ETX SPCA says Smith County needs new animal shelter - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ETX SPCA says Smith County needs new animal shelter

JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) - The animals keep coming in, and now the SPCA of East Texas tells KLTV that Smith County desperately needs another shelter.

Right now, thousands of animals a year are transported across the county line to a shelter in Jacksonville.

While the shelter's director says it is difficult to keep up, she tells KLTV that she doesn't think building a new shelter in Smith County is the answer to the overcrowding.

Klein Animal Shelter Director Amber Wallace says their animal population doubled overnight about 4 years ago.

"Right now we're handling an average of about 8,000 animals. This year we're going to handle close to 9,000 animals a year," says Wallace.

In 2007, The Humane Society of East Texas changed to a no-kill shelter. Since then, the City of Tyler has paid Klein around a $100,000 a year to take in animals the Humane Society cannot.

"Handling that number of animals through this facility puts a tremendous burden on us trying to find adoptive homes. We deal with the sheer numbers of them because there aren't any other shelters in the area that can deal with that volume," Wallace explained.

About 72% of the animals here are euthanized. The director says there is no limit on how long an animal can live here. It all depends upon their health condition and adoptability.

Wallace says building a shelter in Smith County wouldn't necessarily alter that percentage, but it would change the number of animals put down.

Wallace says, "Historically before we took on Tyler, we still had about 75% of the animals coming in the front door were not adoptable coming in."

Deborah Dobbs with the SPCA says building a new shelter would relieve Klein.

They are tremendously overburdened. They're not able to process the animals as quickly and as timely.  
She says they've picked out tracks of land to build a facility in Smith County.

"We are in the process of planning and designing a large animal services center that would work with all of these communities assuming they choose to contract with us," says Dobbs.

She says it's a multi-million dollar project. Until the funding is there, animals will be transported here.

Tuesday afternoon, the City of Tyler released this statement:
"We have had very preliminary conversations with SPCA representatives about their vision for constructing a facility in Tyler, and continue to be open to opportunities to possibly partner sometime in the future."

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