LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Last fall, the current Leadership Longview class heard pitches from non-profit organizations all over the community and decided they could help the most people by taking on a project to build an animal shelter for the Women’s Center of East Texas.
“It felt like such a great project,” said Amy Hollins with Leadership Longview. “This could touch so many lives. Many victims won’t leave a violent situation because they won’t leave their pets, or they feel like their pets are threatened.”
Hollins said that, for security, reasons, they aren’t disclosing the location of the new animal shelter for the Women’s Center of East Texas. It will be in Longview, and it will be close enough to the women’s shelter for women and their children to visit their pets.
The one-story kennel/shelter will have four dog runs, Hollins said. It will also have cat housing above the runs and inside the building. The runs will have access to an outdoor play area, and the animal shelter will be heated and cooled.
Hollins said the Women’s Center animal shelter will be able to house a mix and match of seven dogs or cats, depending on what is needed by shelter clients.
The folks with the Women’s Shelter of East Texas and Leadership Longview hope to have the construction of the animal shelter finished by the end of March. However, that depends on the weather, Hollins said.
The ribbon-cutting for the Women’s Center animal shelter will be held at the organization’s main office at 1011 Wal Street in Longview on April 9.
“We want to make the women and families in these situations as comfortable as possible,” Hollins. “This will be great for the kids, too, because children are often very close to their pets.”
Hollins said women who bring their pets to the Women’s Center animal shelter will need to show proof of vaccinations. She added that if they can’t provide proof, local veterinarians will work with them to get their cat or dog’s shots updated.
Each Leadership Longview class goes from September through May, Hollins said. She said that last September, they started hearing pitches for community service projects by Longview area non-profit organizations. Eventually, they narrowed the list down to three candidates.
Then in October, they decided on the Women’s Center project, Hollis said.
Hollis explained that the project isn’t fully funded yet, and they will continue to need donations of money and food once the animal shelter is opened.
She said that people can drop off donations at the Women’s Center of East Texas' main office in Longview. Those people who are making monetary donations should specify that they want that money to go toward the construction and operation of the animal shelter.
People may also drop off physical donations like dog and cat food, shampoo, towels, leashes, etc. at the main office, Hollis said.
For more information about the animal shelter or the services offered by the Women’s Center of East Texas, visit the organization’s website or call (903) 295-7846. People may also call Hollins to ask about the animal shelter project, and her phone number is (903) 445-1637.