TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A SPCA chapter formed in East Texas is hoping to create what would be the only regional animal care facility in Smith County. The newly-formed board says that 10,000 stray animals are picked up in Smith County each year, but they are shipped to Jacksonville to be adopted or killed.
Board members say a local facility is a necessity, but they need help to build it.
The SPCA of East Texas hopes to give a voice to the thousands of stray or neglected animals that are taken from the City of Tyler and Smith County to the Klein Animal Shelter in Jacksonville each year.
"We can make do with what we have short term, but we desperately need a quality first rate animal shelter in our county," explained Dr. David Post, a veterinarian and Vice President of SPCA of East Texas. "I don't think people realize what's going on."
He says the City of Tyler must take stray animals to the Jacksonville shelter to be put up for adoption or euthanized. If there was a local option, he says fewer animals would be killed, and the city could save some money.
"It ends up being right at about 120,000 a year," said Angela Wallace, with the Klein Animal Shelter. "We are handling about 5,000 animals a year for the City of Tyler…The City of Tyler will take any of the actual carcasses after they are left behind after euthanasia and they will dispose of them."
"Our community needs to have another facility here in Smith County," said Gayle Helms, with the Humane Society of East Texas. "That's what we pay our dollars for - our tax dollars. To me it's just as important as fire protection or police protection."
Helms says her shelter is a selective admission, no-kill facility and they no longer contract with the city or county.
"There needs to be [a kill facility] in every community, unfortunately…until the community decides it wants to be a no-kill community," said Helms.
SPCA of East Texas is asking for donations to build their facility until their plans are made a priority among elected officials in Smith County.
If you want to find out more about SPCA of East Texas call 903-596-SPCA or 596-7722 or donate to the chapter, click here.