Today we’d like to introduce you to Jim Hanophy.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jim. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
For the first 33 years of my career, I worked in the disability field; focused on helping people with disabilities enjoy a full and productive life. My Master’s Degree is in Rehabilitation Counseling. Prior to coming to Operation Kindness, I worked as the Assistant Commissioner for Rehabilitative Services in Austin, I commuted to Austin for 6 years from the Fort Worth area and decided to make a change and return to work in the DFW area.
Among the opportunities available in my field was the opportunity to lead Operation Kindness. I was not too familiar with the organization at the time. So I looked on line and saw that the organization took donations of food. I bought a case of food and came to the shelter. After donating the food I spent about an hour and a half walking around, listening and watching. I decided this was the place for me. The rest, as they say, is history.
I am coming up on 5 years at Operation Kindness . We have set adoption records for the past five years. We are embarking on a $12 million capital campaign to build a new medical wing, expand our large dog room, add cat rooms and renovate our existing building.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Transition from one leader to another is never easy. Each organization has its own culture and change requires patience and persistence. Early on we had some struggles determining where my duties, as the CEO, began and ended and where the Board’s began and end.
This is common in non-profit organizations. Over time, we have come to a solid working relationship. I must say, I am very proud of the Board of Directors at Operation Kindness. They are a skilled group of talented professionals who are deeply committed to the mission of Operation Kindness and are a tremendous support to me in my daily work.
The other challenge we encounter is pace and balance. Our goal is to save as many animals as we can. But moving too fast or overextending ourselves can compromise the exceptional quality of care given to animals on which we pride ourselves. We try to always be mindful of maintaining a balance to maintain our quality of care.
Operation Kindness – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Operation Kindness is the original and largest no-kill animal shelter in North Texas. In our 43 years, we have saved over 100,000 dogs and cats. We have set adoption records for each of the past five years, registering 4,889 adoptions last year. We adopt animals from our facility and also through our two adoption trailers that go into the community. On any given day, we are caring for about 450 animals; approximately 275 on site with another 150 animals in foster care.
Our foster care program is vital to our success. Foster families provide care for cats and dogs until they are ready to be adopted.We have 4 types of foster care. Puppies and Kittens remain in foster care until they are old enough to have vaccinations and come to the facility. We provide medical foster care for animals that are recovering from surgery and rehabilitating. We provide foster care for animals who have behavior challenges and cannot thrive at our facility. Specially trained foster parents work with the animal and facilitate adoptions.
Lastly, we provide foster care in lieu of owner surrender. If the owner of the pet has a temporary challenge (Hospitalization, Rehab Centers, Domestic Abuse shelter… etc) we will provide foster care until the challenge is resolved for that person.
67% of the animals we take income to us from other shelters. We are the “go to” for 47 other municipal shelters and private rescue groups. We take animals from these locations to prevent euthanasia due to overcrowding. We also take in many animals who are sick and injured from shelters who are unable to provide the necessary medical care.
Our “crowned jewel” is our medical program. We will treat any animal with any condition if there is an opportunity for that animal to experience a good quality of life. Our medical staff is second to none in their commitment to treat and care for animals.
Operation Kindness is a great place to volunteer. Last year, volunteers provided over 53,000 hours of service to Operation Kindness. In August we opened the Operation Kindness Pet Food Pantry, to assist people who have difficulty feeding their pet. We also provide food, when possible, to smaller rescues.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Being honored with an award by a non-profit some years back for having a significant impact on the lives of people with disabilities by improving the way we assisted people with significant disabilities to find and keep gainful employment. It wasn’t so much the award as it was confirming that what we did truly make a difference.
- Address: 3201 Earhart Drive, Carrollton Texas 75006
- Website: Operation Kindness.org
- Instagram: @operationkindness
- Facebook: Facebook.com/operationkindness
- Twitter: @operationkindness