Dateline Dallas: The Budget Battle Begins

The City of Dallas has begun the process of determining the budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, which begins on October 1, 2014.  Sources tell us that the Dallas Companion Animal Project, along with the City of Dallas Animal Shelter Commission, will once again be advocating for more money for Dallas Animal Services.

Why? According to sources on the Animal Shelter Commission, DAS budget is not sufficient to continue the successes the department has enjoyed these last few years.

DAS management is asking for:

  • money to simply continue to operate 7 days a week.  Any reduction in budget would likely mean a reduction in shelter hours and in a reduction in field services;
  • money to keep the PetSmart Charities Adoption Center open and running (more than 1,000 lives saved in just 7 months!);
  • money for vaccination on intake, which keeps the shelter population healthier and the environment safer for the staff and visitors;
  • more money for cleaning supplies to minimize cross contamination;
  • more money for pet food.  Currently the DAS budget provides only for dry food – no canned food for kittens or puppies, seniors, or those recovering from illness;
  • money for basic lawn maintenance to keep the grounds in compliance with City ordinance (managers now buy gas out of their own pockets and borrow mowers from Code Compliance to avoid citations);
  • money to repair or replace broken, outdated equipment like exam tables, scales, autoclave, appliances, desks/chairs, anesthesia machines, etc. The main shelter is now 7 years old and no money was ever budgeted to repair or replace equipment;
  • money for an emergency generator.  Should the AC fail in the heat of the summer, the consequences could be deadly for the animals housed at DAS;
  • more money for staffing.  DAS is also notoriously understaffed – to the point they are unable to respond timely to public safety calls and emergency situations;
  • more money for staffing to provide the additional services City leaders expect as part of the Mayor’s Grow South plan.

Dallas’ pet lovers need to be sure City leaders know that they’re serious and they care  about the welfare of animals in Dallas, and ask City leaders to commit more money to make Dallas a more humane community.

The City of Dallas budgets approximately $ 5.34 per person on animal welfare.  Fort Worth spends about $ 8.18.  San Antonio $ 8.22, and Austin $ 10.09. Asking Dallas City leaders to spend more is not unreasonable.

Private, non-profit organizations are spending hundreds of thousands in private dollars to address the City’s animal issues. It’s time the City did their part and at least provided funding for basic services that affect public safety, staff safety, and the welfare of the animals – in the shelter and in our community.


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