Plans in the works for new ETX animal shelter

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Thanks to the SPCA of East Texas, a new pet adoption center will open its doors this weekend.

According to the board's president, this is a temporary adoption center, and something more permanent is going to take even more work.

Right now, the City of Tyler and Smith County do not have an animal shelter.

"Our city and county animal control agencies do not have a local shelter to bring their animals. Our city animals are taken to Klein in Jacksonville and they are adopted or euthanized out of Klein, and our county animals are taken to a holding barn in Winona," said SPCA of East Texas Board President Deborah Dobbs.

"They try to hold theirs five days, I believe, and then, unfortunately, at the end of the fifth day, if they are not reclaimed and no one comes to look for them, then they will be euthanized," said Brenda Elrod, Environmental Health Director at NET Health.

"This is a real problem, and it's only going to get worse with the number of animals and the number of people. More people move to Smith county, more animals move to Smith county," Elrod said. 

The City of Tyler is in agreement that there needs to be a local facility.

"We've got some funding program for next fiscal year and we are talking about a year construction, so we are probably about two years away," said Tyler City Manager Mark McDaniel.

Dobbs said their organization has property they want the city to use.

"They're looking to build a local facility, we've invited them to do that at our location, which is on Grande Blvd. Our plans are drawn for that location for an adoption center. What we would like the city to do is to build their municipal shelter right next door, that way we are partnering with the city and pulling animals everyday, putting them into homes and making them ready for adoption," Dobbs said.

"For the longer-term solution, we have had discussions with her about them having an adoption center program as part of our shelter, and so we are just in early discussions about how all of that would work," McDaniel said, concerning a potential partnership with Dobbs.

For right now, nothing is concrete, but the city confirms plans for a shelter are underway.

In the meantime, the SPCA of East Texas is using monetary donations to rent a facility they are converting into an adoption center.

The grand opening of that center will be this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They are located off of 5318 Old Bullard Road (behind Dr. Chip Swinney's dental office) in Tyler.

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