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East Lake Vets for Vets

East Lake Pet Orphanage Wants to Raise Pet Rescue to a Higher Level – Partnering with Disabled American Veterans. You Can Help.

Karen Fling, DVM and president of East Lake Pet Orphanage (ELPO), a Dallas-based, no-kill animal shelter has successfully completed the purchase of the approximately 3,200-square-foot building adjacent to the existing East Lake Veterinary Hospital and East Lake Cat Care Center buildings. The newly acquired building has been home to the local DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Chapter 57.


For years, East Lake Pet Orphanage has operated through volunteer foster homes and inside East Lake Veterinary Hospital. Now, plans are underway to build a new multistory facility.


Karen Fling says, “It’s an exciting time at East Lake, this dream has been decades in the making. After our best year of adoptions ever, and thousands of homeless pets rescued, rehabilitated and re-homed since 2001, we are happy to announce that East Lake Pet Orphanage will have a new standalone facility designed specifically to meet our growing needs!”


The new facility will be located between East Lake Veterinary Hospital and the new East Lake Cat Care Center, at 8630 Thurgood in Dallas. The DAV will continue to operate on the first floor of the existing building; our plan is to build five floors above the DAV meeting space to house East Lake Pet Orphanage needs. 


“In an exciting collaboration with the veterans of Chapter 57, our new facility will also serve as a shared community meeting space, volunteer activity center, and continue to be a meeting space for the chapter,” Karen Fling, DVM says.


“We are also excited to announce plans to extend East Lake Pet Orphanage’s nonprofit mission to include veterinary care for veterans’ animals when the veterans themselves need medical care. A representative of the VA hospital recently confirmed that despite having excellent medical care available, ‘the greatest barrier to veterans receiving in-patient treatment is the need for pet care. The veterans don’t want to leave their animals at home alone.’ Also, while veterans enjoy a variety of governmental support, no provision exists for general veterinary care. Veterinary care for veterans is critically important, especially given that many veterans have service or emotional support pets, as well as pets that simply help give them a better quality of life.


“East Lake Pet Orphanage is grateful for the incredible community support which has allowed us to rescue and rehabilitate thousands of homeless pets since 2001. Now, we’re seeking contributions to help us move our pet rescue efforts to a facility designed specifically for the needs of the animals we help.


“Our dream, five-story building will have a cat floor, a dog floor, an inclusive exercise floor, a boarding floor, and a convalescent/intensive care floor.


“Funding needs are especially critical currently in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. We’re seeing a

10-fold increase in requests from owners to surrender their pets. People are afraid because of economic challenges and increased unemployment rates due to the coronavirus that they will be unable to care for their pet.  We are asking for help, no matter how small your donation might be, every penny will go to helping us achieve our dream of delivering a higher level of pet rescue and care than ever. Please help at whatever level you can,” concluded Dr. Fling.

About East Lake
Pet Orphanage

Since 2001, thousands of dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, pigs, and chickens have been matched and placed in permanent and loving homes. East Lake Pet Orphanage has been connecting people and pets for the mutual enrichment of life by providing medical care, surgical care, a warm place to stay, love, and attention that our team and volunteers pour into every homeless pet that enters through our doors.

About DAV

DAV is a nonprofit charity that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families, helping more than 1 million veterans in positive, life-changing ways each year. Annually, the organization provides more than 600,000 rides to veterans attending medical appointments and assists veterans with well over 200,000 benefit claims.


Donate Today

East Lake Pet Orphanage is a 501(C)(3) non-profit, no-kill shelter in East Dallas. We do not receive any state or city funding, and instead, rely on the support of private donors.

We are volunteer driven, and none of our Board of Directors or devoted Veterinarians accepts a salary for the work they do to help the

homeless pets.


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