Pawsitively Purrfect: A Day at Operation Kindness
by David Sung
Wiggly puppies, playful kittens plus plenty of their full-size counterparts were all nestled on a tree-lined, landscaped property with winding trails and even a physical therapy playground. Sounds like pet heaven, right? At least I thought so when I first laid my eyes on the facilities at Operation Kindness in Carrollton, Texas.
Our first order of the day was a guided tour of the property. We were taken through the cat section of the facility where there are cats of all kinds in cages and others that are allowed to roam free, depending on their temperament or health status. They have access to a lovely screened-in patio that is open to the outdoors. Many felines were sprawled out lazily on an array of different cat trees, soaking in the rays of the sun and the sounds of birds chirping.
Wrapped around the corner from the “catio” (I think they actually do call it that) is the kitten room. Stacks of neat cages — all with food, water, a litter box, and toys — are lined up along the wall with kittens of every shape, size and color. It was hard not to “awww” at the cute faces peering out at you from every angle — and the occasional swiping paw to get your attention. Cat lovers need to look no further! Operation Kindness is always happy to have cat visitors.
We then moved on to the dog rooms — one with rows for the puppies, small to medium-sized dogs, and then a separate building for the big dogs. The big dog building is called “Bear’s Den,” after a particularly charismatic resident who won the hearts of all. Every run has a plexi-glass front for optimal viewing, ensuring every dog can be easily seen by potential adopters. The sparkling cleanliness is what really surprised me. I was prepared to see a few “accidents,” but the conditions were pristine.
After the tour and a quick teaching session on how to leash a dog, we were allowed to take the dogs for walks and play with the cats. Some of us even gave a few of the dogs a bath. Throughout the day, I noticed a host of people on site as well — both staff and volunteers like us — who were running the day- to-day operations of the facility. Because not only is Operation Kindness an animal shelter, it is also a fully functioning, stand-alone animal hospital.
Operation Kindness also provides the animals with free-run enclosures for one-on-one socialization with people or their animal friends. Yes, the animals have cliques. We were informed by the staff that the dogs and cats actually have individual animal “friends” that they socialize with. Among the hustle and bustle of a work week, a walk on a quiet, wooded trail was a welcome respite. And getting to share it with man’s best friend was shall we say, perfection.
But let’s not forget what Operation Kindness is all about — animals that are looking for permanent homes. Every canine and feline resident has an information sheet on the front of their temporary home, with general information (age, gender, breed, etc.), a temperament description, health information, and any known back story. Thankfully, Operation Kindness is a no-kill animal shelter, meaning that regardless of how long a particular animal is there or what their condition is (unless they are suffering and it’s inhumane to keep them alive), they will stay forever or until adopted into fitting homes.
After such a positive experience, I would strongly recommend anyone looking for a pet to stop by Operation Kindness — or if you just need a bit of non-human interaction. The dogs and cats will be waiting!
You can adopt, volunteer or donate here: http://www.operationkindness.org/
Written by Lindsey Blackburn
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