The nonprofit organization Friends of Dallas Animal Services aims to raise $50,000 this year at the 14th annual North Texas Giving Day online event.

The nonprofit works to raise funds to support the Dallas Animal Services Department. The department operates the city's animal shelter and helped place 1,603 dogs and 689 cats into homes from October-December last year, according to DAS data. Proceeds from the event will go toward funding four programs at the city’s shelter related to foster, enrichment, medical and general support.

“These program areas were agreed upon by both parties when we started [the nonprofit] in 2019,” said Wendy Renier, director of Friends of Dallas Animal Shelter, in a statement. “We leave the shelter operations to the experts at [DAS] and make purchases based on their requests.”

Other department funding is provided by taxpayer dollars, according to Marlo Clingman, animal services public information officer. She said the city’s municipal shelter has been experiencing a number of issues in the last fiscal year, including an outbreak of the canine distemper virus and low adoption numbers.

“Like many other industries across the globe, we are facing staffing shortages,” Clingman said.

DAS offers free adoptions for animals that have already received spay and neutering operations, vaccinations and microchips in efforts to promote adoption and foster care.

“Last year, over 3,300 organizations across the region came together to celebrate North Texas Giving Day and raised $66 million,” Renier said. “We already have a $25,000 match fund so that we can match all gifts dollar for dollar to reach our goal.”

The entire fundraising event is strictly virtual and available to the public online. Communities Foundation of Texas, a regional charitable organization, will host the event Sept. 22 this year, but donations can be made starting as early as Sept. 1 on the organization’s fundraising page.

“Our organization, which is volunteer-run, provides critical financial support to Dallas Animal Services,” Reiner said. “[This event] helps us amplify our message.”