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U&I and the SPCA of Texas have partnered for The 30th Annual U&I Dash on Saturday, March 23 at Klyde Warren Park in Dallas. The event kicks off early Saturday morning with a dog-friendly 5K & 1 mile race through the Dallas Arts District then shifts gears to become an art and music festival from 4 to 10 pm.

As part of the collaboration, the SPCA of Texas will host a dedicated booth at The Dash from 7 to 11 am, offering attendees the opportunity to meet and adopt adorable dogs. There also will be an opportunity for the community to learn how they can make a difference in the overwhelming crisis of shelter overcrowding by fostering a dog. Fostering is free and it is not a long-term commitment.

"We need to look at people with disabilities the way our pets do, with unconditional love,” said Hugh Breland, CEO of U&I. “Dogs don’t see disabilities, they see human beings. During the event, we are connecting anyone who would like the unconditional love of a dog with the SPCA.” 

Having a pet, whether a Shepherd or a Sheltie, can provide happiness to anyone, but veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can benefit greatly from pet ownership. After giving a life to service, it might be difficult to leave the military and rejoin the regular workforce. Veterans can adopt a dog from the SPCA of Texas for free or at a reduced cost simply by presenting their service ID.

The community is invited to stop by the U&I Live Screen-Printing Booth and get a t- shirt printed featuring the SPCA pup named Kong from 4 to 10 pm. 

The SPCA of Texas is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to preventing and prosecuting animal cruelty. Every year, the Animal Cruelty Investigations Unit looks into hundreds of reports of animal abuse, neglect, hoarding, commercial breeding, animal fighting, and other forms of animal maltreatment in order to better serve the community in North Texas. They collaborate closely with neighborhood law enforcement and animal control organizations to help rescue and care for animals that are the victims of abuse or neglect. 

In 1951, Jean Walker Bentley overcame cultural barriers and spoke out for disabled children and their families. She started the Children’s Development Center to meet the scholastic and socialization needs of children with special needs. In 1981, the federal government mandated that public schools had the responsibility to educate children with disabilities. The organization evolved to help veterans find employment and provide vocational training for special education students preparing to transition out of high school.

Today, as one of the largest workforce development centers in DFW, U&I continues to meet the needs of disabled individuals by providing vocational training, job readiness training, paid work opportunities and community placement to more than 1000 youth and adults with severe intellectual, physical and/or mental health disabilities. More information is available at uandispreadthelight.com.

 

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