Friday, June 12, 2009

Doggie Date Night on June 20 Features Flick, Family Fun For People & Pets

Hawaiian Falls Waterpark in The Colony will host Doggie Date Night with a special showing of “Hotel for Dogs” on Saturday, June 20. Fittingly, pet owners can bring their canine companions as well as their children to this family-friendly flick.
Billed as a date night for people and their pooches, the event benefits Animal Guardians of America. The evening under the stars begins at 7:30 p.m. with games, activities and contests for children. The film will be shown at dusk on a 16’ outdoor screen on the lawn adjacent to Hawaiian Falls. Attendees can bring lawn chairs and blankets, and food and beverages will be available for purchase.

“This is a special opportunity to have a night out on the town and watch a movie on the big screen with your four-legged best friend by your side,” said Annette Lambert, president of Animal Guardians, a nonprofit organization that cares for homeless and abandoned dogs. “For those who might be thinking of adding a new canine friend to their family, we’ll have several of our most adorable, adoptable dogs at the event.”

“Hotel for Dogs” is a heart-warming movie about children who take in stray dogs in an old, abandoned hotel. While the movie has a happy, “Hollywood” ending for the homeless dogs, Lambert said the reality for strays in the Metroplex is not always so pleasant.

“While we want everyone to come out and enjoy the movie and the entertainment, it’s important that we realize that much still needs to be done for our homeless animals,” said Lambert. “Our local animal shelters are operating at full capacity. Sadly, over 100,000 dogs and cats are euthanized in Dallas-Fort Worth every year. It will take all of us working together to change these sad statistics.”

Admission to Doggie Date night is just $7 per person or $25 for four people; dogs get in free. Reservations are requested, but tickets may be purchased at the door. All proceeds benefit Animal Guardians of America. To make reservations, call 214-207-0045 or email

Hawaiian Falls Waterpark is located at 4400 Paige Road in The Colony at the corner of Highway 121 and Plano Parkway. For more information, visit

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

New Convenient Hours at Dallas Animal Services Shelter

Starting tomorrow, June 3, the Dallas Animal Services shelter at 1818 N. Westmoreland has new and more convenient adoption hours.

Adoption hours will be as follows:

Sunday: 12 noon – 5:00 p.m.
Monday: Closed
Tuesday – Saturday: 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Hopefully, the new hours will increase adoptions. Visit the shelter to find your new best friend!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Volunteers Organize to Help Elderly Owner, Dogs in Recent Dog Bite Incident

Volunteers with the Metroplex Animal Coalition (MAC) will participate in the group’s first “Animal Code Compliance Project” Saturday afternoon, May 30, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at the home of a 76-year-old East Oak Cliff man. Members of the group will make repairs to his fence and yard, while others will vaccinate and treat his dogs in order to bring them into compliance with new City of Dallas ordinances.

The volunteers learned of the dog owner, R.J. Whitmill, following an incident last week in which five of his 11 dogs jumped the fence and bit a woman. According to Whitmill, the woman was trying to open his locked gate at 6 a.m. Friday morning and enter his yard. The Rhodesian ridgeback-heeler mix dogs inside the fenced yard became agitated when the woman grabbed a wooden board and started waving it around. The dogs were able to scale the fence and bit the woman and Whitmill, who intervened. The five dogs involved in the incident were surrendered by Whitmill to Dallas Animal Services and will likely be euthanized.

Whitmill was cited by Dallas Animal Services for having his dogs tethered and not spayed or neutered, vaccinated for rabies and registered with the City. The Dallas City Council passed ordinances last June prohibiting dogs from being tethered and requiring that they be spayed or neutered if the owner does not have an Intact Animal Permit. Vaccinating companion animals against rabies is a state law.

The Metroplex Animal Coalition has arranged for local animal groups to take four of Whitmill’s remaining six dogs, including one pregnant dog. Saturday the volunteers plan to vaccinate, worm, treat for fleas and ticks, test for heartworms and bathe all of the dogs and make repairs to the fence so that those that remain will not be tethered. MAC will pay for the six dogs to be spayed/neutered and vaccinated for rabies through its free program for low-income pet owners.

Local groups that will be taking four of the dogs to find new homes for them are Flower Mound Humane Society, Paws in the City and Riff’s Friends Dog Rescue. The Metroplex Animal Coalition is a nonprofit organization whose 50-plus member groups work together in a spirit of cooperation to save as many cat and dog lives as possible. Since 2003, MAC has provided more than 11,000 free spay/neuter surgeries for dogs and cats belonging to low-income pet owners.

By Jonnie England
Metroplex Animal Coalition

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

5 Dogs In Danger, Not Dangerous Dogs

You may have read the news report or seen the story on TV - 5 dogs belonging to Mr. Whitmill bit a woman Friday morning in East Oak Cliff. Those 5 dogs were impounded by Dallas Animal Services and are awaiting a Dangerous Dog hearing. He still has 6 dogs—4adults (including one who’s very pregnant) and 2 five-month-old pups. On Sunday afternoon I went to visit Mr. Whitmill and the remaining dogs. These are dogs in danger—NOT dangerous dogs.

About the dogs: First, they are NOT pit bulls or pit mixes. They are Hound, Rhodesian Ridgeback and Heeler mixes. They are not emaciated, but are underweight and have patchy hair loss. Four dogs are chained; all have houses. There were lots of food bowls around and a trough filled with water.

Mr. Whitmill is a76-year-old widower living in a little house that’s badly in need of repair. He’s a very devout man of faith. When I told him we wanted to help him and his dogs, he said that God sent me to him. Does he care for hisdogs the way we care for ours or the way we want people to take care ofthem? No. But he does love them and is caring for them the best way he can. He’s not looking for handouts but doesn’t want his dogs to die. My heart went out to him.

About the situation: As usual, there’s a lot more to the story. Of course, I only got his side, but he told me that the woman who was bitten has stolen from him repeatedly, even though he’s given her money and even bailed her out of jail in the past. A friend who stayed at his house Thursday night saw the woman outside at 6 a.m. Friday morning. Even though Mr. Whitmill has “No Trespassing” and “Beware of Dogs” signs posted, and his gate was closed, chained and padlocked, the woman tried to enter his yard. She removed a board used to secure the gate and started waving it around, agitating the dogs inside the fenced front yard. Mr. Whitmill’s friend told her to leave, but the woman persisted, until the dogs—worked into a frenzy by her swinging the board—lunged at the fence and scaled it. Mr. Whitmill tried to get them off her and received several bites himself—not “scratches” as some reports said.

I’ve been thinking of how to best help these dogs and talked at length today. There are several issues: (1) The 6 dogs still at the house that must be S/N, vaccinated, taken off tethers and registered; (2) The very pregnant dog currently in the yard; (3) The 5 dogs that were impounded; (4) The fines and fees resulting from the citations that were or will be issued.

Mr. Whitmill has no money to pay fines or citations. He said DAS told him that it would cost $300 each to get his 5 impounded dogs back. Paying that is not a possibility for him. MAC can take care of the spaying/neutering (except for the very pregnant dog) and the rabies vaccinations. We can even pay the City registration. But that still leaves the fines.

Mr. Whitmill hopes that groups will come forward and take his dogs—all 11 of them, if the 5 in custody are released and not ordered destroyed.

I really believe that Mr. Whitmill is a good, decent, hard-working man—notone of those “irresponsible” pet owners that we see all too often. He’s old and poor and doing the best he can, and is caught in a situation that’stragic all around.

If you know of a group that could help with 1 or 2 of these dogs, or know someone who might be interested in adopting if we can find a group to take them, please email me at Maybe together we can save these dogs.


Jonnie England
Director of Animal Advocacy and Communications
Metroplex Animal Coalition
Stop Animal Cruelty...For Mercy's Sake.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Tailgate '09 Pet Adoptathon Is This Saturday, May 9

Just a reminder that the Texas Animal Shelter Coalition's Tailgate '09 Pet Adoptathon is Saturday, May 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ballpark in Arlington! This date was chosen so as not to conflict with any activities planned for NSAL's Adoptathon the weekend before.

The location is amazing this year: Parking Lot E, directly across from the Ballpark! More than two dozen shelters, rescue groups and vendors have signed up so far. If your group hasn't yet, there's still time!

To sign up your group, go to If you have any questions, please contact:

Tammy Kirkpatrick
TASC Coordinator
P.O. Box 1209
Alvarado, TX 76009
214-540-1349 fax

Please join the TASC Tailgate '09 Pet Adoptathon and help make it one of THE adoption events of the year!

Photos by Jonnie England

Saturday, May 02, 2009

First DFW Spay Day A Success!

One hundred DFW dogs and cats were vaccinated and sterilized during the first DFW Spay Day on Sunday, April 27. The dogs and cats were referred by MAC member organizations and the services were supplied at no cost to pet owners who could not have afforded them otherwise.

The animals that participated included 62 dogs (62% female, 38% male) and 38 cats (53% female and 47% male). There was a mixture of purebred animals and mixed breeds.

Thank you to everyone who worked or donated to make this event possible: MAC member organizations, almost 60 volunteers, and our sponsors:

  • Baker Consulting Services
  • Cat Matchers
  • Companions For Life
  • Jeff Davis
  • Feral Friends
  • Community Cat Alliance
  • Mickey Kaliff
  • MWI Veterinary Supply
  • Nicke & Dick Hetzel
  • Oak Hill Animal Rescue, Inc.
  • Outstanding Productions Inc.
  • PAL Protective Animal League
  • Pfizer Animal Health
  • SPCA of Texas
  • Urban Dog Coffee

    DFW Spay Day 2009 was dedicated to the Pleasant Groves dogs who lost their lives to cruelty, Sunday, April 5, 2009.
  • Wednesday, April 29, 2009

    Join THLN For An Evening With Animal Advocate Madeleine Pickens

    The Texas Humane Legislation Network’s mission is to promote the humane treatment of animals through legislation, education and advocacy. They are the political arm and voice for every animal abuse victim, animal rescue group and shelter in Texas, and are responsible for making animal cruelty a felony in Texas.

    They are having a very special event for Metroplex animal lovers this Thursday, May 7th from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. “An Evening with Madeleine Pickens” will be a fun and informative discussion regarding the state of animal welfare and advocacy in Texas. Mrs. Pickens, a famous horse breeder and lifelong animal advocate, and her husband, T. Boone Pickens, have been a driving force against horse slaughter in the United States, and were instrumental in the rescue of over 800 animals during Hurricane Katrina.

    If you are interested in the welfare of animals in our community and wish to help protect those who cannot protect themselves, please join THLN as they celebrate our mutual passion for improving animal’s lives by “giving a voice to those who have no voice” at this exciting event.

    Date: May 7, 2009
    Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
    Place: The Plaza, 3535 Gillespie, Dallas, Texas
    Hors d’oeuvres * Wine * S. Pellegrino
    Donations Accepted

    Monday, April 27, 2009

    DOGWELL'S Bow-Wow Bailout!

    DOGSWELL wants to do its part to help during a down economy. They realize that when people lose their homes, the dogs sometimes pay the price as well. Therefore, the company is giving a free bag of dry dog food to the first 10,000 eligible people who submit a completed DOGSWELL Bow-Wow Bailout redemption form.

    For more information and to see if you are eligible for free dog food, please go to DOGSWELL does not have corn, wheat, or added hormones in in its food.

    Saturday, April 18, 2009

    Pets Lower Your Stress

    These are stressful times, and we could all use something to help us relax a little. If you have high blood pressure or are feeling stressed, adopt a pet! Researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo found that people with hypertension who adopted a cat or dog had lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations than did those who did not own a pet. Other studies have shown that the impact of a stressful situation is less on pet owners, especially men, than on those who don’t own a pet. So in addition to providing unconditional love, devotion and companionship, our dogs and cats can help us live healthier, happier and maybe longer lives.

    By Jonnie England
    Metroplex Animal Coalition

    Sunday, April 12, 2009

    Candlelight Vigil for Burned Dogs Tuesday, April 14, at Dallas City Hall

    A Candlelight Vigil in memory of the two dogs who were set on fire in southeast Dallas last weekend will take place Tuesday, April 14, from 8 to 9 p.m. at Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla St. Animal Connection of Texas (ACT), Metroplex Animal Coalition(MAC), and Texas Animal Defense Coalition(TADC) are sponsoring the vigil.

    Speakers include Susan Oakey with ACT, Jonnie England with MAC, and Kent Robertson with Dallas Animal Services (DAS). Candles will be provided, and participants are invited to bring their dogs. Animal Guardians of America will have adoptable pit bulls on site.

    Saturday, April 4, residents in Pleasant Grove called 911 to report two “fireballs” running down the street. Dallas police responded and found two badly burned pit bull terriers — a male and a female. Dallas Animal Services was called to rescue the dogs, which had to euthanized the next day. Two teenaged boys have been identified as suspects, and Dallas police are investigating the case. Seven other dogs belonging to the same family are in protective custody at DAS. A Dallas municipal judge will decide April 15 whether they will be returned to the owners.

    The two burned dogs have been named Hope and Justice by organizers of the Candlelight Vigil.

    By Jonnie England
    Metroplex Animal Coalition