July 31st is known as National Mutt Day, a recognition that aligns with a high-priority area of The Rees-Jones Foundation: Animal Welfare. This spring, The Rees-Jones Foundation contributed to a cause that not only helps our pets, but also benefits community members and helps improve public safety. In March, a $10 million grant was awarded to fund a spay/neuter initiative focused on southern Dallas, an area where loose dogs have become a true fear among the residents living in this part of the city.
There has been a lot of discussion among city officials, nonprofit animal welfare groups, and funders around how to help fix the loose dog issue, particularly after a series of unfortunate events led to the loss of a life. These discussions prompted engaging Boston Consulting Group to analyze the impact of loose dogs on the community. Several recommendations followed, one of which was an aggressive spay/neuter initiative to slow the growth of the dog population in southern Dallas. Such an initiative has several benefits: the number of dogs in shelters will go down and Live Release Rates will go up, more education and access to free or low-cost services will help pet owners better care for their pets, and people will feel safer being out in their communities without fearing loose, potentially aggressive dogs.
The SPCA of Texas, Spay Neuter Network, and Operation Kindness, all of which are grantees of The Rees-Jones Foundation, have taken action to be the frontrunners in this effort. From hiring staff, transporting animals for surgeries, utilizing mobile units, organizing spay/neuter and vaccination clinics, and building their organizational capacities to perform free surgeries and provide community outreach, we esteem their abilities to achieve the goals set before them.
The Rees-Jones Foundation is privileged to partner with W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation at Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas Foundation, The Meadows Foundation and The McCune Foundation in this exciting initiative that will help alleviate a problem that has been affecting the city for years.
With our beloved animals in mind, and National Mutt Day around the corner, if you are interested in adopting a dog or cat in need of a loving, forever home, we encourage you to visit the SPCA or Operation Kindness.