May 2-8 has been designated “Be Kind to Animals Week,” and the entire month of May is National Pet Month. We at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Texas wish every day was designated for being kind to our four-footed friends.

In our staff meeting the other day, the SPCA vet, Sanders, mentioned his surprise at the number of animals we receive that have been treated inhumanely.

During the four months Dr. Sanders has been with the SPCA, he has treated a dog that was shot five times by the owner’s husband (she kept the dog at home with no care for five days before bringing him in!). Yes, the dog lived.

The doctor has also treated a dog for scalding water burns on the head (she is currently being fostered) and two dogs with chains embedded in their necks.

What is even more surprising to me is that with every cruelty case I have seen, the dogs still are able to wag their tails and lick my hand. If only humans would take a cue from this unconditional love.

Please, if you witness any animal abuse, call our Field Investigation Department. Your message will be confidential. If you are asked to give your name and phone number, it is to allow the investigators recourse if the case is severe enough and goes to court. Animals cannot speak for themselves, so please cooperate.

Here is a list of phone numbers that every Dallas pet owner should cut out and keep:

Pet Emergency Numbers

• SPCA of Texas Field Investigation (Cruelty) Dept.: 651-9611, ext. 120 or 121. You may get a recording, but if you leave your number, your call will be returned. This department averages 1,300 calls per month, so be patient!
• To report strays or injured animals, call Animal Control: 670-7436. (The SPCA does not have the capability to pick up animals. This is a function of the City.)
• Removal of dead animals: 747-2600.
• Lost and found service: 651-WAGS (a free service of the SPCA).
• Lost pet hot line: 741-PETS or 670-8389. If you find an animal and want to turn it in, the SPCA’s receiving hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays and 1-5 p.m. weekends.

We ask for donations because the cost per animal for processing, shots, food and shelter is about $170.

We loan “Have-A-Heart” traps for humanely capturing stray cats, raccoons and other animals. You may obtain the traps at our Receiving Department, 362 S. Industrial Blvd. Call 651-9611, ext. 112.

• Spay/Neuter information: SPCA Martin Clinic, 651-9611, ext. 116.
• Vet referral: Dallas County Veterinarian Medical Association, 339-8756.

So hug your pet and give it lots of love, not only this month, but every day. Having a pet is a privilege.

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