East Lake Pet Orphanage Partners with Disabled American Veterans to Elevate Pet Rescue

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East Lake Pet Orphanage (ELPO) to share new building with local DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Big D Chapter 57.

Vet meets Vets (left to right): Olga Wuerz, Commander, DAV, Big D Chapter 57, Karen Fling, DVM, President of East Lake Pet Orphanage, Tom Bouressa, Adjutant, DAV, Big D Chapter 57 signing ceremony.

"It’s an exciting time at East Lake, this dream has been decades in the making." -Karen Fling, DVM

Karen Fling, DVM and president of East Lake Pet Orphanage (ELPO), a Dallas-based, no-kill animal shelter, has successfully completed the purchase of the approximately 3,200-square-foot building adjacent to the existing East Lake Veterinary Hospital and East Lake Cat Care Center buildings. The newly acquired building has been home to the local DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Big D Chapter 57.

For years, East Lake Pet Orphanage has operated through volunteer foster homes and inside East Lake Veterinary Hospital. Now, plans are underway to build a new multistory facility.

Karen Fling says, “It’s an exciting time at East Lake, this dream has been decades in the making. After our best year of adoptions ever, and thousands of homeless pets rescued, rehabilitated and re-homed since 2001, we are happy to announce that East Lake Pet Orphanage will have a new standalone facility designed specifically to meet our growing needs!”

The new facility will be located between East Lake Veterinary Hospital and the new East Lake Cat Care Center, at 8630 Thurgood in Dallas. The DAV will continue to operate on the first floor of the existing building; our plan is to build five floors above the DAV meeting space to house East Lake Pet Orphanage needs.

“In an exciting collaboration with the veterans of Big D Chapter 57, our new facility will also serve as a shared community meeting space, volunteer activity center, and continue to be a meeting space for the chapter,” Karen Fling, DVM says.

“We are also excited to announce plans to extend East Lake Pet Orphanage’s nonprofit mission to include veterinary care for veterans’ animals when the veterans themselves need medical care. A representative of the VA hospital recently confirmed that despite having excellent medical care available, ‘the greatest barrier to veterans receiving in-patient treatment is the need for pet care. The veterans don’t want to leave their animals at home alone.’ Also, while veterans enjoy a variety of governmental support, no provision exists for general veterinary care. Veterinary care for veterans is critically important, especially given that many veterans have service or emotional support pets, as well as pets that simply help give them a better quality of life.

“East Lake Pet Orphanage is grateful for the incredible community support which has allowed us to rescue and rehabilitate thousands of homeless pets since 2001. Now, we’re seeking contributions to help us move our pet rescue efforts to a facility designed specifically for the needs of the animals we help.

“Our dream, five-story building will have a cat floor, a dog floor, an inclusive exercise floor, a boarding floor, and a convalescent/intensive care floor.

“Funding needs are especially critical currently in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. We’re seeing a 10-fold increase in requests from owners to surrender their pets. People are afraid because of economic challenges and increased unemployment rates due to the coronavirus that they will be unable to care for their pets. We are asking for help, no matter how small your donation might be. Every penny will go to helping us achieve our dream of delivering a higher level of pet rescue and care than ever. Please help at whatever level you can,” concluded Dr. Fling.

Project partners include:

Shelter Design: Chase Corker

General contractor: Toby Anderson

Visit or volunteer at East Lake Pet Orphanage, or by calling 214-342-3100, https://www.eastlakepetorphanage.com/ or email Gerad@welovepets.net.
Donate at: https://elpo.networkforgood.com/

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Vicki Young
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