Hard workers who are committed to helping our county’s shelter animals come in all shapes and sizes. The Dalhart Animal Wellness Group and Sanctuary in Texas’ panhandle is proof positive of that!
This very special rescue group is run almost entirely by children. One historic spring in 2003 school teacher Dianne Trull was talking to her students about pet over population and one child earnestly inquired, “Why do the dogs have to die?”
Able to grasp the power in that moment and unwilling to tell her students that they were powerless to help these desperate animals, Diane instead took it upon herself to empower these young leaders. As Diane puts it, together her students, her family and she set out to “change how the world works. And change the world they have done indeed–in spite of tremendous obstacles– for themselves and the over 5,000 dogs and cats they have placed in loving homes!
Diane’s commitment and that of her students was tested early on when the community forced them out of their existing shelter and they had to move over 500 animals during a blizzard to another nearby location. Regardless of season, the weather in Dalhart continues to pose some of the most challenging obstacles; Wind speeds get up to 70 mph and temperatures can range from 70 degrees one day to below zero the following day…not to mention tornados and hurricanes that frequent the area.
However, D.A.W.G.S. founder Diane is reluctant to focus on these challenges. She invariably brings the conversation back to focus on the animals saved and the amazing kids who, now in high school and mentoring other young students, are still hard at work helping the animals.
In an effort to protect the shelter from the forces of nature, D.A.W.G.S. is now enrolled in a USDA conservation program that will match the funds they raise to build a natural windbreak out of trees. This is yet another challenge for the amazing team at D.A.W.G.S, a challenge we have no doubt they will meet. Especially if we all put the word out and show them that they have the support of all of us. See: http://www.dawgsntexas.com/HTML/newdonations2007.html if you’d like to help.
And with volunteers like fourth grader Hannah, we know the D.A.W.G.S. animals are in great hands; According to Hannah, the shelter is like “the little engine that could–we just keep thinking we can, thinking we can, thinking we can….and finally we make it!”