DPA’s Pawsome People: October 2020 Volunteer Spotlight

“Tina is not only a leader within Dallas Pets Alive, but also a leader within our community in TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) of community cats. This year alone, through September, DPA has assisted with TNR of 327 community cats. Since inception of our TNR program in 2015, under Tina’s leadership we have prevented an estimated 16,602 kittens from being born. Tina helps dozens of Dallas citizens monthly get involved and educates them about TNR, an effective and humane way to prevent cats from entering the shelter system. Tina’s proactive and community-based approach is not only saving lives, but also empowering our community to be part of the solution.”  – Andra A., DPA’s VP of Animal Operations

“Tina goes above and beyond to work with individuals by talking to them on the phone and really holding their hand through the TNR process. She is one of the most thorough and caring leaders I have had the pleasure to work with.”  – Leslie S., DPA’s Executive Director

Tina’s efforts in the TNR community make her a one of a kind volunteer and leader. Read more about her below: 

What does your role within DPA involve? What do you oversee within the organization?

TNR Director for Dallas Pets Alive! We provide guidance and resources to the public for all things feral cats (and the individuals who care so much about them!) in order to help curb the overpopulation and ensure the cats get to live out their lives in the most humane way possible.

What is your professional background?

A grassroots upbringing as it relates to all things feral cats. It all started with one feral cat 6.5 years ago and before I knew it here we are today…

How did you get involved with volunteering at DPA?

TNR is a really small world and while my story is quite long it was a friend of a friend who introduced me to Leslie after she heard about my TNR efforts in the community. I knew there had to be a better way than what I was doing on my own. Early on I realized that TNR (read: rescue) — is a massive mountain to conquer and this big-picture I had in my head required a force — one that would involve getting the community’s support but also working to improve things from every angle. Not even the most talented athletes can be their best selves working solo. Behind every great success there is a skilled group of people working to make things happen.   

How long have you been involved with the organization?

A little over 5 years.

What drives you to dedicate your time to DPA?

Formality, objectivity and efficiency. Big change cannot happen without them. It is bigger than the few feral cats in someone’s backyard, it’s about the hundreds of thousands out there in our community.

On average, how many hours per week do you volunteer?

The better question is: how many hours per week would you like to volunteer? Volunteering for something I really truly believe in is something so personal, so naturally I wish I had extra hours in the day. But like most things in life there are phases complete with peaks and troughs. Rescue is ripe for burnout so it is crucial to keep in mind the long-haul mentality. 

What are you most passionate about at DPA?

Education. So many nuances about feral cats that can [help] ensure they live out their life in the most humane way possible. It is not about “saving them all”. We need to get to a place where every feral cat has a positive outcome and the overpopulation to a manageable degree.

Give us a fun fact about you!

To date I have only fostered 1 cat. Hissy Face. She was a feral cat that needed a leg amputation and as a result she couldn’t go back into her colony.

Be Pawsome like Tina. Apply to be a Dallas Pets Alive! volunteer today!

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