Conservation & Animal Welfare People

Operation Kindness expands veterinary team

Rapidly growing and wanting to meet the demand to save the lives of more dogs and cats, Operation Kindness is expanding its team at The Rees-Jones Foundation Medical Wing, the on-site medical facility caring for dogs and cats in need of medical treatment. From exams to vaccinations, to X-rays and major surgeries, the facility can care for up to 120 pets each day. With the addition of veterinarians Dr. Rachel DeBender and Dr. Zachary Koontz, Operation Kindness can provide medical services for more sick and injured animals from their rescue partners.

Joining the team after 11 years at Hillside Veterinary Clinic in Dallas, Dr. DeBender will focus on medical care, including exams, prescribing medication, heartworm treatments, internal medicine, and treatment for infectious disease. She has an extensive background in the medical field for animals, with her career beginning at Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine and graduating in 2007. After an internship at the Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital of the ASPCA in New York, NY, she spent two years at a clinic in the Boston area before moving back to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. As a native Texan growing up in the Fort Worth area, Dr. DeBender has a passion for animal welfare and enjoys spending time with her two dogs, Eleanor and Ally, and cat named Mongo.

“I am honored and thrilled to join the dedicated team at Operation Kindness,” said Dr. DeBender. “I look forward to providing lifesaving medical care to dogs and cats in need so that they can find loving homes.”

Focusing on surgeries, including spay/neuter, amputations, enucleations, growth removals, and dentistry procedures, Dr. Koontz also joins the team in support of homeless animals. Having graduated from Oklahoma State University with a B.S. in Animal Science, he also graduated from Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences with a DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine). In 2013, he moved to DFW to practice small animal medicine and surgery, mostly with nonprofit organizations, before joining Operation Kindness. Caring about the wellbeing of animals in all aspects of life, Dr. Koontz enjoys spending his free time with his two rescue dogs named Betsey and Oatmeal.

“Joining the team at Operation Kindness is a wonderful opportunity to provide care to animals in need of support,” said Dr. Koontz. “I’m excited to be a part of an organization working to better the lives of dogs and cats.”

“I am extremely excited to welcome Dr. DeBender and Dr. Koontz to Operation Kindness,” said Dr. Tiffany Tobaben, chief veterinarian at Operation Kindness. “Our ability to care for more dogs and cats that need medical attention before finding their new families will greatly increase with them joining our medical team. This is an exciting time at Operation Kindness, and we are grateful for all of their expertise!”

About the author

Barbara Clark Galupi