program where the animals are in private homes forever waiting to be home. This allows the animals time away from the shelter to be with a loving family.”

Longtime volunteer Paige King said both shelters are as full as she saw them over 11 years ago associated with FWACC.

“I like to think more doesn’t help because they just aren’t aware of the situation,” King said. “We have a large foster base and rescue partners, but everyone has their limits.”

“I love going to the shelter and being the face that those faces see,” she said. “A familiar and friendly face and they greet me with excitement because they are so forgiving. Some are sad, confused and/or afraid and it is their faces that bring me back every time.”

The process of becoming a pet sitter is not complicated. It starts with going online and filling out the adoption form.

There is no cost for care. And while adoptions are free in August, the rest of the year they are free for dogs over 40 pounds, while puppies and puppies are $49 to adopt.

And with all due respect to pet stores, Bennett said adoption from a shelter is always the best option. Besides, retailing dogs and cats is illegal in the city of Fort Worth.

“We strongly believe in the phrase, Adopt, don’t shop,” He said.

If you find a stray animal, said Bennett, bring it to the shelter. Of course, the first option is to look for microchips and return the pet to its owner. However, it is possible for the seeker to adopt this animal if there is no response from the owner.

“We have an adoption foster program where, if the owner does not claim their dog within stray wards, then the dog is available for adoption. During this process, the dog stays with the family that found them,” Bennett said.

“Anyone who can adopt in the long term, we urge them to adopt, but if they cannot do so, please consider promoting it in the short term. If they are unable to adopt or adopt, we are always looking for volunteers to help us with the day-to-day care of our animals” .

If you’re not in a situation where you can adopt or adopt, King said, you can still make a difference as a volunteer. Among the ways a volunteer can help out in the office are doing paperwork, cleaning kennels, feeding and watering the animals, helping with adoptions, walking the dogs, and giving them time to play outside.

FWACC also has an enrichment team that provides mental stimulation to animals with toys or food dispensers several times a week.

“This is a time-consuming but rewarding process,” King said. “The shelter can use help in many ways.”

Other ways to help include donating things like blankets and food. King said the adoption program can use these items, too.

“We need everyone to know — and when you know better, you do better,” she said. You know the saying, ‘Be part of the change. ”

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