FORT WORTH, Texas (Aug. 16, 2013) – Thirteen Texas Motor Speedway employees visited the Humane Society of North Texas on Friday to assist in caring for the recent rescue of more than 240 dogs from an Aug. 1 seizure in Denton County.
The seizure was described by Denton County Sheriff Will Travis as the worst he has ever seen. Many of the dogs were kept in small cages inside tin shelters, storage buildings and even vans located throughout the property. The animals spent most of their lives in crates, covered in their own feces and fed just every other day.
“They had a hoarding situation of over 200 animals,” Humane Society of North Texas Assistant Shelter Manager Shelly Meeks said. “It was almost 250 and a seizure that large requires everybody coming together and working to get those animals out of there.”
Texas Motor Speedway employees volunteered their time to clean each of the dog’s kennels, take them for a walk and, just as importantly, began the socialization process again between humans and these dogs. The Humane Society of North Texas employees said the socialization is all too new to the animals. Having just won custody of the animals Thursday, the Humane Society of North Texas is attempting to prepare all the animals for adoption and volunteer help will only expedite the process of these animals finding loving homes.
“The Humane Society told us that many of these dogs seized probably had not seen or felt any affection in two years,” Texas Motor Speedway Vice President of Media Relations Mike Zizzo said. “It was a tremendous feeling to socialize with them and see that tail wagging and promise again in their eyes. We were pleased to help expedite the process of taking care of this group for a day and getting them one step closer to adoption and a new life.”
For the Humane Society of North Texas, the volunteer help from Texas Motor Speedway could not have come at a more critical time with that major influx of dogs arriving from the seizure.
“When you house anywhere from 400 to 600 animals on a daily basis, adding 250 to that mix definitely stretches the staff very thin,” Meeks said. “Having volunteers any day, but especially when we have a case like this, it really helps keep the staff motivated, keeps us going and helps us take care of these guys the right way.”
Instituted in 1905, the Humane Society of North Texas’ mission has been to act as an advocate on behalf of animals and to ensure their legal, moral and ethical consideration and protection. The organization provides for the well-being of animals that are abandoned, injured, mistreated or otherwise in need. Volunteers are the lifeline that helps keep the effort going by ensuring the adoption process is moving as quickly as the rescue process is occurring. There’s no other time when volunteers are needed most than when a large influx occurs at once.
People interested in volunteering with the Humane Society of North Texas can visit www.HSNT.org , click on “How To Help” and follow the link for volunteering, or they can stop by the shelter in person and meet with the volunteer coordinator.
The day of service at the Humane Society of North Texas marks the fourth and final event of this year’s edition of Texas Motor Speedway “Speeding To Help” community outreach program. The program, having just completed its sixth consecutive year, designated a major outreach program once a week for the last four weeks and provided volunteer assistance from Texas Motor Speedway employees to assist their cause. This year, “Speeding To Help” had an emphasis on helping Texas communities rebuild from disaster.
Speedway staff members helped the United Methodist Committee on Relief rebuild the home for Alfonso and Amanda Hernandez in Granbury. The family’s home was devastated after an EF-4 tornado ripped through their Rancho Brazos community.
Just last week, employees traveled to West to assist residents in their rebuilding efforts from April’s fertilizer plant explosion. The speedway contingent partnered with the West Long-Term Recovery Center to help longtime West residents Andrew and Martha Hlavenka by painting the entire exterior of a home as well as remove overhanging, dead tree limbs. The program also helped residents in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex as the program kicked off July 24 with speedway employees assisting Mission Arlington with pickups and deliveries of various household items and furniture for the less fortunate. NOTE: High-res video of today's event is available at http://tinyurl.com/mhy4aa8.