Grapevine Animal Services held an Open House on April 23 to celebrate their first year of business in their new digs, located at 500 Shady Brook Lane. This building is about three times the size of the original, which did not have the space and modern equipment that are required more often in this day and age.
The Open House featured shelter tours, a coloring contest, crafts for animals (paw prints), giveaways, adoption specials, face painting, a microchip clinic, raffles, Wise Guys Pizza, the Grapevine Mobile Library, music, police and fire vehicles, and popsicles for humans and dogs.
The event was staffed by Shelter employees and many volunteers, some of which were young adults giving their time to the cause.
“I am a sophomore at Keller High School,” said teen volunteer Kennedy Howerton. “My favorite thing to do here would be messing with the dogs, taking them outside and back into their kennels and stuff like that. One of the things I like to do best is when we bring the dogs inside from the yard after cleaning their kennels, I put treats in there. They get so excited when they see those on their beds!
“I live in Keller. and when I started volunteering, I was 15, and the minimum age there was 16. My dad works for the city [of Keller], so we know people [in Grapevine]. I was old enough when they opened up the new building last year to come volunteer over here.
“We have two dogs. They're both Boston Terriers. One is a rescue. We've had him for a while. Rescue [organizations] are really [important] to our family. We've had dogs in our family forever. My mom had them when she was a kid, and I've had dogs my whole life since I can remember,” Howerton said.
Amanda McNew is the Public Information Officer at Grapevine Police Department and was there giving her time as well.
“This was really exciting because this was our first open house,” McNew said. “This was really our celebration [for the anniversary of opening the building]. We thank the community for supporting us for the last year. It was also a chance for everyone else to come to see us if they haven't been out yet!
“There was a big microchip clinic as well. The first 25 people got free microchips for their pets, and after that, it was just $5. So, we really want to help our community microchip their pets, so if they do get out, we can identify them and get them [back home].
“We had some giveaways for people, thanking them for supporting us. And we had a lot of local businesses donate prizes for the raffle. The profits from our raffle tickets specifically go to pay for the medical bills for injured animals that come into our care. So, if a dog has a broken leg or a medical condition, we get them to the hospital and get any surgeries they need, we rehabilitate them and make sure that they can still be adopted. We really want to see the animals through that process. So that's why the fundraising component is so important. We also had the Grapevine mobile library out there, the police and fire departments with their trucks, some giveaways, and Wise Guys was selling pizza by the slice.
“We really wanted to make it a family-friendly event so people could come to see the animals, have lunch, and spend some time here before they go home. We had face painting, a coloring, contest, crafts, tours, and bubbles. We even had popsicles, with pup cups for the dogs.
“We've had a few families who recently adopted a dog come back just to show us how happy they are together. That’s been amazing to see, and it really solidifies things and shows us that what we do is good. We love hearing from families who've adopted [an animal]. We even have some rabbits and guinea pigs right now. So, we've got a big selection, and we just want to find homes for as many as we can. And if [adoptive families] need guidance, then we're here to help them out,” McNew explained.
The Fire Department was in attendance with trucks and firefighters to speak to the community. The Fire Marshal’s office even had a booth with items that demonstrated how easy it is to accidentally start a fire.
The Mobile Library was open during the event and even had an animal guest: Yzma the Ball Python. Owner Rae Puechner works for the library and decided to give Yzma a snake’s day out.
The Shelter is planning to do an event like this every year. Shelter hours and information can be found at https://grapevinetexas.gov/1251/Animal-Services