Animal adoption center experiences space crisis


Trennt Rhea

Photo of Sara McComb

Savannah F. Curtis, Copy Editor

The Farmers Branch Animal Adoption Center is struggling to house and find homes for their animals in a timely manner, and are going as far as to waive certain adoption fees and host free microchipping events.

Sara McComb, Farmers Branch Animal Services manager, said adoption fees in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are at a historic low. Adoption fees for animals typically range from $85 to $100 when an animal first arrives at the Center.

“After an animal has been at the shelter for 30 days, their adoption fees are waived,” McComb said. “Not everybody is over 30 [days] right now, but I have such a space crisis that I need to get these animals adopted really any way that I can.” In order to adopt, all that is needed is a valid form of ID from someone over the age of 18.

Despite the majority of animal rescues nationwide having a current space crisis, no one can attribute an exact answer as to the sheer number of stray animals. “We’re having a problem right now,” McComb said. “We do have a problem pretty much every six months or so, but this is worse than before,” McComb said. “In August, we took in 91 dogs – that’s only dogs, not cats.”

In August 2021, McComb said, as well as in 2020 that number was 36. “The first week of September this year we took in 27 dogs,” she said. “Last year, the first week of September, it was six.”

With the hope of inspiring more animal adoptions, the adoption center hosted a free microchipping event at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church on Oct. 8.

According to the American Kennel Club, one in three pets become lost at some point in their lives. “If an animal comes in here with a microchip – dog, cat, or otherwise – the return to owner rate is something like 98%,” McComb said. “If they come in here without a microchip, it’s basically 0%. That’s why [microchipping] is such a big deal.”

“There’s a ton of resources out there,” McComb said, urging people to become new pet owners. “ has tons of free resources for training – medical and introductions into the home, etc. There’s a lot of really good information on the internet that can ease the transition. We have crates that we give away to people who need them, etc.,” McComb said. The center is willing to help in any way possible to combat the current space crisis they are fighting.

Beyond adoption, McComb said anyone seeking to help can volunteer to walk the dogs or socialize with the cats and kittens. “We have all this access to Brookhaven out back,” she said. “The trails are really nice and there is nothing like an olfactory stimulation, for a dog in particular, to change everything about the way that dog feels about a shelter. I cannot overstate the value of leash walking shelter dogs outside of their normal olfactory situation.”

Anyone wishing to adopt or volunteer can contact staff at the Farmers Branch Animal Adoption Center.