Inside the City of Denton Animal Shelter

Debbie Kearns and Rachel Ferryman

Debbie Kearns and Rachel Ferryman

Joyce Brein

Debbie Kearns, a Robson Ranch resident, is a very dedicated volunteer at the City of Denton Animal Shelter. Debbie has been volunteering at the shelter for the past three years. She shared the previous reputation and public perception of the shelter and how it has drastically changed.

Twelve years ago the City of Denton Animal Shelter euthanized 90% of their animals; today the rate has dropped to approximately 10%. No-kill shelters are allowed to have a 10% euthanasia rate, and many can pick and choose the animals they accept. The Denton Shelter accepts all animals.

In years past the shelter had no volunteers, no social media and for many of the staff working at the shelter it was a job, not a calling. A new image and reputation of the shelter began when Woodie Wilson took the position of Animal Services Supervisor. His mission was clear:

a) Hire staff who loved animals

b) Facilitate better care for future animals

1. Provide better training

2. Work with local vets

c) Recruit volunteers to the shelter in order to socialize the animals.

In June 2006 the Denton Animal Shelter Foundation (DASF) was created. Through their support, euthanasia rates dropped, staff worked harder, volunteers and citizens became involved, social media gathered momentum, positivity grew and the shelter began to flourish.

As the reputation of the shelter continued to change to one of hope and caring of animals, the need for a larger shelter grew and the concept for a new shelter was accepted. Over the next seven years of fundraising the new Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center became a reality.

The New Shelter:

a) Contains 138 cat kennels and 136 dog kennels compared to 30 cat kennels and 48 dog kennels

b) A local vet and nurse are assigned to their facility

c) A volunteer orientation program was created

a. Citizens man volunteer for any amount of time

d) A foster program was created

a. A foster parent is given all the supplies and medical care that the animal needs. A foster parent is not allowed to adopt their foster animal.

Upon the completion of Debbie Kearns’ presentation, she introduced Rachel Ferryman who is the Volunteer Co-coordinator at the shelter. She shared that the shelter is staffed with 11 kennel officers, one animal services supervisor and one kennel supervisor. The shelter is staffed 24 hours each day, and they handle a wide variety of animals such as wildlife, injured, vicious, animal bites, loose livestock strays, barking dog complaints, animal quarantines, removal of deceased animals, animal cruelty investigations and they assist other agencies as needed.

The shelter is always in need of supplies such as: Dawn dish soap, bleach, clay cat litter, dry Purina kitten or cat food (yellow bag), dry Purina/Pedigree puppy or adult dog food, paper towels, HE laundry detergent, fabric sheets, bath towels and wash cloths (used is fine), These are just a few common items that you may have in your home or find in your local supermarket. For more specific items please feel free to contact the shelter.

The Shelter is open to the public Monday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. On Sunday they are open only to staff. They are located at 3717 N. Elm St. Their phone number is 940-349-7594.