Meet Tawana Couch, president of Society for Companion Animals; a Dallas-Fort Worth non profit animal rescue that will mark a decade of service next year. As a flight attendant, Couch saw an opportunity to transport homeless dogs from shelters in Texas and relocate the animals to areas where there is a waiting list of responsible, adoptive owners.
As president of SFCA, Couch also works to educate the public on dog and cat overpopulation, as well as working with lawmakers to strengthen animal cruelty laws.
We wanted to know a bit more about Couch and she was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself, SFCA and the communities it serves throughout Texas.
Dawn Tongish: Can you begin by telling us about Society for Companion Animals?
Tawana Couch: I founded SFCA in 2005. I have spent several decades rescuing dogs and cats, well over a thousand. I saw that there was a need for animals to be transported to places that could find them homes. SFCA rescues dogs mostly all across Texas and flies them to shelters up north that adopts them out.
DT: What are your duties at Society for Companion Animals?
TC: I work with shelters across Texas and we set up rescues. I help with a fundraiser flying pets. I am the President for SFCA.
DT: How did you become involved with Society for Companion Animals, and why are you so passionate about the work being done at the organization?
TC: Being a flight attendant I saw where there were places that could place unwanted dogs from Texas.
DT: Why do you work in the non-profit sector?
TC: I love dogs and cats.
DT: It can be tough for any non profit to pay the bills. How do you stay afloat?
TC: We rely on donations. We do not get funds from adoptions we just get lots of bills. We have to pay for flights for the dogs, medical and boarding cost. This all ads up, so word of mouth is critical. We do have fundraisers and get a few grants.
DT: What are some of the most memorable, yet difficult moments in your experiences at Society for Companion Animals?
TC: If I rescue from a shelter I walk the shelter and pick the dogs to rescue. This is a hard thing to do you know some will not make it and as bad as you want to save them all you can't. I do look for the hard cases and rescue them. These dogs are ones that get overlooked. Black dogs, Chi, older dogs, etc I will rescue them. Heartworm positive dogs, mange dogs will rescue these. If I rescue from the street this can be a process of getting a dog to trust you enough to let them get a leash around them and put them in your car. I trap dogs which there are few people that do trapping. I enjoy it it is like waiting to get the catch. Once trapped some dogs tame up others are not social and this means months of fostering sometimes. Feral dogs are interesting I have studied their behavior for years. I spend many hours at 4-5 AM dark catching dogs and observing their behavior. You can sometimes tame a feral dog but can take a long time. I have own 2 feral dogs they are different interesting though they can bond to humans.