Stray animals becoming huge problem in East Texas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Stray animals becoming huge problem in East Texas

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -

The problem of caring for stray and abused animals has become a huge problem in East Texas, with few shelters and even fewer resources to save animals from certain death. But a nationally known expert has been brought in to find answers.

Mike Arms is hoping to turn euthanizing animals into adoption successes.

"[There are] difficulties down here with a high rate of euthanasia," said Arms, "I'm here to assess it and to give my recommendations on how we can change it."

Arms met with Longview city officials to discuss a new all purpose shelter.

City Councilman, John Sims says, "I think the city should be willing to put in a new animal shelter-- what I would call a state of the art animal shelter."

"So that we don't have 155 dogs have to be euthanized," Sims continued.

With no shelter in Smith County, and a Gregg County shelter that struggles consistently at maximum capacity, Arms is bringing a new approach with marketing.

"Here you have a 100 dollar adoption fee and you're trying to make an excuse for it," said Arms, "You can call it anything you want, but you're in the business of selling used dogs and cats."

Humane Society board member, Jim Murphey said, "There's still animals that we have to take care of and I think this man will give us a way a path to go do that."
   
"We were able to send 32 animals to Wisconsin that had homes," said Humane Society of Northeast Texas Director, Christine Kerr.

A pioneer in the animal welfare industry, Arms says marketing is a key.

"You have to market and you have to promote, we do more to market pizza, a cola or a hot dog than we do to market these beautiful animals," said Arms, "and the big thing you need in all of this is revenue."
 
His goal is 'the business of saving lives,' and not euthanizing. And Arms believes it can be done in East Texas.

"A lot of these facilities have a lot of good people working in them, but they don't have a clear direction how they can increase adoptions and decrease euthanasia," Arms says.

Councilman Sims says the city has already purchased land that might be used to a new animal shelter facility.

Arms will give a formal proposal of a new facilities and guidelines to groups from several counties and the public is invited as well.

The presentation will be held at the Papacitas in Longview, Friday night at 6:30.

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