Fort Worth Animal Shelter is over capacity

The Fort Worth Animal Shelter is extremely over capacity, with 266 animals entering the shelter in the past four days. The shelter’s intake on Tuesday alone was 94 animals.

Altogether, more than 678 animals are currently being housed and fed in the shelter. These animals also receive medical treatment and care for any special needs, such as newborn care.

Even with all of the innovative programs aimed at getting the animals out of the shelter — new foster families, increased action from rescue organizations, monthly transport program, among other initiatives — intake numbers keep dramatically increasing.

Dr. Tim Morton, Code Compliance assistant director who oversees Fort Worth’s Animal Care & Control Services, says that even if residents can’t commit to adopting a pet right now, they can make a huge difference by fostering a dog or cat.

“Fostering opens up kennel space to make room for the steady intake of new pets coming into the shelter each day. Right now, every single kennel is priceless.”

The need for help is immediate, especially for medium and large dogs.

Fort Worth Animal Care & Control’s main shelter at 4900 Martin St. is open noon-6 p.m. every day. Adoption fees are $10 and include spay/neuter, microchip and vaccinations.

Residents who are interested in fostering a dog, cat, puppy or kitten can complete an application online.

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Animal shelter hosting a Valentine’s shelter dog slumber party

No date this Valentine’s Day? Want to cuddle up on the couch and watch movies with a cute, snuggly four-legged companion? We’ve got you covered.

Join the Fort Worth animal shelter Feb. 14 or 15 to look around the shelter and choose a special houseguest. Light refreshments will be served, and a spot has been reserved for you to get acquainted with your “date.” Plenty of staff will be available to answer questions. You’ll also receive a leash, bag of food and a report card to help staff gain information about your foster dog’s experience.

Studies have shown that even a short amount of time away from the shelter decreases stress in dogs and increases their adoptability. The report card helps tremendously when matching dogs with adoptive families.

The slumber party is part of the shelter’s Cowtown Crashpads foster program. The first slumber party was held in January, and it was a huge success: 106 dogs were able to leave the shelter and spend a night – and, in many cases, longer — with their foster family.

Cowtown Crashpads normally helps pets that land at the shelter and are sick or have other issues where being in a foster home will allow that pet the care and attention they need until they can be adopted. The Valentine Slumber Party will give people the opportunity to help adoption-ready shelter pets and experience being a foster parent.

All animals available for the slumber party are spayed/neutered, microchipped, up to date on vaccines and on flea/tick preventative. Staff recommends leaving your current pet at home, as the shelter is a stressful place. Staff members will be happy to talk you through introducing your guest to your current pets.

Slumber party pets can be picked up from the main shelter, 4900 Martin St., between 3 and 6 p.m. Feb. 14 or 15. Complete a foster application beforehand.

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New animal ordinances approved

After more than a year of discussions and public input, the Fort Worth City Council approved a series of updated animal ordinances on June 26.

City staff periodically reviews the animal care and control ordinances to ensure compliance with associated rules and laws as well as relevant content for changing policies, development standards and cultural practices.

A partial list of revised ordinances includes microchipping, the “leash law” and intact-pet permits.


Microchipping will be the primary/recommended method for pet identification. Animals adopted or otherwise microchipped by the city are registered in a national database at no cost to the owner.

Pet owners who object to a microchip can get a collar-attached city license and pay a three-year ($100), five-year ($150) or life-of-pet fee ($200). The fee schedule is set to keep city expenses to a minimum (fewer renewals) while maximizing savings to the resident through a life-of-pet option.

Multifamily pet requirements

Landlords will now need to verify microchip, rabies vaccination and intact-pet status or permit. Before the updated ordinance, landlords only had to verify a current pet license.

Dangerous dogs

The new ordinance defines dangerous dogs as those that attack humans. This is consistent with state law. Dogs attacking animals are addressed as aggressive dogs.

Aggressive dogs

Dogs that attack other domestic animals are now recognized as aggressive dogs and are subject to a new criminal violation for known aggressive dog attacks. This is also consistent with state law.

Quarantine of animals

In the past, a veterinary practice is where a majority of quarantines occurred. The new ordinance allows for home quarantines as is consistent with state law.

“Pooper scooper law” — pet waste pickup

Previously, pet owners were only required to “scoop poop” on the owner’s property and parks. Now, pet owners have a responsibility to clean up pet waste in all public areas in addition to private property.

Intact-pet fees

This is a two-tiered ordinance.

  • The intact-pet permit fee remains at $50.
  • If an intact dog is impounded at the shelter, and the owner does not want to spay/neuter their pet, they can pay $500 and apply for an intact-pet permit. The permit application must be approved.

“Leash law” aka under immediate control

Currently, dogs must be kept restrained, but no leash or specific control is required. The updated ordinance requires owners to have immediate control of a dog by a leash or through voice, gesture or other means. Exceptions include residential zones where a leash would be required and at special events and parks where agreements, administrative rules and other ordinances set requirements.

The revision requires dogs to be maintained under control so they are not a nuisance to others while allowing obedient dogs to safely accompany responsible owners at outdoor activities.

Retail sale of dogs and cats

The ordinance prohibits the retail sale of dogs and cats anywhere other than where the cat or dog was born (for example, at the home of the breeder). An exemption applies for nonprofit organizations, rescue groups or dog shows.

The ordinance encourages adopting dogs and cats rather than purchasing through pet stores and puppy mills.

To learn more, call 817-392-1234 or visit the animal page.

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Fort Worth Animal Shelter awarded $50,000 grant

Two-year-old Millie, an adorable, solid black terrier-mix, was shaking from head to toe as she arrived at the Fort Worth Animal Shelter after her owner decided she couldn’t afford to care for her anymore. Millie’s fur was covered with mats that were pulling at her skin. Sadly, she also tested positive for heartworm. Two days later, Millie’s owner surrendered her brother.

Nationwide, thousands of municipal animal shelters struggle daily as they are overwhelmed with the number of animals entering the facilities as a result of being surrendered or found roaming the streets when owners can no longer care for them.

The $50,000 Better Cities for Pets grant was awarded to the City of Fort Worth to assist the people and pets of Fort Worth who lack access to mainstream veterinary care. The grant was awarded through Mars Petcare and the United States Conference of Mayors’ Better Cities for Pets program, a nationwide initiative designed to help cities implement, support and expand pet-friendly programs and policies.

“Fort Worth prides itself on being a pet-friendly city, as research shows living with pets enhances quality of life and has numerous health benefits,” said Mayor Betsy Price. “This grant will support the City of Fort Worth’s Animal Care & Control Unit as they expand efforts to improve animal well-being, as well as provide additional pet care resources and services to our citizens.”

Data collected by the Humane Society of the United States from the nation’s most underserved communities found startling differences in pet ownership. People living in underserved communities love their pets as much as pet owners anywhere else in the nation. However, they don’t have access to veterinary care, spay/neuter and other services most Americans take for granted.

  • Pets living in underserved communities in the U.S.: 23 million.
  • Percentage of pets living in underserved communities who:
  • Are not spayed or neutered: 87 percent.
  • Have never seen a veterinarian: 77 percent.

The Fort Worth Animal Welfare Division of Code Compliance will use Pets for Life, a national program providing wellness resources to residents in underserved communities. Thanks to the grant, residents will receive information and assistance with access to free or low-cost pet services such as vaccinations, spay/neuter and micro-chipping. The Ash Crescent neighborhood has been selected to receive the initial services.

(By the way, there’s a happy ending: Millie and her brother were both adopted into loving homes shortly after being surrendered.)

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Therapy Dogs to Visit TCC Trinity River on National Therapy Animal Day


Consistent with its goal of being a student-ready college with supportive learning environments, the staff at Tarrant County College Trinity River is bringing back pet therapy dogs to help ease students’ anxiety levels as final exams approach. TCC launched its TheraPaws program in 2014 to help improve student success outcomes for all students.

Students pet, cuddle or hug therapy dogs of various breeds and sizes from Pet Partners Heart of Gold, an organization that provides therapy relief across the globe. Dog handlers include members of the community such as retired

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Review proposed animal ordinances at public meeting

Fort Worth Animal Care & Control is hosting a public meeting to discuss animal ordinance revisions. The meeting will be 6-7 p.m. Jan. 31 at Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, 818 Missouri Ave.

The purpose of the meeting is to review final animal ordinance proposals after a yearlong process with multiple public meetings to incorporate resident and stakeholder input.

To learn more, contact Tony Hiller at 817-392-6981.

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Animal shelter partners with Hiley Subaru for Subaru Loves Pets adoption event

The Fort Worth Animal Shelter is partnering with Subaru and the Saving Hope Foundation for a one-day adoption event from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 7 at Hiley Subaru, 3505 W. Loop 820 South.

The Subaru Loves Pets adoption event comes at a time when the shelter is housing 600 pets who are waiting for loving and forever homes.

Though adoptions and rescues continue to increase at the Fort Worth Animal Shelter, it’s difficult to stay ahead of the stray and homeless pets coming into the shelter each day. In Fort Worth, more than 17,000 pets enter the shelter each year.

Adoption fees reduced to $10 during the Subaru event. All pets have been spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and have a city license.

See available pets.

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Houston SPCA coordinating animal rescue efforts during hurricane aftermath

The City of Fort Worth Animal Care & Control is supporting the efforts of the City of Houston SPCA, the lead agency for animal-related disaster rescue, relief and resources in the Houston region.

All animal rescue organizations and volunteers that want to assist in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts should call the Houston SPCA disaster hotline at 713-861-3010 to find out how they can best help.

People can help by donating to the Houston SPCA and then, in the coming weeks, by donating time and money to local organizations that help find homes for those pets that do not get reunited with their owners.

Fort Worth is one of a few locations where owners and their pets can co-locate at an emergency shelter. Pets will be kept just outside the building entrance in air conditioned tents where they will receive free care, food and veterinary services.

Visit the Houston SPCA website for more information on their efforts.

For more information on Fort Worth and Tarrant County’s work to assist with Hurricane Harvey, please visit for the latest.

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