Operation Kindness has launched a new Community Initiative program offering affordable and accessible veterinary services to pets and their owners in historically marginalized communities.
The new program expands the organization’s reach where support is needed the most, including areas in Southern Dallas and rural parts of North Texas that are “veterinary deserts.” Pets in these places lack access to veterinary services due to an absence of community clinics, high costs of services and an inability to be transported outside of their immediate area.
Operation Kindness operates a lifesaving animal shelter and programs to assist people and pets. In addition to pet adoptions and lifesaving medical care, the organization’s programs provide foster care for vulnerable animals, behavior and training support for pet parents, affordable veterinary services for community pets, a pet food pantry, and volunteer opportunities.
The organization’s new initiative will bring affordable spay/neuter procedures, as well as vaccinations, microchipping and general wellness services to needed areas. Increasing the amount of spayed and neutered pets will help reduce pet overpopulation and offering wellness and vaccination services will improve overall community health.
“This new program will allow us to take services to people in the community –
meeting them where they are,” said Ed Jamison, CEO of Operation Kindness. “Our goal is to assist 8,000 additional pets per-year through community initiatives.”
A team of experts has been secured to launch the initiative, including a full-time
veterinarian, support staff and leadership. Meredith Jones will serve as the new Chief Community Initiatives Officer. Jones comes to Operation Kindness with extensive leadership experience from several nationally renowned animal
welfare organizations. In her prior role as Vice President of Operations for the SPCA of Texas, Jones led daily shelter and clinic operations. Her animal welfare experience also includes working with PetSmart Charities, PetFix Northeast Ohio, Pet Overpopulation Patrol, and BeyondFences.
“These services will strengthen the bond between pets and their owners, keep pets in their loving homes, and improve all animals’ health and quality of life in our priority communities,” said Jones.
Dr. Rachel Redd has joined the team to lead community veterinary services. Dr. Redd has worked in private practice for over eight years in New Mexico, where she spent time every week performing spay/neuter surgeries for the local shelter and affordable surgeries for the general public. In 2018, Dr. Redd moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area and worked at the SPCA of Texas Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinics for four years.
“Cost, transportation and language barriers can all prevent families from accessing
veterinary care,” said Dr. Redd. “Our team will help overcome these barriers by bringing services directly into the community.”
Collaborations will be a component of the new community initiatives. Operation Kindness will enhance its partnership with Spay Neuter Network to utilize their mobile clinic to reach priority areas.
Spay Neuter Network’s mission is to eliminate pet overpopulation through spay and neuter, while empowering communities to care responsibly for dogs and cats. With a goal to reduce shelter intake and create communities free of homeless pets, the organization provides free and affordable spay and neuter, wellness and vaccination services for dogs and cats across North Texas.
Spay Neuter Network operates three spay and neuter clinics, a surgery transport service for those with limited transportation, and a Mobile Animal Spay/Neuter Hospital (MASH) in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and surrounding 13 counties. Services and resources are provided to more than 20 cities. More than 25,000 surgeries are provided annually and preventative services are offered for an additional 50,000 pets each year at little to no cost to pet owners.
“We are always excited to find innovative ways to work together with partners like
Operation Kindness to help fill in service gaps,” said Jordan Craig, Executive
Director of Spay Neuter Network. “We know we can’t fix the pet overpopulation problem alone and sharing resources like our mobile unit will help increase spay and neuter accessibility across the metroplex and surrounding areas.”