Operation Kindness Strengthens Pet Lifesaving Efforts with New Veterinarian Hires

Operation Kindness is excited to announce recent additions to its team in support of its mission to care for homeless cats and dogs until they’re ready for adoption. Veterinarians Dr. Rachel DeBender and Dr. Zachary Koontz join the leading lifesaving shelter in North Texas to provide medical care for animals. The new hires are due to the organization’s increased investment in medical care to allow them to seek out vulnerable animals in need of lifesaving treatment.

Rapidly growing and wanting to meet the demand to save the lives of more dogs and cats, Operation Kindness is bolstering its team at The Rees-Jones Foundation Medical Wing, the on-site medical facility caring for dogs and cats in need of medical treatment. Advocating on behalf of homeless animals, the lifesaving work offered by the nonprofit gives pets a second chance at a great quality of life and provides pets a chance to receive treatment before they’re ready for a loving family. From exams to vaccinations, to X-rays and major surgeries, the facility can care for up to 120 pets each day. With the addition of Dr. DeBender and Dr. Koontz, Operation Kindness can provide medical services for more sick and injured animals from our rescue partners.

Joining the team after 11 years at Hillside Veterinary Clinic in Dallas, Dr. DeBender will focus on medical care, including exams, prescribing medication, heartworm treatments, internal medicine, and treatment for infectious disease. She has an extensive background in the medical field for animals, with her career beginning at Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine and graduating in 2007. After an internship at the Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital of the ASPCA in New York, NY, she spent two years at a clinic in the Boston area before moving back to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. As a native Texan growing up in the Fort Worth area, Dr. DeBender has a passion for animal welfare and enjoys spending time with her two dogs, Eleanor and Ally, and cat named Mongo.

“I am honored and thrilled to join the dedicated team at Operation Kindness,” said Dr. DeBender. “I look forward to providing lifesaving medical care to dogs and cats in need so that they can find loving homes.”

Focusing on surgeries, including spay/neuter, amputations, enucleations, growth removals, and dentistry procedures, Dr. Koontz also joins the team in support of homeless animals. Having graduated from Oklahoma State University with a B.S. in Animal Science, he also graduated from Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences with a DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine). In 2013, he moved to DFW to practice small animal medicine and surgery, mostly with nonprofit organizations, before joining Operation Kindness. Caring about the wellbeing of animals in all aspects of life, Dr. Koontz enjoys spending his free time with his two rescue dogs named Betsey and Oatmeal.

“Joining the team at Operation Kindness is a wonderful opportunity to provide care to animals in need of support,” said Dr. Koontz. “I’m excited to be a part of an organization working to better the lives of dogs and cats.”

Choosing to join the nonprofit organization in its rescue endeavors, the mission aligns with Dr. DeBender and Dr. Koontz’s interests to care for animals and give them the lives they deserve. Operation Kindness leads with the example that every dog and cat needs kindness and care, offering essential resources through partnerships, programs, and resources with the help of senior leadership, staff, volunteers and the community.

“I am extremely excited to welcome Dr. Debender and Dr. Koontz to Operation Kindness,” said Dr. Tiffany Tobaben, chief veterinarian at Operation Kindness. “Our ability to care for more dogs and cats that need medical attention before finding their new families will greatly increase with them joining our medical team. This is an exciting time at Operation Kindness, and we are grateful for all of their expertise!”

The increased growth at the organization has been tremendous over the past couple of years—with the need to hire additional staff to continue operations to address animal homelessness. This means Operation Kindness is also looking to add additional staff to its team. There are currently several openings for candidates who are looking to make a difference in the lives of homeless pets.

Team members at Operation Kindness improve the lives of countless animals each year and pride themselves on their positive impact throughout the community. Anyone who resonates with this mission and has relevant experience is encouraged to apply. Operation Kindness is currently looking for animal care technicians, adoption counselors, and more.


Interested individuals can apply at www.operationkindness.org/careers. Guests can also visit the website to learn more about adopting, fostering or volunteering at Operation Kindness by visiting http://www.operationkindness.org/about.

Operation Kindness Strengthens Pet Lifesaving Efforts with New Veterinarian Hires Operation Kindness Strengthens Pet Lifesaving Efforts with New Veterinarian Hires

Dr. Koontz, left. Dr. DeBender, right.


About Operation Kindness

Founded in 1976, Operation Kindness is a pioneer in North Texas for providing assistance to animals in need of medical care, companionship, and most of all, a home. In addition to pet adoptions, Operation Kindness provides extensive medical care for homeless animals, a foster program, a pet food pantry, a surrender prevention program, education to pet parents and volunteer opportunities. To learn more about Operation Kindness, please visit their website at www.OperationKindness.org.

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