We are committed to ending the overpopulation, abuse, neglect of Dallas area dogs and cats.  Our goal is that every adoptable dog and cat get a loving home. We are a 501C3 all volunteer, no-kill organization.
Everyday we witness first hand the tragic consequences of pet overpopulation.
In 2008-2009, the City of Dallas shelter alone took in 33,617 dogs and cats and:
  • euthanized 26,542 dogs and cats (20,022 dogs and 6,520 cats)
  • adopted out 2,517 dogs and cats
  • redeemed back to owners 2,425 dogs and cats
  • rescue organizations saved 1,420 dogs and cats
Estimates are that 200,000 are euthanized each year across the Metroplex.


In June 2005, the mission was to rescue dogs and cats from the City of Dallas shelter who were being euthanized at a rate of almost 30,000 a year. We made arrangements for the City shelter to bring animals for adoption to our events in September 2005.  Our mission was sidetracked by a much bigger crisis - Hurricane Katrina. We helped evacuate 22 dogs and 40 cats from a no-kill shelter in New Orleans. Co-founder Becky Haisma went to Louisiana to work at an intake station as animals came in from flooded areas. A special puppy stole her heart, but when it arrived in Dallas, it had become ill with lead poisoning from swallowing gasoline in the waters. We scrambled to raise funds for the medical bills and were able to save a young life. Tara Harper, another co-founder, arranged for a private plane pilot to fly to Mississippi to rescue 10 dogs from a shelter that was overloaded due to the storm. Within weeks, we had almost 35 dogs and 12 cats. 

The first month incubated what would become the Paws philosophy:
  • We are willing to share our resources with like minded groups,
  • We stand ready to assist in a crisis and
  • We will not abandon animals that need help the most - we work harder for hard-to-place pets and we find ways to raise additional money when necessary to help animals that have no where else to turn. 
We have grown from a handful of exuberant volunteers to over 150 dedicated volunteers. We are now one of the largest and most respected animal rescue groups in the Metroplex. Our success is due to: committed volunteers, a sound fundraising philosophy, and strong marketing. Our fundraisers are some of the most unique and fun in town!  In our current recession, when most charities are suffering through a drop in donations, our funds have nearly doubled along with our volunteer base and the number of animals saved.


  • Reducing the number of animals killed at the City of Dallas Animal Shelter by having them attend our offsite adoption events AND pulling animals on death row. Besides the SPCA, Paws in the City saves more dogs and cats from the City of Dallas shelter than any other organization
  • Increasing the number of animals adopted each and every year. 
  • Having the most exciting and unique fundraisers in town (4 events a year). Our annual gala,Top Hat & Tails, has sold out every year.
  • Taking in dogs and cats that other organizations overlook due to illness, age or breed.  For example, heartworm positive dogs who might otherwise have been killed at the city shelter or taking in older dogs or cats or mixed breeds of all sizes.  The City shelter counts on us as a last resort.
  • Ceating a training program for our dogs so that no dog is in our program due to behavioral issues for very long.  We are committed to their emotional and mental well being as well as their physical needs.  We have rehabilitated many dogs who developed issues due to human neglect and abuse, giving them a second chance.